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May 19th, 2007, 08:07 AM
  #21  
 
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There was never any Beatlemania in Liverpool, and the moptop nonsense was part of Epstein's making them photogenic - in effect alienating them from the city.

The groups - prior to Please Please Me getting to No 1 in early 63 - were a scruffy local cult. We had no idea there was anything exceptional about them: they were just the people we watched at dances and - if you went in for, and were let into, that sort of thing - clubs. What most boys were a lot more excited about was the music they played - most of it derived from imported American LPs, but interestingly different from the pap that was played on Radio Luxembourg and occasionally shown on TV. The groups just sang music we liked. Oddly, when the groups hit the charts, it was mainly with songs that hadn't been in their repertoire before they got signed up.

It was extraordinary watching these groups get famous: but the ones left behind were the ones playing the early Motown, R+B and similar American songs we actually liked.

The Beatle jackets felt invented and most of us thought them pretty naff. We were interested in some bits of the groups' uniforms - shoes and an interesting range of shirts - but no more than any cohort I've seen since has been interested in bits of current fashion.

Beatlemania started off as something silly southern girls did - though the hysteria did spread back to Liverpool. But watching British coverage of US coverage at the time, it did rather look as if the whole thing was - well more seismic in the States.

Meanwhile, Penny Lane was where you changed buses on the way to school, Strawberry Field was that creepy building opposite the school, no-one could believe it a few years later when they wrote a song about them and 'Ferry Cross the Mersey' sounded like Marsden had just gone and sold out.
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May 20th, 2007, 04:02 AM
  #22  
 
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nspiring one of the three greatest Sun headlines ever: "Freddie Starr Ate My Hamster">>>>>

A recent one about Mourinho's dog: "war on terrier"
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May 20th, 2007, 04:13 AM
  #23  
 
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Wasn't Cilla Black some sort of "boink interest" of John's at one point?
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May 20th, 2007, 07:28 AM
  #24  
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Growing up in Motown i would say that that influence on rock was just as seismatic at British Invasion and i guess if i read flanner right, partly responsible for it.

In Deee-troit area the Motown phenomenon was equally exciting.

But the seminal moment of my first memory of rock and roll was sitting in a local movie theatre and, around 1955, watching Elvis sing Jail House Rock in one of his smaltzy movies - and the first time i ever saw everybody in a place suddenly get up and shake their hips and rock and roll. that's when rock and roll came into my life. And girls were screaming a la BeatleMania a decade or so later.

though it could have been in the same in Liverpiddlian land but guess not.
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May 21st, 2007, 05:32 AM
  #25  
 
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Wasn't Cilla Black some sort of "boink interest" of John's at one point?>>>>>

I don't know about that, but the greatest such tale is surely the Sean Connery and Petula Clarke one (you'll have to google it).
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May 21st, 2007, 05:41 AM
  #26  
 
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I just did and the version I like best is the one implying that Sean Connery was actually "on the receiving end."
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May 21st, 2007, 06:59 AM
  #27  
 
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"Wasn't Cilla Black some sort of "boink interest" of John's at one point?" Interesting question in a way.

There were practically no other girls on the club scene at the time (though there were quite a few ballsy pub singers), and however charitable you might want to be about her singing skills, they really didn't gel with the repertoire the groups were doing.

She was practically a novelty act: local audiences felt a bit of solidarity with her - she was just the kind of girl who'd give you a bit of backchat doling out the mash in the factory canteen - but not terribly popular as an entertainer. Some members of the groups kind of rated her because she could belt songs (like Fever) out.

She was introduced to Epstein - who, notoriously, wasn't excessively interested in anything to do with girls - by Lennon, about the time Lennon's son was born - and the story always was that Lennon had had to fight pretty hard to get Epstein to take her seriously. You occasionally heard "well that was just because..." miaos from the rather misogynistic young men Epstein recruited around him. Kind of men who ADORED Dusty Springfield, but could NEVER imagine posters of Cilla replacing their Marlene Dietrichs.

But there were no rumours I ever heard of their being an item from anyone else (not that that meams anything...). I've always assumed she was more rated by other performers than by audiences, and that Lennon just thought if plonkers like Tommy Quigley were getting signed up, Priscilla White deserved a decent hearing.
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May 21st, 2007, 07:08 AM
  #28  
 
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Thanks, Flanner...

this post brings back many memories including the first time I heard a beatles song played on a US radio station (state WAPE in Jacksonville, Florida) and the station got so MANY calls after they played it the first time they repeated it within an hour..cannot remember if it was "She Loves Me" or "I Want To Hold Your Hand" (which one was first???) and that was the beginning of something of which we had no idea of the magnitude...remarkable.
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May 21st, 2007, 07:24 AM
  #29  
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<and that was the beginning of something of which we had no idea of the magnitude...remarkable.>

indeed Dukey - same thing for me - one of those silly songs - instant BeatleMania. and it did lead to...

cultural changes i believe or helped spur the inevitable - anti war, pro drug - drugs, rock and roll and sex

the pyschedlic turn helped promote use of LSD and similar drugs - the first time i ever dabbled in pot was to the tune of Lucy in the Skies with Diamonds - i was a late starter.

Anyway the period provokes a nostalgia that probably is overblown and i guess the Beatles were just the one at the right time to stoke the fires - along with Jimmi Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Who (East Acton, Shepherd's Bush?), Pink Floyd, Kinks, Janis, Jefferson Airplane and most of all perhaps the Grateful Dead, whose trip to fame began with being the house band for the Merry Pranksters at their acid-fueled fests in parks - acid was legal then of course.

I just don't see any current popular bands being remembered 30-40 years from now as it seems all so eclectic - i may be naive - but to me the height of music in the world's history to date was the 60s and early 70s, with Mersey playing a key role.
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May 21st, 2007, 07:25 AM
  #30  
 
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'She Loves You' came out in August 1963 and went straight to No 1. 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' came out (and also...)in late November.

BUT 'She Loves You' just got nowhere when it was released in the US a week or so after its UK release. The three people who'd ever heard of it forgot all about it, and the American Beatlemania thing was sparked off by airplay of imported copies of 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' very soon after it came out in Britain.

I THINK I'm right in saying that 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' got into the US charts ahead of 'She Loves You'
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May 21st, 2007, 07:30 AM
  #31  
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Bubble gum rock to psychedlic rock in about five years!
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May 21st, 2007, 07:33 AM
  #32  
 
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Weren't the first Beatle releases in the USA on some two-bob label that couldn't promote them?

Didn't they move to Capital a bit later?

Who can forget he beautiful music of Stig O'Hara, Barry Wom, Ron Nasty and Dirk McQuickly?
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May 21st, 2007, 07:48 AM
  #33  
 
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PalQ:

But the ironic thing is, the Merseybeat influence didn't have much to do with Liverpool.

As long as they were in Liverpool, the groups mostly played slightly obscure US songs - though a lot more gutsily than the US originals, and they were mainly songs that didn't get very far in the US against competition from the likes of the Lettermen and Bobby Vee. The Rolling Stones were doing pretty much the same thing in London at the time.

What then got released onto the world stage were some reasonable pop musicians (as far as the US was concerned, mostly from other parts of Britain) who got groomed to produce all kinds of songs - but practically none of them (apart from the Stones) did what they were doing back in their hometown clubs.

The really creative spark - the movement of the repertoire from R+B classics to songs written, often by the performers, but almost always from outside the incestuous world of Denmark Street - took place, I'm sad to admit, in London after all these groups had more or less moved away from their Northern roots.

They - with more than a bit of help from people like the Beach Boys and Dylan - then galvanised the (by early 1964 often pretty moribund) US industry into generating the creative explosion that accompanied the Summer of Love and all that.

For the past 40-odd years, I've been meeting Americans who were truly excited by the first time the heard the Beatles or the Stones. I can't think of any Briton (and especially any Liverpudlian) who'd say the same. But I know loads who can remember to the nanosecond the first time they heard Dylan. Or Jimmy Smith. Or James Brown. Or...
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May 21st, 2007, 07:48 AM
  #34  
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I have all the original Beatle albums in my closet - curious so will take a look sometime.
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May 21st, 2007, 07:52 AM
  #35  
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flanner - extremely interesting to me - that prospective - i had imagined gals especially going bonkers in places like Cavern Club to Beatles or Quarrymen or whatever they were called.

Was it in Hamburg that the Fab Four honed their to be US magnet sound?
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May 21st, 2007, 07:58 AM
  #36  
 
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"Weren't the first Beatle releases in the USA on some two-bob label that couldn't promote them?"

Even odder than that.

Britain's EMI owned Capitol. The UK management (and if you've ever worked for a UK megacorp with a US subsidiary that had delusions of competence, you won't be surprised by this) just couldn't get Capitol to release any of the Beatles stuff.

So a couple of US no-hopers (Vee Jay in Chicago and Swan in Philadelphia) put earlier Beatle records out, to no effect (or, as far as I can tell, effort). Only after Epstein got Ed Sullivan to agree to the 1964 TV shows did Capitol get round to doing what their London bosses had been telling them to do for years.

Even then, Capitol weren't going to release the records till the shows came out. It took radio stations' semi-licit playing of UK imports, and huge audience response, to get them to advance the release of 'I Want to Hold Your Hand' to Boxing Day.
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May 21st, 2007, 08:00 AM
  #37  
 
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I guess it must have been "Hand" that we heard that day.

I can tell you it caused an absolute sensation...I first heard it in a more or less "group setting" and we ALL thought it was fabulous.

Within an hour the DJ announced the amazing "call in" to the radio station and they played the song again..and this was not any sort of call in show or request show..just the usual "Top 40" sort of air play.

Of course, were were then inundated with groups from the UK and when the movei 'A Hard Days Night' was released in the US I remember traveling 40 miles on a bus just to see it.
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May 21st, 2007, 08:03 AM
  #38  
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and long lines at record stores for the next releases
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May 21st, 2007, 08:04 AM
  #39  
 
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In Hamburg they mainly played the R&B songs that Flanneur aludes to - as well as old Rock n Roll numbers.

Their decca audition tapes were made up of:

Like Dreamers Do
Money
'Till There Was You
The Sheik Of Araby
To Know Her Is To Love Her
Take Good Care Of My Baby
Memphis, Tennessee
Sure To Fall
Hello Little Girl
Three Cool Cats
Crying, Waiting, Hoping
Love Of The Loved
September In The Rain
Besame Mucho
Searchin'

That God for Google. Google also tells me that the only fully formed Lennnon-McCartney song they played at that time was I saw her Standing There.

The Beatles also prove Audere's Facial Hair rule - that musicians with facial hair aren't as good as clean shaven ones. Clean Shaven Beatles (ie the Red greatest hits era) - the best pop band that ever walked (well it's between them and the Beach Boys) - with facial hair - pretentious hippy nonsense.
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May 21st, 2007, 08:09 AM
  #40  
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audere est farce: your last conclusion i would take the opposite - they evolved into something more than bubble gum rock to a seminal influence of music and culture of the day.

In fact they were also following the cultural evolution that they in part sparked. Magical Mystery Tour is way more of a musical achievement than I Want to Hold Your Hand!
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