I LOVE THE BEATLES! I just felt like that needed to be stated before I start my usual directionless and disjointed preamble, if I could I would shout it from the roof tops (of Apple studios in London!), with the loudest and clearest possible voice, expelling all of the air from my lungs. So I’m afraid while I’ll be my usual sarcastic and critical self this blog might feature some boyish gushing, so if you do feel the urge to vomit i can only apologize and suggest you perhaps leave a bucket by the side of your desk/bed/sofa/sacrificial table (in case there are any ancient Incas reading right now).
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let me start by saying that whatever you listen to, you must be able to accept how influential The Beatles were. In the 60s The Beatles were the hot item, they were successful and popular, and this success and popularity allowed The Beatles to be the first to do certain things (be it how they performed musically or how they acted or were reacted to in the spotlight) or reach records for the things that they did (e.g. concert attendance, TV event viewership or record sales). This tendency to be the first or best lead them to experience the upsides and downsides to the situations that arose as a result. These experiences lead to (both intentionally and by accident) certain innovations in professional music, for rock and pop alike. In essence they created the template for what it is to be a modern rock star, and with that created many norms in music that can be seen today.
Now the best thing about The Beatles is that every month of every year there is an anniversary for something, and particularly for the next 6 years as between now and 2020 there will be a 50th anniversary of something, based on this knowledge I have decided to declare it Beatles month! Every 50th anniversary starting from the 23rd of March to mid May (so not technically a month, but Beatles month and a half doesn’t roll off the tongue quite a well), I will post an article about Beatles firsts.
Now for the sake of order I’ve decided to classify these innovations into 4 categories, 4 categories that are important to every modern music artist. Firstly the fans/fame (The Beatles basically defined what it was to be modern rock stars), Secondly in terms of being performers, thirdly what they managed to create in the studio and lastly how they were able to cultivate their public image (i guess it would be called their brand these days).
Today is 23rd March which in 1964 was the date their single ‘Do You Wanna Know A Secret/Thank You Girl’ was released, on this date I tackle The Fans/Fame.
– First band to make teenage girls hysterical
When you think of The Beatles in their early days, one of the first things you think of is the fans, the shrieking, fainting, inappropriately groping fans. Of course artists had cultivated followings before and had admirers, but not like The Beatles. They had been fairly popular playing in the Cavern in Liverpool in their early days and had cultivated a strong following that way, but this did not compare to what was to come, it was merely a foreshadowing for the craziness that they were to endure, and the moment that they had a song on the radio the craziness begun. What can only be described as a legion of female fans had formed in ranks outside anywhere that The Beatles were working, performing or doing publicity, they had even formed outside of their homes. I distinctly remember seeing a clip of Ringo being mauled outside of his house in an effort to get the car.
Essentially The Beatles had spawned a monster, and now the private lives for rock stars were now up for forfeit. If an artist gets too big they are now to expect a rabble of fans and paparazzi outside of their home and will have found that giving up peace and quiet was the price to pay for fame, now once an artist becomes part of popular culture they are officially owned by fans until their almost inevitable irrelevance or the sweet embrace of death.
On a side note, bitches be crazy.
– First British artists to take on America and win
Upon seeing how popular The Beatles were in the UK it was inevitable for them to take it to the next stage, to the Rock ‘n’ Roll behemoth that is the United States of America, but beforehand the members of the band were adamant that they get a number 1 in America first, as failure in the US could be an early death, many British artists had tried and failed to make it in the US. After a struggle to get proper distribution in the US their LP’s started flying off the shelves and late 1963 they got the number 1 they needed, which was ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ (last year the best selling single of the year was ‘Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke, how times change…), and found themselves in the states in early 1964.
Once the records were selling The Beatles were a force in motion, a force that follows Issac Newton’s laws of thermodynamics as when it was in motion it was not stopping any time soon. They arrive in JFK airport to find out that American fans were just a crazy as the British fans and these were the first steps to becoming the global sensation they were.
Which only goes to reinforce my earlier point, bitches be crazy, whether they be English or American.
Indecently I have decided to do a review of a Beatles movie to finish off Beatles Month, the movie that gets the most votes in the poll below before May 11 2014 will be reviewed.