Yeah yeah yeah, you’d like to think that everyone has heard of them, but it doesn’t take you long to realise that few actually know ABOUT them- their songs, the backstories, their evolution through the years and heard on every new album released.
There’s the role that producer George Martin played in familiarising them with the recording studio and production techniques starting with recording on a four track machine, but which became a playground for experimentation.
There’s also been their influence on lives and how their music is the soundtrack to much of everything we’ve gone through and our continuing to go through.
Some might say, “Who cares? The Beatles happened another lifetime ago”. True, they did. But, especially for those musicians who have not completed their “education” on the Beatles, there’s a very strong chance that an important part of their homework is missing.
And we still Get Back just like Jo Jo though most of us may not be from Arizona. Thanks to Beatle fans around the world uploading rare videos with interviews and sharing their discoveries, we’re finding out more and more about this pretty fab band…and also finding nothing at all. Maybe that’s what keeps the magic of the Beatles alive after all these years- after all these decades: Something new always pops up which then causes a chain reaction of searches on YouTube that can last until Tomorrow Never Knows.
Recently, I was watching a video where George, Paul and Ringo were interviewed reminiscing about some of the tracks they had recorded. George Martin might have been there. None could remember who played guitar on several tracks, or who played bass, and, sometimes, even who was on drums. Let’s not forget that George wasn’t the only “lead guitarist” in the band and Ringo wasn’t the only drummer whereas often Sir Paul and Sir George Martin shared keyboard duties and engineer Geoff Emerick was always in what could be called the final pot pourri mix.
The question is, How did they do it, and, maybe even more importantly, what drove them to that space in time and particular place where it really didn’t matter what anyone else thought and whether it would be popular or accepted just as long as they produced what was in their hearts and minds? It really was that simple.
Call it evolution, colour it revolution, but to go from the rudiments of pop to turning what we know as music on its head when deciding that the recording studio was this wonderful musical land of Oz where lived a wise old Wizard who could see where they wanted to go and guide them down that yellow brick road that led to Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields and where Tomorrow Never Knows is something that’s been explored and theorised for over four decades, but there really are no answers.
There were the Beatles and there were the Stones and then there was George Harrison and there was Brian Jones.
If being completely honest with myself, it was seeing George in “A Day’s Night”, especially in that opening scene when they’re running away from the fans and trips, and then playing his solo on “I Should Have Known Better” that made me a Beatlemaniac.