Thursday, June 07, 2007

Beatles influences

It’s the 40th anniversary of The Beatles’ “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band” album and the accolades keep coming.
My introduction to the Beatles came in the mid-80s in college when I picked up a two-album collection called Rock 'n' Roll Music.
It was an awesome compilation put together by George Martin himself. I was literally blown away. I recorded the double-album onto a compact disc and played it in my car until the tape was literally worn out. To this day, “Twist and Shout” is probably my favorite all-time Beatles recording. My first Beatles album I purchased after that was “Abbey Road” followed by “The White Album.” By the time I finally got around to getting “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” it didn’t have the same impact it might have if I had bought it first.
But I had also been exposed to Sgt. Pepper’s years earlier in the form of the critically-panned movie that starred Peter Frampton and the Bee-Gees. I thought the movie was great (I was 12 at the time) and had no clue that all the music was by the same band.
The Express-News had an editorial in today’s paper commemorating the anniversary and in it they note that The Beatle’s musical foundation was based on “Elvis, Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley.” Elvis and Chuck Berry, sure. They even recorded a version of Berry’s “Roll Over Beethoven.” But Bo Diddley? What about Little Richard whose falsetto “woooooooo” was constantly immitated by Paul? And what about Buddy Holly? If we are going to talk about musical influences, you have to mention the kid from Lubbock, Texas. Paul has said many times that they chose the name Beatles (Silver Beetles initially) because they wanted to be like Buddy Holly and The Crickets.

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