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The Beatles were a band that drove a generation. They inspired their beliefs, style and expanded their minds. They came from humble beginnings, but became the greatest band of all time ,mostly writing meaningful lyrics Also they had an ever-changing musical style.
Whatever the Beatles were doing is what everyone thought they should be doing. They began as young boys who made girls scream with their love songs and ended being the ultimate icon that inspired the actions of a generation, as well many of the bands today.
The Beatles began when one of the members, John Lennon, formed a group in 1956 called the “Quarrymen” in Liverpool, England. The played several events and even auditioned for a television show, but lost out to a tiny. July of 1957 the “Quarrymen” were playing at St. Peter’s Parish Church, when another young boy by the name of Paul McCartney was introduced to John by a friend. John was so impressed that Paul could play the guitar much better then he that he immediately asked him to join the band. Paul had a younger friend who also played guitar named George Harrison, eventually after filling in with the band every once in awhile he joined up with them in 1958. From here the band continued to play smaller gigs, including playing for George’s brother’s wedding. They went through a number of drummers that would eventually leave for one reason or another. They began playing at the “Casbah Club” in 1959 and were introduced to the owner’s son, Pete Best who was a drummer for another group. IN 1960 John asked his best friend, Stuart Sutcliffe to join the band, which he did. Stuart played bass guitar, but truly never learned to play. He was much more interested in arts, but he thought it would be fun for the time being.
Early in 1960 the band changed their name to “The Moondogs” and continued playing performances with a band consisting of John, Paul, George, Stuart and Tommy Moore their drummer. Also they hired a manager, Allan Williams, who found them their drummer and began to try to find them work. Again they decided to change their name. Stuart suggested “The Beetles” with double e, but John thought it would look better spelled “The Beatles” with an a. However, their manager didn’t like it and wanted them to change it to “Log John and the Silver Beetles”, John shortened it to just “ The Silver Beetles” and so once again they had a name. Next “The Silver Beetles” began a tour of Scotland with Johnny Gentle. A few of them fabricated stage names for the tour, like Paul could himself “Ramone”. After their tour, they came home and filled in on Monday’s at their manager’s bar in Liverpool.
Tommy Moore, their drummer, decided to leave the band to return to his job.
They audition Pete Best for their drummer and asked him to join the band.
Their manager booked the group for a two-month job in Hamburg. Before they left they made their final name change to “The Beatles”.
The group spent long nights playing first at the “Indra Club” from August of 1960 to October. They were playing set after set for hours at a time and were often using stimulant just to keep them awake on the stage. They were living in very poor conditions. Yet, they were able to gain some fans and began to develop a following. , because their energetic music. Their fans helped them getting a better place at a more popular club, “The Kaiserkeller”, where they played from October till November.
During this time they met a drummer named Ringo Starr with true name Richard Starkey. He was playing with a band called “Rory Storm and the Hurricanes” and became very good friend with the Beatles and he would occasionally play with the band.
The Beatles became more and more popular as time want by. In December though they were forced to leave Hamburg because the police found out that George was under age, so the police deported him. Paul and Pete in protest to their living conditions tacked a condom to the wall of the club and lit it on fire and also were arrested and deported. Stuart had decided to leave the band and live with his love Astrid Kirscher who took the black and white photos of the early Beatles. She and her friends are also said to have inspired the famous Beatles hair-style.
Back in Liverpool
Back in Liverpool in 1961, The Beatles began to play at “The Cavern Club” a place for local bands to play. A local record shop owner Brian Epstein stopped in to hear a luncheon show and shortly after offered to become their new manager which they quickly accept. In 1962 Epstein set up an audition for them at Decca recordings, but they were rejected because according to Decca, “guitar groups are on the way out”.
Shortly after this John received the terrible news that his friend Stuart had died of an brain haemorrhage at the age of 21. It is thought that it was a result of a beating he and John had had back in Hamburg.
On June the 4th The Beatles signed with Parlaphone Records a branch within EMI. On June the 6th they began their first recording session at the EMI studios, later renamed Abbey Road Studios. Shortly after their first session, George Martin their producer felt they needed a different drummer because Pete just wasn’t all that good. Later in August Pete was fired from the group and replaced with Ringo Starr and they began recording again.
On October 5th, 1962 The Beatles released their first single “Love me do” and it climbed up to number 17 on the charts. IN February of 1963 thy recorded their first album, in three sessions totalling 11 hours, called “Please please me”. IN March the released their title single, “Please please me” and it reached number 1 on the Melody Maker Chart and in May the album reached the top spot. They continued to release hit after hit like “I want to hold your hand”, “From me to you” and “She loves you”. And this song we will hear now:
In October they played at the London Palladium and for the first time the term “Beatlemania” was used to describe the fans hysteria. IN November The Beatles gave a Royal Command Performance in front of the Queen and John said his famous quip, “Those of you in the cheap seats if you clap along and the rest of you if you could just rattle your jewellery!”.
At the end of 1963 The Beatles released their second album, “With the Beatles.”
In 1964 they did what no other British group had done. They burst onto the American scene with “I want to hold your hand” in the number 1 spot on the American charts. They arrived to a gigantic gathering of screaming and crying teenagers just trying to get a look of this group thy had fallen in love with. They held a press conference and charmed the American press with a little confused about the hair. They later performed on the Ed Sullivan Scow to the largest viewing audience in television history. They had done what no other British group had done, become stars in America. After some vacation time in Florida and a few other appearances, they returned to Britain larger stars than ever imagined.
The first film
When they returned home the began filming their first motion picture, “A hard day night” a black and white classic film. The film was released to critical acclaim and their fans went crazy for it. It portrayed the Beatles as themselves in situations they might find themselves in daily with fans as well. Their third album was released along the film in 1964, as it was its soundtrack and included such number 1 hits as “Can’t buy me love”. Then at the end of the year they released their fourth album, “Beatles for Sale”.
An Order and a new film
IN 1965 they received Members of the Order of the British Empire from the British Crown, which created some protests in Britain as the honour was usually reserved for war heroes and several former receivers of the medal return it in protest.
In July the release their second motion picture, “Help!” which is a crazy story in which a cult wants a ring that Ringo has for a sacrifice. It is a film done much in the fashion of British comedies and once again displays the classic Beatle charm and wit to the delight of fans. Once again, along with the film its soundtrack was released whose title track and album both reached number 1.
Later we will show you a part of the film.
The Beatles played a concert at Shea Stadium in New York that is attended by a world record of a rock concert 55 600 fans. Near the end of 1965 they released their 6th album, “Rubber Soul”. This album marked the transformation of their style. It included new instruments and new influences on their music style such as Indian music especially present with the inclusion of the sitar.
In 1966 The Beatles performed their last concert in Candlestick Park, San Francisco. They hadn’t announced it as their last concert, but afterwards, they said, they felt like they were a freak show just on display to see and that no one was really listening to them anymore. They released their 7th album, “Revolver” to high praises from critics. Their songs writing continued to improve and become more meaningfully or deeper in its meaning. Their music style continued to grow and expand too, interweaving different music styles into their own to create a new sound.
Now we will hear the song Hey Jude which was written in 1968:
This is also the year that John’s comments taken out of context in an interview threatened the popularity of the Beatles. He was quoted as saying that the Beatles were bigger than Jesus Christ. This quote was taken out of the context of the interview many times and protests were held at their appearances, as well as public burning of their records and other memorabilia.
Now you will see John’s excuse, for his quote:
The Beatles had have always troubles with drugs. In 1964 they began to take Marijuana, and in 1968 they took many other things like LSD and Heroin. Also they drunk much to much alcohol.
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club band and All you need is Love
In 1967 The Beatles made their most influential and groundbreaking album, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” This album should become one of the greatest album in history. It shows the musical inventiveness of The Beatles as well as their talent for lyrics. They also performed on a globally televised special. There they were representing Britain and sang the song, that they wrote just for the program, “All You Need is Love” for a public of around 350 million people.
The Beatles met Maharishi Mahesh Yogi at a lecture on meditation and began to study and train with him. Shortly after this meeting, Brian Epstein was found dead of an over dose of sleeping pills. It was believed by many people that he had made a suicide, because he was depressed over his lack of involvement with The Beatles as well as his struggle to keep his homosexuality a secret. Near the end of the year they showed a TV movie on BBC called, “Magical Mystery Tour”, with a soundtrack album. The film didn’t make any sense to fans and critics and both hated it. For the first time The Beatles had felt defeat.
The Beatles flow to India in 1968 and stayed there from February until April, studying with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. They left in April because of a scandal about Mahesh Yogi. The Beatles also form their own recording label and Apple Corporation became their label and they used it to discover new music talents. They released their 9th album, that was simply titled “The Beatles”, but it has become known as “The White Album.” Ringo had left the group during the session, so Paul had to play some of the drum parts for the album. There was a great tension in the group after recording the “White Album”. The members had begun to explore other musical directions, especially John who released an album with his wife Yoko Ono.
Let it be
The band came back together in 1969 and began shooting a film that shows them in the writing and recording process of their next album, “Let It Be.” The session and filming was stopped and they went to Apple Saville Row Studios to finish the album. The sessions finally ended in the famous “rooftop” concert. They went up on the roof of Apple and began playing, as the crowd grew the police eventually showed and ended the show. This was the last time that The Beatles performed live together. They later got back together to make their final record, “Abbey Road” at the end of 1969 and released it a short time afterwards. “Let It Be” was actually released after “Abbey Road in 1970 because of the fact that there was a lot of production that had to be done on the unfinished album, by Phil Spector, their producer. John had not been with the group since November of ’69, although the group worked with Spector to complete the album. The official break-up of The Beatles was not officially announced until Paul walked out of the sessions, April 10th, 1970.
Now you will hear a song called Revolution which was made in 1970 too:
Many people now say The Beatles were just a trend, a group of talented good- looking guys who delighted the girls with their love songs. It seems that this group barely touched on their true potential, their later work bordered on musical genius and the early songs were great and brilliant, too. This group inspired not only a generation and other musicians, they inspired people to say what they think, speak truthfully, look inside oneself and most important always have a sense of humour about everything. The Beatles are more than music; they are a group of individual people who alone or together shaped the world that we live in.
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- Esther Tewlin (Autor), 2001, The Beatles. Geschichte und Diskographie der bekannten Band, München, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/102835