The Beatles confessions: an anthology

telemnemonics

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The Beatles broke up the year before I was born.

Growing up in early '80s New England, they were just part of the social fabric- it was simply an accepted fact that the Beatles were the greatest band ever. I remember reading a mystery story in middle school, where the hero tricked the bad guy into a confession with a tape recording he later admitted was "just an old Beatles tape". I remember thinking it was sad that the author of the story was trying to seem "hip" by name dropping the Fab Four.

The Beatles was "safe" music your parents and teachers liked, Zeppelin, the Stones and the Who was music coming out of the cars in the back of the school parking lot where the stoners hung out. I gravitated towards the latter. When I wanted to listen to '60s British pop-rock, I listened to the Kinks and the Who. Then I discovered punk/indie/college "underground" music and the Beatles seemed too tame for my tastes.

A few years later a friend got the entire Beatles catalog on CD for Christmas, and one weekend I borrowed it and listened to it all, top to bottom. It blew me away. I didn't become an obsessive superfan, but I suddenly realized what all the fuss was about. Today I recognize the historical importance of the Beatles, how pioneering they were and how great a band they were. I don't often play their music, and when I do it's usually Revolver or the White Album.

I'm not going to watch Get Back. If it was two hours I probably would, but even as a studio rat and history nut, dedicating six hour to watching TV just doesn't sound like fun.

If it was about Who's Next or Exile On Main Street though, I definitely would.

While I did not see your early '80s experience of them being accepted as greatest band ever, I DID see what you said; that the Beatles was "safe music your parents and teachers liked or accepted". Maybe in some cases more like were not horrified by, as compared to the horror of kids using drugs and having sex.
I felt that in earlier years too, that right from Ed Sullivan era, conservatives and authority figures tolerated the Beatles and some even liked them. By the end of the '60s they were associated with and seeming leaders in kids using drugs which many assumed was equated with growing long hair. But parents were far more upset by their own kids long hair and possible drug use, than by some band.
I guess some older folks decided that one band caused their kids to go bad?
Pretty myopic, but you know what The Who said, hope I die before I get old!

I was told by some TDPRI'ers though that they saw their local older people hating the Beatles from the start.
Plus some early mainstream news music reviewers parody-like negative reviews.
So, regional I guess?
 

trev333

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My Dad was always into music. He was the local party/dance dj through the 50's /60's... he was an amp geek who made his own PA's and repaired tube stuff..

We had a stack of records of all styles and free use of the record players to listen to whatever we wanted.

I don't recall the Beatles ever being mentioned over the dinner table... I'm sure my parents watched/listened to it all unfold, but were totally disinterested really, probably quite amused by it all and took a light hearted neutral sort of view... Dad never bought any beatles records to add to his stack to jump on any beatles train...

Mum and Dad were dancers too, they spent their whole lives doing old time dance styles and listening to dance music right up until mum died.... or country style music Dad liked as well..

even when TV became vogue, Dad would often be in bed @7:30 reading or listening quietly to his tapes.

My older bro and his friends never went on about the beatles either. When they got to be older teens who were working and had cars they had a greater issue to consider happening just to our north and whether their number would be called..
 

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The Beatles were among the first bands that I really liked as a young kid, like when I was 7 or 8. Especially their earlier, more 'pop' stuff.
In middle school (6th-8th grade for me) I had Art class every year. That teacher loved the Beatles and Bob Marley and played their respective greatest hits albums every day. Getting such a huge dose of the Beatles from a teacher in the middle of my adolescence completely ruined them for me. I didn't want to be into the same music as my teachers!
When I was in college during a small party a friend put on a mix tape that included "Run For Your Life". For some reason hearing that song redeemed the Beatles for me. It was so dark and not how I thought of the Beatles. I guess it was an instance of hearing the right song at the right time. I'll still put on their records from time to time. Rubber Soul definitely gets the most plays.

I'm watching the Anthology now. There are definitely some competing egos in those rehearsals. I'm not done yet but so far Ringo comes off as the biggest pro. He's always on top of each song with a great part. When he's not playing he's pretty quiet. Clearly not wanting to contribute to the drama. I think i ragged on Ringo pretty hard in another thread- I take that back.
 

bigbean

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Good thread- it's the kind of thread I come here to read and sometimes there is good reading to be found.

I am in the prime demographic for the Beatles. I was in the fifth grade at the time of their first Ed Sullivan show. People forget the timing of the Beatles and the Kennedy assignation. American people were ready for something different. Something non threatening and fun. Something easy to understand and talk about. The Beatles had a new look, a new sound and represented some sort of cultural shift that everyone was ready for. Obviously, this whole Coldwar, MAD POV wasn't getting it.

Check out the Billboard chart for November 22 1963. (https://www.billboard.com/charts/hot-100/1963-11-22) then the Billboard Chart for May of 1964 (https://www.billboard.com/charts/hot-100/1964-05-22/)

Personally, except for Yesterday, in August of 1965, as music they didn't work for me until Day Tripper / We Can Work it Out / Rubber Soul of December 65. I was more into Motown / Sam Cooke for vocal Pop. I loved the Big Guitar sound of Day Tripper. I didn't have much money but I rode my bike over and bought the 45 at JC Penney's. In June of 1966 I got my $35 JC Penney POS guitar. Prior to the Beatles, cool guitar to me was Peter Gunn, Bonanza theme, Ricky Nelson's Band and Andy Griffith. None of that made me agitate for a guitar for my birthday but Day Tripper pushed the buttons for me to leverage my trumpet and piano playing skills over to rapid guitar development.

I remember riding my bike to a meeting at Harry Shane's garage. The meeting was of classmates who wanted to start a band. After a short discussion we took inventory. There were three trumpet players present and three drummers (snare drum only). The consensus was that there was no band possible with that group of instruments. So we we pledged to go acquire appropriate skills and meet again to form a band.

Three months later a band was formed. Two months after that we played a gig at a school dance with our three song repertoire.

Versions of that were happening all over this country.

Below are the guitars available from Sears in the Christmas catalog in 1964 and 1965. In 64 they are selling Roy Rogers in black and white next the accordions, a $29. acoustic a solid body and 15 watt amp in color. In 65 they are selling solid bodies and 150 watt Amps in color with spruce top acoustics in color on the next page.



Sears 64.png
Sears 65 pg1.jpg
Sears 65 pg2.jpg
 
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bigbean

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Good thread- it's the kind of thread I come here to read and sometimes there is good reading to be found.

I am in the prime demographic for the Beatles. I was in the fifth grade at the time of their first Ed Sullivan show. People forget the timing of the Beatles and the Kennedy assignation. American people were ready for something different. Something non threatening and fun. Something easy to understand and talk about. The Beatles had a new look, a new sound and represented some sort of cultural shift that everyone was ready for. Obviously, this whole Coldwar, MAD POV wasn't getting it.

Check out the Billboard chart for November 22 1963. (https://www.billboard.com/charts/hot-100/1963-11-22) then the Billboard Chart for May of 1964 (https://www.billboard.com/charts/hot-100/1964-05-22/)

Personally, except for Yesterday, in August of 1965, as music they didn't work for me until Day Tripper / We Can Work it Out / Rubber Soul of December 65. I was more into Motown / Sam Cooke for vocal Pop. I loved the Big Guitar sound of Day Tripper. I didn't have much money but I rode my bike over and bought the 45 at JC Penney's. In June of 1966 I got my $35 JC Penney POS guitar. Prior to the Beatles, cool guitar to me was Peter Gunn, Bonanza theme, Ricky Nelson's Band and Andy Griffith. None of that made me agitate for a guitar for my birthday but Day Tripper pushed the buttons for me to leverage my trumpet and piano playing skills over to rapid guitar development.

I remember riding my bike to a meeting at Harry Shane's garage. The meeting was of classmates who wanted to start a band. After a short discussion we took inventory. There were three trumpet players present and three drummers (snare drum only). The consensus was that there was no band possible with that group of instruments. So we we pledged to go acquire appropriate skills and meet again to form a band.

Three months later a band was formed. Two months after that we played a gig at a school dance with our three song repertoire.

Versions of that were happening all over this country.

Below are the guitars available from Sears in the Christmas catalog in 1964 and 1965. In 64 they are selling Roy Rogers in black and white next the accordions. In 65 they are selling solid bodies and 150 watt Amps in color with acoustics in color on the next page.

Big change in the USA.

View attachment 925898
View attachment 925899
View attachment 925902

OOPs, I found some other guitars from Sears Christmas catalog in 1964

Sears 64 amps.jpg
 

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superjam144

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I had a Beatles book with most of their songs with chord charts.

I decided to try and educate myself before writing my own songs.

I found that some of their tunes were simply amazing. Even the early stuff.

I remember people at a couple open mics knew every single word.
 

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We had no teevee at the time, so the whole Sullivan Show thing was a strange mystery to me, with my sixth-grade classmates all worked up over it. Our house was pretty isolated, not much traffic with friends coming over and sharing records, and records came by mail through Record Club of America, with my music budget dedicated pretty much to Tijuana Brass albums. My knowledge of Beatles lore came mainly from Newsweek, which I read cover to cover every week.

My dad was principal at Anderson Valley Elementary School, and the woman who taught special-ed there commuted every week from Oakland. We visited her and her husband there once, and were introduced to two things that changed me musically: their dinner guest owned a printing house that did the posters for Bill Graham's concerts in the Bay Area, and he gave me and my sister a tour of the plant, we came away with a stack of posters each; and at the dinner we all listened to the newly-released album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. I think that was the first time I actually listened to a Beatles record.

That next year, my sophomore year, we moved to Colfax, a place downright urban by comparison, and while again our house was remote, in suburban Gold Run with placer-ditch water by the miner's inch, music tastes were much more sophisticated at my new high school. I read in Newsweek about the White Album's imminent release, and pre-ordered a copy at Colfax Drug Store. I'm pretty sure I had the first copy of that record in Colfax, and boy did my room look cool when I put all those pictures and posters on the wall!

Summer after my junior year I took a summer-school social studies class, with an idea of graduating early. Mr. Brown assigned us to write a paper about someone who had influenced the course of history. I chose the Beatles. Mr. Brown made me choose someone else, said musicians didn't count as history, and the Beatles were just another band. He was a great guy, but boy. . . .

After college and a year working in Walnut Creek, I (young me) moved here to Plundertown with my young wife, who packed up and moved back to California before very long. One night I was out drinking away my troubles at the Pony Village Lodge, watching Monday Night Football, and Howard Cosell announced that John Lennon had been shot and killed.

I know it was partly the hangover from the night before, but all that next day at work I kept breaking into tears. The senselessness of it.

That's my Beatles story. I liked them then, and I like them now, though I never went all in for them. But I still believe Mr. Brown was wrong, wrong, wrong. Yeah, yeah, yeah. . . .
Ahhh, an excellent well written piece of your Beatle experiences growing up. Amazing how varied our experiences were. Reaction to John’s death over a decade after the break-up is heartbreakingly sensitive.

Yet another fantastic addition to our anthology. I can imagine this thread being brought up by future generations with a better understanding of what kinds of impressions, experiences and inspirations occurred during the Beatle era. Thank you so much.
 

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Literally minutes after I posted that last night, a buddy who lives down the road texted and said that he and his wife were headed to CO today and to feel free to go over while they're gone to watch Get Back (which he termed 'amazing') Cool! I credit my unexpected good fortune to having just read every post in this thread before he texted.
A timely date mark of why this anthology is being created. Enjoy the documentary.
 

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The Beatles broke up the year before I was born.

Growing up in early '80s New England, they were just part of the social fabric- it was simply an accepted fact that the Beatles were the greatest band ever. I remember reading a mystery story in middle school, where the hero tricked the bad guy into a confession with a tape recording he later admitted was "just an old Beatles tape". I remember thinking it was sad that the author of the story was trying to seem "hip" by name dropping the Fab Four.

The Beatles was "safe" music your parents and teachers liked, Zeppelin, the Stones and the Who was music coming out of the cars in the back of the school parking lot where the stoners hung out. I gravitated towards the latter. When I wanted to listen to '60s British pop-rock, I listened to the Kinks and the Who. Then I discovered punk/indie/college "underground" music and the Beatles seemed too tame for my tastes.

A few years later a friend got the entire Beatles catalog on CD for Christmas, and one weekend I borrowed it and listened to it all, top to bottom. It blew me away. I didn't become an obsessive superfan, but I suddenly realized what all the fuss was about. Today I recognize the historical importance of the Beatles, how pioneering they were and how great a band they were. I don't often play their music, and when I do it's usually Revolver or the White Album.

I'm not going to watch Get Back. If it was two hours I probably would, but even as a studio rat and history nut, dedicating six hour to watching TV just doesn't sound like fun.

If it was about Who's Next or Exile On Main Street though, I definitely would.
Yet another great addition, especially from someone born after the Beatle era. I gotta say that as a songwriter, greenhorn studio nut and history nut, I too would have enjoyed “Who’s Next” or “Exile On Main Street” documentaries more, but I enjoyed every second of “Get Back” and shed a tear near the end, so I would encourage you to watch it someday. Thanks for you valuable addition to our anthology.
 

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I had a Beatles book with most of their songs with chord charts.

I decided to try and educate myself before writing my own songs.

I found that some of their tunes were simply amazing. Even the early stuff.

I remember people at a couple open mics knew every single word.
Point and perspective well taken for someone born long after the Beatle era. New generation may well read your input as inspiration to look into the Beatles catalog. Thank you.
 

trev333

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looking at those items in the old catalogue....

I didn't know stuff like that even existed in 64..:lol:

the first guitar I held was an acoustic my cousin had around the time stg Peppers came out, he had the LP...67/68

during highschool I only knew 2 kids who had guitars, one was my classmate and after school buddy and the other one had by another kid who lived just around the corner... I tended to hang out with either of those guys after school or on weekends..

no one even mentioned the idea of forming a band... the concept of getting all that gear together and doing it was never on our horizon... ;)
 

Geoff738

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I’m not the worlds biggest Beatles fan. Although I like a lot of their tunes. I think from 66 thru 70 Ray Davies’ output at least equaled Lennon and McCartney. And I’m not sure the Beatles ever made a truly great album, front to back, although Rubber Soul and Revolver come close. But they were a band that was always pushing boundaries and sometimes those experiments fall a bit short. Those ambitions, to me, resulted in less than completely satisfying albums. But I can’t fault them for reaching. But it also means I rarely put them on.

Cant discount their influence though either. I did get into Wings for a bit in the 70s.

Would love to see the documentary though.

Cheers,
Geoff
 

knopflerfan

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In January 1964, my 12 year old self was listening to the rock radio station in Boulder Colorado, while I was working on a plastic model car in my bedroom. I was definitely a rock and roll fan at the time - my favorite artists were Chuck Berry, The Beach Boys and Dion and the Belmonts. "I Want to Hold Your Hand" came on the radio. Time stopped. This was DIFFERENT. The complexity of the song, the harmonies, the sound, were just plain better than any other rock and roll I'd heard up to that time. Following that moment, I was a fanatic Beatles fan for the rest of my life. I spent the second half of the 1960s in Los Angeles, where to my junior high school and high school self (and to most teenagers I knew) the Beatles were far and away the best/most important and influential band, though I personally also loved the Yardbirds, the Kinks, the Who, the Rolling Stones, and a bunch of the west coast bands like Buffalo Springfield, the Doors, Love. When a new Beatles record would come out we'd immediately buy it, listen to it, and be amazed. We'd try to understand it philosophically and musically. That was more true of the Beatles than of other bands.

In those years and through college I was in bands myself, playing Yardbirds, Who and other British Invasion stuff mostly, but we couldn't play Beatles songs, they were (at the time) beyond our capability. Though I didn't end up in my adult life as a professional rock musician, I've always been in hobby bands, and I've eventually come to be able to play Beatles songs, in particular the later ones that can be played live, like the stuff from the rooftop concert.
Interesting observation/experience. It gives credence to the fact that The Beatle's songs were, not necessarily, "simple" and "easy to play/rudimentary".
 

trev333

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The only Beatles song/chord book we could get was the piano/organ version and the chord blocks above the songs gave us nightmares...

other bands like CCR seemed to use regular chords we could play....

more recently I got the guitar chord version and saw a lot more songs with cowboy chords on the music...o_O

Hey! this is a dumbed down version... they weren't the chords they really used.. :lol:
 




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