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BookChums Spotlight: Introducing The Beatles

Post by: Snehith Kumbla


Pardon the cliché, but why, would those unaware ask – so much song and dance about a certain music band called The Beatles? If you are a music lover, you would certainly understand why we remember The Beatles with much gratitude and pleasure. Now, I can’t speak for all, for it would be better to chronicle in brief here the effect the band has had on me.


For starters, The Beatles were a British band who ‘came together’ in 1960. They comprised, in no particular order of:


Ringo Starr: The drummer joined the band in August 1962, replacing Pete Best (Who is now called fondly called the fifth Beatle for his brief association with the band). Many cynics would say that a band’s drummer could be anyone, and that Starr got lucky with his association with the fab four. But as an avid listener, I would cast aside such pessimism and say that it was Starr’s laidback, jovial, non-serious personality gave the band a comic touch. Check out also Starr’s vocals on ‘Yellow submarine’, ‘Don’t pass me by’, ‘With a little help from my friends’ and ‘Octopus’s garden’.


George Harrison: He was often called the ‘quiet beatle’ and as the band disintegrated, Harrison felt overshadowed by the Lennon–McCartney songwriting team. Harrison was the one band member who was most attracted to Indian sounds and his association with sitar maestro continued until his death in 2001. Though the most number of songs in the album were always by Lennon–McCartney, Harrison made his mark with ‘While my guitar gently weeps’, the summer ode - ‘Here comes the sun’ and the breezy, evocative ‘Something’. His Indian influence also led to the use of sitar in ‘Norwegian Wood’, and of the table and sarangi in ‘Within you, without you’.


Paul McCartney: McCartney was a fountain of talent and spontaneous. He formed a great chemistry with John Lennon that led to the formation of the formidable songwriting team of Lennon–McCartney. Both Lennon and McCartney lost their mothers while they were still adolescents and this common sorrow further strengthened their bond. The songs tell of the man’s talent and while you are at it, you can listen to – ‘Yesterday’, ‘When I'm Sixty-Four’, the rousing, epic 'A Day in the Life', the trance induced 'Strawberry Fields Forever' and the songwriting gem 'Eleanor Rigby'. Though McCartney at 70 stands tall with a successful post-Beatles career - those ten years (1960-1970) as a Beatles front man were something else.


John Lennon: Lennon was shot down in 1980 by a crazy fan, cutting short a career of rare musical achievement. Lennon first came to me with ‘Imagine’, the best thing he did post-Beatles. His role as a protest singer and an image of been the most individualistic and enigmatic of the Beatles’ has ensured his pop immortality. Lennon’s songs stand out for their insight and reflective mood, a contrast to McCartney’s extroverted, spontaneous tone. In many ways, Lennon’s untimely death has given sheen to all the songs that he ever made, and among fans there is the regret of ‘what might have been’.


(The Beatles disbanded on April 10, 1970.)

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