Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Beatles Arrive

February 9, 1964. The Beatles appear on The Ed Sullivan Show. I described it in my last entry. As I stated I feel that rock and roll changed forever that night. The genius of the Beatles is forever embedded in my brain. The songs, most of which were so simple at the start, were masterpieces. No complex guitar solos, no difficult riffs or chords, just a rhythm and a melody that were uplifting and made you want to sing along. A great deal of the early songs were silly love songs, as John said years later, but they just made me, and pretty much everyone else, want to sing along. Some of my favorites are Love Me Do, Please Please Me, I Want to Hold Your Hand, aw hell I love them all.

I always have wondered about the circumstance of their success. Would it have been the same without Brian Epstein? How about if Pete Best had stayed? What if some other producer instead of George Martin had been assigned to them? Remember, they had a difficult time finding a record company. Nobody wanted them. One executive even told Brian Epstein that "guitar groups are on the way out". Even EMI assigned them to their Parlophone label. Not exactly a ringing endorsement! Would we have had the pleasure of The Beatles if fate had not conspired to place all these people in the right place at the right time?

Once the Beatles performed on Ed Sullivan it opened the door for dozens of British groups to infiltrate the American radio airwaves. The Stones, The Who, The Animals, Herman's Hermits, The Dave Clark Five, Billy Joe Kramer and the Dakotas (how many of you remember them?), Gerry and the Pacemakers. The list is extensive. By the way Billy Joe Kramer and the Dakotas had a big hit with the song "Bad to Me". The authors of the song were none other than Lennon/ McCartney. I read somewhere that John actually wrote it but it sounds more like Paul to me.

I really enjoyed the guitar group music of the early mid 1960's and I still do to this day. To me it is timeless. I am really sorry I didn't purchase more records at that time. Most of my listening was done via AM radio. There is no doubt in my mind that this music fostered my love of rock and roll that exists to this day.

That's it for this time. Please share your thoughts and comments. Take care and long live rock!

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