The Beatles part 2. Good Morning, Good Morning, Good….

The Beatles took the flame of Rock and realized, like early man, that flame can be used to make things. You can forge things with it, anything you want. I think this came about for them because after The Ed Sullivan Show they went from a popular band to the biggest band in the world. They realized they were the main money earner for the record label so they could do what they wanted, and they did.

Despite George Martin, their producer’s objections, they stuck to their guns and became even more popular for it. They proved that if you have the talent, doing what you want works. The Beatles left the Rock and Roll formula far behind and started singing about deeper things and feelings. They used influences from all over the world, wrote about politics, peace and love. They wrote dirges and still wrote old school good time rock. Other talented musicians saw this and realized they didn’t want to be restrained to a formula either.

More important than that was the record companies saw what The Beatles had done, and allowed the shift from formula in their studios. Suddenly you had talented musicians writing their own stuff and trying new sounds. Sure not all of it worked but that is unimportant, because some of it did. Like in science, the experiment is the thing. Soon you had bands like Led Zeppelin putting out albums with hard English rock and California folk music on the same album! Audiences loved it.

The old rock and roll was about doing what you wanted too, it was just restrained to a handful of topics. Dating, cars, love, anything that annoyed kids parents. The Beatles took the do what you want attitude and expanded it, and now Rock and Roll has no limits. If a band has talent, the sky is the limit to what you write and play. Some bands are strictly metal, cool. Some are a rock and reggae mix, sounds good. Rock and hip hop mix, that will work. Whatever you want and The Beatles are the reason.

So let’s give it up for fifty years since the explosion that was The Beatles expanding music and our minds.

As Rick Emerson of Portland Oregon radio fame used to say, “if you are a new band, the one thing you have to realize is that The Beatles did it first, and better than you will.” Strangely he was not a big Beatles fan, he was just smart enough to realize the truth.




The Beatles, Part One

The fiftieth anniversary of the Beatles Ed Sullivan Show is on February ninth, in 2 days. I was not even born in 1964, but over the years I can see how their music influenced the bands I grew up on, and have loved my whole life. The Beatles music still holds up, despite what would be considered today, stone age recording equipment. I have personally loved the Beatles since my older brother introduced me to them in my pre-teen years. I remember the album Meet the Beatles when I was probably six or seven, Sergeant Peppers, The White Album, Revolver, Rubber Soul, they were all there in the back ground of any music I listened to. I would tell my brother John the music I was into and he would say something like, “Great, that’s cool, have you heard this before?” That’s when the Beatles albums came in.

Thanks John, it is still appreciated.

I have even more appreciation for The Beatles since I realized how their music influenced almost all music that came after. They expanded rock and roll from its roots to being anything the artist wants it to be. More distortion, ok, how about no distortion, that will work too. How about an oboe? Seriously, an oboe? That will work too. Anything you want can be in rock and roll because that is what it morphed into. Thanks to the Beatles. I have a theory on this, let me explain.

Rock and Roll came out of various music styles: blues, hillbilly country, gospel and even some free-wheeling jazz. The first real Rock and Roll stars were Elvis, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, and Little Richard just to name a few. In those days Rock and Roll was easily recognizable. A few guitars, bass, drums, maybe a piano and you were good to go. The lyrics were mostly about having a good time: Dances, cars, lover’s lane, being in love, all the classic Rock and Roll topics. These artists and songs are the icons of forties and fifties Rock and were those that started the flame that is rock and roll, that spark that has never gone out and will never go out. The Beatles, intentionally or not, found many uses for the fire that is Rock and Roll. They were writers who let themselves  expand their horizons.

More on this next post,