Wednesday, February 09, 2005

The Beatles versus the Rolling Stones

Here's something I wrote for my wife when she was fighting off some idiotic Stones lovers at work a year or so ago. I said in my "Satisfaction" post that I'd address why I don't think the Stones are all that, so I thought rather than rewrite it, I'd just steal old material from myself.

Ask yourself this question: If either the Beatles or the Rolling Stones never existed, which would have the greatest impact on music? Had the Beatles not existed, the British Invasion would still have happened, but with one significant difference: Most bands would still primarily perform other people's songs. The Beatles earliest contribution is simply that they did what Buddy Holly died too early to do: They made the songwriter and performer one. The Stones would still be a cover band if the Beatles hadn't opened that door (although I'm not sure that would be such a bad thing). The Beatles more evident contribution came later as they turned rock n roll (a short and limited phase in music history) into ROCK. They expanded the boundaries with alternative instrumentation, creative production techniques, and a great variety of influences. Prior to Revolver, most rock n roll bands were simply playing a simple amalgamation of C&W and R&B that varied little from the records released in the mid 50s. The Stones never strayed far from this while the Beatles incorporated into this Indian, classical, cabaret, even ska at times. It elevated their music from the limited rock n roll that preceded them to a broad expansive art form. On the other hand, the Stones had only limited success when they got away from basic blues. While the Beatles took all these disparate influences and created cohesive albums, the Stones at best created cohesive songs (and not in a consistent manner). The only time the Stones could be relied on was when they stuck to the simple blues that they knew well.

To return to my initial question, the answer should be obvious. If there hadn't been a Beatles, Rock may not have even happened, because simple blues-based rock n roll would have died for it's inability to re-invent itself. If there had been no Rolling Stones, blues based rock would still exist, because the Yardbirds did it better and they gave us three of the real bastions of blues rock in Clapton, Beck and Page. Of course the Stones did set a standard for drugs and debauchery, but Led Zeppelin soon rewrote that standard without any influence from the Stones.

To those of you who would argue that the Stones are better simply because they've continued on 30 some years past the Beatles, I would reply simply that quantity is no substitute for quality. The Rolling Stones did put out a decent amount of good (not great) material in the 60s and most of that can be heard on the Hot Rocks best-of album. In the last 30 years though, the Stones have released very little that is better than bar-band quality music and even bar-bands can get a decent song or two out over time (see J Geils or 38 Special or Ratt or any other of a huge number of one- and two-hit wonders). This is exemplified in what are three of the best anthology records ever: the Beatles 1962-66, 1967-70 and the Rolling Stones Hot Rocks. While Hot Rocks will give you just about every important Stones song on two records, the four albums of 1962-66 and 1967-70 don't even scratch the surface of the Beatles. You can get pretty much all the Stones you need on a single two-album set and there are NO must-buy regular-release Stones albums. However, the Beatles best-ofs are only a starting point. Their list of must-owns includes: Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt Pepper, White Album, Abbey Road. These are absolute musts. They are earth-shaking albums that have few if any rivals anywhere. Beyond these, there are still plenty of Beatles albums that should be owned ahead of any Stones albums.
Just remember, without the Beatles, there would still have been a Rolling Stones, but they would have been long forgotten. Many of the Beatles contributions would likely not have come from any other source. Any of the Stones contributions (few as they are) can be reasonably attributed to other bands in their absence. You can like listening to the Stones more than Beatles. As misguided as I think that is, it is your opinion. However, the question of who is really the better band goes well beyond unsubstantiated opinion. The Beatles ARE better than the Rolling Stones. It's not an opinion, it's a fact. It's not the result of a public opinion poll, but the result of history.


Blogger Rev. Brandy said...

I vote for the posting where you compare/contrast the Stones to The Who. I have had that disagreement with my brother-in-law and sister to little effect; once a die-hard Stones fan, always, it seems. They just can't get to a sincere appreciation of The Who.

9:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, there are regular Stones Albums: 1.Sticky FIngers 2. Beggars Banquet 4.Let It Bleed 5. Out of Our Heads 6. Exile on Main St. ...

Beatles are better is just an OPINION, so why can't you just like both of their music?

7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah I agree that the beatles are the best band ever and i love their music since i call myself a thinking human being. But I think that the stones are more than what you say in your article (I think you should treat them better, more like they deserve to be treated).

10:45 PM  
Anonymous Vinnie said...

Honestly the Beatles thought too much of them selves acting like they were artists and not just musicians. Yet how can you be taken seriously if you used to have a saturday morning cartoon of your band. One of the major appeal factors of the Beatles is they just stopped. Which adds an illusion to them. Much like nirvana and sublime these bands even tho they are not very talented they are honored and praised by society because of the impact they made even tho it is only a few albums and then nothing.

You also forgot to mention the fact that the Rolling Stones created the new "rock star" image. They were to first to have long hair and they didnt dress in matching suits while performing on stage. They connected with a more rebelious fan base. Unlike the Beatles who came out as happy go-lucky british boys that were nice and pleasent, and then try and convert to an artist.

While the beatles wanted to hold your hand the rolling stones wanted to burn down your town.

P.S. - Ringo is a terrible drummer.

9:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The beatles are ok but the stones will be the best band and always will be.Who could define the rules of rock n' roll better. sex, drugs and rock n' roll. The stones all the way!!!!!

11:40 AM  
Anonymous Brandon said...

First of all, I just have to say that Vinnie is one of the dumbest fucking people I have ever come across.
1. Why does having a cartoon make you not able to be taken seriously?
2. Why did the Stones get famous? Oh ya, the Beatles let them sing "I Wanna Be Your Man"
3. "only a few albums and then nothing"? Ya, 12 albums in 9 years ('62-'69 because Let It Be was recorded before Abbey Road) isn't much.
4. What does clothing have to do with a band being better than another?
5. No one of moderate or higher intelligence will agree with you that they "tried" to become artists.
6. The Stones tried imitating the Beatles whenever they did something new.

Please try again, but use arguments that make sense (wait, not possible).

P.S. Ringo is not a terrible drummer. His drumming always fit the song perfectly.

12:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe Tom Wolfe summed it up best the beatles want to hold your hand the Stones wanna burn your town........nuff said.

8:55 PM  
Blogger bob_vinyl said...

The Stones want you to think they wanna burn your town, but when push came to shove, they were bullied by Ed Sullivan into changing the lyrics to "Let's Spend the Night Together." It seems that even the Stones rebellious image was a sham.

11:49 PM  
Anonymous Stones said...

Ringo's drumming was always on time? Sure, even a lab monkey can do that, where does his real talent come in? I'll answer that for you: NOWHERE. Any 8 year old learning guitar for the first time can replicate any riff from George and even improve on it. For any musician, the Rolling Stones' talent is much more appreciable. In modern terms, the Beatles are like a cross between Blink 182 and the Backstreet Boys--they play terrible pop music (pretending to be rock) and all the thirteen-year-old girls love it. At least the Rolling Stones invented sex, drugs, and rock n' roll--Keith Richards even snorted his father's own ashes laced with cocaine!

3:07 AM  
Blogger bob_vinyl said...

Stones - I think it's interesting how all of you Stones lovers come back to their non-musical contribution. I also can't understand how being stupid translates to being cool. Any musician who finds the Stones scintillating and the Beatles dull is unlikely to make music worth listening to. Why don't you come up with an argument that makes sense and try again?

7:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am admittedly biased towards the Stones but I am also someone who makes a living out of being objective, and have nothing against the Beatles (in fact, I love the Beatles). Music is an art, and therefore is in the eye of the beholder. I believe that music should spark emotion, and for me, the Stones take you on a rollercoaster, while the Beatles hover around the pop sensabilities a little too much. Being a male, going to a Stones concert is a complete catharsis of everything rock is supposed to be--freedom, "good" thoughts, "bad" thoughts. A Beatles concert (when they toured up until 1966) is undoubtedly exciting, but quite similar to the boy band craze of the late 90's. To me, the Stones are rock'n'roll--there will NEVER be a band that endures consistently like they do. They speak to everybody-salt of the earth, middle class, rich folk. The Beatles definitely had a more creative side, but when it comes to rock and roll music, nobody touches the productive career of the Stones.

7:20 PM  
Anonymous Jacob said...

The Rolling Stones were good performers, I won't argue that. They appeal to people for their simplicity; that rough, down-to-earth sound.
I agree, the Beatles were pretty much a boy band until they stopped touring. Then they became focused on becoming creative with their writing and working in the studio (much like Steely Dan, another highly respected group). It became an art form to them (which I know many people, especially non-musicians, can't appreciate).
I'm a musician, so I prefer the Beatles. I respect them for their musicianship and creativity, not their "rock" image or stage performance.

2:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


8:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For one thing, the Beatles couldn't even last for two decades. Everyone likes to say how great they are and what an impact they had to rock/music in general, but I think it's an idolization illusion since they split up so soon. They're not around, but because they came on so early, people like to pay such homage to them as being "THE BEST". Not to mention that John Lennon, as great a man as he was is dead- people use that to deitify them even more and call them geniuses. I don't think they were very exceptional at their instruments, and they didn't really have the "rock" sound either, they were more pop sounding than anything. Not trying to sound negative, haha...but I can't stand when people bring up this debate...

And yes, I prefer the Stones, but I probably wouldn't call them "geniuses" as well...

10:35 PM  
Anonymous fanofthefab4 said...

I am so sick of this ignorant nonsense and myths about The Beatles! First of all they were *NEVER* a boy band at all not even in 1963,1964 and 1965,and they were Mostly a Great *ROCK* Band from the start! They started out playing 8 hours a night for two years in a row playing in the sleazy strip clubs of Hamburg Germany wearing tight leather black pants and jackets,cursing and smoking on stage,and taking speed pills to awake.

There were a lot of rough thugs who came into those clubs,and if they played bad live,they would have beaten the crap out of them playing 8 hours a night for 2 years! Instead they became the most popular successful group in these German clubs even with all of the competition from other groups from England and Germany! They also played live in The Cavern Club for several years.They worked their asses off to get where they got!

The Beatles wrote many great rock songs that were pretty rocking for the time,John's great song You Can't Do That from early 1964 which he played lead guitar on for the first time,Paul's great blues rocker,She's A Woman from late 1964,John's I Feel Fine from late 1964, with the first use of feedback guitar,and one of the first songs to have a great guitar riff,a year before The Rolling Stone's Satisfaction came out,Paul's screaming hard rocker especially for 1965,I'm Down which they played even louder and more screaming at the August 1965 Shea Stadium concert,plus Day Tripper,Paperback Writer,She Said She Said,And You're Bird Can Sing, Taxman,all with heavy electric guitar sounds,John's 1968 hard rocking single Revolution,Yer Blues,Birthday,Back In The USSR,While My Guitar Gently Weeps,Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me & My Monkey,plus Paul's Helter Skeklter which as many people have pointed out was the first heavy metal songs,plus John's I Want You She's So Heavy on Abbey Road which many people have also pointed out was one of the first heavy metal songs,plus his great rocker Come Together,Paul's Oh Darling,You Never Give Me Your Money,and the hard rocking jam of Paul,George,and John on the song The End,etc!! So YOu ARe Wrong!!

Even Ozzy Osbourne said in an online 2002 Bender Magazine interview that The Beatles Are The Greatest Band To Ever Walk The Earth! He's been a huge fan since he's been a teenager and he says not loving The Beatles is like not loving oxogen!

The Rolling Stones were very good friends and fans of The Beatles and Mick Jagger was at 4 Beatles recording sessions and Keith Richards was at 2 of them with them! The Beatles even wrote one of The Rolling Stones first hits with the song,I WAnna Be You're Man in late 1963.

Mick Jagger was such a big Beatles fan that when The Beatles were recording their song,Baby You're A Rich Man in May 1967,he came there and stood on the sidelines just to watch and listen to them record it and his name was on the tape box because he likely sang at the end verses.

The Rolling Stones could also be considered a pop band since they too were very popular,had many hit songs and albums and some of their songs could be classified as pop,Ruby Tuesday,Angie,She's A Rainbow,Lady Jane,As Tears Go By,Waiting On A Friend their whole Sgt.Pepper rip off Their Satanic Majesties Request and they also put out many greatest hits albums.

As for the other ignorant comment that The Beatles didn't even stay together for 2 decades,well they didn't have to because they did about 50 years worth of innovative,creative,diverse,prolific great critically acclaimed popular songs and albums in just a remarkable 8 year recording career! And music critics as well as brilliant classical composer Leonard Bernstein called John & Paul the most brilliant song writers of the 20th century when they were still a band!

9:05 AM  
Anonymous fanofthefab4 said...

I have more to add to debunk. As for The Beatles playing live,they sounded pretty good playing live considering that when they were playing in 1963,1964,1965,and 1966 the sound systems back then were very limited and primitive,they only had 100 watt amplifiers,no feedback monitors so they couldn't even hear themselves play and sing,yet they amazingly played in tune and in sync anyway,and at the August 1965 Shea Stadium concert which was the first big outdoor rock concert with over 55,000 fans,they were plugged into the PA system that they announce baseball games with plus the screaming crowds drowing out their great music! Can you imagine The Rolling Stones and The Who playing on these very limited primitive sound systems? They wouldn't have sounded much better!

Thats why they gave up touring,because they were serious music artists,composers,and musicians and they wanted their great music to be heard and valued. It would be like Beethoven playing on these limited primitive sound systems and screaming crowds! Also they were now writing music that was too complex to reproduce on stage at that time.

On the roof top concert in The Let It Be Film,they sounded great,because by January 1969 the sound systems had improved somewhat(although not anywhere near the 1970's,1980's,1990's and especially today's!) and they had changed and people had changed so there were no more screaming crowds so they could be heard.

When I was a teenager I met 3 people who saw The Beatles in concert two of them were teachers who saw them in 1966 and he and she told me they were great,and my cousin saw them at age 16 at The Baltimore Colsieum in 1964 the year before I was born,and she said they were great.

Former Kiss guitarist and grammy winning producer Bob Kulick who made the heavy metal Beatles tribute album Butchering The Beatles last year,says in an online interview,that he saw The Beatles at Shea Stadium in 1966 and that he could only make out pieces of the songs because of the screaming,but he could make out the songs Baby's In Black and Paperback Writer and he said they sounded amazing! He also calls The Beatles The Greatest Rock Band Ever!

In an online interview with Charlie Watts called,Charlie Watts The Drinking Man's Rolling Stone from a 1973 Magazine called Zig Zag he said that The Beatles and The Rolling Stones were really similar as people and he said what made The Beatles so great is that they made one great single and great album after the next!

George Harrison at only age 14 would stay up playing his guitar until he got all of the chords exactly right and his fingers were bleeding! And One of The Beatles engineers Geoff Emerick says that in early 1966 when The Beatles were recording John's song I'm Only Sleeping,George Harrison played backwards guitar the most difficult way possible even though he could have taken an easy way,and it took him 6 hours just to do the guitar overdubs! He then made it doubly difficult by adding even more distorted gitars and Geoff says this was all George's idea and that he did all of the playing!

Eric Clapton said in a 1992 interview when he and George were asked what they admired about each other during their Japan tour,that George is a fantastic slide guitar player. He and George were very good friends and they obviously admired and respected each others guitar playing and George played guitar on Cream's song Badge.

Roger McGuinn of The Byrds says The Beatles used unusual folk rock chords in their early music and that they invented folf rock without even knowing it! He started to play a 12 string guitar after he saw and heard George Harrison playing one in The Beatles great film A Hard Day's Night in early 1964.

In an online Eric Clapton interview called,Eric Clapton In His Own Words he says that John Lennon was a pretty good guitar player and he would have known since he played live in concert with John as a member of John's 1969 Plastic Ono Band!

On an excellent site called,The Evolution Of Rock Bass Playing McCartney Style by Dennis Alstrand Stanley Clarke,Will Lee,Billy Sheehan,Sting,George Martin,and John Lennon are all quoted saying what a great,melodic,influential bass guitar player Paul McCartney has always been! The 1992 Rolling Stone Album Guide calls Paul a remarkable bass player and rightfully calls John & Paul the 2 greatest song writers in rock history!

Both Phil Collins and Max Weinberg both Beatles fans and both praise Ringo's drumming and Phil Collins says that Ringo's great drumming on A Day In The Life can't even be repeated even by him!

9:44 AM  
Anonymous fanofthefab4 said...

Also on Rankopedia The Beatles are # 1 Greatest Rock Band,# 1 Greatest Most Innovative Rock Band,John & Paul are # 1 Greatest Rock Song Writers,John & Paul are on The Greatest Rock Male Vocalist list,and Paul McCartney is # 2 after John Enwistle as Greatest Rock Bass Players,John Paul Jones is # 6,and Bill Wynman is # 20!

And on Digitaldreamdoor where many musicians post,The Beatles are # 1 Greatest Rock Artists,John & Paul are # 1 Greatest Rock Song Writers,they are both on The Greatest Rock Male Vocalists list,and Paul McCartney is # 8 out of 100 Greatest Rock Bass Players,John Paul Jones is # 21,and Bill Wynman is # 95! George Harrison is # 54 On The Greatest Rock Guitarists out of over 100.

And there are many music professors teaching music courses at good universities on the brilliance of The Beatles especially of John & Paul,including by award winning music professor and composer Dr.Glen Gass,who has been teaching a course on The Beatles and rock music at Indiana University since 1982. On his web site for his course it says the main purpose of this course is to get students to have a better appreciation of this extraordinary group and their remarkable recordings.

Dr.Gary Kendal's Beatles course is the most requested course at North Western University. And a music professor by the last name of Heinonen teaches a Beatles course at JYVASKYLA University in Finland,and the university of California also teaches a Beatles course etc.

Also check out Keno's Classic Rock n Roll Site he also runs a Rolling Stones & John Lennon fan site. And he made a Top 10 List and voted and the fans voted. He voted John & Paul # 2 after Bob Dylan as Greatest Rock Song Writers,the fans voted them # 1! He voted Paul McCartney # 2 after John Entwistle as Greatest Rock Bass Player,the fans voted Paul # 3. He voted John Lennon # 2 after Keith Richards as Greatest Rock Rhythm Guitarist,and the fans voted John in a tie with Jimi Hendrix and Brian Jones at # 4! He voted John Lennon # 1 in a tie with Elvis as Greatest Male Rock Vocalist and the fans voted John # 1,he voted Paul # 6 and the fans voted him # 7.

Ken says Damn The Beatles were one great group in his review of The Beatles album 1967-1970,and he also says that John on Get Back showed why he should have played lead guitar more often because he did such a good job! He also said that John on their hard rocking great 1968 single Revolution,played one of the first and best acid guitar parts.And he also said that John played a pretty good slide guitar on George's For Your Blue. And he says in his review of The Beatles 1962-1966,that if you don't love or at least like The Beatles and their music than you are not a true rock fan and more than likely will never get it.

And by the way, the fact is that The Beatles cleaned up image was a fake joke,that their manager Brian Epstein created and which John hated and resented the most,in their personal lives they were actually as wild as The Rolling Stones and had tons of young women groupies when they were touring,and even in Hamburg before they made it big,and drugs and they lived sex,drugs & rock n roll and wrote quite a few songs with sex & drugs in them! Paul's Why Don't We Do It In The Road on The 1968 great White Album was pretty blatant and perverted about having public sex!

And Brian Wilson said on a 1995 Nightline TV Beatles tribute show,that Sgt.Pepper is the single greatest album he ever heard,and he played With A Little Help From Friends on the piano and he said I just love this song. He also said he thinks John Lennon & Paul McCartney were the 2 greatest song writers of the 20th century! Elton John said in a 1991 CBS morning news show,when he was asked who he musically admires,he said You can taljk about your Rogers & Hammerstein but for the quality of quanity songs that Lennon & McCartney did in that short period of time,they were the 2 greatest song writers of the 20th century!

Most music artists want to believe and want the public to believe that *their* the greatest so when they say other music artists are the greatest it really means a lot! The Beatles are also the most covered music artists of all time with everyone from Motown,jazz,classical,and even heavy metal music recording their great diverse music!

On Acclaimed which complies all of the rock music reviews from many different rock critics from decades,The Beatles are rightfully # 1!

And in 2001 VH1 had a panel of well known musicans and music critcs,that voted The Beatles The Greatest Rock Band Ever,and in 2004 Rolling Stone did the same thing and several people said on message boards that Rolling Stone had a recent pael poll like this and The Beatles were voted # 1 again and for damn great reasons too!

Nobody created as much innovative,creative,quality,critically acclaimed,popular diverse songs and albums in such a short amazing period of time as The Beatles and thats why most people know that The Beatles Are The Greatest Rock Band That Ever Was Or Will Be!!!!

10:43 AM  
Anonymous fanofthefabe said...

Oh and A Day's Night is a great pop rock album!!!! And even Bob Dylan said decades ago about The Beatles early music,that their chords were outrageous,and the harmonies were wonderful and they were doing things in music that nobody had done before,and music critics of The London Times were praising their interesting and unusual chords that they used even in early songs like She Loves You & I Want To Hold Your Hand. Which were not as simple as they seemed and had clever subtleties in them.

Infact Bob Dylan said in a Rolling Stone interview this Spring that he's in awe of Paul McCartney and he said he's the only one he's in awe of. He said that Paul has the melody,he has the rhthym and he can sing the ballad very good,and he can play any instrument.

He also said there were no better singers than John Lennon & Paul McCartney and he said if George wasn't stuck in the shadow behind John & Paul and he said who wouldn't get stuck,he would have emerged as a great song writer in his own right anyway.

And by the way I have read some people saying on message boards that they don't think The Rolling Stones were the best technical musicians,and many even some fans have said they haven't done anything good in 35 years, and that their overrated and I have also found many people saying they hate or don't like The Rolling Stones and many people say the only Rolling Stones song they like is Paint It Black!

11:18 AM  
Anonymous fanofthfab4 said...

Oh and by the way,in every major poll of The Beatles vs The Rolling Stones,The Beatles always win as # 1 even on sites and message boards that are not Beatles fan sites!

And when we look at the solo career comparison of Mick Jagger's and Keith Richards solo careers with John,Paul & George's,the facts are John Lennon's first brilliant solo album,and his second great album Imagine are rightfully critically acclaimed, and I love John's Walls & Bridges album and Paul McCartney's first solo album McCartney is very good,and he played every instrument all by himself at age 27,and he played so many different instruments great! Wings 1975 Venus & Mars is a great rock album too!

And he and Denny Laine are the only musicians on Paul's great 1973 Band On The Run album,which is critically acclaimed and popular,and he played every instrument by himself again on McCartney 2 in 1979,and most of the instruments on his 1997 Flaming Pie album,and his 2 recent acclaimed popular albums,Chaos And Creation In The Backyard,and Memory Almost Full.

Paul McCartney is also in the Guinness World Book of Records since October 1979 as the most successful song composer ever and the most covered music artist ever!

And John Paul Jones,David Gilmore,John Bonham & Pete Townsend all played on 2 songs with Paul and Wings on the last Wings album in 1979,and they played in the last Wings concert too in December 1979.

11:50 AM  
Anonymous fanofthefab4 said...

Oh I forgot to mention that the last Wings album was called,Back To The Egg.

And the posters Stones and Vinnie are the biggest ignorant idiots!!!! I totally proved that here!

You know I have found over 50 former Beatles haters on many message boards and web sites that are noe HUGE Beatles fans and many say they are now their favorite band and that they were the Greatest Band Ever! I didn't communicate with these people but they said in their posts that they had a lot of inaccurate misperceptions of The Beatles and they hadn't even heard most of The Beatles great songs and albums!

Most people don't hate The Beatles in the first place,most people of all ages all around the world love or at least like their music,but it's really something for former haters to turn into big fans and it just goes to show how Great The Beatles music is!!!!

12:40 PM  
Anonymous fanofthefab4 said...

The Beatles Are The Most Creative Band Of All Time

by Musician and Song Writer Peter Cross

BACKGROUND HISTORY: The first musical bands originated in New Orleans among black musicians who have traditionally been the innovators. The first jazz record ever recorded was by The Original Dixieland Jazz Band in 1917, and of course they were white because racism always rears its ugly head to hold black people back. But during the Roaring 20's, young white people couldn't resist the dance beat laid down by the black jazz bands. Fletcher Henderson, a black man, became the first band leader to achieve national fame possibly because he featured Louis Armstrong on trumpet. Duke Ellington, a classically trained musician, brought a level of style and sophistication to jazz that hadn't been seen before. But it wasn't until 1935 that jazz bands with a "swing beat" achieved national attention due to Benny Goodman who I think was the best clarinet player ever to blow air into that instrument. Benny also had the good sense and taste to bring the first great drummer, Gene Krupa, into his band.

When rock and roll exploded into human consciousness during the early 1950's, black musicians like Bo Diddley, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, and Smokey Robinson pioneered the way, but a white DJ named Alan Freed is believed to have coined the term "rock and roll". The first real rock and roll record was "Shake, Rattle and Roll", written by Jesse Stone who was black and recorded by Big Joe Turner who was also black but it wasn't a hit. The first big hit rock and roll record was "Rock Around the Clock" written by James Meyers and Max Freeman of obvious ancestry, and that one catapulted Bill Haley and his Caucasian Comets to stardom. During the 1950's and early 60's, there were countless "do wop" groups, rock groups, singers and songwriters but until The Beatles hit the charts, there had been very few bands which contained talented songwriters. The vast majority of jazz and rock bands recorded songs written by songwriters who were not performers, with occasional exceptions like Duke Ellington and Buddy Holly. As time goes on, it's increasingly clear that Lennon/McCartney songs are brilliant classics which will never be forgotten. Now here's why The Beatles are the most creative band of all time:


As I sit here writing this at the keyboard of my computer facing the unique and colorful Beatles poster in my bedroom, I'm aware that I have been directly and indirectly inspired by John Lennon's music as well as by the way he lived his life offstage. Squarely in front of me is a full color poster of all four Beatles standing in a heavenly-like flower garden at about the time of the Abbey Road album. Paul is angelic in his pink suit with a white laced shirt. John is enigmatic peering out from the background. George is charismatic staring directly into the camera from the lower right. Ringo is on the left with a stylish blue suit and his pink ruffled shirt. I always wished I could dress like those guys but obviously there's a bit of a problem with a money differential there. Surrounding this gorgeous poster which I have never seen elsewhere are my 45 speed original Beatles hit records, including I Want to Hold Your Hand, She Loves You, Please Please Me, Twist and Shout, Can't Buy Me Love, She's A Woman, Yesterday, and of course, Hey Jude. And surrounding all that is a chain of 1-1/2" long orange flicker flame lights which are the most beautiful and unique Christmas lights I've ever seen. I chose to decorate the wall directly in front of my work station this way because, as I've written elsewhere on this site several times, The Beatles were my major musical influence and having them on the wall in front of me inspires me to write web pages like this one. I was also among the millions of people who were inspired by how The Beatles were actually living their off stage lives. The Beatles' music creatively stimulated millions of people to change the way they were living, and The Beatles behavior encouraged people to have fun by trying new life style experiences. That's what I call a perfect example of FORM = CONTENT. In this case it means that the creatively and masterfully varied music The Beatles were producing (form) embodied the real life styles which each of the four Beatles were living (content), together as a band as well as separately as unique individuals.


This should be self-evident, but just because Paul McCartney has the title of the most popular songwriter in history doesn't necessarily make him the best songwriter in history. The qualities which do make both Paul and John the best songwriters in history go beyond writing the greatest number of catchy classic songs. "Catchy" means that their melodies and lyrics are instantly memorable. "Classic" means that they stand the test of time. But both Paul and John wrote very sophisticated melodies that moved beyond the simple groups of 2, 4 and 8 patterned phrases used by almost all other songwriters. John and Paul's melodies soared, floated, cascaded, dived and peaked with true dynamics, naturally following the syllabic lyric patterns - but not always. Sometimes the melodic and lyric patterns were independent of each other, almost counterpoint in nature, and as a songwriter, they never ceased to astonish me with their brilliance and originality. In the beginning, their lyrics were simple and their songs were simple love songs. But they soon began exploring new territory by writing about subjects that hadn't been covered before. Inspired by Bob Dylan, they wrote true poetry with feeling and depth, using evocative and unusual words. Rubber Soul marked the beginning of their evolution as mature songwriters, Revolver was a break-out album, and Sergeant Pepper was an historic landmark album in terms of new and innovative songwriting as well as production. Every song they wrote was significantly different from the last one even though each song had their unmistakable sound.

Most songwriters are only average players on their instruments, but John and Paul are both sophisticated guitarists who were able to integrate their playing into their songs and even into their song structure so that the "licks" they played became as catchy a part of their songs as the choruses and verses. Blackbird and Dear Prudence are only two examples of songs which couldn't possibly be written by any other songwriter because of the guitar playing which forms an integral part of the song structure. In similar fashion, Lady Madonna is the best example of a great song which derives from the unique and beautiful bass part which only Paul could possibly have created.

Average songwriters achieve the catchy quality by repeating a phrase endlessly or by beating a chorus to death. John and Paul found countless ways to be memorable without ever overly repeating something. The only time they repeated something over and over again for a long time was in Hey Jude, and what they chose to repeat is so gorgeous that one can only wish they had never ended the song. The Beatles were my biggest musical influence and I used to think, "If I could write just one song that's as good as John and Paul's worst song, I'd be happy." People tell me I accomplished that goal and they say one good example is John is Alive, which is my sincere tribute to Sir Lennon.


Even Ringo could sing when he got a little help from his friends who lived in the yellow submarine. But to say that Paul and John are two of the best singers in rock and roll is to state the obvious. Combining John, Paul and George created the best harmony vocals the world has ever experienced. Even their two part harmonies were unusual, catching us all by surprise on their first hit record with the fast harmony melisma in the chorus of I Want to Hold Your Hand. John had a knack of placing a unique low harmony line underneath Paul's high melody line so as to form a second melody which created unusual harmony effects. He did that right from the beginning in the verses of She Loves You. Both Paul and John could blast out screaming rock and roll (i.e. Long Tall Sally and Twist and Shout), and both could break our hearts with touching, deep feeling ballads (i.e. Yesterday and Julia). There seems to be no end to their emotional vocal range, and John even explored the heights of vocal psychedelia in songs like She Said (Revolver) and Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds.


Paul brought a new style of melodic playing to the bass guitar, reaching a new high of creativity on Sergeant Pepper with a level of sophistication never heard before. Many other musicians besides me recognize Paul as being one of the best bass guitar players ever. George is underrated as a lead guitarist by people with average or below average musical knowledge or ability, but most guitarists (including Eric Clapton) know better. George's strength is in melody, pure and simple. It would be difficult to find a George Harrison lead which is not melodic, and each of his leads has a strong beginning, a stronger middle and a well defined ending. In fact, that's Eric's definition of what makes a good guitar lead. George continually developed new guitar sounds for each Beatles song. John and Paul are also excellent guitarists and both recorded great leads as well as innovative rhythm tracks. All three of the Beatles guitarists may lack showy technical fireworks but they make that definition of guitar mastery irrelevant by overwhelming the senses with creativity, style, and pure melody. The exact same thing can be said about John and Paul's keyboard playing. Ringo may be underrated as a drummer by the public but he is not underrated by other professional drummers. Ringo mastered the art of drum sounds. No drummer has ever recorded so many different sounds on so many different sounding records. Ringo invented a new style of slow drum playing, epitomized on A Day in the Life and Strawberry Fields Forever. John said many times, "Ringo has the best back beat in the business" and the successful studio drummers understand why John was correct.


A good definition of charisma needs to include "an unusual ability to influence people and arouse devotion" and "a personal attractiveness which enables a person to influence others". No musical group prior to or after The Beatles features true charisma emanating strongly from the entire group as well as separately from each member. The Beatles stunned the world with their photogenic quality, their charm, their bubbling and lovable personalities, their cuteness and their unique style. Even before The Beatles achieved fame, people in Liverpool were imitating their haircuts, the way they dressed, the way they behaved, and the way they lived. Such a simple subliminal message about smoking marijuana got communicated to all the hippies who were waiting to happen without actual words ever being spoken. The Beatles had a lot to lose by being explicit on that subject, but they successfully avoided trouble by keeping it very subtle while at the same time clear enough so that we all got it. The Fab Four kept changing their styles rapidly, almost with each album cover, and soon the message became one of explicit spiritualism. After visiting India, The Beatles introduced eastern mysticism and meditation to the Western world for the first time through the mass media. John's long saga with internal angst, drugs, spiritualism, politics, personal battles, and ultimately his marriage to Yoko played out like a movie the whole world got to watch in fascination. Paul's happy life with Linda, George's great focus on meditation, and Ringo's equanimity throughout were all perfect examples of the power, the truth, and the effectiveness of true charisma.


Need I say it? Ask the millions of girls who were screaming and fainting at the very sight of them. "The Boys" didn't move like Elvis or dance like Mick, they just stood there shaking their "mop top" heads around, smiling, laughing, and looking gorgeous as they performed great music and that was it. On their first visit to America, some enterprising weirdo from New York City managed to cut up the hotel bed sheets The Beatles had slept on into 1" square pieces, and these things were actually sold to girls over the public airwaves by adult DJ's on the AM radio stations who should have known better. The Beatles phenomenon went way beyond the rock and roll sex star status that had been seen before. Teenage girls in uncountable numbers fell in love, their hearts to be trapped, their heart strings to be continually plucked, and ultimately, their hearts to be broken by the unobtainable object of their love. Worshiping a star from afar? Infatuation? Obsession? Not real love? For many of them, it was their first experience feeling love for a man/boy. Whatever it was, it was very real to all of them, and we all soon understood that The Beatles were The Real Thing.

That's why I call The Beatles the Most Creative Band of All Time. They were The Real Thing. The Creative Zenith. The high point on the bell curve of musical history.

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Web page design copyright 1996 © , text copyright 2005 © Peter Cross

4:54 PM  
Anonymous fanofthefab4 said...

Rock Bass Players By Bassist and Musician Andrew Pouska

In our bass lessons we will probably start with learning several rock bass tunes. These are some of the players we will focus on in our lessons:

Paul McCartney

Bassist for The Beatles. The impact The Beatles had on music history is stupendous. Likewise, the impact The Beatles bass player, Paul McCartney , had on rock bass was huge, too. His basslines are very melodic and intelligent. One of the best.

Jack Bruce

The father of heavy rock bass playing. His work with Cream is his most famous. Check out the Live Cream recordings. Three guys with a huge sound together.

John Entwistle

Bassist for The Who. Fast flurries of notes and unrelenting rock power! Another highly influential early rock bass player. The song My Generation contains the first recorded rock bass solo.

John Paul Jones

Led Zeppelin bassist. Some of the best hard rock bass playing ever. Just buy the boxed set!

Geezer Butler

Bassist for Black Sabbath. Great, standard rock bass playing.

Geddy Lee

Extraordinary bass player in the band Rush. He not only plays the bass, but writes songs, plays keyboards, and sings! Consider getting the album Moving Pictures.


Sting's work with the Police showcases his use of sparse, but effective lines. Listen to The Police - Regatta DeBlanc or Ghost in the Machine. He is also a genius songwriter to top things off.

Tony Levin

Bassist with Peter Gabriel and King Crimson. A rock bass virtuoso. He always plays the right notes at the right time. Never one too many or too few.

Mick Karn

Perhaps the most interesting bass voice I've heard. Karn mixes exotic scales with unusual time signatures on his fretless bass. He takes you to a different planet I swear it.

Les Claypool

Bassist and singer for Primus. Les Claypool's style and sound is very unique.

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4:58 PM  
Anonymous fanofthefab4 said...

As The All Music Guide says in their excellent Beatles biography,"So much has been said and written about The Beatles and their story is so mythic in it's sweep that it's difficult to summarize their career without restating cliche's that have already been digested by tens of millions of rock fans.To state the obvious,they were the greatest and most influential act of the rock era,and introduced more innovations into popular music than any other rock band of the 20th century,moreover they were among the few artists of *any* discipline that were simultaneously the best at what they did,*and* the most popular at what they did Relentlessly imaginative, and expermintal The Beatles grabbed a hold of the international mass consciousness in 1964 and never let go for the next 6 years always staying ahead of the pack in terms of creativity but never losing their ability to communicate their increasingly sophisticated ideas to a mass audience.Their supremacy as rock icons remains unchallenged to this day decades after their breakup in 1970."

"Even when couching praise in specific terms, it's hard to convey the scope of The Beatles achievements in a mere paragraph or two. They synthesized all that was good about early rock & roll and changed it into something orginal and exciting. They established the prototype of the self-contained rock group that wrote and performed it's own material. As composers their craft and melodic inventiveness were second to none and key to the evolution of rock from it's blues R&B- based forms into a style that was far more eclectic but equally visceral. As vocalists John Lennon & Paul McCartney were both among the best and most expressive vocalists in rock;the groups harmonies were intricate and exhillarating."

"The Popularity Of The Beatles as a unit proved eternal. In part this is because the group's 1970 split effectively short-circuited the prospects of artistic decline;the body of work that was preserved was uniformly strong. However it's also because like any great works of art,The Beatles records carried an ageless magnificence that continues to captivate new generations of listeners. So it is that Beatles records continue to be heard on radio in heavy rotation,continue to sell in massive quanities and continue to be covered and quoted by rock and pop artists through the present day"

9:14 AM  
Anonymous fanofthefab4 said...

Welcome to Bass Player magazine - Acoustic and electric bass guitar tabs, chords and lessons

Bass Player magazine is your source for acoustic and electric bass guitar tabs, chords and free online bass guitar lessons, tutorials and videos for both beginner and professional.


Your current location This Month Windy City Wingman Lays Roots With Wilco

John Stirratt

Windy City Wingman Lays Roots With Wilco

By Brian Fox | February, 2005

In the family tree of alternative country-rock, John Stirratt’s roots go deep. When he got the call in 1993 to take over bass duties from singer/ songwriter Jeff Tweedy in alt-country supergroup Uncle Tupelo, he began a working relationship with Tweedy that led to Wilco, one of the genre’s greatest success stories. It

In the family tree of alternative country-rock, John Stirratt’s roots go deep. When he got the call in 1993 to take over bass duties from singer/ songwriter Jeff Tweedy in alt-country supergroup Uncle Tupelo, he began a working relationship with Tweedy that led to Wilco, one of the genre’s greatest success stories. It’s a tale marked by multiple personnel changes and high-drama record-label relations—the band was dropped from its label, Reprise, after delivering tapes for what would become 2002’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. The making of that watershed album is the subject of Sam Jones’s documentary film I Am Trying to Break Your Heart.

Amid the changes, Stirratt’s warm tone and dynamic fingerstyle and pickstyle attack have formed the foundation of Wilco’s seven albums (including two with singer Billy Bragg), which have ranged from raw and rootsy (1995’s A.M.) to richly textured and intricate (Yankee Hotel Foxtrot). The band’s latest, A Ghost Is Born, witnesses Stirratt at his best, especially on the loping bass-driven single “Handshake Drugs.” Stirratt’s thumpy pickstyle line—played on a flatwound-strung Hofner—forms a balanced countermelody to Tweedy’s throaty vocals. Elsewhere, Stirratt’s playing is more staid and supportive, especially on the driving “Spiders (Kidsmoke),” an homage to Krautrock duo Neu!. With Jeff Tweedy at the helm and Stirratt in the engine room, the Chicago-based six-piece is currently touring with guitarist Nels Cline, drummer Glenn Kotche, keyboard player Mikael Jorgensen, and multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone. When he is not touring or recording with Wilco, John plays with the Autumn Defense—a band formed with longtime friend Sansone—and with his twin sister in their group, Laurie &John.

Credit: Zoran Orlic

John Stirratt plays half the time with his fingers, the other half with a heavy-gauge Planet Waves pick. When he’s playing fingerstyle, he keeps the pick tucked under his pinkie and ring fingers so it’s easy to access. “I play with my right hand pretty close to the neck,” Stirratt explains, “and when I’m picking, I mute the strings a lot with the heel of my hand. In the studio, I put sponges or Styrofoam near the bridge to mute the strings so there’s no sustain.”

You and Jeff are the only original members of Wilco. How has your playing changed with the various lineups?

We were a four-piece in our previous incarnation, so I felt naked at times. I love having all of the musical information to feed off in this bigger ensemble. With the bigger group, my playing has gotten a lot more melodic, because in a smaller setting, my role is to just hold it down. Now I’ve got more room to move around, and I don’t have to stay on the root as much, because chances are someone else is covering it.

Wilco has always been a band of multi-instrumentalists. Do you ever share bass duties?

On Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and the new album, we had Leroy Bach in the band, and he’s a fantastic bass player—he played on a few tracks, like the ones with bowed upright. In Wilco we’ve always been generous about passing instruments around—I’ve done a lot of the basic tracks on piano or guitar. Having a different voice in the low end from track to track is great. On arabella, my sister and I had a fantastic bass player from Nashville, Brad Jones, on upright and electric. He plays a Gibson EB-2 and a Gibson Les Paul Studio bass through a SansAmp; he’s got a fluid, growly style.

What is the greatest strength you bring to Wilco?

I think I can hear what songs need. In learning to be a songwriter and singer first and foremost, I’ve come to realize the bass’s responsibility. Also, Jeff and I have been singing together for so long, I bring a lot of harmony to the band. That’s a big part of it, for sure. Over the years, the harmonies were either written by me or by [former Wilco bandmate] Jay Bennett. He’s an inventive writer of harmony and countermelodies and I learned a lot from playing with him.

Which bass players have had the most impact on your playing?

Paul McCartney is one of the greatest bass players of all time. If you listen to what he was tracking live in the studio, it’s unbelievable. With his tone and musicality, he was a huge influence. He covered all his harmonic responsibilities really well, but his lines were absolutely melodic and inventive. Also, Rick Danko of The Band was a huge influence on me. I love the idea of a bassist providing the high vocal harmony.

What is your favorite song to play live?

“Hummingbird” has great changes, and it’s one of the most inventive pop arrangements we’ve done, so that’s fun to play as an ensemble. On the other hand, there’s “Spiders (Kidsmoke),” which basically has a one-note line for the whole ten minutes. But there’s a whole world of dynamics that I explore with that song. Every stage is different, and by playing with dynamics, you can turn the stage itself into an instrument. It’s fun to see how that song works in different spaces night-to-night. It really has a life of its own.

A Selected Discography

With Wilco: A Ghost Is Born, Nonesuch; Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Nonesuch; Summerteeth, Reprise; Being There, Reprise; A.M., Reprise. With Billy Bragg &Wilco: (both on Elektra) Mermaid Avenue Volume 2; Mermaid Avenue. With the Minus 5: (both on Yep Roc) At the Organ; Down With Wilco. With Laurie &John: arabella, Broadmoor. With the Autumn Defense: (both on Broadmoor) Circles; The Green Hour. With Uncle Tupelo: Anodyne, Sire.


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9:18 AM  
Anonymous fanofthefab4 said...

Eric Clapton - In His Own Words

In the Yardbirds, Cream, Derek and the Dominos, and his own bands, guitarist extraordinaire Eric Clapton has continually redefined his own version of the blues. He discusses his epic career and how he coped with drug and alcohol problems to become one of the most revered guitarists and dependable hitmakers of the past thirty years.

t a certain point the Yardbirds started getting package tours, with the Ronettes, Billy J. Kramer, the Kinks, the Small Faces, lots of others, and we lost our following in the clubs. We decided to get suits, and I actually designed suits for us all. Then we did the Beatles' Christmas show, and at that point we really began to feel the lack of a hit. We'd be on for twenty minutes or half an hour, and either you were very entertaining or you did your hits. A lot of times the raveup bit got us through, and a lot of times it didn't. It became very clear that if the group was going to survive and make money, it would have to be on a popular basis. We couldn't go back to the clubs, because everyone had got that taste and seen what fun it would be to be famous.

So a lot of songs were bandied about, and we came up with a song by Otis Redding. I thought that would make a great single, because it was still R&B and soul, and we could do it really funky. Then Paul [Samwell-Smith, bassist] got the "For Your Love" demo, and so we went into the studio to do both songs, but we did "For Your Love" first. Everyone was so bowled over by the obvious commerciality of it that we didn't even get to do the Otis Redding song, and I was very disappointed, disillusioned by that. So my attitude within the group got really sour, and it was kind of hinted that it would be better for me to leave. 'Cause they'd already been to see Jeff Beck play, and at the time he was far more adaptable than I was. I was withdrawing into myself, becoming intolerable, really, dogmatic. So they kind of asked me to leave, and I left and felt a lot better.

Eric Clapton's Seventies
Billboard Top 40 Singles

"After Midnight" 11/70 #18
"I Shot The Sheriff" 8/74 #1
"Willie And The Hand Jive" 11/74 #26
"Hello Old Friend" 11/76 #24
"Lay Down Sally" 2/78 #3
"Wonderful Tonight" 6/78 #16
"Promises" 11/78 #9
"Watch Out For Lucy" 3/79 #40

All during Cream I was riding high on the "Clapton is God" myth that had been started up. I was flying high on an ego trip; I was sure I was the best thing happening that was popular. Then we got our first kind of bad review, which was in Rolling Stone. The magazine ran an interview with us in which we were really praising ourselves, and it was followed by a review that said how boring and repetitious our performance had been. And it was true! The ring of truth had just knocked me backward; I was in a restaurant, and I fainted. And after I woke up, I immediately decided that that was the end of the band.

There toward the end, we'd been flying with blinkers for so long, we weren't aware of the changes that were taking place musically. New people were coming up and growing, and we were repeating ourselves, living on a legend, a year or two years out of date.

We didn't really have a band with Cream. We rarely payed as an ensemble; we were three virtuosos, all of us soloing all the time. We did a lot of acid, took a lot of trips in our spare time. And we did play on acid a couple of times.

I met John Lennon and would see him a lot around the London clubs. I got the impression that he was very shy, slightly bitter but also a very sweet young man. There seemed to be a sort of game between John and George [Harrison], partly because John was a pretty good guitar player himself. When I was with Cream, George became interested in my playing, and I think he might have told John that he liked my work. So John assumed that if George liked me, I was probably better than George. So we got into the "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" sessions.

A few years later John called me one Saturday morning and said, "Do you want to go to Toronto?" I said, "Sure. When?" And he said, "In a couple of hours." I happened to have my equipment at home, so I met them at the airport, with [bassist] Klaus Voorman and [drummer] Alan White. We all got first-class seats on the plane and I learned the repertoire on the way.

"The idea of dying from drugs didn't bother me... But as I grow older, as I live more, death becomes more of a reality, something I don't choose to step toward too soon."

I got slightly disillusioned when we landed at the other end and John and Yoko were whisked off in a limousine and all the band was left standing in the rain. We didn't know how we were going to get to the gig or anything, but that wasn't their problem. Then before the gig, we did so much coke that I actually threw up and passed out. They had to take me out and lay me on the ground. And at the last minute we realized that we were going on between... I think it was Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry, and we were terrified. We were shaking. But it turned out to be a great experience.

There was a lack of direction in Blind Faith, or a reticence to actually declare among ourselves where we were going. Because it seemed to be enough just to be making the money, and that wasn't good; the record company and the management had taken over. I felt that it wasn't good; the record company and the management had taken over. I felt that it was too soon for Steve [Winwood]. He was feeling uncomfortable, and since it had originally been my idea, I was uncomfortable. I started looking for somewhere else to go, an alternative, and I found that Delaney and Bonnie [Bramlett] were a godsend. After the Blind Faith tour, I lived with Delaney for a while.

After the Dominos' Layla album, the band did a very big tour of America. We copped a lot of dope in Miami -- a lot of dope -- and that went with us.

Eric Clapton's Seventies
Billboard Top 10 Albums

History Of Eric Clapton 6/72 #9
461 Ocean Boulevard 8/74 #2
Slowhand 3/78 #2
Backless 1/79 #8

By the end of the tour, the band was getting very, very loaded, doing way too much. Then we went back to England, tried to make a second album, and it broke down halfway through because of the paranoia and the tension. And the band just dissolved. I remember to this day being in my house, feeling totally lost and hearing Bobby Whitlock pull up in the driveway and scream for me to come out. He sat in his car outside all day, and I hid. And that's when I went on my journey into smack. I basically stayed in the house with my girlfriend for about two and a half years, and although we weren't using any needles, we got very strung out. All that time, though, I was running a cassette machine and playing; I had that to hold on to. At the end of that period I found I had boxes full of playing, as if there was something struggling to survive.

I had no care for the consequences; the idea of dying didn't bother me. Dying from drugs didn't seem to be a terrible thing. When Jimi Hendrix died, I cried all day because he'd left me behind. But as I grow older, as I live more, death becomes more of a reality, something I don't choose to step toward too soon.

I did the Rainbow Concert in January 1973 very much against my will. I wasn't even really there. It was Pete Townshend's idea, and I didn't know what I'd done to earn it. It's simply that he's a great humanitarian and cannot stand to see people throw their lives away. It didn't matter to him if I was willing or unwilling; he was making the effort so that I would realize, someday, that somebody cared. I'm always indebted to him for that.

The thing that finally drew me out was when Carle Radle, the Dominos' bassist, sent me a tape of him playing with Dick Sims and Jamie Oldaker. I listened to it and played along with it, and it was great. So I sent him a telegram saying, "Maintain loose posture, stay in touch." And at some point after that I started to get straight.

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9:22 AM  
Anonymous fanofthefab4 said...

Ken Also Runs A Rolling Stones and John Lennon Fan Site.

Keno's Classic Rock n Roll Web Site



1962 - 1966

Released - 1973, on Apple Records. Produced by George Martin

John Lennon - Lead &Backing Vocals, Rhythm, Slide, Lead Guitars, Harmonica, Percussion, Keyboards

Paul McCartney - Lead & Backing Vocals, Bass, Acoustic Guitar on track 13, Keyboards, Percussion

George Harrison - Lead and Rhythm Guitars, Percussion, Backing Vocals

Ringo Starr - Drums, Percussion, Keyboards, Backing Vocals and Lead Vocal on track 25

Additional Personnel - Johnnie Scott - Flute on track 15; On track 25: Brian Jones - Percussion & Backing Vocals, Donovan, Pattie Harrison, Marianne Faithfull, Mal Evans, Neil Aspinall - Backing Vocals; Many others play on tracks 13 &24.

All songs written by John Lennon &Paul McCartney


Love Me Do 1962 10.0
Please Please Me 1963 10.0
From Me to You 1963 10.0
She Loves You 1963 10.0
I Want to Hold Your Hand 1963 10.0
All My Loving 1964 10.0
Can't Buy Me Love 1964 10.0
A Hard Day's Night 1964 10.0
And I Love Her 1964 10.0
Eight Days a Week 1964 10.0
I Feel Fine 1964 10.0
Ticket to Ride 1965 10.0
Yesterday 1965 10.0
Help! 1965 10.0
You've Got to Hide Your Love Away 1965 10.0
We Can Work It Out 1965 10.0
Day Tripper 1965 10.0
Drive My Car 1965 10.0
Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) 1965 10.0
Nowhere Man 1965 10.0
Michelle 1965 10.0
In My Life 1965 10.0
Girl 1965 10.0
Paperback Writer 1966 10.0
Eleanor Rigby 1966 10.0
Yellow Submarine 1966 10.0
Ave 10.0


This greatest hits double album was released along with the companion greatest hits double album 1967 - 1970 . Every single song found on here is a pure ten, and too think for the time period covered ('62-'66), they had other songs just as good that didn't make it into this package.

Michael Jackson can call himself the king of pop, but the real pop kings in the early '60s were the Beatles, as anybody who was around back then can tell ya. The first 16 songs on here are all pop, but by mid 1965 their music style would slowly start to change, and since the Beatles were the main trendsetters in music, all of rock music changed along with them.Whatever the Beatles did, everybody else would follow.

It is totally impossible to say for sure which song on here is the best one, but I will try. Let's see, the best pop song would be "She Loves You" - better sung and blended vocals are just not possible, best drug song would be "Day Tripper" - even if most fans didn't have a clue what the song was really about when it first was released, and the best of the newer sounding songs is "Girl", a song with a double meaning to it, something that they would get into again in the upcoming years.

I really don't have to say too much more about this greatest hits album, it speaks for itself and if you love the Beatles you more than likely already have it and love it. If you don't love or at least like the Beatles and their music, then you are not a true rock fan, and more than likely never will ever get it.

-Keno 2005

To listen to some soundclips from THE BEATLES 1962-1966 or to purchase it, click on: The Beatles '62 -'66

Return to Rock Album's Reviews

9:28 AM  
Anonymous fanofthefab4 said...

Keno's Classic Rock n Roll Web Site



1967 - 1970

Released - 1973, on Apple Records. Produced by George Martin, except tracks 27 &28, produced by Phil Spector

John Lennon - Lead & Backing Vocals, Rhythm, Lead, Slide Guitars, Bass on track 15, Percussion, Harp, Keyboards

Paul McCartney - Lead & Backing Vocals, Bass, Drums &Lead Guitar on track 15, Keyboards, Percussion

George Harrison - Lead and Rhythm Guitars, Backing and Lead Vocals

Ringo Starr - Drums, Percussion, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, and Lead Vocals on tracks 4 &25

Additional Personnel - Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Keith Moon, Marianne Faithfull, Pattie Harrison, Jane Asher, Graham Nash, Mike Sammes Singers and several others.

All songs written by Lennon/McCartney except "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", "Old Brown Shoe", "Here Comes The Sun" and "Something", written by G. Harrison and "Octopus's Garden" written by R. Starkey.



Strawberry Fields Forever 1967 10.0
Penny Lane 1967 10.0
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band 1967 10.0
With a Little Help from My Friends 1967 10.0
Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds 1967 10.0
A Day in the Life 1967 10.0
All You Need Is Love 1967 10.0
I Am the Walrus 1967 10.0
Hello Goodbye 1967 10.0
The Fool on the Hill 1967 10.0
Magical Mystery Tour 1967 10.0
Lady Madonna 1968 10.0
Hey Jude 1968 10.0
Revolution 1968 10.0
Back in the U.S.S.R. 1968 10.0
While My Guitar Gently Weeps 1968 10.0
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da 1968 10.0
Get Back 1969 10.0
Don't Let Me Down 1969 9.6
The Ballad of John and Yoko 1969 10.0
Old Brown Shoe 1969 6.0
Here Comes the Sun 1969 10.0
Come Together 1969 10.0
Something 1969 10.0
Octopus's Garden 1969 8.4
Let It Be 1970 10.0
Across the Universe 1970 9.0
The Long and Winding Road 1970 10.0
Ave. 9.75


This is the companion greatest hits double album to 1962 - 1966 . You sure can see how much not only The Beatles appearance changed in just a few short years (just check out the two LPs covers, with photos taken at the same location of the Fabs just 6 years apart), but boy did their music change too!

No longer a pop group, they were now a pure rock band with songs that said a lot more than just I love you and I wanna hold your hand! Thanks to John Lennon, some of the most far-out lyrics written by anybody were now showing up on their records, and it seemed to rub off on Paul McCartney in some of his songs, too.

The best overall song on here was written by Paul for John's young son, "Hey Jude". It was at the time of its release the longest time running single ever released and was a smash hit, and most people were fooled into thinking the lyrics were about heroin addiction. The best written song in this greatest hits package has to be John's "I Am the Walrus", with "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" (another Lennon penned gem) a close second. One more song to make the "best" list would be "Revolution" with one of the first and best acid lead guitar parts ever played, courtesy of John.

The three greatest songs ever written by George Harrison show up on here, too, "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", "Here Comes The Sun" and "Something". But what in the world is his "Old Brown Shoe" doing on here? This one is a weak song, if not for the slide guitar and neat bass it would not even be an average song, but for sure it was not a Beatles greatest hit, nor a song that most Beatles fans cared for. Almost any other song from '67 -'70 would have fitted in better than this dull one!

I guess I could close out this review in the same matter that I closed out my review for 1962 - 1966, nothing more needs to be written about this album, yes, it too speaks for itself! Damn, the Beatles were one GREAT group!

- Keno 2005

To listen to some soundclips from THE BEATLES 1967-1970 or to purchase it, click on: The Beatles '67 - '70

Return to Rock Album's Reviews

9:31 AM  
Anonymous fanofthefab4 said...

Ken Also Runs A Rolling Stones And A John Lenon Fan Site

Keno's Classic Rock n Roll Web Site



1962 - 1966

Released - 1973, on Apple Records. Produced by George Martin

John Lennon - Lead &Backing Vocals, Rhythm, Slide, Lead Guitars, Harmonica, Percussion, Keyboards

Paul McCartney - Lead & Backing Vocals, Bass, Acoustic Guitar on track 13, Keyboards, Percussion

George Harrison - Lead and Rhythm Guitars, Percussion, Backing Vocals

Ringo Starr - Drums, Percussion, Keyboards, Backing Vocals and Lead Vocal on track 25

Additional Personnel - Johnnie Scott - Flute on track 15; On track 25: Brian Jones - Percussion & Backing Vocals, Donovan, Pattie Harrison, Marianne Faithfull, Mal Evans, Neil Aspinall - Backing Vocals; Many others play on tracks 13 &24.

All songs written by John Lennon &Paul McCartney


Love Me Do 1962 10.0
Please Please Me 1963 10.0
From Me to You 1963 10.0
She Loves You 1963 10.0
I Want to Hold Your Hand 1963 10.0
All My Loving 1964 10.0
Can't Buy Me Love 1964 10.0
A Hard Day's Night 1964 10.0
And I Love Her 1964 10.0
Eight Days a Week 1964 10.0
I Feel Fine 1964 10.0
Ticket to Ride 1965 10.0
Yesterday 1965 10.0
Help! 1965 10.0
You've Got to Hide Your Love Away 1965 10.0
We Can Work It Out 1965 10.0
Day Tripper 1965 10.0
Drive My Car 1965 10.0
Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) 1965 10.0
Nowhere Man 1965 10.0
Michelle 1965 10.0
In My Life 1965 10.0
Girl 1965 10.0
Paperback Writer 1966 10.0
Eleanor Rigby 1966 10.0
Yellow Submarine 1966 10.0
Ave 10.0


This greatest hits double album was released along with the companion greatest hits double album 1967 - 1970 . Every single song found on here is a pure ten, and too think for the time period covered ('62-'66), they had other songs just as good that didn't make it into this package.

Michael Jackson can call himself the king of pop, but the real pop kings in the early '60s were the Beatles, as anybody who was around back then can tell ya. The first 16 songs on here are all pop, but by mid 1965 their music style would slowly start to change, and since the Beatles were the main trendsetters in music, all of rock music changed along with them.Whatever the Beatles did, everybody else would follow.

It is totally impossible to say for sure which song on here is the best one, but I will try. Let's see, the best pop song would be "She Loves You" - better sung and blended vocals are just not possible, best drug song would be "Day Tripper" - even if most fans didn't have a clue what the song was really about when it first was released, and the best of the newer sounding songs is "Girl", a song with a double meaning to it, something that they would get into again in the upcoming years.

I really don't have to say too much more about this greatest hits album, it speaks for itself and if you love the Beatles you more than likely already have it and love it. If you don't love or at least like the Beatles and their music, then you are not a true rock fan, and more than likely never will ever get it.

-Keno 2005

To listen to some soundclips from THE BEATLES 1962-1966 or to purchase it, click on: The Beatles '62 -'66

Return to Rock Album's Reviews

9:44 AM  
Blogger bob_vinyl said...

fanofthefab4 - Thanks for all your comments. I got your email, but when I replied, it came back undeliverable.

9:53 AM  
Anonymous fanofthefab4 said...


Roger's journey with The Who


Published: 21 Dec 2007

HIS blond curls are way shorter than the lion’s mane of his Tommy days.

But there’s no mistaking the iconic singer sitting opposite me – The Who’s Roger Daltrey.

At 63, he looks in fine fettle. He comes across as thoughtful, perceptive yet prone to throwing his head back in peels of laughter when recounting the good times.

To celebrate the brilliant new DVD, Amazing Journey: The Story Of The Who, Roger takes SFTW through the highs and lows of his own amazing journey. He talks about how music became his passion, how he met The Who’s other members – Pete Townshend, John Entwistle and Keith Moon – how they became superstars and the time he got expelled from the band after a ruck with Moonn.

He says rock opera Tommy was the band’s defining moment. He remembers performing at Woodstock in 1969 and talks about the thrill of playing Glastonbury this year. He speaks of his sadness at the early deaths of Moon and Entwistle but says their spirit lives on in The Who today. On the DVD, through countless interviews and fantastic footage, you can follow the story of a Great British Band but here we get the remarkably candid views of its singer.


Roger Harry Daltrey was born on March 1, 1944, during an air raid.

What was it like in the late Forties and early Fifties?

It was post-war England. People say “everyone was very poor” but I never felt we were poor. We had an incredible social structure that supported us. The neighbourhood was working class Shepherds Bush. My life was really good up to when I passed my 11-plus. From then on, it all turned to s**t!

Why was that?

My parents moved to Chiswick which is, as the crow flies, probably no more than a mile and a half away, a much more dormant neighbourhood, more of a suburb. I had to move to Acton County Grammar School which took in kids from middle class areas. I’d never met a middle class person in my bloody life! They were talking a foreign language.

Did you become a tearaway?

No, I didn’t. First of all, I shut off and then I started getting a little bit bullied ’cos I’m a little bloke. I had a terrible, terrible explosive temper. One time I got bullied, I lost my temper and I went off like a firework. When I was a strong young man, it was terrifying. It used to frighten me ’cos I didn’t used to know what I became but people backed off. From then on, I got a reputation as a tearaway but I don’t think I knowingly picked on anyone. I just loved to fight . . . that’s what boys did.


After discovering Elvis, all Roger wanted to do was hear music and play it — anyway, anyhow, anywhere.

You discovered you could sing?

Yeah, I had perfect pitch. I didn’t know what perfect pitch was but I actually had it, which was a help! Then when I saw Elvis it was just “f*** me, what’s that?” He turned my head. It was like watching someone from outer space. I said to my teacher: “Did you see Elvis on the TV?” and he said: “It was bloody disgusting, wasn’t it?” That did it!

Curly look ... Daltrey

Who else made an impact?

Well, Elvis made me notice “that’s a good thing to do” but Lonnie Donegan made me realise “I can do that”.

You played guitar in your first band?

The skiffle thing was taking off. I just had to get a guitar. We couldn’t afford to buy one so I bought some wood and some guitar strings and made one. It wasn’t very good, like playing a cheesewire, but it taught me. It made the noise of a guitar and I could play, relatively in tune, the first three chords that anyone needed for most skiffle songs.


Teenage Roger was expelled from school and had to get a job. By day, he was an apprentice sheet metal worker, by night he played guitar.

How did your band progress?

We got our skiffle group together but my first guitar folded up within three to four months. It literally couldn’t stand the strain on the strings. The second one was quite reasonable. Someone at my dad’s work had a guitar and we copied it. It was a big step up and allowed me to go on playing.

Influential ... The Who

Did you write your own stuff or was it all covers?

It was all copy, copy, copy, copy. We went through the Buddy Holly/Cliff Richard period and, all of a sudden, instead of acoustic guitars there was this spaceship, the Fender. Wow!

How was school by this point?

On my 15th birthday I was thrown out. They wanted to get rid of me and used the excuse that I was smoking. My mum and dad were devastated. In those days it was a big deal and, on reflection, I’m sad I didn’t learn more because I’m a bright bloke. But in a lot of ways it was the best day of my bloody life because I got out into the “real” world. I was not untalented and I was willing to work. The first job I did was for £2.50 a week in today’s money as an electrician’s mate. It was the winter of ’62 and, after six weeks, I thought “this is slavery”. It was also bloody freezing. I became a tea-boy and apprentice sheet metal worker.

But you still had these music ambitions burning inside you?

Oh, yeah, I was still playing every night at the boys’ club in the Goldhawk Road. I went from acoustic material into electric. My Fender was copied from a guitar shop window. They were more than £100 then. You could buy a house for £100. That’s how much money they were. My dad had to get the equivalent of a mortgage to buy my first factory-made guitar.

Following ... girls came in tow

When did you think you could make a living out of music?

It was just a progression. We got “would you come and play my party?” and we’d say “yeah, all right”. By then we were The Detours. We were doing covers of whatever was in the charts. We had a Cliff Richard sound-a-like singer and I was the guitarist. We all did the leg movements like every band. It was wonderfully, innocently magical.


Things really began to take off for Roger when he met bassist John Entwistle, who introduced him to guitarist Pete Townshend. Then a certain larger-than-life drummer barged his way in.

How did you get to the next level?

John Entwistle joined. Our bass player left and I saw Entwistle walking down the street with a homemade bass. There was immediate kinship. I recognised John from Acton County Grammar. He was in a band, playing bass but also trumpet, doing trad jazz along with pop. In those days you did what people wanted.

Bass ... John Entwistle

Did you feel something different when John joined?

What’s weird is how I remember John from school. I was a year older but I remember his character. He stuck out in a crowd. He had a wicked sense of humour and was a nice, quiet guy, a technically and immediately brilliant musician.

Then what happened?

Our rhythm guitarist left and John introduced Pete and again, when Pete joined, he stood out like a sore thumb. Of the 100 kids who came through that year, I remember those two.

Guitar and vocals .... Pete Townshend

What was Pete like then?

Same as he is now. He had a certainty about him. He knew that what he was going to do was always going to be different. I recognised that. As a musician, he just had it. I had a thing about making the music “drive” and he understood it. When it gets sloppy, it’s all over.

At what point did you have confidence to take over the singing?

Singers came and went. I started singing because we were let down by them getting drunk. Lead singers are f***ing temperamental, you know. So I started filling in for the singer as well as being the roadie. Driving the van was useful ’cos I got to use it for all kinds of extra-curricular activities!

Did you meet girls as a musician?

Oh, mate, it was amazing. That’s all you want to do at that age. You just want to party every night. Go out and play music, dance, have fun and have women. It was easy access. Your brain doesn’t go any further at that age. It’s what we’re put here for. It was wondrful.

How did Keith Moon come into the picture?

That was after The Beatles had arrived which was “whoa, whoa, whoa, this is all different.” We started doing their numbers and then we discovered Tamla Motown and the blues.

What other things did you play?

Lots of blues bands did Chuck Berry but we did Howlin’ Wolf and John Lee Hooker. They were doing the easy, accessible stuff but we were doing Smokestack Lightnin’. Imagine this 18-year-old Roger Daltrey singing Howlin’ Wolf songs, f***ing terrifying, frightening the women to death! I did quite a good impression.

Sell Out ... third album

What was it like as the frontman?

Maybe because I don’t see the band at all (being out front), everything comes to me through a sixth sense. All I can tell you is that when Moon joined, we’d found the missing link. Our whole world changed.

Moon introduced himself by saying “He’s crap (about our drummer). I’m going to be your new drummer, can I have a go?” We started playing Bo Diddley’s Roadrunner and Moon got on the drums. All of a sudden, Moon started doubling the beat and this roar started up. Then there was Townshend with his rhythmic sense. It was magic, like putting the key into the most perfect Ferrari you’ve ever driven. With Entwistle and his melodic bass, everything gelled.


By the mid-Sixties, The Who’s blend of power chords and stirring melodies gave them that elusive, superstar quality and Roger and Co had turned from scruffs into sharp-suited Mods.

Who chose the name The Who?

A guy called Richard Barnes, a friend of Pete’s at art school, came up with it. We were throwing up all kinds of absurd names but we kept coming back to The Who. The sound of it is encompassing.

Can you explain your success?

I ask myself, “How did it come together, how?” It’s like Lennon and McCartney. The sound of their voices together was so unique. You think of all the billions of f***ing people on this planet, so how did they go on the stage and do what they did? There must be a God.

What about your image?

We were like most blues bands in London — long hair, scruffy, like the Stones, the Yardbirds, everyone. Then we met a guy who had worked for Andrew Oldham with the Stones and he understood the value of image and he recognised things were changing very, very fast. He recognised this new wave of youth culture coming through. The Mod era. He said: “They need spokesmen” and overnight we were turned from long-haired scruffs into Mods.

Mod era ... band were at forefront

Didn’t Mods get terrible publicity during that period over their fights with Rockers?

You can’t judge what’s really going on by tabloid newspapers. You should know that! It was more about kids running around more than anything. It wasn’t like it is today with guns and knives. If anyone got killed, it was probably by accident. When you look back at the photographs, you see one copper on the beach with a truncheon chasing 500 Mods. it was more “let’s just cause a bit of havoc”. Every teenage group with that energy will do something.

Did The Who have screaming girls at that point?

Not in the early days but after Can’t Explain, yeah. It was the screaming era every band had on the way up. It was fun but the trouble for a performer when you’re that young and inexperienced, you start to judge your performance by the amount they scream. It’s nonsense, which is why Lennon gave up.


Songs like My Generation (“hope I die before I get old”) and The Kids Are Alright were rallying cries for Sixties youth everywhere. But Roger kept his feet on the ground.

How did you regard Pete’s classic early Who songs?

He had his finger on the pulse and we suddenly saw it. He’s always had the courage to break away from the norm.

What was it like when you first sang My Generation?

It was just another song, to be honest. I remember saying “this is a good song, Pete, let’s do this, yeah great”. But it’s only another song.

When were The Who first mentioned in the same breath as The Beatles and the Stones?

Well, people probably perceive it as being around the My Generation era but there was a fallow period after that. We had hit singles and we were a singles band. What cemented us with any kind of musical cred was Tommy.

A Quick One ... fun

Pete developed the “concept album” with A Quick One.

A lot of it was to do with our producer Kit Lambert because his father was Constant Lambert, who founded Sadlers Wells. Pete and Kit used to talk about a pop single being great for three minutes but how it could be much more. A Quick One is a kind of mini-opera, basically a tribute to the pirate radio stations. It’s one of my favourite Who albums. So much fun.


The revolutionary rock-opera concept album Tommy told the story of a deaf, dumb and blind kid who sure played a mean pinball. The Who came of age.

Iconic ... Tommy

How did Tommy come into being?

Pete didn’t come with it. It just grew from one or two songs. Then it was going to be the story of a deaf, dumb and blind boy. “Oh, really!?” Again I just trusted that Pete could carry all before him. Each day, he would say “here’s another song” and we built it up in the studio.

How important was the album for you?

It was doubly important for me because in ’65, after My Generation, I got expelled from the band on our first tour of Europe. I had a ruck with Keith. The others had started taking amphetamines. I wasn’t because I’m a singer.

Start taking that stuff and the first thing that happens is your voice disappears. At the end of the tour, they were playing so bad, a f***ing racket. It was awful. I went in the dressing room and flushed the gear down the toilet. Moon went nuts. Of course, I was the wrong person to have a go at. Ended up in a huge brawl and I was thrown out for six to eight weeks

How did you feel during that time you were out?

I thought “If they want to be like that, b******* to them. I started a band once and I’ll do it again”. I was never down about it but when I got the chance to go back, it was all I wanted. Once I was back in on parole, they made life miserable for me for the first year! Then in 1967, we went to America and bonded again, especially on the Herman’s Hermits tour. Even then, if you were the butt of some of Moon’s jokes, it wasn’t always very funny.

Tommy turned things around?

Once we started doing Tommy, I suddenly realised that I was singing about me. I’d been the deaf, dumb and blind boy. I’d become compressed into that character. So I had something. I came out of myself and thought “f*** it, I’m going to do it this way”.

What was it like playing the Tommy songs live?

Often when I come off stage, people will say: “God, you’re so unhappy, what’s the matter?” I’m actually not unhappy at all. I’m actually, in my life, very happy. I suggest that Pete writes songs from very complicated parts of our psyche and if I really want to inhabit a song, I have to go to where he’s been to sing the damn thing.


By the end of the Sixties, The Who were one of the world’s most celebrated live acts, playing to ever larger audiences, including Woodstock.

How did it feel playing to all those people?

It was an extraordinary period. It felt like it just happened overnight. We went from 500 people at a gig which was a big crowd in those days to 5,000. And we did Woodstock and we did the Isle Of Wight over here with Bob Dylan.

What was Woodstock like?

It was amazing to be there because it was one of the first concerts that had captured the public’s imagination. It was more than just a concert. It was a movement. Woodstock did change America’s thinking about the war. It was the beginning of the end of the Vietnam War but when people ask me about the show, my memory of it is that we weren’t very good.

Your shows got pretty long.

It’s always several hours. And it’s never half throttle.

The Who got a reputation for smashing things up on stage.

What people don’t get about the smashing thing is that wasn’t just violent destruction. It created sound you can only get by smashing instruments. Like Harrison Birtwistle got it from hoovers or boiling kettles.


The early Seventies marked a purple patch with Live At Leeds and Who’s Next and Quadrophenia.

Who's Next ... ahead of its time

Who’s Next was a terrific album.

It was ahead of its time. People weren’t ready for it and it didn’t do very well initially. It was, “What’s this weird music?” It came off the back of Live At Leeds.

That’s regarded by some as the best live album ever.

Yet I was unhappy after Leeds. Like I say, the artist is always, “Oh, that could have been better” and I know Pete feels the same. I thought, “Oh f***, we were recording it”. But I can hear it now and say, “Yeah, we were quite good”.

Then, Quadrophenia revisited the Mod era.

You can hear Townshend’s progression in his writing and the classical qualities of Quadrophenia. To write a psychologically-driven musical without it being about “what you had for tea” was so, so clever.

It’s amazing how he got inside the character of Jimmy.

He’s always had that ability but I think Pete is the kind of guy who could possibly write some of his best work at the age he is now because of the way his brain works — with the immensity and complexity of his brain. And you have to have tremendous courage to do what he does.


When Keith Moon died aged 32 in 1978, things were never the same. After many fallow years, punctuated by the occasional show and the sad early death of John Entwistle, the remaining members are back. New album Endless Wire appeared last year and this year they headlined Glastonbury.

Why was there such a long time when The Who didn’t happen?

I think other ego drives got in the way. The biggest problem in this business is the ego. It can collapse any artist. But the ego drops away, as with looks and everything else, and you become invisible. Then you can be happy just to be here.

On your recent album Endless Wire, there was this flicker of a new rock opera, wasn’t there?

I know that was Pete’s intention but listen to the album as a whole. It’s a wonderful opera. The album is you and me and everyone. That’s what’s so cool about it. I think it’s a great album but how the f*** do you get it heard in today’s world?

Finger on the pulse ... Pete

It’s very difficult to get actual exposure for most bands.

We don’t even get played on Radio 2 and, if they don’t play you, you don’t get heard.

But you feel The Who is an ongoing project?

Very much. We’re enjoying ourselves. If Pete plays one of his songs, it will be this thing. If I play one of his songs, it will be another thing. When we play one of his songs together, it becomes The Who and that is so special. That ingredient, f*** knows what it is! It’s there and stronger than ever. I hope Pete enjoys it as much as I do ’cos it’s just as good as sex.

Losing Keith and then, recently, John must have been hard.

Keith was so young and that was hard to deal with. With John, you saw it coming. You wouldn’t have changed him. He was a real rock ’n’ roll character and that’s how he wanted to go and I’ve got to respect that. In some ways, I admire it because he made no compromises. I’m sure he knew what road he was on and didn’t give a toss. But I think the underlying reasons we carried on was the subconscious knowledge the music between the two of us, or the three of us with John, had the same drive as the music between the four of us. When either of us goes now, it’s going to be a solo act but that doesn’t matter. The spirit will carry on.

So, you’ve never reunited?

People keep saying ours’ is a reunion. Can we please, please have the luxury of giving up first? We would love to have the luxury of saying, “Oh f*** it, we’ve had enough, we’re giving up” and then we can reunite. I’m sick of being called the former singer of The Who.

How did you find Glastonbury?

Fantastic. Wonderful. We thought who the f***’s going to be there after three days of horrendous weather? It was like Paschendaele. The conditions were horrendous and you think no one is going to stay to the end. It was like the Seventies when the crowds got bigger.

You’re in The Who for life, aren’t you?

Yes. I’ve only ever wanted to be the singer in The Who.

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9:55 AM  
Anonymous fanofthefab4 said...


Bob Dylan Still Has Mad Love For The Beatles

By Brendan Butler: 2007-05-16 15:53:09

Bob Dylan recently discussed with Rolling Stone magazine, as subsequently relayed by the fine blokes at NME, of his continued admiration and friendships with Beatles members both alive and gone.

The legend candidly divulged that George Harrison, particularly, struggled with finding his voice within the revolutionary quartet. "George got stuck with being the Beatle that had to fight to get songs on records because of Lennon and McCartney. Well, who wouldn’t get stuck?".

Dylan didn’t hold back in praising the Beatle who was most serious from the beginning about being a musician: "If George had had his own group and was writing his own songs back then, he’d have been probably just as big as anybody."

That’s an interesting point Dylan brought up, given that each artist’s desire to broaden his work may have, ultimately, been the biggest factor in the Fab Four’s breakup.

Furthermore, Dylan scoffed at the perpetual rumors that he had competitive feelings toward McCartney and Lennon: "They were fantastic singers. Lennon, to this day, it’s hard to find a better singer than Lennon was, or than McCartney was and still is." Dylan concluded his praise of the “cute” Beatle: "I’m in awe of McCartney. He’s about the only one I’m in awe of. He can do it all. And he’s never let up…He’s just so damn effortless."

Back to Bob Dylan Still Has Mad Love For The Beatles


11:33 AM  
Anonymous fanofthefab4 said...

Washington, Apr 25 (ANI): American singer/songwriter/musician Bob Dylan though in awe of Sir Paul McCartney's singing career, wishes 'The Beatles' star would quit singing so that other singers stand a chance.

'The Blowin' In The Wind' singer admits that he is amazed by McCartney's talent in not only being able to pen great lyrics, but also play all kinds of instruments, as well as perform not only pop songs but also ballads with seeming ease.

"I'm in awe of McCartney. He can do it all and he's never let up. He's got the gift for melody, he's got the rhythm. He can play any instrument.

And he can sing the ballad as good as anybody," Contactmusic quoted Dylan, as saying.

65-year-old Dylan wittily commented that the 'Hello Goodbye' singer should take a break from his singing to give chance to other people to make a name.

"I mean, I just wish he'd quit!" he added. (ANI)

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11:36 AM  
Anonymous fanofthefab4 said...

Guitar Player magazine is the complete acoustic and electric guitar package. Featuring free online acoustic and electric guitar lessons, tutorials and videos for both beginner and professional.

Giles Martin on Making LOVE

By Matt Blackett April, 2007

If you mess with a classic, you do so at your own peril. You instantly run the risk of having your creation compared not just to the original, but also to a mustachioed Mona Lisa or New Coke. And the more revered the original, the louder the screams of protest will be. So why mess with the Beatles? No recordings are more cherished, as these tunes are the soundtracks to millions of lives. Who would do such a thing?

Enter Giles Martin—guitarist, producer, and son of legendary Beatles producer George Martin. He was approached after George Harrison and Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Lalibertéé dreamt up the concept of a Cirque show with Beatles songs making up the score. It wasn’t enough to simply spin the existing mixes, however. This project required the original tracks to be recast in a new light, with different arrangements, fresh segues, and surprising twists and turns. The catch? Martin could only use sounds from Beatles recordings.

It’s hard to imagine a more daunting task, but Martin met the challenge and pulled it off in stunning fashion. The mash-ups and remixes he created for Cirque du Soleil’s LOVE will have music fans the world over discovering these amazing songs all over again.

How did you get this gig?

They weren’t sure if they would go with me. I’m my father’s son, so I’m slightly old fashioned. They thought they might get some beat guy to be hipper. I did a few demos, which I suppose was my audition. Nicking the ideas of bootleggers, I decided to put “Tomorrow Never Knows” and “Within You Without You” together to see if they could work, because they’re in the same key, and they don’t change chords. I wanted to see if this was something the Beatles would accept. My dad didn’t accept it at first. I think he thought I was being a bit cocky. But then Paul, Ringo, Yoko, and Olivia Harrison heard it, and they all loved it. That opened the door to me doing whatever I wanted, in a way.

What was your overall concept?

My view has always been that the Beatles were a rock band—a guitar band—and they were not polite players in any way. You can definitely hear on the tapes that they dug in when they played. So, I wanted to get that across. I also wanted this show to be like a Beatles gig, so I decided to start with the drum solo to “The End,” which happened to work well with “Get Back.”

Did you work off the original analog recordings?

The first thing I wanted to do was back up the tapes, because there’s no log of the Beatles’ work at Abbey Road apart from the original tapes. Well, they had transferred the original masters onto a really bad digital system that sounds terrible. So I took all the tapes and put them into Pro Tools. It was a direct transfer from the analog machine into a Pro Tools HD system—no desk. I didn’t want to color the sound in any way. I wanted the best replicas of the tapes possible. When I did the actual remixes, it was all on Pro Tools—I didn’t slice any tape. Over a period of four months, I listened to each track of every 4- or 8-track tape, and I made notes on keys, tempos, and the separation of the instruments. Those notes became the palette I worked from.

So if anything was in the ballpark, you could change the key or the tempo to match another track?

Well, only if I wanted to combine something. The rule I had was never to change the key or tempo of anything that was to be the main piece. Despite technology being great, you can’t pitch-shift voices much without them sounding strange.

"Blackbird” is down a step to F to be in the same key as “Yesterday.”

Right—but it’s just acoustic guitar, so that’s okay. Still, that was a tricky one guitar-wise, because he obviously played and sang at the same time. I had to grab the bits where he wasn’t singing.

How much control did you have over the individual instruments? Weren’t most of the original tracks submixed?

It would depend on the song. On “Drive My Car,” the bass is separate, but the piano, guitar, and drums are all together on one track. If I wanted to use an individual instrument, like putting the tabla from “Within You Without You” on the intro to “Here Comes the Sun,” I had to find a section where there was no dilruba. Of course, I ended up using the dilruba on “Here Comes the Sun,” because I liked the way that sounded. It’s funny—George’s biggest contribution to the Beatles sound was the introduction of Indian instruments, and his two biggest songs, “Here Comes the Sun” and “Something,” have no Indian instruments on them. Until now.

You replaced George’s solo on “Drive My Car” with Paul’s solo from “Taxman.” What were the challenges in making that work?

I was surprised at how well the solo from “Taxman” went into “Drive My Car.” The toughest thing was getting the feel right. The nature of Paul’s solo is that it’s not really in time with itself—he’s playing triplets. Also, “Taxman” is a little faster, so I had to time stretch the solo a bit. I used Serato’s Pitch ’n Time plug-in for this song, although I mainly use Waves stuff. They make great gear.
The medley of “Drive My Car,” “The Word,” and “What You’re Doing” was one of my attempts to get across the “Riff Beatles,” because they had the best guitar riffs ever. When you think about these three songs, and also “Day Tripper,” “I Feel Fine,” and “Ticket to Ride”—I mean, you’d kill for those riffs. This is why the Beatles are so popular with guitarists.

There’s a lot going on in “Strawberry Fields Forever.” What are we hearing there?

The first thing you hear is a home demo of John’s that Yoko brought in. Then it goes into take 1, where they recorded guitar, bass, and drums on one track. It then goes into take 2, which I put in stereo by syncing up and layering the first and second verses. Then, you hear take 5/6, which is the released version that people know about. Then, I put in take 26—the orchestral version. I really wanted to convey just how many ideas they would throw into one song.

It’s about a full step higher than the Magical Mystery Tour version, because your dad had originally slowed the tape down.

This is actually in the original key. We’re in B, and the one from the ’60s was somewhere between Bb and A. John was never happy with “Strawberry Fields” because of what happened to his voice when the tape was slowed down.

Talk about what’s going on at the end of “Strawberry Fields.”

I layered the horns from “Sgt. Pepper” and the trumpet solo from “Penny Lane”—which is actually allthe instruments, and not just the trumpet. Then, you have all the instruments from “Piggies,” and the ending vocals, tambourine, and shakers from “Hello, Goodbye.”

When you listened to the original analog tapes, what did you learn about the Beatles as guitarists?

They were incredibly efficient. If there was a guitar part, it was there for a reason. They didn’t ever feel the need to double guitars. People double track acoustic guitars all the time, but the Beatles didn’t do it once. They never doubled an electric guitar. They had economy in everything they did. They also got great tones. Their electrics always had the right amount of drive to them. Occasionally, there would be a guitar that didn’t sound good. The acoustic in “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” is a bit dull and out of tune. There’s a chord in “Back in the USSR,” when they sing “Back in the US, back in the US,” that is just wrong. But, by and large, their guitars sound amazing.

George was the best of the three at making his guitar sing. He was also very thoughtful in his guitar playing—especially in his solos. The “Something” solo is a perfect example. John was a brilliant natural guitarist. His acoustic strumming on “A Day in the Life” is great—he really provided a heartbeat for himself on guitar, which is hard to do. He was a very cool guitar player—tunes like “Come Together” and “Get Back” illustrate that. Then you come to Paul, who is just the most incredible musician. What he’s so good at—whether he’s playing guitar, piano, or anything else—is the life he injects into everything. He really drives riffs. He has a great way of being laid back and pushing the song along at the same time. I think having three great guitarists in the band inspired each of them. There was a competition to come up with the best parts, and it worked.

I’ve really grown to appreciate what my dad did with the Beatles. They were always able to get their sound and come up with great parts, but what my dad was really good at was hearing those parts, and knowing what was right and what was wrong. That’s what’s great about music versus technology. I’m an exponent of technology, and I’m not bad at digital editing and working with Pro Tools, but you just can’t beat someone who makes a good noise. The reason people are pleased with what I’ve done on this record is because I was privileged to work with really, really good sounds. The Beatles just sounded good, and bands that sound good are like gold dust. No amount of technology can put that together.

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11:41 AM  
Anonymous fanofthefab4 said...


Press releases from

John Lennon’s Ivor Novello Award Will be Auctioned July 3 in Las Vegas

Las Vegas, NV, June 25, 2007 -( )--John Lennon's Ivor Novello award, the UK equivalent to the Grammy Award in the US, will be auctioned off in Las Vegas July 3rd including 400 lots of rare and authentic Beatles Memorabilia, Autographs, Photographs and Artwork by and Victorian Casino Antiques.

Since 1955, members of the “British Academy of Composers and Songwriters” have annually selected recipients of the prestigious Ivor Novello award honoring songwriting and composing excellence. The American award equivalent would be the Grammy category for “Song of the Year” and was presented to John in 1968.

Named in honor of the famous British composer, actor and playwright (1893-1951), winners truly appreciate the fact that their selection came from a cross-section of their peers. A wide array of categories, all spotlighting the songs and the songwriters, has contributed to making the annual Ivor's Award Ceremony a very intimate, integrity laden affair.

The engraved plaque reads: “JOHN LENNON - She’s Leaving Home 1967-68”. The circular base upon which the sculpted figure stands reads: “AN IVOR NOVELLO AWARD”.

The idea for the poignant ballad which appears on The Beatles landmark album, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, came to Paul McCartney after reading a February 27th, 1967 newspaper account of a missing upper class teenage girl. Incidentally, unbeknownst to McCartney at the time, The Beatles had actually met the girl, Melanie Coe, in October ‘63 when she was a dancer on “Ready Steady Go” (she can be seen with The Beatles in a photo that appears in Steve Turner’s “A Hard Day’s Write”).

“She’s Leaving Home” came to fruition very quickly as George Martin arranged and recorded the string and harp section on March 17th, then on March 20th McCartney’s lead vocal and John Lennon’s backing vocals were added. Neither Harrison nor Starr appears on the track. The Beatles were awarded three Ivor Novellos in March 1968: 1) Best British Song (musically &lyrically), “She’s Leaving Home” 2) Second Best-Selling Record Of The Year, “Hello Goodbye” and 3) Best Instrumental Theme Of The Year, “Love In The Open Air”, Paul McCartney’s theme for the film, “A Family Way”. The Beatles cumulatively won more than twenty Ivors between 1963 and 70; a remarkable achievement.

Ivor Novellos rarely come into the marketplace. The highly stylized sculpted female statuette made from solid brass is 11.25” high with a 7.75” diameter base and green felt bottom. EX.

We’ve added a photo of John Lennon with the Ivor Novello and an unidentified fan. The photo is not included with the lot and is shown here for illustration only.

The auction will focus on Original Memorabilia and Collectibles from the 1964-1969 era, authenticated Beatles group and individual’s Autographs and Handwritten Material, Original Artwork, Concert Posters, Photographs, Lithographs, Awards, Clothing, Personal Effects and Toys.

“One highlight is a previously unknown concert poster advertising The Beatles appearing at Busch Stadium in St. Louis in 1966 that is expected to bring over $50,000,” says president Marc Zakarin. “The woman that consigned it obtained it from the ticket agency that sold tickets at the time and kept it in her drawer for 41 years.” Auctions set the world record for the sale of a concert poster recently when a 1966 Beatles Shea Stadium poster sold at auction for $132,000.

A highlight of the Mirage auction will be items from original Beatles Bass Player Stuart Sutcliffe’s collection including original artwork, paintings, writings and drawings from his days as an original Beatles. Stuart was killed early in the Beatles history and his sister, Pauline Sutcliffe, will be’s special guest appearing at the auction.

The auction will feature fantastic authentic autographs and writings, including Paul McCartney handwritten lyrics to a Gene Vincent song, a Stuart Sutcliffe song list, Hotel registration cards signed by each Beatle, John Lennon's Signed registration for his Rolls Royce, The Animal’s guitarist Hilton Valentine’s Beatles and Animals signed “Thank Your Lucky Stars" television cue sheet, flight attendant Eva Van Enk’s "In His Own Write” book signed by all four Beatles along with her candid photographs from the trip. And a guitar signed by Ringo Starr &His All Starr Band from his 1992 tour.

The Photography section includes hundreds of vintage photos from photographer Sam Leach's archive, along with previously unseen and unpublished photos from Ian Wright and others. Rare toys and merchandise items include a Beatles Phonograph in the original box, a John Lennon Halloween costume in the box and a set of prototype Beatles Bobble Head Car Mascot Nodders in the sale of 300 lots of memorabilia.

Full color catalogs will be available prior to the auction by mail and at the event. The auction will also be live online for bidding at and eBay Live with Victorian Casino Antiques of Las Vegas.

11:45 AM  
Anonymous fanofthefab4 said...

You know your music - so do we.


She's a Woman

The Beatles

Composed By Other Links

John Lennon/Paul McCartney All Performers that have performed this Title

Song Review by Richie Unterberger

"She's a Woman" was one of the hardest-rocking early Beatles originals, and although it was the B-side to "I Feel Fine," it was almost as big a hit in its own right, reaching number four on the American charts. Sung and primarily written by Paul McCartney, it's a belter that illustrates how the Beatles could be bluesy without writing conventional blues songs that stuck to normal blues progressions. Right from the start, the track has a brash, almost harsh edge, with choppy guitar chords that are more like barks than power chords. McCartney , too often unfairly pegged as a sweet balladeer, demonstrates that he was also one of the best white rock hard singers of all time with his shrill yet rich, even ballsy, vocal. Certainly his vocal style here betrays a strong trace of Little Richard, but it's unfair to accuse him of imitating or lifting wholesale from his idol. In its confidence and assertiveness, McCartney 's high-octane style is most assuredly his own. The basic, R&B-derived melody is effectively counterpointed with one of the briefer Beatle bridges on record, in which the Beatles detour into some non- blues chords and melodies for just a few bars before returning to the main thrust of the tune. McCartney , while devoting most of the words to celebration and praise of his woman, throws in a couple of phrases as evidence that he's starting to think in more sophisticated terms, particularly the line "turns me on when I get lonely" (a very, very early use of "turn me on" slang). There's also the declaration that his love doesn't buy him presents, even though she's no peasant. Peasant's an unusual word to use in a pop song no matter what the era, and McCartney's value of true love over money (as previously also stated in "Can't Buy Me Love") is eternally hip. George Harrison executes a crafty blues-rock solo with a touch of country influence that's, as was his wont, just right for the song at hand. The ending is uncommonly unimaginative for a Beatles track, with McCartney repeating the title phrase several times over a fade; a more basic alternate take exists (on bootleg) in which he extends this section by improvising on that title line for a few minutes. He'd have to wait until "Hey Jude," however, to take that approach to the multi-extended fade onto an official single. As a rabble-rousing rocker, "She's a Woman" was a natural for the Beatles' live shows; a 1965 version was recorded for their The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl album, and it was still part of their set on their final world tour in 1966. The most famous, or notorious, cover of "She's a Woman" was done by Jeff Beck in the mid-'70s, employing a voicebox on his guitar to sing-play the lyrics. That version was an FM radio favorite for a while, and subsequently sometimes scorned (as were Peter Frampton's voicebox-heavy tracks) as an example of mid-'70s hard rock excess.

Appears On




1964 Beatles '65 2:57 Capitol

AMG Track Picks

No Reply, I'll Follow the Sun, I Feel Fine

196Z Beatles in Italy EMI

1977 Live at the Hollywood Bowl 2:47 Capitol

1984 The Complete Beatles [Video] MGM

1988 Past Masters, Vol. 1 3:03 Capitol
AMG Track Picks
She Loves You, I Want to Hold Your Hand, I Feel Fine, I'm Down

1988 The Beatles Box Set [1988] 3:03 Capitol

1988 Ultra Rare Trax, Vol. 1 The Swingin' Pig

1989 Documents, Vol. 2 6:31 Oh Boy

1989 Five Nights In A Judo Arena Swingin' Pig

1989 Hold Me Tight 6:34 Condor

1989 Ultra Rare Trax, Vol. 6 6:32 The Swingin' Pig

1989 Unsurpassed Masters, Vol. 2 (1964-1965) Yellow Dog

1991 British Rock: 1st Wave [video] RCA

1991 I Feel Fine/She's a Woman Capitol

1992 Ready Steady Go!, Vol. 3 [Video] Pioneer

1992 The Beatles Box Set [1992] Capitol

1993 Artifacts, 1958-1970 6:32 Big Music

1993 Compact Disc Singles Collection 3:01 Capitol

1994 Artifacts II 1960-1969 3:19 Big Music

1994 Complete BBC Sessions Great Dane

1994 Live at the BBC 3:14 Apple/Capitol

AMG Track Picks

I'll Be on My Way, Soldier of Love (Lay Down Your Arms)

1996 Anthology 2 2:54 Apple/Capitol

AMG Track Picks

Yes It Is, If You've Got Trouble, That Means a Lot, I'm Looking Through You, Strawberry Fields Forever

1996 Anthology Video, Vol. 5 Apple

1998 Live in Japan 2:52 Walrus

1999 CD Singles Collection 3:01 EMI

AMG Track Picks

We Can Work It Out, Paperback Writer, Strawberry Fields Forever, Don't Let Me Down, I Am the Walrus, I'm Down, Ticket to Ride, She's a Woman, Revolution, All You Need Is Love

1999 EP Boxset 3:05 EMI

2004 The Capitol Albums, Vol. 1 3:01 Capitol

AMG Track Picks

I Want to Hold Your Hand, It Won't Be Long, I Wanna Be Your Man, Roll Over Beethoven, You Can't Do That, She Loves You, I'll Cry Instead, Things We Said Today, And I Love Her, No Reply, I'm a Loser, She's a Woman, I Feel Fine

Budokan Concert VAP Inport

Concerts 1964-66 [DVD]

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© 2008 Macrovision Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

11:50 AM  
Anonymous fanofthefab4 said...


May 31, 2000

McCartney Takes Top Honor at Ivor Novello Awards

Sir Paul McCartney led the list of BMI UK songwriters honored at the recent Ivor Novello Awards, Britain's highest honors given to songwriters. McCartney received the Fellowship of the British Academy of Composers and Songwriters, the first the academy has given. McCartney was cited as "a true giant of the world of songwriters and composers."

BMI's Ivor Novello Award Winners

British Academy of Composers and Songwriters Fellowship
Sir Paul McCartney

BMI represents over 350,000 songwriters, composers, and publishers with more than 6.5 million works.

Copyright 1994-2008, Broadcast Music, Inc. unless otherwise specified. BMI®,® and Broadcast Music, Inc.® are registered trademarks of Broadcast Music, Inc. Terms of use. |Privacy policy RSS

11:53 AM  
Anonymous fanofthefab4 said...

Xu Homepage

McCartney To Be Honoured At Brits

Former-Beatle and Knight Of The Realm Sir Paul McCartney will be holding his thumbs aloft once more when he receives a special Brit Award next February.

The special prize for Outstanding Contribution To Music will be awarded to the music legend at next year's Brit Awards which will take place at London's Earls Court on February 20.

The Brits Committee's Ged Doherty said that McCartney's citation would be an "historic moment" for the ceremony.

He explained: "Sir Paul McCartney is one of the greatest songwriters of all time and a member of Britain's biggest ever group."

During his five-decade career, McCartney conquered the world in the 1960s with fellow Beatles John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, formed the hugely successful band Wings with his late wife Linda the following decade, made an impassioned plea for racial harmony with Stevie Wonder in the turbulent 1980s with 'Ebony &Ivory' while delighting a whole new generation of young fans with The Frog Chorus and 'We All Stand Together'. All thoroughly deserving of a special prize.

More recently, his 21st studio album, 'Memory Almost Full', was distinguished by the fact that it sold more copies in the U.S. during the first week of release than any of his other solo albums.

11:57 AM  
Anonymous fanofthefab4 said...


How Did He Become An Icon? 1966 Post Beatles
Thanks Pre-1963

Five String Taste
Influential Bass Players of the '60s 1963

Driving Rain
Large Scale vs. Small Scale Basses 1964/1965

What Do Others Say?
contact the author Bibliography


George Martin

" There's no doubt that Lennon and McCartney were good musicians. They had good musical brains, and the brain is where music originates - it has nothing to do with your fingers. As it happened, they could also play their own instruments very well.

And since those early days they've all improved, especially Paul. He's an excellent musical all-rounder, probably the best bass-guitarist there is, a first-class drummer, brilliant guitarist and competent piano player."


" It's hard to separate McCartney's influence on my bass playing from his influence on everything else-singing, songwriting, even becoming a musician in the first place. As a child, I would play my Beatles albums at 45 RPM so I could hear the bass better. He's the Guvnor."

Will Lee
" Growing up in Texas in the early '60s I was so obsessed with the Beatles' music that I didn't feel like a fan, I felt like I was in the Beatles. About the same time I switched from drums to bass I became aware of who gave the band its charm and personality, from visual tunes like "Penny Lane" to the group's repartee with the press. It was the same fellow who was able to take a poor-quality instrument like the Hofner bass and create magic on it. I especially dug Paul's funky, Motown-influenced side, evident in the bass line from Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey," or even in the syncopated part from "A Day In The Life.

Paul's influence on bassists has been so widespread over numerous generations that there's no denying he's in everybody's playing at this point. We're all descendants. He played simple and solid when it was called for. But because he had so many different flavors to add to a song, he was able to take the instrument far beyond a supportive role. Paul taught the bass how to sing."

Stanley Clarke

"Paul definitely had an influence on my bass playing, not so much technically, but more with his philosophy of melodic bass lines - especially as I hit my teens and the Beatles' records became more adventurous. On tracks like "Come Together," the bass line WAS the song. I've always liked that. The only other person I knew of who was doing that was James Jamerson. That was one of the reasons I was inspired to write "School Days": so I could just play the bass lines and people would hear a whole song.

I had the honor of being contacted by Paul through George Martin to play on Tug of War, and I also appeared on Pipes of Peace [both on Capitol]. Paul was very nice. He asked me to show him how to slap. During Pipes we got a groove going in a studio jam, and it ended up making on the album as "Hey Hey." He graciously gave me a co-writing credit, and it's still a thrill to see my name next to his above the music in the song book."

Billy Sheehan

" The reason I got involved with music in the first place was because I saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show. I watched all the girls going crazy, and I figured this was the best business in the world to be in. Later on, when I got more deeply into music, Sgt. Pepper was a break-through record for me. I must have listened to it several hundred times. What intrigued me was how totally musical every aspect of it was, especially Paul's melodic, fluid bass lines. When my band Talas was starting in the mid '70s, [the Beatles' tribute show] Beatlemania was big, and we used to play entire gigs of just Beatles tunes. I've learned so much from Paul about playing, writing, and playing and singing at the same time that I should probably start sending him checks.

Most bassists get into the flashy players, but I think the reason Paul is often overlooked is that what he was doing wasn't really obvious. It was so brilliantly woven into the context of the songs. One of my favorites is the bass line from "Rain." I still use it to test the low end of an amp. That Paul happens to play bass is a great boon to all of us, because he made us realize that there are no limitations to being a bass player."

John Lennon

"Paul was one of the most innovative bass players ever. And half the stuff that is going on now is directly ripped off from his Beatles period."

12:10 PM  
Anonymous fanofthefab4 said...

Sing Out! The Folk Song Magazine Fall, 2006 Article

The artful Roger: in The Folk Den with Roger McGuinn
Rick Petreycik

There are some things in the life that naturally get better with age. Fine wine from Bourdeaux: Pre-World War II Martin acoustic guitars; Late-1950s Cadillac Eldorados; And in the realm of brilliant recording artists who are equally adept at interpreting as well as creating timeless music: Roger McGuinn. For nearly five decades, the 64-year-old singer-songwriter-guitarist and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer has been delighting legions of fans the world over with his trademark 12-string guitar playing and smooth tenor, first as founding father of the groundbreaking, folk-rocking Byrds and as a solo artist.

His latest project, a box set called The Folk Den Project 1995-2005, is a four-disc, 100-song treasure trove of McGuinn's favorite traditional folk tunes, including chestnuts such as "All My Trials," "Silver Dagger," "The Colorado Trail," "Lilly Of The West," and "Shenandoah." Aside from vocal support by guest artists on two of the tracks, McGuinn does all the singing and playing on this riveting collection, using just the right amount of sonic coloration with various combinations of banjo, electric 12-string guitar, six-string guitar, and his signature series Martin 12-string acoustic and special edition Martin seven-string guitars.

McGuinn recalls the genesis of the project. "I was listening to a Smithsonian Folkways album, and it dawned on me that I wasn't hearing traditional music anymore," he notes. "There was a new breed of folk singers who were singer-songwriters, and they were wonderful. They were writing great songs, but they weren't doing the old standards--the traditional songs that Pete Seeger and all the people I grew up with were doing. And I started asking myself, 'What's going to happen in like 10 or 20 years when these [new] guys leave the scene and there's nobody doing the traditional songs anymore?' They could get lost."

With the explosion of the Internet in the mid-1990s, McGuinn thought it would be a great idea to record one of his favorite folk songs in an 11 KHz 8-bit monophonic WAV file each month, print the lyrics and chords, add a personal note, and put it up on his Folk Den web site, located at his web site "I thought it would be a good way to get these songs spread around the world," McGuinn adds. "Maybe kids who were into computers would find them and learn them and keep them going. That was the whole idea."

After doing that every month for 10 years, McGuinn decided to commemorate The Folk Den by recording 100 of his personal favorites that he uploaded to the site, only this time he would record each track in 24-bit 44.1 KHz Stereo. And that's how the stunning box set came to be.

One of the many stand-out tracks on the must-have collection is "Follow The Drinking Gourd," a traditional folk song dating back to the mid-19th century and whose verses were the secret codes of escape to the North for black slaves prior to and during the Civil War. Augmenting McGuinn's arresting guitar work and vocal delivery are some syncopated, soul-stirring background vocals courtesy of Nedra Talley Ross, formerly of the 1960s female group The Ronettes.

"She and her husband were in town visiting, so my wife Camilla and I invited them over for dinner," McGuinn recalls. "I told her we were getting ready to record 'Follow The Drinking Gourd,' and I said, 'Hey! How about doing a harmony on it,' and she said sure. After she finished recording it, she said it was the first folk song she had ever done, and she was perfect! She's got a great voice."

Another gem from the collection is "The Argonaut," a classic tale of a disaster at sea. "That's sort of a re-write of 'Blow Ye Winds Of Morning,'" McGuinn notes. "I didn't know where to find the traditional words and I kind of made them up, which is truly the folk process," he adds with a hearty laugh.

Born on July 13, 1942, McGuinn's musical journey, which would eventually incorporate various elements of the "folk process," began when he was 13 years old. He was riding around Chicago on his bicycle, listening to a transistor radio, when he heard Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel" for the first time.

"That just hooked me," he recalls. "Before that, I was sort of a passive listener, but 'Heartbreak Hotel' made me want to get a guitar and learn how to make music." His father obliged by presenting him with an acoustic guitar as a grammar school graduation gift. Seizing every available opportunity for practicing, McGuinn soon became quite an accomplished player, preferring to work on rock 'n' roll-inflected lead breaks. That preference changed a couple of years later when folk music legend Bob Gibson visited McGuinn's high school for a performance in the school's auditorium.

"He played a set for us on the five-string banjo, and it blew me away," McGuinn remembers. "I had never heard that kind of banjo picking before, and the stories and the melodies really knocked me out."

McGuinn's high school music teacher, intuitively sensing the young teen's keen newfound interest in folk, encouraged him to enroll in the newly established Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago. McGuinn did, and it was there that he met former Weaver Frank Hamilton, who took the fledgling musician under his wing and taught him everything he knew about the banjo as well as the guitar. It was during this period of study that McGuinn also became familiar with the 12-string guitar styles of Lead Belly and Pete Seeger. He was enthralled with the instrument's big, bright, massive, full-bodied, orchestral sound, and he subsequently tore into it with a passion.

After having mastered the six- and 12-string guitar as well as the banjo, McGuinn eventually began playing Chicago's coffeehouse circuit. After one of his gigs, he went to Albert Grossman's popular Gate of Horn club, where he stumbled upon a lively jam session involving Alex Hassilev and Glenn Yarbrough of the Limeliters and folk musician/actor Theodore Bikel.

"I walked in with my banjo and guitar and they told me to bring in the banjo because they already had too many guitars going, and I ended up playing with them until five in the morning," McGuinn recalls. Not only that. Hassilev was so impressed with McGuinn's playing he asked him to join the Limeliters. McGuinn graciously accepted, and is prominently featured on their Tonight In Person album for RCA.

Due to cost-cutting measures, unfortunately, MeGuinn's stint with the Limeliters lasted less than two months. Nevertheless, eager and hungry for work, he picked up a few gigs as a solo artist and then headed to San Francisco. It was there that he received a call from Frank Creed, who represented the Chad Mitchell Trio. Apparently, Mitchell had heard of McGuinn's expert banjo and guitar playing skills, and invited him to join the trio as their accompanist. McGuinn said yes and stayed with them for two and a half years, touring across the U.S. and playing on their Mighty Day On Campus and Live At The Bitter End releases.

It was during a gig at the Crescendo club in Los Angeles, where the Chad Mitchell Trio were opening for comedian Lenny Bruce, that McGuinn's musical career would take yet another interesting turn. Pop singer Bobby Darin, who was in the process of augmenting his supper club engagements with a folk repertoire, was in attendance and he took a special interest in McGuinn's performance.

"I was the only musician in the Chad Mitchell Trio," McGuinn points out. "The trio were really three guys who stood out in front while I played guitar and banjo behind them. Anyway, I used to make these little faces to crack up the audience because it was a bit of a boring job. The guys in the trio probably thought it was they who were being funny. [Laughs.] Well, Bobby saw this, and he liked it. He came backstage and said, 'Hey, I like what you're doing up there. I want to put a folk act together and I'd like to hire you.' So I said, 'I already have a job with these guys,' and he offered to pay me double. So I said okay."

Although the money was good, the stint only lasted about a year. Darin ended up blowing out his voice and was forced to temporarily retire. Ever loyal to his friends, however, he offered his trusty guitar player a songwriting job at his Brill Building publishing company in New York City. Within a few days, McGuinn was rubbing elbows with up-and-coming songwriters Neil Diamond, Neil Sedaka, Gerry Goffin, and Carole King. To supplement his $35-a-week songwriting job, he also secured work as an arranger and session musician, accompanying recording artists such as Hoyt Axton, Judy Collins, " the Irish Ramblers, and Tom and Jerry (who later became known as Simon & Garfunkel).

Despite his growing reputation as a much sought-after, behind-the-scenes, musical jack-of-all-trades, McGuinn still longed for a successful career as a solo artist. In pursuit of that goal, he began frequenting and playing at Greenwich Village folk clubs and coffeehouses in 1963, where he met Bob Dylan, whose star had already begun to rise thanks to Peter, Paul & Mary's rendition of his anthem-like "Blowin' In The Wind."

At the same time all this was happening, McGuinn also experienced a major epiphany that would have a profound effect on his musical future: The Beatles had exploded onto the American charts. Captivated by their skiffle beat, mellifluous chord progressions, and infectious melodies, he instinctively knew that melding those distinguishing characteristics with his own tried-and-true folk sensibilities and training would yield a pretty unique sound.

"When the Beatles had come out, the folk boom had already peaked," McGuinn notes. "The people who had been into it were getting kind of burned out. It just wasn't very gratifying, and it had become so commercial that it had lost its meaning for a lot of people. So the Beatles kind of re-energized it for me. I thought it was natural to put the Beatles' beat and the energy of the Beatles into folk music. And in fact, I heard folk chord changes in the Beatles' music when I listened to their early stuff like 'She Loves You' and 'I Want To Hold Your Hand.' I could hear the passing chords that we always use in folk music: the G-Em-Am-B kind of stuff. So I really think the Beatles invented folk-rock. They just didn't know it."

McGuinn thought he'd try out his quasi-Beatle experiment on the West Coast, and, through his friend Bob Hippard, he secured a gig at the famed Troubadour club. Former New Christy Minstrel Gene Clark caught one of those performances and was duly impressed with McGuinn's acoustic 12-string guitar arrangements of Beatles tunes, as well as his rhythmically charged, bouncy treatments of traditional folk songs.

"Gene came backstage and suggested that we write some songs together and maybe form a duo," McGuinn recalls. "I thought that was a good idea. So we started writing songs and playing them in the front room of the Troubadour, which was a place called--interestingly--the Folk Den."

Singer-guitarist and failed actor David Crosby, formerly of Les Baxter's Balladeers, stumbled upon a McGuinn-Clark rehearsal at the Folk Den one evening. Not an individual known for his shyness, he strolled up to the duo and started singing harmony to the tunes they were working on, and something clicked. The blending of the three voices was simply ethereal, and thus was born the nucleus of the folk-rock group that would come to be popularly known as the Byrds. Within a few months, drummer Michael Clarke and bassist Chris Hillman, the latter a former member of bluegrass bands the Scottsville Squirrel Barkers and the Hillmen, completed the lineup. "It kind of just fell together," McGuinn says.

In the spring of 1965, the floodgates opened when the Byrds released their first single, a cover of Bob Dylan's enigmatic, Pied Piper-influenced "Mr. Tambourine Man," which soared to the top of the charts. What lent the song its instantly recognizable sound was the jingle-jangle chiming of McGuinn's blond electric, 12-string Rickenbacker 370--a sonic embellishment he had picked up while watching George Harrison's guitar work during the Beatles' stage performance in the movie, A Hard Day's Night. "I saw the six extra pegs sticking out of the back of the headstock of George's Rickenbacker, and I had to get one," McGuinn offers. "I went, 'Oh man, that's so cool!' I immediately traded in both my Gibson acoustic and my five-string Vega banjo for the Rickenbacker, and boy, what a difference in sound!"

The Byrds' first album for Columbia Records, which featured the aforementioned hit single and was appropriately titled, Mr. Tambourine Man, was released on June 21, 1965, to widespread popular as well as critical acclaim. In fact, upon hearing it, the Beatles themselves were so strongly impressed that they declared the Byrds their favorite band. What's more, George Harrison admitted that the signature guitar rift heard throughout his composition, "If I Needed Someone," which appears on the British version of the Beatles' classic Rubber Soul album, stems directly from one of the tracks he heard on the album. "George gave a copy of 'If I Needed Someone' to Derek Taylor [the Beatles' and Byrds' mutual publicist], and he flew back to L.A. with it and came over to my house," McGuinn recalls. "He said 'George wants you to know that he wrote that song because of the rift you did on 'The Bells Of Rhymney.' How cool is that!"

"The Bells of Rhymney" was the sole Pete Seeger tune the band covered on their debut, and it was sort of eclipsed by their readings of the Dylan-penned title track and their interpretations of the Minnesota-born bard's "All I Really Want To Do" and "Chimes Of Freedom," as well as a few magnificent compositions penned by Gene Clark. However it was their version of Seeger's anti-war prayer, "Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is A Season)," on their follow-up album, also titled Turn! Turn! Turn!, that would firmly establish the Byrds as a major force in the folk-rock movement of the mid-1960s. Front and center was McGuinn's sparkling electric 12-string lead guitar work, which oftentimes resembled the banjo-picking style he may have picked up from Seeger and Bob Gibson during his tenure at the Old Town School of Folk Music.

And what was Seeger's reaction to the dramatic re-working of one of his signature compositions? "Pete actually sent us a letter," McGuinn remembers. "It said 'Dear Byrds: I enjoyed your rendition of 'Turn! Turn! Turn!' My only musical query is why didn't you repeat the chorus for the last time?' And the reason for that was back in those days, records were three minutes and we already exceeded that by 30 seconds, and we were pushing it at that. So we cut the last chorus [in order to save] time."

Despite numerous lineup changes between 1966 and 1972, McGuinn remained the guiding force behind the Byrds and their trademark sound as they made unforgettable, melodically charged forays into jazz ("I See You, Eight Miles High"), full-blown psychedelia ("Artificial Energy, Change Is Now"), Nashville-influenced country (the entire Sweetheart Of The Rodeo album), blues ("Baby, What You Want Me To Do?"), and bluegrass ("Soldier's Joy/Black Mountain Rag"). When asked about his favorite Byrds configuration, McGuinn says he has two.

"I love the original lineup," he points out. "Just the raw excitement of putting a band together from scratch and being scuffling, starving musicians on the street, and then raising it to where you're hanging out with the Beatles and the Stones. That was very exciting. But from a performance point of view, working with Clarence White would be my favorite band. He was just an amazing guitar player. It was like having Jimi Hendrix on the stage with you."

A bluegrass flatpicker extraordinaire formerly with the Kentucky Colonels, White, who officially joined the band in 1968, was equally skilled on electric guitar and brought a rhythmic openness to the Byrds with a unique blending of back-of-the-beat fills and breaks coupled with clean, blazing speed. Accentuating his unorthodox, syncopated rifling was a device he invented with Byrds drummer Gene Parsons (no relation to former-Byrd Gram Parsons). It was built into his Fender Telecaster, and it enabled him to raise the pitch of his B string a full tone to create a pedal steel effect. The combination of White's string-bending licks, McGuinn's dazzling underpinnings on his 12-string Rickenbacker, and the turbo-charged rhythm section of Parsons and bassist Skip Battin created a country-rocking sound that bordered on otherworldly.

Fans and country-folk-rock aficionados alike can get a full glimpse of the Byrds' colorful history as rendered by the band's various incarnations thanks to Columbia/ Legacy's recently released box set titled, There Is A Season. Personally overseen by McGuinn and Chris Hillman, the comprehensive 99-song, four-CD plus DVD collection features previously unreleased tracks, live radio spots, in-concert performances, and the studio classics that made the Byrds one of the most important bands of the last half of the twentieth century.

After the Byrds formally disbanded in 1973, McGuinn soldiered on and recorded a string of topnotch solo albums. When describing his songwriting process, the composer of such remarkable Byrds classics as "It Won't Be Wrong," "5-D," "The Ballad Of Easy Rider," and "Chestnut Mare" is quick to point out that it's more structured than spontaneous.

"For the most part it's sitting down with a guitar and playing it until you get a chain of chords that sounds good, and then playing that chord progression until a melody emerges from it, and then kind of making up dummy syllables to the melody until it suggests a theme," he notes. "And then it all kind of falls together."

Not the kind of guy who likes to let the moss grow under his boots, McGuinn already has a number of projects on the drawing board, including the possibility of releasing some "themed" albums, "like a Christmas record, and then a chidren's album ... and maybe a blues one," he offers. In addition, he'll be touring throughout the U.S. and overseas.

With new and older listeners alike rediscovering Roger McGuinn and the Byrds and their music thanks to box sets like The Folk Den Project and There Is A Season--plus accolades from alternative, roots-based artists such as Wilco, Son Volt, and Steve Earle--the question has surfaced as to whether McGuinn and the two surviving members of the original Byrds--David Crosby and Chris Hillman, with whom he still keeps in close contact, mainly via e-mail--will reunite for an album or tour. Or both. Don't count on it. "It's not something I'd want to do," McGuinn states. "I prefer to leave the Byrds as a wonderful memory. I'm not going to trot them out like an oldies act."

ROGER McGuinn's Signature Sound

The trademark chiming, jingle jangle sound of Roger McGuinn and the Byrds stems from the way in which he uses his trusty Rickenbacker 370 electric 12-string guitar. "The trick to getting that sound is putting a lot of compression on the guitar," McGuinn points out. "It really doesn't sustain too well all by itself. For an amp, I like using the Roland JP120. Put a good balance of bass and mid-range on it, and you'll get a really clean, full sound."


Throughout Roger McGuinn's stellar career, a guiding light has been his longtime friend and mentor, Pete Seeger. Here are some of his thoughts on the folk music legend:

"I've had a lifelong admiration for Pete. I used to go to all of his concerts, beginning with The Weavers and after- wards. He was an inspiration for me to be a solo artist in the first place. When I saw what happened when he left The Weavers, I was a bit skeptical going to his solo concerts for the first time. I didn't know if he could pull it off. He more than pulled it off! He made it wonderful! I went, 'Man, I wanna do that!' I've been trying to do that ever since. He's been my inspiration. He's one of those artists who gets the audience singing along and really into it. I love his voice, his singing, his playing, and everything about him."


Treasures from the Folk Den, 2001 Appleseed #1046

Limited Edition. 2004, April First #0401

The Folk Den Project. 2005, April First #0402

* On Video: Roger McGuinn's Basic Folk Guitar, 2003, Homespun #GUI-FS01


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12:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, do you ever get tired hitting CTRL+C / CTRL-V? For the love of God, learn how to link to articles, rather than posting them in their entirety.

Or take a hint from John Lennon, and just stop. You like the beagles, we get it...

12:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Which would you rather see: 1965 Beatles concert, 1965 Rolling Stones concert or 1990 Mettallica concert

2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree, the Beatles far outclass the Stones. Show me a Stones song that approaches "Day in the Life" "Hey Jude" " I am the Walrus" "Here, There and Everywhere"" For No One" or "She said, She Said". This contest is a joke! The Stones have never been anywhere close to the Beatles. Why people even both is beyond me.The Stones tried to copy and "ride the wave" of everything the Fabs ever did and after the Beatles broke up they copied themselves. The Who are way more creative and brought huge new horizons to R&R. Why people line up to this day to see the Stones, with their crap load of half-ass 70' rock songs I'll never know.

10:57 PM  
Anonymous macca_luver said...

jesus fanofthefab4.... do you have no life? I'm trying to see people's genuine opinions and here i have to scroll through 10 miles of crap that you copy-pasted.

BTW, I love the Beatles. Music would not be the same without them. mTV sure as hell wouldn't exist. They came up with the whole music video concept because they couldn't appear for an Ed Sullivan taping. So they taped themselves singing and did it that way.

9:27 AM  
Blogger sonia milan said... I was saying....when Kennedy died, America was in mourning, then The Beatles made everything and everybody happy. I always thought that the Stones were a blues band at the beginning, then a rock band. I do think that the "new and improved" c.ds, along with the "Rock Band" Beatles stuff is a little bit too much. Much like the Stones, The Beatles have the albums, the cassettes, the 8 track (remember those?...) Their greatest hits, the New Masters, the C.Ds, now, the i tunes, and now, ta-da...the "really new, and improved" C.Ds. I am a little "Beatled" out here. There will be no other like these guys ("A Hard Days Night" is still considered one of the top 100 movies ever made...). Somehow, I think if John was alive, he would've been against this. It really is silly, and it will make Paul and Ringo, along with Olivia and Yoko, Oprah rich. I still think that you can go through certain Beatle albums (yep, still called them...) and know what the next songs are, not to mention most, if not, all of the words. Long live George and John....hope they are still remembered after all of the "Rock Band " ballyhoo. Thanks for the 2 cents worth.....Ameritalian.

4:28 PM  

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