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.”

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Behind The Scenes of The Iconic Abbey Road Cover Photoshoot

(via shooting film)

,,,The Beatles crossed the road a number of times while (Iain) Macmillan photographed them. 8 August was a hot day in north London, and for four of the six photographs McCartney walked barefoot; for the other two he wore sandals. Shortly after the shoot, McCartney studied the transparencies and chose the fifth one for the album cover…”

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Video of the Week: The Beatles, Barbershop Style

Julien Neel (aka Trudbol) is a one-man barbershop quartet. Check out his sublime take on the Beatles’ “If I Fell” and visit his YouTube page for lots more:

All My Loving


One day, a boy named Jonathan brought the Beatles’ “Blue Album” to school and changed my life

(via purple clover) by Marisa Cohen

In 1977, I had the good luck to land in Mr. Rosen’s fifth-grade class in my Long Island elementary school. Mr. Rosen, who had a beard and a funny, nasal voice, was considered one of the few “cool” teachers at our school, which was otherwise staffed by middle-age women with starched hairdos and polyester pantsuits.

By far the coolest thing that Mr. Rosen did was let us bring in record albums from home to play during independent work time. At age 10, I was still woefully in the dark about good music: I listened to the cast album of “Annie” until it broke (remember when records cracked?) and had ordered some Barry Manilow and Boston albums from the Columbia Records Club account I shared with my brother (12 albums for 1 penny!), but my taste was as yet unformed.

One day, a boy named Jonathan brought in the Beatles’ “Blue Album” and it changed my life…

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Did You Ever Realize…


George Martin and the Beatles: A Producer’s Impact, in Five Songs


(via The New York Times Music)

March 9, 2016

When we hear a great recording, we tend to think of the music as having sprung fully developed from the imagination of the musician or band that cut the tracks. But that ignores the role of the producer, who translates the musician’s vision into the sound we experience.

The contributions that George Martin, who died Tuesday at 90, made to the Beatles’ recorded catalog were crucial, and although he was the first to say that most of the credit belongs to the band, many of the group’s greatest songs owe their sound and character to his inspired behind-the-scenes work. Here are a few of his most telling musical fingerprints:

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17 Colorful Facts About The Beatles’ ‘White Album’

white album

(via mental_floss) by Roger Cormier

“The White Album”—its official title is the decidedly simple The Beatles—was released on November 22, 1968 to an eager audience. Released almost 18 months after the seminal Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album, the 30-song collection captured John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr indulging in a variety of musical styles. While the songwriting was evolving, and most of the songs were composed while attending a Transcendental Meditation course, the relationships between the four continued to dissolve during the recording; The Beatles officially broke up in April 1970. Here are some facts about one of the most polarizing, enigmatic records ever made.


Mike Love was a fellow attendee of the Maharishi’s course in Rishikesh, India. He recalled McCartney and his acoustic guitar at breakfast one morning playing what would become the first song on the ‘White Album.” Love suggested putting something in the song about “all the girls around Russia.” McCartney listened.


Starr never felt like more of an outsider within the band than during the recording of the album, and told his bandmates so. He borrowed actor Peter Sellers’ yacht and went to Sardinia. Because he wasn’t around, McCartney played the drums on “Back In The USSR” and “Dear Prudence.” Eventually the group sent him a telegram that said he was the best rock ‘n’ roll drummer in the world, that they all loved him, and asked if he would please return. When he came back, he was greeted with the words “Welcome Back, Ringo” spelled out in flowers on his drum kit.

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