The Beatles 50 years later
Let me confess that I bought The Beatles' music on Mono & Stereo LP's, Reel to Reel Tapes, 8-track cartridges, cassettes, and more recently on digital. (In my opinion, "Paperback Writer" sounds better on my old 45 than the digital super clean version. Maybe I'm just a fan of 45s.)
The Beatles broke up this week in 1970.
It started with Paul McCartney officially leaving the group, but the guys had not played together for about a year. In other words, the Beatles had not really been a group since they recorded Abbey Road in the spring and summer of 1969.
This is what Rob Sheffield wrote:
Like everyone else, John, Paul, George, and Ringo watched the Beatles’ disintegration with shock and disbelief, with no idea how to apply the brakes. None of them really imagined this was the end. They kept feuding in the press -- but when they complained about the band, they used the present tense. John fumed to Rolling Stone’s Jann S. Wenner, “It’s a simple fact that he can’t have his own way so he’s causing chaos.”
Even George, never accused of being the group’s cheerleader, kept right on talking about their future. He did a New York radio interview in late April, visiting on Apple business. George kept his cool when asked about tension between John and Paul.
“I think there may be what you’d term a little bitchiness,” he said. “It’s just being bitchy to each other. Childish. Childish.” George, of course, wouldn’t dream of stooping to such petty emotions. “I get on well with Ringo and John, and I try my best to get on well with Paul.”
But as George saw it, they were still the Beatles, just clearing a few solo records out of their systems. “I think this is a good way, if we do our own albums,”
George said. “I’m sure that after we’ve all completed an album or even two albums each, then that novelty will have worn off.”
I remember back in 1970-72, many fans thought that the band would be put back together.
One guy said that George and Ringo would eventually realize that they just didn't have enough of their material to survive as solo artists. By the way, it turned out to be true. George and Ringo were out of the radio by the mid-1970s. Sadly, it took John Lennon's death to put a Harrison song ('All those years ago") back in the charts.
Another guy said that Lennon & McCartney would eventually work together or write more of those wonderful songs. It did not happen because Paul's solo success was huge and John went into hiding after 1974.
Another guy said that a record company would overwhelm the buys with a bundle of money. I'm sure that such offers were made but it never signed.
So The Beatles ended 50 years ago this week.
Two months after the official breakup, McCartney released a solo album. It was so "solo" that he played every instrument. The most popular song was "Maybe I'm amazed" although it was never released as a 45 in the U.S.