There have been more books published about one 20th century icon than any other, this band that is said to have broken down barriers in all ways, is the Beatles. Their music was said to have driven that younger generation mad. Perhaps it was because they were one of the first bands ever play real rock and roll music; or maybe it was those cute little peacoats they wore. Or maybe it was just because they were foreigners in the world of music, yet seemed to fit right in with the young people. Whatever reason was, the Beatles were a band that shaped a generation and ones soon to come.
The Beatles were more than just a rock and roll band , they were a group of young men who wanted to go a new direction in music. John Lennon, one of lead vocalists, basically started with the intention of moving away from the “Skiffle Boom Era” which was dominating the time. In his doing so, he began to lay the foundation for what would later be the most famous rock band ever. The original band members were as follows : John Lennon, vocals and guitar ; Paul McCartney, vocals ; George Harrison, guitar ; Pete Best, drums ; Stuart Sutcliffe, bass guitar.
In March of 1961, the Beatles began to play at the club that would later be nicknamed “The Home of the Beatles”. The Cavern Club, which’s premises comprised a small group of cellars below a seven story warehouse which had originally been used as an air raid shelter during the war. Later, Alan Sytner, a jazz fan decided to open it up as a new jazz club. After a few years, he sold it to Ray McFall another jazz fan. The club was originally strictly jazz and no rock. Luckily for the Beatles, the times were changing and McFall quickly changed the policy the Beatles soon became regulars.
This would be the club that would make them famous. News of the band’s Liverpool popularity soon became know throughout England and later a large part of Europe. Shortly after their first tour of Hamburg, Stuart, who had always been a better artist than musician left the band to pursue goals in the visual arts field. Paul had dabbled in bass guitar and took his place. This was a transition period for the members in the band, they were going from being Liverpool locals to being English stars. It was about this time that the rest of the band and their manager Brian Epstien, began to notice
Pete’s growing ego, and thought it would be best if he not be in the band. Many fans were suprised and upset at the decision. When they heard Ringo Starr one of the back up drummers, was joining they were calmed perhaps in anticipation of hearing how the new member would fit in with the rest of the band. The result was fabulous. The band was pleased with thier new addition and they quickly adapted to each others playing styles. Ring was the final member to join the band and in October of 1962, just a few months after Ringo joined the and, the Beatles had their first hit single, Love Me Do . 1963 and 1964 proved to be the most important years for the Beatles. During 1963 they created a sensation in Britain. The boys appeared on Sunday Night at the London Palladium and a writer for the Daily Mirror coined the phrase Beatlemania, it later became the word people used to describe the outpour of Beatle fans. With in months the Beatles had gone from being opening acts at concerts to starring on the Royal Variety Show.
The reasons for their success were uncanny. During the “baby boom”, more children were born in England than ny other time in history. During the time of the Beatles popularity, most of these babies were teenagers and they wanted more freedom than their parents had been given. 1964 was the absolute most important year of their careers. 1964 was the year they conquered the biggest record market of the world, America. It took a combination of talent and luck. America was suffering with the loss of John F. Kennedy and the Beatles appeared on the scene to bring them fun and excitement to end their mourning. They also brought rock and roll back to its homeland.
Being in right place at the right time seemed to favor the Beatles. On a flight back home from Sweden, they ran into Ed Sullivan who invited them to come on his show. Although the Beatles were not an over night success, they shot for their goals and eventually reached them and others. The band stayed together for many years and made a generation of young kids into a generation envied by others for having the Beatles to wait for and want. Their music still influences many artists and will continue to do so as they were and still are the band that will “rock on forever”.