The Beatles - History

The Beatles - History


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The Beatles

The Beatles, considered the most popular and influential band in the history of rock and roll, began as a group of teenagers playing in local nightclubs in England. The four Beatles were George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. By 1963, they achieved stardom, and Beatlemania began to spread throughout the world. Some of their most popular songs include "I Want to Hold Your Hand," "A Hard Days Night," "Hey Jude" and "Let it Be."
The group also made several successful movies and, through their company Apple Records, served as producers for new young artists. The Beatles disbanded in 1970, and its members went on to successful individual performing careers. Lennon was murdered by a mentally-ill fan in New York in 1980.


The Beatles Songs: "Revolution"

By spring 1968, student demonstrations had reached a fever pitch all around the world, most notably in Paris, where a massive strike and resultant riots led to the collapse of the government led by Charles DeGaulle. John Lennon, who questioned the goals of the leftist movements even as he championed their basic beliefs, wrote this song directly to the world's young revolutionaries, specifically inspired as he was by the May 1968 French upheaval. "Revolution" would go on to become one of the Beatles signature tracks.

John had always intended this song to be the first release on the group's new, self-owned label, Apple, but the other band members and producer George Martin felt the original song -- slower and calmer than the single we know today -- wouldn't capture the attention of radio listeners. Still, Lennon thought the message important enough that he reconvened the band in the Abbey Road studios in late July 1968, and cut the loud, fast, rock version we know today. It is still accepted as the definitive version of this song, even though it was recorded six weeks after the original take.)

The original slower version of "Revolution," named "Revolution 1" so as to distance it from the more familiar single version, was released as a track on the album The Beatles (usually known as the "White Album") in November 1968. Snippets from the recording of "1" were used in a sound collage Lennon made for the album, dubbed "Revolution 9."

John laid on the floor of the Abbey Road studios to record the vocal for this single he got the distorted guitar tone he wanted by scraping the paint from his Epiphone Casino and having engineers run it directly through the soundboard. When the 45 single was released, many customers returned it, thinking the record was damaged in some way.

The famous scream heard at the beginning of this track was John himself, double-tracked, although Paul can be seen performing the scream on the videotaped for their appearance on the British TV show The David Frost Show. It would be impossible for John to scream live and then jump into the verse.

Nicky Hopkins, who played electric piano on this track, was a favorite sideman of the Rolling Stones. He can also be heard on their songs "Sympathy for the Devil," "Tumbling Dice," and "Angie," as well as the Who's "The Song Is Over," Lennon's "Jealous Guy," and Joe Cocker's "You Are So Beautiful."


In the summer of 1957, The Quarry Men were setting up for a performance in a church hall when another member of the band introduced Lennon to Paul McCartney, then a 15-year-old self-taught left-handed guitar player. He auditioned for the band when they finished their set and was immediately invited to join, which he did in October 1957.

By February 1958 Lennon was moving increasingly away from skiffle and toward rock 'n' roll. This prompted the band's banjo player to leave, giving McCartney the opportunity to introduce Lennon to his friend and former classmate, George Harrison.

The band, which then consisted of Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, piano player Duff Lowe and drummer Colin Hanton, recorded a demo consisting of Buddy Holly's "That'll Be the Day" and a Lennon-McCartney original, "In Spite of All the Danger."


The Beatles: Some History Behind the Influence

The Beatles are an English Rock group from Liverpool that formed in the 1960’s. The Beatles were one of the most successful and critically acclaimed groups in the history of music. There is no single reason why The Beatles became so popular, but throughout their reign from early 1960’s to the mid 1970’s they took over the music industry and their success made them the influential band they are in the music industry today.
Four lads of varying in age named, John Lennon, who played rhythm guitar and performed vocals Paul McCartney, who played Bass and vocals Ringo Starr played drums and vocals and finally, George Harrison, who was the lead guitarist and also vocals made up the Beatles. Each person in the Beatles had their own individual characters, which is what made the group so special. The Beatles not only influenced the music industry, but they also influenced the social and cultural revolution in the 1960’s.
The Beatles had such a different style from any other band at the time, because they worked in many different genres of music. The group started off rooted in the Skiffle and 1950’s rock and roll, and later on expanding into pop ballads, psychedelic rock and also having some classical influences in their songs. The popularity of The Beatles grew as their music developed and became more sophisticated.
After help from two influential characters, Brain Epstein and George Martin the group broke into the mainstream in the United Kingdom in 1962 with their first single “Love Me Do”. This song gave the group the start they needed and from that record they started to tour widely until 1966. The Beatles played a number of influential gigs on tour, and this is what made them so popular with the changing society of the 60’s.
The success of The Beatles tours drove them to want to branch out into different countries. Countries like the US for example, although The Beatles didn’t want to branch there until they hit number one in the UK. Once they did they began their conquer of America on Feb. 7 1964, and two days later they made their first appearance on American television. The Beatles fame followed them from the UK to the US, and approximately 74 million Americans viewed The Beatles first television appearance. The Beatles first concert in America exploded at the Washington Coliseum. To the delight of The Beatles they had become more and more popular in America over the tour. The Beatles had become that popular over their tour they were to become the first entertainment act to stage a concert at a Stadium. The Beatles played at a stadium in New York City called Shea Stadium to an audience of 55, 600.
Even though the group broke up in the 70’s, The Beatles are one of the most influential Rock and Roll bands. Not only did they influence many artists such as Jimmy Hendrix, David Bowe and Oasis who later on become huge musical talents, but they had a huge impact on British Rock and Roll and also American Rock and roll.
Also, they influenced many other British musicians to branch out into the states, and their success over there was a big part of the migration. Furthermore, they influenced the way that the younger generation would dress, act and live their lives. The Beatles style changed with the times and so did the supporters and loyal followers.


The Beatles: Get Back—An Exclusive Deep Dive Into Peter Jackson’s Revelatory New Movie

Clockwise from top left: John Lennon mugging for the camera Paul McCartney Ringo Starr studio high jinks George Harrison producer George Martin welcoming keyboardist Billy Preston. THE BEATLES: GET BACK. COURTESY OF APPLE CORPS LTD.

Paul appears first, scanning the horizon as a gust of London wind tousles his dark hair. Then Ringo, in a red vinyl coat, ducking below scaffolding to examine his drum kit, cigarette dangling from his mouth. George—in black fur coat and lime green pants—straps on a Telecaster as John arrives to take in the weird scene through gold-framed spectacles: amplifiers and mics, movie cameras and crewmen scurrying around the rooftop of a five-story building on a cold gray day. John rubs his hands to warm them as a young film director puffs a cigar and shares a word with Paul. Billy Preston tests his keyboard and George fingers a familiar R&B riff. Yoko Ono, dressed entirely in black, looks on. An expectant bustle, a clapper board snaps, and then it happens: “1, 2, 3, 4…”

In split screen we see crowds gather on adjoining rooftops, like chimney sweeps from Oliver Twist. On the streets below, suited businessmen and young office workers crane their necks to the sky. “Where’s the noise coming from?” asks an onlooker.

It’s the Beatles as none would ever see or hear them again—their last live performance as a group, January 30, 1969. It’s also the Beatles as none of us, 52 years on, has ever seen them. The approximately 43-minute sequence from director Peter Jackson’s forthcoming documentary, The Beatles: Get Back—screened exclusively for Vanity Fair—shows the full, uninterrupted concert on the roof of 3 Savile Row, the band’s headquarters, including iconic performances that would appear on their last album, Let It Be. The original footage, taken from at least nine different cameras, has been scrubbed to astonishing clarity, detail, and color, a rapturous window in time. The six-hour doc will run on Disney+ over three nights on November 25, 26, and 27.

For a Beatles fan, this is manna from heaven, every detail taking on immense power: Paul’s brown shoe tapping in rhythm to George’s guitar John flubbing a line, George smiling at the fuckup, Paul peering over to make sure John picks up the slack an assistant crouching to hold a clipboard of newly written lyrics for “Dig a Pony” so John can remember them car horns blowing on the streets as John belts out “Danny Boy” between songs the beauty of Ringo’s observant eyes behind the kit and George’s Mona Lisa smile as nerves settle and the band soars behind John in the transcendent chorus of “Don’t Let Me Down.” We witness John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr lock together as a band, in real time, and the alchemical mix of tough and tender—McCartney helming his Höfner bass like a bearded sea captain, Lennon’s vulnerable smile peeking through long hair—is freshly shocking. Movingly, none appear more surprised by the magic of the Beatles than the band themselves.

“We went to London and screened that to Apple,” says Jackson, referring to the company founded by the Beatles in 1968, which still manages their legacy. “And they were excited. Then Paul saw it, and Ringo saw it. And then the whole emphasis at that point became, ‘Let’s have the entire concert in the film. Let’s just show the whole thing.’ ”

The whole thing—including a comic subplot involving a baffled 19-year-old policeman responding to noise complaints and getting a sly runaround from Apple staffers—forms the climax of Jackson’s documentary, a 21-day diary of the Beatles in their intimate creative world. Drawn from nearly 60 hours of archival footage, it depicts the band jamming, writing, arranging, clowning, sparring, riffing, struggling, and finally succeeding to make Let It Be.

All this footage was originally shot for Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s vérité film Let It Be, which included a roughly 22-minute version of the rooftop concert but became known, by the few who saw it, for very different reasons. The movie premiered in May 1970, a month after the Beatles broke up, and was largely regarded as depressing evidence of the band’s dissolution—before promptly going out of circulation. In black-market versions, the original 16-millimeter film, converted to 35-millimeter for the big screen, looked somber, saturated in blues and greens. A Beatles fanatic since the 1970s—he was eight when they broke up—Jackson himself owned a fourth-generation bootleg on VHS, the muddy quality confirming his grim view of the period. Indeed, the director was the first skeptic of Apple’s project to disinter the footage. “I actually didn’t say yes,” recalls the three-time Oscar-winning director of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. “I said, ‘Can I look at all the footage first? And then I’ll let you know.’ Because I was thinking, I’d love to make a Beatles film, but I don’t want to make the Beatles-breakup film. That’s the one Beatles movie I would never want to make.”

And so after first meeting with Apple, Jackson returned to his home in New Zealand with the unedited footage from the movie (the “rushes,” in filmmaking argot), and sat down to see for himself. “I was waiting for it to go bad,” he says, “and I had a kind of heavy heart.”

As he watched, says Jackson, history shifted: “What I found is that I was laughing continuously. I just was laughing. I was laughing and laughing and laughing, and I didn’t stop.”

When Jackson went backstage at a Paul McCartney concert in Auckland, New Zealand, in 2017, he was surprised to find McCartney nervous to meet him, concerned with what Jackson had found in the footage. “I could see on his face he was imagining the worst,” says the director. “I just said to him, ‘Look, I’ve got to say, it surprised the hell out of me because I was expecting it to be a miserable experience for you. I expected to have to witness a rather bleak moment—but it’s actually the exact opposite. It’s incredibly funny. It’s incredibly lively. It shows you guys having a great time.’

“And he couldn’t believe it,” says Jackson. “He said, ‘What? What? Really? Really?’ And it certainly surprised him. Because he has never seen this stuff, even though he lived through it. It’s a long time ago, and subsequent events, I think, just muddied the whole memory of this thing.”

Last year, when Disney released a teaser for Get Back—meant to assuage expectant fans after the project was delayed for a year because of COVID-19—the montage of never-seen footage showing Lennon gleefully horsing around the studio with McCartney (doing a comic version of “Two of Us” through clenched teeth), and Ono chatting warmly with McCartney’s wife, Linda Eastman, looked revelatory, astonishing, and a bit suspicious to fans with even a passing knowledge of Beatles history. Was Jackson cherry-picking moments of levity to sell a revisionist history? A whitewash? “I don’t think they’ll feel that when they’ve seen it,” Jackson says, “but I understand where that’s coming from. This is not what you read in the books.”

The books, of course, have long been in accord: The Let It Be sessions were a miserable time for the Beatles, an inflection point for their coming breakup as Ono became a wedge between Lennon and the band, and Harrison yearned to break free from the mop-top machine (even quitting the Beatles at one point). In the weeks after the recordings, Lennon recruited manager Allen Klein to take over the band’s business affairs, and McCartney hired his own father-in-law, attorney Lee Eastman, to counter Klein’s machinations, leading to a vicious legal battle that lasted long after the band dissolved. In the aftermath, Lennon savaged the Let It Be sessions, telling Rolling Stone, “They were writing about [Yoko] looking miserable in the Let It Be film, but you sit through 60 sessions with the most bigheaded, uptight people on earth and see what it’s fuckin’ like, and be insulted just because you love someone.”

And so went the story until 48 years later, when Apple Corps CEO Jeff Jones and Apple executive Jonathan Clyde invited Jackson to their offices in London to discuss a traveling Beatles exhibition that would feature unrelated archival films. They asked Jackson whether he could update old footage using the same technology he used to revive vintage World War I reels for the acclaimed 2018 documentary They Shall Not Grow Old. When Jackson casually asked about the Let It Be movie, he was told that a separate project to make a new documentary from the rushes was in the works—but that the original director had just dropped out. At this, Jackson perked up. “So I just put up my hand and I said, ‘Well, if you’ve just lost a filmmaker, I’m sitting here, I’ll do it,’ ” he says.

The Beatles exhibition never happened, but after Jackson reviewed the Let It Be footage—twice—he realized he would be telling a much different story from the one most people understood. Unlike Ron Howard’s Eight Days a Week: The Touring Years, the 2016 documentary about the mid-’60s period before the Beatles, overwhelmed by fan mania, stopped playing live, Jackson’s film isn’t just a delicious peek at lost footage (though it is that). It’s an amendment to the received history.

Though Get Back is made for modern eyes decades after the events themselves, it’s faithful to the intent of the original, which was to chronicle the band’s return to live performance after they ceased playing concerts in 1966. Director Michael Lindsay-Hogg, the son of Irish actor Geraldine Fitzgerald, was the 28-year-old director of British pop music TV show Ready Steady Go! when the Beatles asked him to produce a series of promotional movies for their 1968 singles. For a “Hey Jude” film, Lindsay-Hogg brought in a small audience—a mix of young people and regular “folk,” like a village postman—to sing along to what would become a legendary chorus. The experience revived the Beatles’ desire to play in front of people, and McCartney hatched a plan to make a TV show with taped performances of new Beatles songs before a small audience. The show would include a montage of behind-the-scenes vérité footage of rehearsals. “Paul was the driving force behind the whole project,” says Lindsay-Hogg.

And so on the second day of January, 1969, the Beatles showed up at the cavernous Twickenham Studios in London to begin rehearsing songs for a TV show that would also be the basis of a live album. They chose Twickenham because Starr was shooting a movie there, The Magic Christian, costarring Peter Sellers.

At Twickenham, the Beatles rehearsed “Get Back,” “Two of Us,” and “The Long and Winding Road,” among others. And then, on day seven, Harrison walked out following arguments with McCartney. “George quits,” says Lindsay-Hogg. “Everything comes to a halt for a couple of days, and we’re all sitting around and doing nothing much. And everyone’s tetchy. Paul’s tetchy. And then George will [only] come back if we go to Apple—the studio which they have in the basement.

“If this was a FICTIONAL MOVIE about a fictional band, having one of the band members WALK OUT at the end of the first act—it’d be the ideal thing you’d write into a script.”

“That little episode,” he continues, “has been taken and completely blown up by some people to represent acrimony between George and Paul and underlying severe tension. And in fact, it’s just a small little cloud which passes over their working relationship in five minutes. That’s all it was.”

But the conflict was a major pivot in the production. The TV show idea was scrapped, and instead Beatles management decided to expand the project into a feature film to fulfill a three-picture contract that manager Brian Epstein had forged with United Artists before he died in 1967. (The first two films were A Hard Day’s Night and Help!) Bowing to Harrison’s demand, the Beatles moved the sessions to their recording studio at Apple, and Lindsay-Hogg and crew continued shooting for a documentary.

For his own project, Jackson decided that when Harrison and McCartney begin fighting—a brief but tense scene in which McCartney placates a wounded Harrison after criticizing his guitar parts—he would show not only that but the aftermath as well. Consequently, Jackson says, Get Back will be more revealing than the original, not less. “It’s a lot tougher movie than Let It Be,” he says. “I mean, Let It Be couldn’t show George leaving the group, which he did on the seventh day, and then he obviously came back again. Let It Be never showed that.”

Jackson says he didn’t need to manipulate Lindsay-Hogg’s original footage—or include talking heads to contextualize things—to create a dramatic plot. The sessions formed their own story, and Get Back, he decided, could simply be a “documentary about the documentary.”


Days in the life: The Beatles’ history

This list is very uneven: Maureen Cox’ birthday is there, but not Barbara Bach’s (27 August 1947). John’s half-sister Victoria is mentioned, but not George’s well-known sister Louise (b. 16 August 1931), or George’s brothers.

Yes, of course it’s a work in progress – the list certainly isn’t finished (at the time of writing I’m midway through 1964). However, I’m not going to list the birth dates of every sibling and wife. The partners I’ve written about played key roles in the story up to the 1970 break-up (Barbara Bach came in afterwards), and the siblings are mentioned when there’s a particularly interesting background story (hence Victoria’s inclusion).

Life’s too short to detail absolutely everyone, and I don’t think there’s really a demand for it. And where do you stop? Should I mention the births of The Beatles’ parents? Grandparents? School teachers, promoters and studio staff? I’d probably only add Louise Harrison et al if/when I’d covered everything else, but it’s unlikely I’ll do it.

Thank you for having this site.

i think johns other half sister julia is at least as important since she wrote a book that shed some light on their family life and was the one john was in touch with towards the end of his life.

I read her book a couple years ago.I highly recommend every Beatles,or John Lennon fan read it.Very intimate info.

Check out my blog, where I’m posting what the Beatles were doing exactly 50 years ago today. (They just arrived in Hamburg for the first time.)

Hey, neighbor… I grew up in Detroit/in the ‘burbs now. I can’t remember very much about last week – but I CAN remember VIVIDLY being 9 years old, & seeing the Beatles for the first time in 1962 at Olympia stadium in Detroit. I saw them again in 64. My “rich” aunt splurged on buying all her nieces tickets, which at the time was an outrageous price, something like $5-$7, LOL. One of those experiences you will NEVER forget. Will check out your blog…many thanks!

LOL! Your memory of back then isn’t so great either.
The years of the two Olympia (great hockey arena!) concerts were 1964 and 1966.
I dare say you hadn’t heard of the Beatles in 1962.
(BTW- remember WKNR – Keener 13? Huge supporters of the Beatles and other British Invasion groups as well as Motown, of course).

A wonderful record
Great research
Thank you
Are you in Liverpool??
We are going to visit in July ?

Great Work Here Joe. Amazing that you were able to consolidate all these facts and dates into one place.

Thought you may want to add this entry into the History section.

On June 4th 1980 Lennon set off by boat from New York to Bermuda.

One for your History section. On Jan 24th 1967, Joe Orton went over to Brian`s house to discuss a third Beatles film. McCartney was present.

Thanks for the tip! I’ve added the date here, along with a feature on Up Against It.

Hello !
Realy great Page ! Thanx a lot !
Ich have some dates for your History:
22.10.89 Paul live in Munich Olympiahall Germany
09.09.93 Paul live in Munich Olympiahall Germany
13.07.2011 Rino Starr and his all Star Band live Munich Cirkus Krone Germany
(The Place the Beatles played in 1966)

All these Concerts where Parts of a tour, so I think it must be possible to find out the other tour Dates !
Greetings from munich !
marc

Thanks. I’m not taking user submissions at this stage. There are a great many other tour dates and other incidents to include, and this comments section would be awash with suggestions if everyone got involved. I have plenty of information still to add, I just need to find time to make all the pages.

the beatles played at the majestic club in oldham on a friday night in 1961/2 I help them up the stair into the ballroom and on to the stage derrick johns was the campare ican remember they was £5

awesome work, fellow, congratulations!

This is so cool, but you forgot a list of all Beatles members (1957.-1964.). You can add page about that, that will be great.

There’s a page detailing line-ups elsewhere on the site. Are you suggesting I add their birthdays to this history section? That’s not a bad idea, but I don’t know if I have all the info.

Don’t know if this is any use but here are the dates I’ve tracked down over the years from my own notes on people. Never been able to find b’day for, say, Rod Davis, but I have a lot – though you may already have them all.

Len Garry (6 January 1942)
Eric Griffiths (31 October 1940-29 January 2005)
Colin Hanton (12 December 1938)
Johnny “Hutch” Hutchinson (18 July 1940)
John Charles “Duff” Lowe (13 April 1942)
Thomas Henry “Tommy” Moore (12 September 1931-29 September 1981)
Peter Shotton (4 August 1941)
Ivan Vaughan (18 June 1942-16 August 1993)
Nigel Whalley (30 June 1941)

To complete the birthdays of the Quarrymen : Rod Davis was born on 07 november 1941

And Pete Shotton died March 24, 2017.

Hello. I saw the Beatles at Luton Odeon September 6th 63. I am desperately seeking an answer to the following. I was at Luton Airport on my bike sometime 64 I think. A chauffeur driven car stopped by me to ask the way to the terminal. In it was John, George, Cynthia and I suppose Patti. They took a chartered DH125 (red and white I think). When was this ? Where were they going ? I’ve checked all history sites to no avail. Please help.

Check out Sat May 2nd 1964 on the history page.

As a result of Eminem having all of his albums in the Billboard 200 currently, some interesting data has emerged for two dates in 2010 on which The Beatles beat set records for number of simultaneous albums on the BB200 and which I think duly must be added to ‘Beatles history’, especially as they break, at the end of 2010, the record they set at the beginning of 2010!

On the Jan. 9, 2010 chart, folliowing the 090909 release of their remasters on CD, they logged 11 albums
simultaneously on the chart
On the Dec. 4, 2010 chart, following their iTunes debut, they logged 14 albums
simultaneously on the chart

One for your Beatles history section.
According to the Meet The Beatles For Real site, on Dec 17th 1967, John and George attended a MMT Fan Club screening / tea and biscuits in London.

Hi ! Thanks for your amazing work !

One other suggestion for this section : on September 13, 1966 Paul and Ringo received a NME Pop Poll award on behalf of the group on the Post Office Tower in London.

I hate this page. I hate it with a vengeance! So fecking long to load. 3000+ entries, what else can be expected.

Anyway way to subdivide it beneath years? Front page gives years, open the year and it gives you that year’s diary entry links. I’m sure it would speed up loading if front page was years, and the specific was behind that.

Thanks for this, Joe. Of particular interest to me were the pre Beatlemania years and how hard those guys worked. Night after night after night with the occasional lunch gig, no wonder they were so tight. I’ve worked in hard working bands like that from time to time and it was killer! Clearly you’ve put a lot of work into this excellent diary as we’ll (so much so you’ve made poor ron nasty’s head spin) and for that I applaud you! Now on to the rest of your site and my ongoing Beatles retrospective. With glass raised – Cheers!

18th May 1968 – Paul was at Wembley Stadium to watch the FA Cup Final. Everton 0 – 1 West Brom

I love this thread. Nice to see they played the Famous Cavern Club on my Birth date!

Interested in the Tom Snyder interviews including John’s last taped for tv on April 25, 1975,and what about Ringo’s tv special april 26,1978? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raHA3pzB2Kk

I made a web app to explore all of the Beatles’ live performances from August 1960 to August 1966. It includes a map with all the venues and a searchable database. Thought someone might be interested. The link is https://lebryant126.shinyapps.io/Beatles_Live_Perfomances/

Hi Joe. another for your history section:
On May 30th 1966, The Beatles are stopped for speeding in John Lennon`s Rolls Royce in a police radar trap in Bushy Park, Teddington.

William Anthony, a Beatles chauffeur, was driving at 48mph to shake off “fans” when he was stopped by a radar trap in Bushy Park, Teddington on May 30th 1966, it was said at Feltham Magistrates Court, Middlesex, yesterday. Anthony, of Rutterwyk Road, Chertsey, was fined £1 for exceeding the speed limit.
His solicitor, Mr David Jacobs, pleaded Guilty on his behalf, and said that three of The Beatles were in John Lennon`s Rolls Royce when some fans in a mini car saw them and persisted in driving alongside them, trying to peer into the windows.
“The only thing Mr Anthony could do was accelerate, as traffic was coming towards them and there might have been an accident”, Mr Jacobs said.
A policeman said later that the occupants of the mini car got The Beatles autographs when police stopped the Rolls Royce.


RINGO RELEASES EP, ZOOM IN, IS OUT NOW DIGITALLY, ON VINYL AND CASSETTE WORLDWIDE

“It just unfolds,” Ringo said of the recording process, “when I start making a record here in LA at home - somebody knocks on the door, or I reach out and ask someone if they want you to come play, it's like magic really how it all comes together.“

Today Ringo releases his EP titled,Zoom In, which features 5 songs all of which were recorded at Starr’s home studio between April-October 2020. Starr collaborated with songwriters and producers, and an ever-widening group of musicians playing on the songs, some socially distanced and joining him safely in his studio, always exercising an abundance of caution, and others working on their parts remotely. As often happens in the recording process, the circle of friends grew to include friends of friends and created something that has a unique chemistry.


The Beatles - History

RICHARD STARKEY (a.k.a.) RINGO STARR IS BORN

PAUL MCCARTNEY IS BORN

GEORGE HARRISON IS BORN

FIRST PUBLIC PERFORMANCE OF THE QUARRY MEN, THEY PLAY IN ROSEBERY STREET, EMPIRE DAY CELEBRATION ON THE BACK OF A LORRY. THEY ARE PAID NOTHING FOR THEIR PERFORMANCE.

IVAN VAUGHAN (A CHILDHOOD FRIEND OF JOHN LENNON) BRINGS SCHOOLMATE PAUL MCCARTNEY TO THE WOOLTON PARISH CHURCH FETE IN LIVERPOOL ONE OF THE BANDS ENTERTAINING THAT DAY WAS THE QUARRY MEN. AT 6:48PM VAUGHAN INTRODUCES PAUL TO JOHN. PAUL ACTUALLY DIDN'T WANT TO GO AT FIRST, BUT AFTER IVAN TOLD HIM THAT IT WOULD BE A GREAT PLACE TO MEET GIRLS, HE AGREED TO GO

THE QUARRY MEN DEBUT AT THE CAVERN CLUB IN LIVERPOOL, JOHN GET A NOTE FROM THE OWNER (ALAN SYTNER) TELLING HIM TO "CUT THE BLOODY ROCK"

MCCARTNEY DEBUTS WITH THE QUARRY MEN AT NEW CLUBMOOR HALL, BROADWAY, LIVERPOOL

THE QUARRY MEN AT WILSON HALL IN GARSTON, LIVERPOOL PERFORMING FOR "RHYTHM NIGHT"

THE QUARRY MEN AT THE STANLEY ABATTOIR SOCIAL CLUB IN OLD SWAN, LIVERPOOL

THE QUARRY MEN AT NEW CLUBMOOR HALL IN NORRIS GREEN, LIVERPOOL

FIRST DOCUMENTED PHOTO OF JOHN & PAUL TOGETHER

THE QUARRY MEN AT WILSON HALL IN GARSTON, LIVERPOOL

THE QUARRY MEN AT NEW CLUBMOOR HALL IN NORRIS GREEN, LIVERPOOL

THE QUARRY MEN AT THE CAVERN CLUB, LIVERPOOL

GEORGE HARRISON IS INTRODUCED TO LENNON - THE QUARRY MEN AT WILSON HALL IN GARSTON, LIVERPOOL - GEORGE PERFORMS "RAUNCHY" FOR JOHN, WHO WAS IMPRESSED

JULIA STANLEY, JOHN'S MOTHER DIED. SHE WAS FATALLY STRUCK DOWN BY A CAR DRIVEN BY AN OFF DUTY POLICE OFFICER WHO WAS DRUNK. THE ACCIDENT HAPPENED RIGHT OUTSIDE JOHN'S HOME ON MENDIPS

THE QUARRY MEN PERFORM AT GEORGE'S BROTHER HARRY'S WEDDING RECEPTION AT 25 UPTON GREEN IN SPEKE, LIVERPOOL

THE QUARRY MEN PERFORM AT THE SPEKE BUS DEPOT SOCIAL CLUB CHRISTMAS PARTY AT WILSON HALL IN GARSTON, LIVERPOOL

THE QUARRY MEN PERFORM AT THE WOOLTON VILLAGE CLUB IN WOOLTON, LIVERPOOL

THE QUARRY MEN - REDUCED TO LENNON, MCCARTNEY & HARRISON AFTER FAILING FORTUNES IN 1959 - ARE JOINED BY STUART SUTCLIFFE ON BASS - THEY HAVE NO ENGAGEMENTS

THEY HAVE NO ENGAGEMENTS

GEORGE HARRISON IS 17

THE QUARRY MEN CHANGE THEIR NAME TO THE BEATALS - STILL HAVE NO ENGAGEMENTS

LENNON AND MCCARTNEY APPEAR AT THE FOX AND HOUNDS, CAVERSHAM, AS THE NERK TWINS

ALLAN WILLIAMS BECOMES THE GROUP'S AGENT & PART TIME MANAGER. THEY RECRUIT DRUMMER TOMMY MOORE AND CHANGE THEIR NAME TO THE SILVER BEETLES

FAILING AN AUDITION TO BACK BILL FURY, THEY IMPRESS FURY'S MANAGER LARRY PARNES ENOUGH TO BE BOOKED TO BACK JOHNNY GENTLE

THE SILVER BEETLES PERFORM IN SEAFORTH

TOUR OF SCOTLAND AS THE SILVER BEETLES, SUPPORTING JOHNNY GENTLE

THE SILVER BEETLES PERFORM FOR THE FIRST TIME AT ALLAN WILLIAMS' LIVERPOOL CLUB THE JACARANDA

THE SILVER BEETLES HAVE ELEVEN PERFORM AROUND LIVERPOOL

TOMMY MOORE QUITS THE GROUP

NOW THE SILVER BEATLES, THEY DO SIX MORE PERFORMANCE IN LIVERPOOL (INCLUDING ONE BACKING A STRIPPER NAMED JANICE). LENNON LEAVES LIVERPOOL COLLEGE OF ART

JOHNNY GENTLE JOINS THE GROUP FOR A FEW NUMBERS AT THE JACARANDA CLUB

DRUMMER NORMAN CHAPMAN JOINS & LEAVES THE BAND

ALLAN WILLIAMS INVITES HAMBURG CLUB-OWNER BRUNO KOSCHMIDER TO HEAR THE SILVER BEATLES AT THE TWO I'S IN SOHO

PETE BEST IS RECRUITED ON DRUMS

THEY ARE BOOKED BY KOSCHMIDER TO PLAY 48 NIGHTS AT THE INDRA CLUB, HAMBURG. THEY CHANGE THEIR NAME TO THE BEATLES

PICTURE OF THEIR VAN BEING LOADED ON THE SHIP TO HAMBURG

THE BEATLES CONTINUE AT THE INDRA CLUB, LIVING IN SQUALOR AND PLAYING SEVEN NIGHTS A WEEK (SIX HOURS A NIGHT ON WEEKENDS)

BANNED FROM THE INDRA CLUB FOR PLAYING TOO LOUD, THEY ARE MOVED TO THE KAISERKELLER, PLAYING A FURTHER 58 NIGHTS ALONG WITH RORY STORM AND THE HURRICANES (IN WHICH THEIR DRUMMER IS NONE OTHER THAN RINGO STARR)

LENNON, MCCARTNEY, HARRISON & STARR CUT SOME RECORDS IN A SMALL STUDIO IN HAMBURG

KOSCHMIDER SIGNS THE BEATLES FOR AN ADDITIONAL 2 1/2 MONTHS

THE BEATLES CONTINUE AT THE KAISERKELLER, THEY ALSO JAM WITH TONY SHERIDAN & THE JETS AT THE TOP TEN IN THEIR SPARE TIME

HARRISON DEPORTED FOR BEING UNDERAGE (17)

MCCARTNEY & BEST ARE JAILED FOR ARSON THEY PINNED A CONDOM ON THE WALL & IGNITED IT. THEN THEY ARE DEPORTED

THE BEATLES ARE BACK IN THE UK AND BASICALLY BROKE, STUART SUTCLIFFE STAYS IN HAMBURG WITH ASTRID KIRCHHERR.

THE BEATLES PERFORM AT THE CASBAH COFFEE CLUB IN LIVERPOOL. THE CLUB IS OWNED BY PETE BEST'S MOTHER. CHAS NEWBY JOINS THE BAND ON BASS

THE CASBAH, CHAS NEWBY LEAVES THE BAND FOR COLLEGE - MCCARTNEY TAKES OVER ON BASS

19 PERFORMANCES IN LIVERPOOL

NEIL ASPINALL BECOMES THE BEATLES ROADIE - 37 PERFORMANCES IN LIVERPOOL

THE BEATLES DEBUT AT THE CAVERN CLUB

33 PERFORMANCES IN LIVERPOOL

92 NIGHTS AT THE TOP TEN CLUB IN HAMBURG

WHILE IN HAMBURG THEY RECORD AS THE BEAT BROTHERS AS A BACK UP TO TONY SHERIDAN, IT WAS PRODUCED BY BERT KAEMPFERT

RETURN TO LIVERPOOL - 25 PERFORMANCES IN LIVERPOOL

FIRST EDITION OF MERSEY BEAT

34 APPEARANCES IN LIVERPOOL

31 APPEARANCES IN LIVERPOOL

19 APPEARANCES IN LIVERPOOL

LENNON & MCCARTNEY HOLIDAY IN PARIS

THE BEATLES & GERRY AND THE PACEMAKERS PLAY TOGETHER AS THE BEAT-MAKERS AT LITHERLAND TOWN HALL

34 APPEARANCES IN LIVERPOOL

BRIAN EPSTEIN ATTENDS A LUNCHTIME PERFORMANCE BY THE BEATLES AT THE CAVERN CLUB

25 APPEARANCES IN LIVERPOOL, 1 IN ALDERSHOT & 1 IN LONDON

EPSTEIN OFFERS TO MANAGE THE GROUP

THE BEATLES ASK EPSTEIN TO MANAGE THE GROUP, EPSTEIN PREPARES A CONTRACT

THE GROUP AGREES WITH EPSTEIN'S CONTRACT

EPSTEIN ARRANGES FOR A DECCA A&R MAN TO HEAR THE BEATLES AT THE CAVERN

31 APPEARANCES IN LIVERPOOL

AUDITION FOR DECCA RECORDS IN LONDON, THE BEATLES RECORD 15 SONGS, BUT FAILED TO MAKE AN IMPRESSION

THE BEATLES SIGN WITH BRIAN EPSTEIN, A WEEK LATER DECCA TURNS THEM DOWN

34 APPEARANCES IN LIVERPOOL, 1 IN MANCHESTER

EPSTEIN BREAKS OFF RELATIONS WITH DECCA

EPSTEIN ARRANGES MEETING WITH GEORGE MARTIN AT PARLOPHONE

1 RADIO BROADCAST WITH BBC MANCHESTER - 36 APPEARANCES IN LIVERPOOL, 1 IN STROUD

11 APPEARANCES IN LIVERPOOL

STUART SUTCLIFFE DIES IN HAMBURG OF A BRAIN HEMORRHAGE

48 NIGHTS AT THE STAR-CLUB IN HAMBURG, EPSTEIN NEGOTIATES WITH PARLOPHONE

EPSTEIN SECURES A RECORDING CONTRACT WITH PARLOPHONE

25 APPEARANCES IN LIVERPOOL, 1 RADIO BROADCAST FOR BBC MANCHESTER

BEATLES RETURN TO LIVERPOOL

BEATLES SIGN WITH EMI (PARLOPHONE IS OWNED BY EMI)

EMI AUDITION - BEATLES RECORD DEMOS OF BESAME MUCHO, LOVE ME DO, P.S. I LOVE YOU & ASK ME WHY

37 APPEARANCES, MOSTLY IN LIVERPOOL

34 APPEARANCES, MOSTLY IN LIVERPOOL

PETE BEST IS TOLD THAT HE IS NO LONGER IN THE BAND

RINGO STARR IS THE NEW DRUMMER

GRANADA TV (MANCHESTER) FILMS THE BEATLES AT THE CAVERN

LENNON MARRIES HIS LONG-TERM GIRLFRIEND FROM ART SCHOOL, CYNTHIA POWELL

37 APPEARANCES, MOSTLY IN LIVERPOOL

RECORDING LOVE ME DO

23 APPEARANCES, MOSTLY IN LIVERPOOL, 2 TV ENGAGEMENTS (GRANADA, MANCHESTER), 3 RADIO BROADCASTS

LOVE ME DO RELEASED IN THE UK

LITTLE RICHARD & THE BEATLES PERFORM AT THE STAR-CLUB IN HAMBURG, THEY MEET BILLY PRESTON WHO IS PLAYING WITH RICAHRD'S BACKING GROUP - 17 UK PERFROMANCES MOSTLY IN LIVERPOOL 2 RADIO BROADCASTS


Days in the life: The Beatles’ history

This list is very uneven: Maureen Cox’ birthday is there, but not Barbara Bach’s (27 August 1947). John’s half-sister Victoria is mentioned, but not George’s well-known sister Louise (b. 16 August 1931), or George’s brothers.

Yes, of course it’s a work in progress – the list certainly isn’t finished (at the time of writing I’m midway through 1964). However, I’m not going to list the birth dates of every sibling and wife. The partners I’ve written about played key roles in the story up to the 1970 break-up (Barbara Bach came in afterwards), and the siblings are mentioned when there’s a particularly interesting background story (hence Victoria’s inclusion).

Life’s too short to detail absolutely everyone, and I don’t think there’s really a demand for it. And where do you stop? Should I mention the births of The Beatles’ parents? Grandparents? School teachers, promoters and studio staff? I’d probably only add Louise Harrison et al if/when I’d covered everything else, but it’s unlikely I’ll do it.

Thank you for having this site.

i think johns other half sister julia is at least as important since she wrote a book that shed some light on their family life and was the one john was in touch with towards the end of his life.

I read her book a couple years ago.I highly recommend every Beatles,or John Lennon fan read it.Very intimate info.

Check out my blog, where I’m posting what the Beatles were doing exactly 50 years ago today. (They just arrived in Hamburg for the first time.)

Hey, neighbor… I grew up in Detroit/in the ‘burbs now. I can’t remember very much about last week – but I CAN remember VIVIDLY being 9 years old, & seeing the Beatles for the first time in 1962 at Olympia stadium in Detroit. I saw them again in 64. My “rich” aunt splurged on buying all her nieces tickets, which at the time was an outrageous price, something like $5-$7, LOL. One of those experiences you will NEVER forget. Will check out your blog…many thanks!

LOL! Your memory of back then isn’t so great either.
The years of the two Olympia (great hockey arena!) concerts were 1964 and 1966.
I dare say you hadn’t heard of the Beatles in 1962.
(BTW- remember WKNR – Keener 13? Huge supporters of the Beatles and other British Invasion groups as well as Motown, of course).

A wonderful record
Great research
Thank you
Are you in Liverpool??
We are going to visit in July ?

Great Work Here Joe. Amazing that you were able to consolidate all these facts and dates into one place.

Thought you may want to add this entry into the History section.

On June 4th 1980 Lennon set off by boat from New York to Bermuda.

One for your History section. On Jan 24th 1967, Joe Orton went over to Brian`s house to discuss a third Beatles film. McCartney was present.

Thanks for the tip! I’ve added the date here, along with a feature on Up Against It.

Hello !
Realy great Page ! Thanx a lot !
Ich have some dates for your History:
22.10.89 Paul live in Munich Olympiahall Germany
09.09.93 Paul live in Munich Olympiahall Germany
13.07.2011 Rino Starr and his all Star Band live Munich Cirkus Krone Germany
(The Place the Beatles played in 1966)

All these Concerts where Parts of a tour, so I think it must be possible to find out the other tour Dates !
Greetings from munich !
marc

Thanks. I’m not taking user submissions at this stage. There are a great many other tour dates and other incidents to include, and this comments section would be awash with suggestions if everyone got involved. I have plenty of information still to add, I just need to find time to make all the pages.

the beatles played at the majestic club in oldham on a friday night in 1961/2 I help them up the stair into the ballroom and on to the stage derrick johns was the campare ican remember they was £5

awesome work, fellow, congratulations!

This is so cool, but you forgot a list of all Beatles members (1957.-1964.). You can add page about that, that will be great.

There’s a page detailing line-ups elsewhere on the site. Are you suggesting I add their birthdays to this history section? That’s not a bad idea, but I don’t know if I have all the info.

Don’t know if this is any use but here are the dates I’ve tracked down over the years from my own notes on people. Never been able to find b’day for, say, Rod Davis, but I have a lot – though you may already have them all.

Len Garry (6 January 1942)
Eric Griffiths (31 October 1940-29 January 2005)
Colin Hanton (12 December 1938)
Johnny “Hutch” Hutchinson (18 July 1940)
John Charles “Duff” Lowe (13 April 1942)
Thomas Henry “Tommy” Moore (12 September 1931-29 September 1981)
Peter Shotton (4 August 1941)
Ivan Vaughan (18 June 1942-16 August 1993)
Nigel Whalley (30 June 1941)

To complete the birthdays of the Quarrymen : Rod Davis was born on 07 november 1941

And Pete Shotton died March 24, 2017.

Hello. I saw the Beatles at Luton Odeon September 6th 63. I am desperately seeking an answer to the following. I was at Luton Airport on my bike sometime 64 I think. A chauffeur driven car stopped by me to ask the way to the terminal. In it was John, George, Cynthia and I suppose Patti. They took a chartered DH125 (red and white I think). When was this ? Where were they going ? I’ve checked all history sites to no avail. Please help.

Check out Sat May 2nd 1964 on the history page.

As a result of Eminem having all of his albums in the Billboard 200 currently, some interesting data has emerged for two dates in 2010 on which The Beatles beat set records for number of simultaneous albums on the BB200 and which I think duly must be added to ‘Beatles history’, especially as they break, at the end of 2010, the record they set at the beginning of 2010!

On the Jan. 9, 2010 chart, folliowing the 090909 release of their remasters on CD, they logged 11 albums
simultaneously on the chart
On the Dec. 4, 2010 chart, following their iTunes debut, they logged 14 albums
simultaneously on the chart

One for your Beatles history section.
According to the Meet The Beatles For Real site, on Dec 17th 1967, John and George attended a MMT Fan Club screening / tea and biscuits in London.

Hi ! Thanks for your amazing work !

One other suggestion for this section : on September 13, 1966 Paul and Ringo received a NME Pop Poll award on behalf of the group on the Post Office Tower in London.

I hate this page. I hate it with a vengeance! So fecking long to load. 3000+ entries, what else can be expected.

Anyway way to subdivide it beneath years? Front page gives years, open the year and it gives you that year’s diary entry links. I’m sure it would speed up loading if front page was years, and the specific was behind that.

Thanks for this, Joe. Of particular interest to me were the pre Beatlemania years and how hard those guys worked. Night after night after night with the occasional lunch gig, no wonder they were so tight. I’ve worked in hard working bands like that from time to time and it was killer! Clearly you’ve put a lot of work into this excellent diary as we’ll (so much so you’ve made poor ron nasty’s head spin) and for that I applaud you! Now on to the rest of your site and my ongoing Beatles retrospective. With glass raised – Cheers!

18th May 1968 – Paul was at Wembley Stadium to watch the FA Cup Final. Everton 0 – 1 West Brom

I love this thread. Nice to see they played the Famous Cavern Club on my Birth date!

Interested in the Tom Snyder interviews including John’s last taped for tv on April 25, 1975,and what about Ringo’s tv special april 26,1978? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raHA3pzB2Kk

I made a web app to explore all of the Beatles’ live performances from August 1960 to August 1966. It includes a map with all the venues and a searchable database. Thought someone might be interested. The link is https://lebryant126.shinyapps.io/Beatles_Live_Perfomances/

Hi Joe. another for your history section:
On May 30th 1966, The Beatles are stopped for speeding in John Lennon`s Rolls Royce in a police radar trap in Bushy Park, Teddington.

William Anthony, a Beatles chauffeur, was driving at 48mph to shake off “fans” when he was stopped by a radar trap in Bushy Park, Teddington on May 30th 1966, it was said at Feltham Magistrates Court, Middlesex, yesterday. Anthony, of Rutterwyk Road, Chertsey, was fined £1 for exceeding the speed limit.
His solicitor, Mr David Jacobs, pleaded Guilty on his behalf, and said that three of The Beatles were in John Lennon`s Rolls Royce when some fans in a mini car saw them and persisted in driving alongside them, trying to peer into the windows.
“The only thing Mr Anthony could do was accelerate, as traffic was coming towards them and there might have been an accident”, Mr Jacobs said.
A policeman said later that the occupants of the mini car got The Beatles autographs when police stopped the Rolls Royce.


The British Invasion: From the Beatles to the Stones, The Sixties Belonged to Britain

The Rolling Stones in Marble Arch Car Park circa 1963.

E arly in 1964, Life magazine put it like this: “In [1776] England lost her American colonies. Last week the Beatles took them back.”

It was a sweet surrender, as millions of kids (and not a few adults) succumbed to the sound of guitar-wielding, mop-topped redcoats playing rock & roll that was fresh, exotically foreign and full of the vitality of a new age in the making.

This was the British Invasion, and the Beatles were its undisputed leaders. In 1963, the Fab Four released their first U.S. single, “Please Please Me.” That same year, the term Beatlemania was coined to describe the phenomenal outburst of enthusiasm in England. But 1964 was the year of the Beatles’ American conquest, and it began with the January 25th appearance of “I Want to Hold Your Hand” on Billboard’s Top Forty chart and the February 7th arrival of the band in the States for a two-week promotional blitz.

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Overnight, Beatlemania swept the nation. Before you could say, “Yeah, yeah, yeah!” we had a new game, and part of the fun was that there were no discernible rules. Reporters found themselves trading quips with the surprisingly quick-witted Liverpudlians. Young girls abandoned themselves to hysteria. And schoolboys started dreaming of long hair and electric guitars.

Britannia Ruled the airwaves in 1964. In the front ranks, marching in formation behind the Beatles, were the Dave Clark Five, the Rolling Stones, Herman’s Hermits, the Searchers, the Hollies, the Animals, the Kinks, the Yardbirds, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Freddie and the Dreamers, Petula Clark, Dusty Springfield, Peter and Gordon and Chad and Jeremy. Then there were the one-hit wonders &mdash and what hits! “Have I the Right?” by the Honeycombs, “Hippy Hippy Shake,” by the Swinging Blue Jeans, and “Concrete and Clay,” by Unit 4 + 2, all made the charts during the rave years.

Rock & roll, seemingly so moribund at the start of the decade, set off a fever that defied all attempts to contain it or rationalize it as a fad. And Beatlemania precipitated a strange collision of generational currents. At the time, there was no youth-oriented alternative press to report on and interpret the British Invasion, so the job fell to the establishment media. Opinions ranged from effete condescension to a bemused thumbs up from more enlightened commentators. Many guardians of young morals saw the Beatles not as lovable mop tops but as the (Fab) Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The first question posed to Harvard sociologist David Riesman in a U.S. News and World Report interview was “Is the furor over the singers who call themselves the Beatles a sign that American youngsters are going crazy?” Riesman answered, “No crazier than hitherto.”

In other words, the generation gap opened in 1964 with a crack that was more like a friendly grin than a roar of disapproval. American youngsters hadn’t gone crazy. They just woke up, looked around and decided they all felt the same way about something that was important to them &mdash and this newfound solidarity was an exciting thing.

There is no lack of theories as to why the States embraced the Beatles with such zeal. A popular one holds that the country, in the aftershock of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination, transferred to the Beatles all the youthful idealism that had begun cresting under JFK. It’s also plausible that the Beatles stood so far above the musical status quo of the early Sixties that they gave kids the first credible excuse for mania since Presley. Finally, of course, the Beatles’ campaign was a shrewdly plotted one, involving considerable promotional money and a lot of advance work by managers, press agents and their record company.

This accounts for the band’s fanatical reception in the States but doesn’t explain how Great Britain, not previously known as a hotbed of rock & roll, produced the Beatles and their colleagues in the first place. In the Fifties the U.K. had little more to offer than pallid imitations of American rock & roll singers. British pop was “pure farce,” according to writer Nik Cohn. “Nobody could sing and nobody could write,” he said, “and in any case, nobody gave a damn.”

The British music industry was rigidly controlled by the BBC and London’s Denmark Street music publishers. A handful of powerful managers groomed a stable of homegrown singers in the mold of Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly. This clean-cut, nonthreatening lot included Tommy Steele, Cliff Richard, Adam Faith and Billy Fury &mdash hardly household names stateside. On another front, however, a movement of musical purists, enamored of black American music, began replicating New Orleans-style jazz (a.k.a. “trad jazz”) and acoustic folk blues. This route would indirectly lead to the Beatles and an indigenous British rock & roll sound.

One of the more promising offshoots of the trad-jazz movement was a simplified jug-band style of music known as skiffle. Britain’s premier skiffler was Lonnie Donegan. Singing in a nasal American twang, he enjoyed a run of hits in the late Fifties he mostly covered songs by Leadbelly and Woody Guthrie. In fact, Donegan charted sizable hits over here in 1956 and 1961 with “Rock Island Line” and “Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavor (on the Bedpost Over Night)” &mdash an early warning sign that England could successfully sell America reconstituted versions of its own music. Young Britons &mdash like John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Richard Starkey, the future lineup of the Beatles &mdash took note of this. Prior to skiffle, the only significant blip on the British pop-culture time line had been a brief flurry of juvenile delinquency occasioned by the arrival of Bill Haley’s “Rock Around the Clock” (the record and the film) in the U.K. in 1955.

In the seaport town of Liverpool, Lennon, Harrison and McCartney first teamed up to form the Quarrymen. A few name changes later, following stints as the Moondogs and the Silver Beatles, they crossed the threshold into the Sixties as simply the Beatles. It is a measure of the talent found by the Mersey that the Beatles did not immediately become kingpins on the Liverpool scene. Until they cemented their reputation with a stint at a club called the Cavern, they stood in the shadow of such home-town favorites as the Big Three and Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, whose drummer was none other than Richard Starkey, a.k.a. Ringo Starr. These Mersey bands played a souped-up form of beat music &mdash essentially amplified skiffle with a heavy R&B influence, a style inspired by the records imported from the States by Liverpool’s merchant seamen.

B eginning in 1961, the Beatles commuted between Liverpool and Hamburg, Germany, where, dressed in black leather, they played dives like the Kaiserkeller and the Star Club. By 1963, they had an act, an image, a repertoire, a following and a manager &mdash Brian Epstein, a local record-store manager. They also lost a bass player (Stuart Sutcliffe), fired a drummer (Pete Best), jelled as a quartet with the addition of Ringo and spruced themselves up, ditching the black leather and the bad-boy antics. The Beatles performed their 282nd and final show at the Cavern on August 3rd, 1963. They’d already scored two Number One hits in Britain with “Please Please Me” and “From Me to You.” Only one month after their Cavern farewell, they saw their fourth single, “She Loves You,” turn gold on its way to becoming the biggest-selling single ever issued in Britain. An October 13th television performance, on Sunday Night at the London Palladium, was viewed by some 15 million of their countrymen. Mob scenes followed them wherever they played.

“This is Beatlemania,” the Daily Mail reported. “Where will it all lead?” To the lost colonies, of course &mdash and the world’s biggest market for rock & roll.

N ineteen sixty-four belonged to the Beatles. From the moment “I want to Hold Your Hand” was first played on an American radio station &mdash WWDC, in Washington, D.C., in December of 1963 &mdash the country fell under their spell. Preceded by a promotional campaign that included bumper stickers (The Beatles Are Coming! and Ringo For President), buttons (Be A Beatle Booster) and Beatle wigs &mdash as well as tantalizing glimpses of their performances on Walter Cronkite’s newscast and The Jack Parr Show &mdash the Beatles’ February 7th landing at New York’s Kennedy Airport generated an unprecedented fanfare. Sounding what would become a recurrent theme, one of the first questions shouted at the Beatles’ airport press conference was “Are you in favor of lunacy?” Paul McCartney, not missing a beat, replied, “Yes, it’s healthy.”

The group’s February 9th appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show drew a TV audience estimated at 70 million, the largest in the history of the medium. “I Want to Hold Your Hand” topped the singles charts for seven consecutive weeks, and by March, Meet the Beatles &mdash their first album for Capitol Records &mdash had shipped 3.6 million copies, making it the largest-selling LP in history. Several record companies owned the rights to early Beatles tracks, and these also began turning up in the Top Forty. When the group issued “Can’t Buy Me Love” in mid-March, it caused a veritable Beatles logjam on the pop charts. As records were sold, records were broken. Rising to Number One in its second week, “Can’t Buy Me Love” was the third consecutive Beatles single to top the charts, breaking Elvis Presley’s previous record. During the first week of April the Beatles occupied twelve positions on the Top 100 &mdash and every position in the Top Five. The hits in this quintuple hegemony were, in order, “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “Twist and Shout,” “She Loves You,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and “Please Please Me.”

The Beatles’ dominion was carried to new heights by the July release of their first movie, A Hard Day’s Night &mdash the Village Voice called it “the Citizen Kane of jukebox musicals” &mdash and the August kickoff of their first American tour. The merchandising of the Beatles, whose names and likenesses adorned everything from lunch boxes to inflatable dolls, accounted for an estimated $50 million in retail business in 1964 alone. The Beatles had become Britain’s leading cultural export, and the trail they blazed to the colonies quickly became a well-trampled one.

Scads of would-be contenders were tapping their toes on the far side of the Atlantic, just waiting for a chance to show the Yanks a thing or two. The group that initially gave the Beatles the best run for their money was the Dave Clark Five, who hailed from London’s northern suburb of Tottenham. Although they placed a poor second to the Beatles, the DC5 racked up seventeen Top Forty hits between 1964 and 1967 &mdash more than the Rolling Stones or any other British act during that span of years. By the time the Sixties rolled to a close, the DC5 had sold 70 million records worldwide.

Because the band’s single “Glad All Over” unseated “I Want to Hold Your Hand” from its lengthy perch atop the British charts in January 1964, it was assumed for a while that the DC5 were neck and neck with the Beatles in the superstar sweepstakes. But they didn’t “progress,” in the sense of graduating from pop stars to poets, as the Beatles did. Nonetheless, the Dave Clark Five were what they were: a singles band, a dance band and one of the best.

Meanwhile, Liverpool was teeming with an estimated 300 bands, and several performers under the aegis of Beatles manager Brian Epstein were having a field day. Gerry and the Pacemakers weren’t a very convincing rock band, but they had a solid way with ballads like “Ferry Cross the Mersey” and “Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying.” Gerry’s star shone only dimly after 1965, but his hits are pleasant memories, and he’s notable for being the second act out of Liverpool (behind the Beatles) to crack the British charts.

Another Epstein protégé was Billy J. Kramer. Kramer and his band, the Dakotas, made their mark with some unreleased tunes from the Lennon-McCartney song bag “Bad to Me” was a Number Nine hit stateside in mid-1964. The only other Mersey groups that saw any significant American chart action in 1964 were the Swinging Blue Jeans (“Hippy Hippy Shake,” a song that was part of the Beatles’ early repertoire) and the Searchers. This group was Liverpool’s second most talented export. With their ringing harmonies and melodic, twelve-string-guitar hooks, the Searchers recast borrowed American tunes, like “Love Potion Number Nine” and “Needles and Pins,” in fresh new arrangements. All in all, a handful of Liverpool bands did hit the big time, but legions more got lost in the shuffle, including such talented entities as the Merseybeats, the Mojos, the Escorts, the Fourmost, the Big Three and the Undertakers.

Like Billy J. Kramer, a London duo called Peter (Asher) and Gordon (Waller) turned Beatle leftovers into gold. Their access to unreleased Beatles songs came through Peter’s sister, Jane, who was dating Paul McCartney at the time. This cute, strait-laced pair were the first British act to follow the Beatles to the top of the U.S. charts. Their ticket to ride was the McCartney-penned “A World Without Love.” More singles followed from the same cask &mdash “Nobody I Know,” “I Don’t Want to See You Again” and “Woman” &mdash and all made the Top Twenty. But even without McCartney’s help, Peter and Gordon reaped hits, with Del Shannon’s “I Go to Pieces” and a music-hall novelty titled “Lady Godiva.” After the duo split in 1968, Peter became a producer at the Beatles’ Apple Records label. He produced James Taylor‘s first album at Apple, but his most famous client is Linda Ronstadt, whose classic sound he helped tailor in the Seventies.

S ome of the loudest, rawest and toughest music of the British Invasion came out of London. A rhythm & blues scene was thriving at a handful of venues under the tutelage of elder statesmen and bandleaders Alexis Korner and Cyril Davies, whose ensembles included such stars-to-be as Mick Jagger, Brian Jones and Charlie Watts (of the Rolling Stones), Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker (of Cream) and Paul Jones (of Manfred Mann). An extended family of electric blues aficionados jammed and gigged at such haunts as the Marquee, the Flamingo, the Crawdaddy and the Ealing Rhythm and Blues Club. Out of the mass of players, a number of important groups took shape, including the Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds and the Pretty Things. The last of these never made it in America, though they were influential in their homeland and endured into the Eighties.

After twenty-five years, even with their current status open to conjecture, the Rolling Stones remain the most tangible link to the British Invasion era. They put the raunch back in rock & roll. Unlike the Beatles, the Stones came on unsmiling and without manners &mdash the kind of group parents had every right to feel uneasy about. Whereas Brian Epstein transformed his charges from Teddy boys to teddy bears, manager Andrew Loog Oldham encouraged the Stones’ delinquent tendencies.

The Stones got a delayed start in the U.S. They didn’t enter the fray in a major way until 1965. After warming up the Top Ten with “Time Is on My Side” and “The Last Time,” they delivered a knockout punch with “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” Its central riff and basic lyrical thrust were created by guitarist Keith Richards one restless night in a Florida motel room. Recorded in Los Angeles, with Richards’ fuzz-cranked guitar blasting like the Stax-Volt horn section, “Satisfaction” remains one of the bedrock songs of the age. From here the Stones turned up the heat with numbers like “Get Off of My Cloud,” 󈬃th Nervous Breakdown” and “Paint It Black.” The music of the Rolling Stones was an ice-and-fire contrast to the Beatles. Simmering, blunt edged and angry, it set off the Liverpudlians’ sunnier pop visions in a way that perfectly caught the spirit of the times.

The Yardbirds, who inherited the Stones’ regular spot at London’s Crawdaddy Club, used their blues background as a launching pad for a series of experiments in futurist rock. They were the first British Invasion group to be recognized for the instrumental prowess of their guitarists &mdash who were, in order of succession, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. They stretched the boundaries of pop, adding a harpsichord in “For Your Love” and a droning, sitar-style lead in “Heart Full of Soul.” But most Yardbirds fans climbed aboard for the “raveups” &mdash extended instrumental breaks that served as showcases for Clapton, Beck and Page.

Whereas the Yardbirds were known for instrumental virtuosity, a couple of other rising London bands &mdash the Kinks and the Who &mdash established themselves through the force of their songwriting. Ray Davies of the Kinks was arguably the most versatile composer to emerge from the Invasion. He was equally capable of driving hard rock (“You Really Got Me”) and wry social commentary (“A Well Respected Man”). The Kinks, with Ray’s brother, Dave Davies, on frenzied lead guitar, were a familiar sight to viewers of Shindig! and Hullabaloo, two TV variety shows that spread the gospel of British rock in the States.

The Who burst on the scene with an anarchic stage show, which featured the smashing of guitars, drums and amps and an arsenal of angry polemics on modern youth’s state of mind. Such classics as “My Generation” and “I Can’t Explain” sprang from the pen of Pete Townshend, the group’s guitarist and spokesman. Although the Who was enormously influential in swinging London, the band’s impact on America was not largely felt until the tail end of the Invasion, with “I Can See for Miles” rising to Number Nine in late 1967. Of course, this was just the beginning for the band, which went on to create such musical landmarks as Tommy and Who’s Next.

Manfred Mann (whose “Do Wah Diddy Diddy” was another 1964 chart topper), Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames (“Yeh, Yeh”), the Nashville Teens (“Tobacco Road”) and the Paramounts (a hot R&B act that later changed its style and became Procol Harum) kept London jumping to a bluesy beat. From the suburbs came a band called the Zombies, who scored with some artful pop singles (“She’s Not There,” “Tell Her No”) despite their gruesome name. From out of town &mdash all the way from Belfast, Ireland &mdash another ugly-monikered group, Them, made the charts with “Here Comes the Night” and “Mystic Eyes.” Them’s singer was none other than Van Morrison, whose hit streak continued when he went solo in 1967 with “Brown Eyed Girl.” And all the way from the West Coast of the United States came the Walker Brothers, a trio that settled in London and recorded two of the biggest ballads of the British Invasion, “Make It Easy on Yourself’ and “The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine (Anymore).”

While the Invasion was generally a band-oriented phenomenon, the female artists stood alone and did quite well for themselves. Petula Clark, Dusty Springfield, Marianne Faithfull and Lulu are four of the more recognizable names to dent the charts. Pert, cheerful Pet Clark enjoyed a fifteen-hit reign, crowned by a pair of Number Ones (“Downtown” and “My Love”). Dusty Springfield’s cool, soulful voice was familiar to transistor-radio owners via such mid-Sixties mega-hits as “Wishin’ and Hopin’ ” and “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me.” Lulu had one of the biggest singles of the decade, “To Sir with Love,” which held down the Number One spot for five weeks in 1967. Faithfull, who was Mick Jagger’s girlfriend, did well with her torchy recording of the Stones weeper “As Tears Go By” she was also one of the more celebrated blond presences in swinging London.

Solo males were scarcer in combo-happy Britain. But they had several hits worth noting: the campy “You Turn Me On,” by Ian Whitcomb “Niki Hoeky,” by P.J. Proby and the dreamy space-race ballad “Everyone’s Gone to the Moon,” by Jonathan King. Then there was Donovan, the Dylanesque folk singer turned psychedelic minstrel, whose “Sunshine Superman” soared to Number One in 1966.

T he provinces beyond London stoked the R&B furnace with such powerhouse acts as the Animals (from Newcastle-upon-Tyne), the Spencer Davis Group and the Moody Blues (both from Birmingham). Yes, the Moody Blues. Back in 1965, they could pound it out with the best of them. Exhibit A is the piano-thumping beat ballad “Go Now,” with its beseeching vocal from Denny Laine (later of Paul McCartney’s band Wings). The key talent in the Spencer Davis Group was sixteen-year-old lead singer and multi-instrumentalist Steve Winwood. His soulful pipes carried “I’m a Man” and “Gimme Some Lovin’ ” into the Top Ten in early 1967 and set the stage for his tenure as leader of Traffic and, eventually, as a solo superstar.

Gruff and earthy, Eric Burdon of the Animals sang about hard times in a powerful growl that made him sound decades wiser than his age. On the back of the Animals’ first American LP, he listed his favorite color as “brown-black” &mdash a claim that’s obvious in his stylistic debt to a host of American rhythm & blues artists. With organist Alan Price supplying jazzy counterpoint, the Animals vaulted to Number One in September 1964 with “House of the Rising Sun,” a four-minute-plus ode to a New Orleans brothel. Closer in spirit to the Stones than to the Beatles, the Animals issued some of the more desperate pleas of the day in “We Gotta Get Out of This Place” and “It’s My Life.”

The city of Manchester contributed a disproportionate share of pop hitmakers to the British cause. Herman’s Hermits, the Hollies, Freddie and the Dreamers and Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders all claimed a piece of the U.S. charts. Fronted by doe-eyed Peter Noone, a former child actor, the Hermits recorded an impressive string of pop and music-hall-flavored tunes set to a Mersey beat. “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter” was their best-known song, but they cracked the Top Ten nine times in a row between 1965 and 1966 &mdash a feat that even the Beatles couldn’t claim.

The Hollies served up the best vocal harmonies of the era and outlasted many of their U.K. colleagues they earned their biggest hit in 1972 with “Long Cool Woman (in a Black Dress).” Freddie and the Dreamers were the clowns of the British Invasion. Horn-rimmed beatnik Freddie Garrity and his bumptious, balding band mates devised the most ludicrous novelty dance of all: a flapping free-for-all called the Freddie. It did not catch on. They did, however, leave behind one big hit, “I’m Telling You Now.” As for Wayne Fontana, his biggest hit was the catchy pop rocker “Game of Love.” It was part 2 of what the Billboard Book of Number One Hits called the “Mancunian hat trick” &mdash three chart toppers in a row from Manchester. This unusual alignment occurred in late April and early May of 1965, with “I’m Telling You Now,” “Game of Love” and “Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter.”

The statistical high-water mark of the British Invasion fell only a month later, on June 18th, 1965. On that date, no fewer than fourteen records of British origin occupied the U.S. Top Forty. It was a record that stood until July 16th, 1983, when the second British Invasion &mdash led by Duran Duran, Culture Club and the Police &mdash landed eighteen hits on the chart. Ironically, during that historic week in the summer of 1965, the top seven positions all belonged to American acts. Herman’s Hermits (“Wonderful World”) and the Beatles (“Ticket to Ride”) nailed down Number Nine and Number Ten, respectively, while the rest of the British entries were scattered among the middle and lower reaches of the chart.

The Beatles continued to reign supreme in the second half of the Sixties, although the British Invasion, in the sense the term is commonly understood, had pretty much run its course by 1967. It was still the Beatles everyone tried to emulate or top, though the music, the audience and the rules of the game had changed markedly. The simmering down of Beatlemania after 1965 reflected the group’s loss of appetite for celebrity more than any waning of interest on the part of the public. With the release of Rubber Soul (December 1965) and Revolver (August 1966) and their decision to stop touring (they performed their last concert in San Francisco on August 29th, 1966), the Beatles moved into another phase. They were turning inward, and their music was greeted not with screams but with a more mature appreciation of the new places the Beatles were taking their audience.

“It sort of turned out all right,” George Harrison said of the Beatles’ decade, with monumental understatement, at the 1988 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame awards ceremony. “And still a lot bigger than we expected.”


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Comments:

  1. Shacage

    What a nice idea

  2. Locrine

    It is very valuable answer

  3. Deron

    Yes, it is written well, it really happens. How interesting, just yesterday I was grinding this topic with a friend while sitting in the kitchen with a glass of cognac.



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