Five Myths About the Beatles

(via The Washington Post) (AP photo)

by Allan Kozinn

The Beatles produced some of the most enduring music of all time and rose to a level of near-universal adoration that few other musicians have achieved. But as the story of their brisk evolution from a scruffy, hardworking Liverpool dance hall combo to pop gods who reconfigured music and culture has been told, retold, debated and parsed, many myths have sprouted around it — some created by the Beatles themselves. Here are five.

Myth No. 1
The Beatles objected to trading leather outfits for suits and ties.

“In the beginning,” John Lennon told Melody Maker, the British music magazine, in 1970, Brian Epstein, the Beatles’ manager, “. . . put us in neat suits and shirts, and Paul was right behind him. I didn’t dig that, and I used to try to get George to rebel with me.” Lennon later complained to Rolling Stone that by giving up leather for suits, “we sold out.” Soon, the story of the Beatles chafing against Epstein’s directives was part of the lore.

The other Beatles — and sometimes, Lennon himself — remembered things differently. “It was later put around that I betrayed our leather image,” Paul McCartney said in “The Beatles Anthology,” “but, as I recall, I didn’t actually have to drag anyone to the tailors.” George Harrison said that “with black T-shirts, black leather gear and sweaty, we did look like hooligans. . . . We gladly switched into suits to get some more money and some more gigs.” Lennon put it this way to Hit Parader in 1975: “Outside of Liverpool, when we went down South in our leather outfits, the dance hall promoters didn’t really like us. . . . We liked the leather and the jeans but we wanted a good suit, even to wear offstage.” To which he added, “I’ll wear a . . . balloon if somebody’s going to pay me.”

Read more:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/five-myths/five-myths-about-the-beatles/2018/07/05/2a88109c-7f0a-11e8-b660-4d0f9f0351f1_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.de5f36da4ae9

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