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Who benefited most from the other: Lennon or McCartney?
18 August 2011
11.19pm
Into the Sky with Diamonds
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Two geniuses, clearly.

So we're splitting hairs.

But I'm going with Lennon needing McCartney more.

True, McC. probably kicked his lyrics up a notch to keep pace with his buddy (nothing wrong with Yesterday or Eleanor Rigby or Penny Lane).

But first things first: without McC., Lennon probably lands in jail.

Without Lennon, McCartney would have been the Billy Joel of the 60s - not bad.

But mostly, if you look at Lennon's most original songs, they'd have gone nowhere without McCartney's production skills (+ the 2 Georges of course), not to mention the bass lines. 

The amazing harmonies are pure teamwork, but McC's the one weaving up and around Lennon as well as providing those super high notes.

Lennon is often credited as being more original. I would say that's 50-50

"Into the Sky with Diamonds" (the Beatles and the Race to the Moon – a history)
18 August 2011
11.25pm
meanmistermustard
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Paul needed John more. Lennon gave Macca an edge in his songwriting, pushed him to write more sophisticated music. Plus without John if Paul even made it into the music scene he would have been a record executives yes man getting molded into another Cliff type dullard singing dreary songs that went nowhere. Think Simon Cowall and anyone who wins the X-Factor/Pop Idol.

However John would have told the record people to get lost and got into a fight with them. His band would have done ok around Liverpool but there would have been too much fluctuation between the members for there to be any notable success.

He told us not to get overwhelmed by grief and whatever thoughts we have... to keep them happy, because any thoughts we have of him will travel to him wherever he is. (John Lennon - 27/8/67)
19 August 2011
1.05am
mr. Sun king coming together
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"Into the Sky with Diamonds" said:

Two geniuses, clearly.

So we're splitting hairs.

But I'm going with Lennon needing McCartney more.

{Reasons were here}

You are so wrong in so many places I don't know where to start.

  1. Who was the only one ever to land in the slammer? Paul. How on earth was John saved by Paul? And when?
  2. That's just insane. A bassline means shit if you don't have a song to it.
  3. That's because his voice is higher.
  4. A Day In The Life? John started it. That's instantly more accurate then anything you said.
  5. Who fell into a huge depression without the other Beatle? Paul. Who put out his best 2 LP's in the first two LP's after the split? John. That right there proves it wasn't John. And, may I add, who wrote their "childhood anthem" (for lack of a better word) first? John.

Edit: I think it's Paul on John. If you can come up with better reasons, I'd love to see them.

I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
19 August 2011
1.42am
GniknuS
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Yowza, this argument's getting a litte spicy! yoko-ono-01

A few things that came into my mind upon reading the thread, the quote from John saying that all four of the Beatles needed each other and wouldn't have made it alone. John says that Paul wasn't quite strong enough and I believe him. Hypothetically, had all four tried to make it on their own, Paul probably would have been the most likely to have had a hit single or something simply because of his massive amount of talent. Does that mean that John needed him more than he needed John? No, I don't believe John would have ended up in the slammer, he would have broken through in some way as a poet or something like that.

I would say John needed Paul more from a musical perpective because it seems like such a convenient thing to have in your back pocket. Think about John's mindset, 'Fook, I'm stuck with this tune….I wonder what Paul McCartney could bring to this!' Obviously that could be reversed, but still…a-hard-days-night-paul-7

Paul needed John from a, well, ballsy type perspective, John roughed him up and gave him more of an edge. Paul sanded down John's rough edges, so it's really a toss up. I'd say Paul needed John slightly more simply because of how brilliant John's mind was and the ideas that he brought which gave them that edge.

I sat on a rug, biding my time, drinking her wine
19 August 2011
8.33am
kedame
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I'll go with George Martin's response. "They needed each other like mad." That's all there is to it. They made beautiful music together that they couldn't have made apart. Without Paul, John might have still been playing banjo chords with the 6th string hanging by the time he was 20. Without John, Paul probably never would have given up the school life and his mother's dream of him becoming a teacher or doctor to become a musician. They met, and it was fate, and they were GREAT! I don't really like getting into these discussions because someone always ends up fighting. Don't we have enough, "Who's better, John or Paul? Or hey, what about poor George?" Also:

mr. Sun king coming together said:


  1. Who fell into a huge depression without the other Beatle? Paul. Who put out his best 2 LP's in the first two LP's after the split? John. That right there proves it wasn't John. And, may I add, who wrote their "childhood anthem" (for lack of a better word) first? John.
Sure, Paul fell into a depression without John and with the prospect of his beloved band going up in smoke…but he got over it. John may not have felt the reality of their friendship ending and the band splitting until later, but I guarantee you he felt it eventually. He seemed more depressed years after the split than any of the rest of them, at least to me. Maybe it had nothing to do with the rest of them, but he spent enough time dwelling on bashing and/or praising Paul and The Beatles in general to suggest that he wasn't as indifferent as he seemed. Also...dude, calm down just a little. (Not trying to be mean here, I promise I'm saying this with affection.) I don't think Into the sky was actually insulting John. It was only a little light opinion-giving, but your response seems sort of provocative. heart
"You can manicure a cat but can you caticure a man?" John Lennon- Skywriting by Word of Mouth
19 August 2011
12.43pm
meanmistermustard
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John was very defensive of the beatles legacy. Yes he would lambast them often but as soon as anyone else did he was one of the first to respond defending them. The split hit John hard, however whereas Paul went into depression quickly John was wrapped up in Yoko and all the projects they had so it kind of got buried deep within until it was displayed in interviews. By the late 70's he had made peace with it all and was ready to embrace it again.

He told us not to get overwhelmed by grief and whatever thoughts we have... to keep them happy, because any thoughts we have of him will travel to him wherever he is. (John Lennon - 27/8/67)
19 August 2011
1.17pm
The Walrus
Working for the national health
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I think Ringo needed the others the most. Okay, he was possibly better known than the Beatles before he joined them, but he was the one who fell furthest after the break up, and was going the way of Harry Nilsson and Keith Moon for a long time.

Then, George... his best work didn't have much help from John or Paul, and he was a better guitarist than either of them, but would he have had reason to work on his songwriting without being in a band with them, and would he have had reason to meet Bob Dylan more than fleetingly? I doubt both of those. Maybe he'd have ended up meeting Jimmy Page or something and joining the Yardbirds, but that's just totally speculative.

Paul wouldn't have had any reason to switch to bass, and his early songwriting was largely fueled by John. I don't think we'd have got "I Saw Her Standing There". I agree with someone above who said that he'd end up like Cliff Richard, which isn't an awful fate at all, but it is much worse than being a Beatle.

John already had a band, but by all accounts, they weren't very good, despite all their practising. I can see him toiling away for years and eventually becoming very good at his unorthodox guitar playing, but never writing an excellent song, never getting a recording contract and maybe becoming a member of Gerry and the Pacemakers, but I imagine he'd have fallen out with Gerry fairly quickly and gone back to mediocrity.

In order to be famous in the first place, I'd say Paul needed the others the least, then Ringo, then John, then George. Once the band split up, I'd make it George (who had Dylan and could then stand on his own two feet), then John (who had Yoko), then Paul (who had, erm, Wings), then Ringo.

And I neeeeeeeeed her all the time
19 August 2011
3.18pm
meanmistermustard
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 After the split Paul desperately needed Linda as she got him out of his depression pit and back into making music. Wings were only a by-product of Linda's firm hand on Paul. Wings were Pauls band but im not convinced that Paul would have found another band without her presence. I can see Paul moping for a long time before finding music again as a solo artist but the experience of being in another group would have been too much due to how the Beatles fell apart.

Didnt Ringo have a real problem with alcohol until the mid-80's when he and Barbara were checked in to some clinic? Even then Barbara did help him in some ways as he was floundering badly.

I dont think any of the band came away from the spilt without some hangovers. George probably the least amount but even then he had deep rooted resentment for a long time towards the band, Paul in particular, and how the public perceived him because of their love for the Beatles. No matter what he was always Beatle George.

He told us not to get overwhelmed by grief and whatever thoughts we have... to keep them happy, because any thoughts we have of him will travel to him wherever he is. (John Lennon - 27/8/67)
19 August 2011
4.39pm
robert
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It's like asking what's more important in a car, the engine or the transmission.

Each respective solo career of each Beatle proves that all needed each other.

None ever came close alone to what they could do together.

"She looks more like him than I do."
19 August 2011
11.35pm
GniknuS
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John was the first to admit that he always needed a sidekick, he says that he chose Paul as a partner and then he chose Yoko. I think John just needed someone to approve of what he was doing, it's hard as an artist to come up with something and think it's good without someone else there to sort of confirm it.

I think Paul needed a partner more from a competition aspect, they drove each other and also Brian Wilson, Dylan, Townsend, etc drove the Beatles to greater and greater heights. So I don't think Paul's stuff would have been quite as good without John, obviously, but who knows if John would have had the confidence to try to do anything without Paul.

But Paul also kept John in check, we saw the things he was capable of doing with Yoko two-virgins who just let him loose, but certainly Paul was a large help in cleaning up John's best work. Does anyone have that quote of Paul's where he's talking about John being a naughty schoolboy or something like that? I think I read it on this site somewhere...anyway, the gist is that John would take things to a certain level, his mind basically had no restraints, and if he got too far away, Paul would sort of reel him in. So from that perspective, John needed Paul more than Paul needed John.

But at the same time, without John's mind having the ability to take ideas to a certain level, there would have been no Beatles, period. So Paul needed John more to help drive the Beatles to being the greatest band of all time because John had a more innovative musical mind.

So there's no right or wrong answer, but certainly it's a fun subject to speculate about.

I sat on a rug, biding my time, drinking her wine
20 August 2011
4.11am
MeanMrsMustard
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It may be an accident, but I love how this thread is in the George section. ^_^
... I can't say...

If I seem to act unkind, it's only me, it's not my mind that is confusing things.

20 August 2011
4.15am
mithveaen
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LOL! I hadn't noticed either.

 

Fixed anyway a-hard-days-night-john-2

Here comes the sun….. Scoobie-doobie…… Something in the way she moves…..attracts me like a cauliflower… Bop. Bop, cat bop. Go, Johnny, Go. Beware of Darkness…  I believe in SH...
20 August 2011
4.20am
MeanMrsMustard
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Oh yeah, and by the way, the second part of my original post was answering the question.

If I seem to act unkind, it's only me, it's not my mind that is confusing things.

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