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Hey John... I've got this friend named Keith and he can play raunch!
10 March 2012
3.32am
...ontherun
Massachusetts
Ed Sullivan Show
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3 March 2012
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First and foremost.... I love me some George.

Having said that... What if Paul's friend who could play raunchy was Keith Richards? Do the Beatkes become the Beatles? What do they sound like? Do they crah and burn or last years beyond Abbey Road?

Thoughts?

A square is not a square when the sides are less than four...
10 March 2012
3.42am
...ontherun
Massachusetts
Ed Sullivan Show
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Damn iPad... Meant Raunchy. Obviously.

A square is not a square when the sides are less than four...
10 March 2012
6.49pm
seaglass eyes sunny smile
The Kingdom of Marigold
Candlestick Park
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Keith Richards does not belong in the Beatles. He wouldn't fit at all. Just like you couldn't put Ringo in the Rolling Stones or Paul in Genesis.

I think there would be major personality as well as music clash.

"Now and then, though, someone does begin to grow differently. Instead of down, his feet grow up toward the sky. But we do our best to discourage awkward things like that." "What happens to them?" insisted Milo. "Oddly enough, they often grow ten times the size of everyone else," said Alec thoughtfully, "and I’ve heard that they walk among the stars." –The Phantom Tollbooth
10 March 2012
7.13pm
meanmistermustard
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I cant see John putting up with Keith in his band for more than 5 minutes. One wise-ass comment from either and a few guitars would be smashed along with some teeth.

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
10 March 2012
8.25pm
The Walrus
Working for the national health
Apple rooftop
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4 December 2010
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meanmistermustard said

I cant see John putting up with Keith in his band for more than 5 minutes.

He did!

And I neeeeeeeeed her all the time
10 March 2012
9.59pm
meanmistermustard
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The Walrus said

meanmistermustard said

I cant see John putting up with Keith in his band for more than 5 minutes.

He did!

That was 10 years later when The Beatles were the biggest band on the planet and there was mutual respect with The Stones. It would have been different when it was Johns gang, his short temper, fists, and cruel putdowns led to all but Paul and George leaving.

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
13 March 2012
9.24pm
The Walrus
Working for the national health
Apple rooftop
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meanmistermustard said

The Walrus said

meanmistermustard said

I cant see John putting up with Keith in his band for more than 5 minutes.

He did!

That was 10 years later when The Beatles were the biggest band on the planet and there was mutual respect with The Stones. It would have been different when it was Johns gang, his short temper, fists, and cruel putdowns led to all but Paul and George leaving.

Tbf I think a big part of why those two "survived" was that they were the two best guitarists. I think John was incredibly determined to become a musician and if that meant tolerating Keith Richards for a while, he might have bitten the bullet.

And I neeeeeeeeed her all the time
13 March 2012
9.57pm
meanmistermustard
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On the other hand Paul and George were able to put up with John's sarcastic and at times very hurtful comments - would Keith have been? There was a lot of give and take on all sides with the original threetles.

Another issue is that Keith wasnt a Liverpudlian which would present an outsider quandry, especially as it was still a gang that played some sort of skiffle/rock 'n roll. You could change the situation so that Keith was but then he wouldnt have been the Keith Richards that we know now. Same with if you changed a part of Johns upbringing, or Pauls or George's.

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
14 March 2012
1.57am
Into the Sky with Diamonds
New York
Apple rooftop
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10 August 2011
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You never know who's going to fit with whom.

Working backwards and looking at their post-Beatle careers, would you ever dream that Lennon and McCartney would be a match?

"Into the Sky with Diamonds" (the Beatles and the Race to the Moon – a history)
15 March 2012
11.37pm
seaglass eyes sunny smile
The Kingdom of Marigold
Candlestick Park
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Well I've been reading the "Rolling Stones Chronicle" timeline in study hall, and it's like every other page somebody gets arrested or assaulted or divorced or married or has a baby or is hit in the face with a sandwich. It's like hell on wheels. Those people are crazy. a-hard-days-night-ringo-12

"Now and then, though, someone does begin to grow differently. Instead of down, his feet grow up toward the sky. But we do our best to discourage awkward things like that." "What happens to them?" insisted Milo. "Oddly enough, they often grow ten times the size of everyone else," said Alec thoughtfully, "and I’ve heard that they walk among the stars." –The Phantom Tollbooth
27 March 2012
2.24am
...ontherun
Massachusetts
Ed Sullivan Show
Forum Posts: 199
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3 March 2012
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Interesting responses! Thanks!

A square is not a square when the sides are less than four...
27 March 2012
5.01pm
vonbontee
Inside a Letterbox
Apple rooftop
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1 December 2009
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Really interesting, thought provoking question. So many factors to consider in this alternate history! First, assuming they could all get along together for 10+ years...

Would Keith have been happy sticking to lead guitar or would he want the occasional vocal spotlight? I don't know.

Could he have harmonized as well as George? Um, no, almost certainly not. (But this wouldn't have mattered too much for certain late-period shouty numbers like "Birthday" or "I'm So Tired"; he'd fit in well on those.)

Would he have been willing to don a suit and get a Beatle haircut? I really don't know. In his book, he was all "we were in it for the music, we didn't care about making it big", but after a few years of going nowhere in Hamburg, who's to say he wouldn't have decided on an experimental career move. And if it was really about playing music, why should he really care what he was wearing while doing so?

Would they have been as visually appealing with Keith in place of George, or does Keith alter the mix too much? Well, I would think Keith is dangerous-handsome, at least as cute as Ringo (and nowhere as ugly as Mick Jagger!) but not "dreamy" like George. No doubt he'd be a lot of folks' favourite Beatle, just like Pete Best was in his time. But I'm not a young girl so what do I know?!

Would they have had to change their repertoire of cover material? Yes, somewhat. Keith would be fine with Chuck Berry and Carl Perkins and Motown and Arthur Alexander, but he'd also demand more straight blues and deep soul - maybe at the expense of "A Taste Of Honey" and the like.

Assuming Paul & John didn't offer any help, would Keith have developed as a songwriter on his own? Possibly. He's written any number of great, great riffs and melodies for the Stones, but I don't know how much input he's had as far as lyrics go.

Would Keith have brought the sitar and Indian music thing to the group? Probably not; Brian Jones was the Stone most responsible for exotica and unusual instrumentation.

Would Keith have responded well to Paul telling him how to play a certain guitar part? HAHAHAHA, yeah right, next question!

 

Any contrasting opinions responding to these specific points are welcomed!

I just want to play. I’d like to think I could work opposite Sinatra, B.B. King, the Beatles, or a polka band... - Jazz musician Rahsaan Roland Kirk, 1967
28 March 2012
1.48am
Into the Sky with Diamonds
New York
Apple rooftop
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10 August 2011
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The alternate history category can be taken in many different directions:

- what if Eric Clapton had been a regular on Paul's bus route?

- what if Ginger Baker had been playing drums in Hamburg?

- what if Steve Winwood had playing keyboards in Liverpool? Could the Beatles have been the Fab Five?

(McCartney did once say that if Mozart had been living in Liverpool with them, he'd have been in the band!)

"Into the Sky with Diamonds" (the Beatles and the Race to the Moon – a history)
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