When many people hear about The Beatles they think of mop tops, or young British pop stars singing on The Ed Sullivan Show, many don't realize that they truly made excellent art. Given that as young men they were simply doing the thing all bands at that time do, and still do, is make all the kids love them... and it worked. However, they evolved.
After having the entire world fall in love with them, the Beatles were the driving force in pop culture and music all over the globe. The Beatles will forever be known as the most powerful, inspirational, creative, influential, popular band to ever play rock n' roll. The Beatles are worth a close look because they are true revolutionist to not only music but to pop culture for the remainder of the 20th century and even in the new millennium.
The Fab Four's story starts out on a down note. John Lennon and Paul McCartney first met and began to play together when they were only 17. The had several different names of the band before they finally settled in the early sixties with the Beatles. George Harrison, lead guitar, was finally accepted into the band after Lennon was reluctant to have him in. The trio would break up after a couple of years because a lack of shows. Once they got back together they hit Germany because of rumors of a vivid night life. The Beatles had lots of success in the night clubs but had difficulty striking a record contract. It took five years until the trio were accepted by a record label. Its difficult to believe that the most popular band in the world had such a difficult time making a record label sign them up. At that point things started to go upward as stardom struck.
Once the Beatles had conquered the music world they began to let their own influences appear in their music. LSD, Marijuana, and Indian Mysticism were all very powerful influences on the band and would dominate their lyrics and music styles. The Beatles were also credited for introducing American and British teens to drugs and voicing their liberal views to millions world wide.
The Beatles were still writing about love, because "All we need is love", but drugs became a main influence in their songs. Here are some believed meanings of their songs
"Norwegian Wood" was a song Lennon wrote in 1965 about an affair he was having out of marriage, yet his lyrics were too confusing for his wife to figure out.
"Day Tripper" was about Paul McCartney allegedly trying acid for the first time, it could also be about frustrating sex, "she's a big teaser, she took me half the way there".
"She Said, She Said" was written after a bad acid trip with Lennon and Harrison and actor Peter Fonda. Harrison thought he was going to die, Fonda replied don't worry I know what its like to be dead. "She said, I know what its like to be dead..."
"Tomorrow Never Knows", a psychedelically revolutionary song for the times, was mostly written from Lennon tripping on acid and recording himself reading the Tibetan Book of the Dead and playing it backwards. Each Beatle made different sounds to be mixed in and played backwards at different speeds.
"Helter Skelter", McCartney wanted to imitate a Who song that he thought was the hardest rocking thing he had ever heard. In turn "Helter Skelter" was most the first hard rock song. The song is also cited for inspiring the Manson Family cult murders of the late 1960's. Charles Manson later wrote a book Helter Skelter.
"Come Together" was part of Timothy Leary's campaign for governor of California. Leary was a psychologist who promoted LSD as a tool for social interaction and consciousness.
Today a band would tremble with fear if they did the things the Beatles dared to do. Now most pop bands would be too reluctant to ever speak their minds in their music because of fear that MTV may not accept their new video positively or the radios may not play it all the time. The Beatles spoke their minds, did their very own thing, and still came out on top as the most popular band.
John, Paul, George and Ringo apart were nothing compared as to what they were together. Their all around driving theme of love and peace is eternal. The final words the quartet sang to together was in the song "The End" which ends "and in the end the love you make is equal to the love you take". For a generation and many generations following, their music and ideas left an imprint and its still present. In the year 2000, after the release of 1, Forbes Magazine's annual "Celebrity 100" ranked the Beatles at #3, with top five power and money ranks as well, not bad for a band who had broken up 30 years prior. If the Beatles are anything they are definition of immortal.