"There were some really loving, caring moments between four people... a really amazing closeness. Just four guys who really loved each other. It was pretty sensational." RINGO
"I'd like to think that the old Beatles fans have grown up and they got married and they've all got kids and they're all more responsible. But they still have a space in their hearts for us." GEORGE
"When I was a Beatle I thought we were the best goddamn group in the world. And believing that made us what we are." JOHN
"I'm really glad that most of the songs dealt with peace, love and understanding. There's hardly anyone of them which say 'go on kids, tell them all to sod off'. There was a good spirit behind it all which I am very proud of. It were a grand thing the Beatles." PAUL
The Beatles left us an outstanding opus, that’s a given. But
they didn’t leave us a long-tail of self destruction to tarnish the magic. And that‘s
Post break-up, it was hard. Why wouldn’t it be? That’s what
a break up includes. But it was done quietly-as much as the press would allow-
and with-as much as John’s drug-fuelled rants would permit-with good grace. So
a great story has only a slightly unhappier ending. Because they came out of it
relatively unscathed and didn’t blame us despite the demands we put on them. They
packaged up the legacy. They even generously produced amazing stuff on their own. They got on with the day job, their real passion: music. Sir Paul now knocks
our socks off with what he continues to do. And Ringo is as steady as ever.
And for that we are grateful.
And if there’s one thing we never seem to learn, don’t wait
until someone’s gone to fully appreciate them.
"I think we gave some sort of freedom to the world. I meet a lot of people now who say The Beatles freed them up...I think we set free a lot of people who were blinkered, who were perhaps starting to live their Life along their parents' authoritarian lines.
...we were always very true to ourselves.....gave some other people...the idea that they too could be truthful and get away with it...."
And Paul? Paul was probably hardest hit at the end. He had put huge energies into trying to avoid the break-up: an extrovert amongst three introverts he did still love touring; an artist amongst three explorers he did still want to make stuff, especially music and as a lover of Life he need the stimulation and rigour that a good band could provide. But it was not to be. And he of all knew the implications when he coined the phrase 'carry that weight'. He knew the true implications of having created the greatest popular musical force the world had seen for a decade.
And we're indebted to him. After a period of personal crisis which LInda managed him through, after a period of trying to do it all again with Wings he has blossomed into an artist who has managed the tricky task of trying to live a life having been a Beatle. To see him now in concert is to see a performer at the top of his game, with a jaw-dropping set-list and at one with his legacy. And lucky New Yorkers can see him soon.
It’s easy, really. Know
The Beatles and you know Life. Whether it’s high performance teams, branding or staying ahead of the curve on
the commercial side or managing change, love evolution and personal philosophy
on the personal side, The Beatles can be your best guide.
But surely it’s just
Indeed and pretty damn
good popular music too. But depending on your mood and the number of times you
have listened to a track you’ll notice you access different messages just when
you need them.
Are you serious?
So what’s your favourite
You can do that with Pete Doherty, Dylan, The Scissor Sisters..... But not with The Beatles as they sliced all
of Life. To have one track would be to live a one dimensional life. But if you
pushed me: Here, There and Everywhere.
If The Beatles had
managed to keep it together for one more year, what would have happened?
Paul finally would have
become official leader and the others would have been happy for him to do so.
They would have produced one final album called The End, the cover photography
being of the cobbled street outside The Cavern. The tracks would have been recorded
individually by each Beatle and sequenced by Paul and George Martin. It would have
been a stunning success and given more stability to the start of their solo
careers. They would have performed the album live once, from the grounds of the
church where Paul and John originally met to a selected audience from around
the world. I would have managed to get a ticket.
And John? Poor John. His
happiest times? Probably when he got his original-‘Just William’- gang together.
Probably sitting with Paul just creating out of nowhere lyrics and tunes which would
captivate us all for the rest of eternity. Probably time with his son in New York City. But
much of the rest: it really got to him: the demands, the expectations, the hiding-his-first-wife-away, the competitiveness with his soul-mate, the stupid press, his lack of
mothering. Yep-understandably-it got to him. But despite it all, his creativity
and dexterity with language showed in that post Beatles, even in his periods of
greatest angst, he could produce some amazing materials. We really miss him.
Beatlyi. What a great Russian word: 'to be connected, to be of The Beatles'. Not surprisingly given the impact The Beatles were having around the world on young people and their thinking, there was no way a Beatles record was going to be allowed into the country when The Fab Four were active; confiscated albums were deliberately scratched and returned to their distraught owners. But the few that did get through were on the black market on reel-to-reel tape within days.
We can never be sure how much such black market albums helped influence younger (and not so young) Russians that maybe the West was not so bad and not so evil after all, but it certainly created a desire to question dogma which had to be good.
Once again, the four lads from Liverpool done good. Real good, eh pal?
January: Let it Be recorded; February: Instant Karma released; March: Spector gets his hands on Let it Be; April: Paul announces break-up of The Beatles; May: Let it Be film; June: Long and Winding Road tops US charts; December: High Court ends partnership of The Beatles.
Elsewhere: January: Voting etc reduced from 21 to 18 in UK; February: equal pay for women in UK; April: Apollo 13 aborts but survives; June: Conservatives in with Edward Heath;
And George? The end truly was the beginning for George. Although he'd certainly had a significant presence in the Beatles portfolio it was also true that two's company and three's a crowd. And when the two are Lennon and McCartney, even the amazing George Martin was totally absorbed and distracted by the abundance of talent the two possessed. So when George could get off the road and when India and meditation could accelerate his introspection, the songs started to flood out and never stopped right up to his final lovely album.
It was 1969. January: roof-top concert; February: recording Abbey Road; March: Paul McCartney marries Linda; June: John records Give Peace A Chance; November: Ringo starts recording own album; December: Paul starts recording own album.
Meanwhile: March; first flight of Concorde; July: men walk on the moon; December: death penalty abolished in the UK