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Who is The Leader?
13 July 2013
2.18pm
robert
Hollywood Bowl
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John was the leader - and they all knew it. The only time "leadership seemed to change" is when John would choose to take a more background role and he allowed Paul to be more dominate.

This point was made by John Paul and George many times. John and George would say, "We got tired of Paul trying to lead us" and Paul would say "I would try and get everyone together" (paraphrases) but the fact is, in terms of band leadership, Paul only did what John let him do.

The proof is in the end when John led George and Ringo to Allen Klein - an awful decision - but they followed John nonetheless.

Let It Be failed because John tanked it. Paul could not lead them unless John allowed it - thus making John still the de-facto leader at all times.

John mentioned many times that the problems began when he started to re-exert himself. Meaning that John still controlled who the leader was. And in reality, the band ended when John ended it - they never reunited because John wouldn't (without doubt the other three would have re-united in a flash with just a nod from John). And it even seems they were on the verge of a reunion of sorts just before John was murdered - as Jack Douglas quotes John as saying, "Got to get the boys back together for Ringo's album" - there was no doubt in John's mind that they would all get together for Ringo upon his say so.

Being the leader has nothing to with who wrote what, sang what, played what or upon whom the cameras focused. The leader is the one who ultimately had control and influence of the group as an organism - and that was John from beginning to end - except in those moments when John willingly gave over a semblance of control - but even that was still an act of leadership.

When John left the Beatles and was ruminating over starting a new band, his reason for not doing so was that he didn't want to have to lead another band - he just got out of that. Paul on the other hand within a couple of years started Wings - a band he could finally lead.

Consider this - at the 1988 Rock n Roll Hall of Fame Inductions when Paul wouldn't show up with Ringo and George, does anyone doubt that had John still been alive and John had attended, that regardless of any business disagreements, do you doubt that Paul would have been there if John had been there?

Paul would have been there for sure.

That tells us who the leader is right there.

John said, (more than once - again this is paraphrased) "The Beatles was my band. I started it. I decided who was in it. And it ended when I said it was over." To my knowledge none of the others ever disputed that point.

 

 

"She looks more like him than I do."
13 July 2013
2.28pm
Funny Paper
America
Apple rooftop
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This interesting description of Paul and John co-writing BFTBOMK focuses on the images and lyrics, but says nothing about the chords.  One wonders where and how the two of them came up with a melody and chord sequence completely unlike any other song they'd done. 

BFTBOMK has the feel of that kind of circus music/monster movie music/Slavic music, I'm not sure what genre one could call it, but it definitely has a palpably recognizable feel as some singular genre in its own right.  I suspect that John had more input in this aspect of the song, as it is known he had a more sophisticated knowledge of music, and Paul was a quick learner and then with prompting helped come up with "glue", but the main melodic/chord structure was John.  And really, it's that melody/chord structure that is the very heart and soul of that song.

Faded flowers, wait in a jar, till the evening is complete... complete... complete... complete...
13 July 2013
3.37pm
Ben Ramon
Candlestick Park
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I agree with Robert. Although Paul was obviously a ridiculously prolific songwriter, there is more to being a leader than musical output. Watching any interview which involves John and any other Beatle or the rest of the Beatles, there is no doubt in my mind that John was leader. With his wit, wisdom and impenetrable demeanour, John totally fills the room. Even in the band's latter years, a gigantic talent and authority like Paul defers to him physically and conversationally without question.

SHUT UP - Paulie's talkin'
13 July 2013
5.03pm
mccartneyalarm
Carnegie Hall
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9 July 2013
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John was the leader, though I think he was terribly afraid that Paul would take that away from him (even going back to their first meeting at the church fete...John was worried Paul might be better than he and that his talent may undermine him). Does anyone think George or Ringo wishes they'd have had more leadership in the group?

"And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make."

13 July 2013
8.38pm
Inner Light
Friar Park
Candlestick Park
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Von Bontee said
For pure musicianship & compositional ability, Paul McCartney stands the tallest. His bass & keyboard skills were unsurpassed, he contributed the finest guitar solos to be heard on a Beatles recording, and "Dear Prudence" shows that he could certainly hold his own with Ringo, drumwise. But I don't think there's any question that Lennon was the leader, even if he did nothing other than start the damn band.

Paul had the best guitar solos on a Beatles recording? I don't think so. Why would anyone think this. George was the lead guitarist of the group. The majority of solos were played by him. I think some additional research needs to be done by you to actually see who did what in these songs. 

As far as who is the leader, Lennon started the band and he was the leader. He just got fed up with all the politics and game playing.

I get so tired of some of the comments, not that you said this, but in general that McCartney basically was the Beatles. They are all very talented and without all of them, they would never have been as successful as they were. 

The further one travels, the less one knows
13 July 2013
10.04pm
parlance
Slaggers
Apple rooftop
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Inner Light said

They are all very talented and without all of them, they would never have been as successful as they were. 

Well said. I get tired of the comparisons myself.

parlance

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

13 July 2013
10.43pm
meanmistermustard
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Seems my plea in another thread went by-the-by. Without Paul George wouldn't have known what end of the guitar to strum, Ringo what a drumstick was and John how to open his mouth to singa-hard-days-night-paul-7.

I love Paul, he is a frickin' legend who has covered so much for music and I don't take anything away from his achievements or brilliance but he wasn't the be all of the Beatles. He would be the first to admit it.

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
13 July 2013
10.51pm
Inner Light
Friar Park
Candlestick Park
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meanmistermustard said
Seems my plea in another thread went by-the-by. Without Paul George wouldn't have known what end of the guitar to strum, Ringo what a drumstick was and John how to open his mouth to singa-hard-days-night-paul-7.

I love Paul, he is a frickin' legend who has covered so much for music and I don't take anything away from his achievements or brilliance but he wasn't the be all of the Beatles. He would be the first to admit it.

Are you kidding me. Did you not just read what I wrote above?

The further one travels, the less one knows
13 July 2013
11.44pm
meanmistermustard
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Yes. It was sarcasm aimed at those who think George wasn't capable of playing even half decent guitar unless he closed his eyes and blindly threw his fingers about it the vein hope of hitting one chord and that Ringo couldn't come up with the idea of using the hi-hat unless Paul sat him down and drew a diagram on a bit of paper. I'm past being fed up and arriving one more bite and i'll explode like Mr Creosote with this whole "this Beatle was better than that Beatle" garbage. 

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
14 July 2013
12.00am
AppleScruffJunior
Sitting here, doing nothing but procrastinating
Apple rooftop
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18 March 2013
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meanmistermustard said

Erm... that was sarcasm. I thought it would have been quite obvious considering the whole sentence.

It's the trouble of the internet MMM, you don't know whether somebody is joking,or not :/

INTROVERTS UNITE! Separately.....In your own homes.----Make Love, Not Wardrobes!
14 July 2013
12.04am
meanmistermustard
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I altered/edited the wording in my post whilst AppleScruffJunior was posting (and watched the Mr Creosote clip) so it wouldn't come across in the wrong manner but I stand by both. Maybe I should have stuck in a lol or some smileya-hard-days-night-john-3. Wait that might be interpreted as me being a Johnist  can I be a Malist?mal-evans

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
14 July 2013
12.07am
Von Bontee
A Hole In The Road
Apple rooftop
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Inner Light said

Von Bontee said
For pure musicianship & compositional ability, Paul McCartney stands the tallest. His bass & keyboard skills were unsurpassed, he contributed the finest guitar solos to be heard on a Beatles recording, and "Dear Prudence" shows that he could certainly hold his own with Ringo, drumwise. But I don't think there's any question that Lennon was the leader, even if he did nothing other than start the damn band.

Paul had the best guitar solos on a Beatles recording? I don't think so. Why would anyone think this. George was the lead guitarist of the group. The majority of solos were played by him. I think some additional research needs to be done by you to actually see who did what in these songs. 

As far as who is the leader, Lennon started the band and he was the leader. He just got fed up with all the politics and game playing.

I get so tired of some of the comments, not that you said this, but in general that McCartney basically was the Beatles. They are all very talented and without all of them, they would never have been as successful as they were. 

Paul McCartney was the Beatles? Dude, I said nothing of the sort. I don't need to do additional research to know the facts, nor to know what I believe, which is that Paul played the solos on "Taxman" and "Good Morning Good Morning", which imo are the two best guitar solos on Beatles recordings. I'm not trying to take anything away from your hero George Harrison; I know he was the lead guitarist and contributed many fine solos of his own. I say that Paul remains overall the most musically talented of the band. You disagree, you say it was George: fine. We're all entitled to our opinions. Especially on what should be an essentially neutral, nebulous topic, ie. "Who was the leader". That's fine. But please don't accuse me of not knowing my facts, OK? If you want an argument as to "Who was better, George vs. Paul?", wait for Paulsbass to return and you two can fight it out!

OK, I'm done ranting. I'm sorry. We're all friends here.

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!" -- Paul McCartney
14 July 2013
7.58am
Inner Light
Friar Park
Candlestick Park
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20 December 2010
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Von Bontee said

Inner Light said

Von Bontee said
For pure musicianship & compositional ability, Paul McCartney stands the tallest. His bass & keyboard skills were unsurpassed, he contributed the finest guitar solos to be heard on a Beatles recording, and "Dear Prudence" shows that he could certainly hold his own with Ringo, drumwise. But I don't think there's any question that Lennon was the leader, even if he did nothing other than start the damn band.

Paul had the best guitar solos on a Beatles recording? I don't think so. Why would anyone think this. George was the lead guitarist of the group. The majority of solos were played by him. I think some additional research needs to be done by you to actually see who did what in these songs. 

As far as who is the leader, Lennon started the band and he was the leader. He just got fed up with all the politics and game playing.

I get so tired of some of the comments, not that you said this, but in general that McCartney basically was the Beatles. They are all very talented and without all of them, they would never have been as successful as they were. 

Paul McCartney was the Beatles? Dude, I said nothing of the sort. I don't need to do additional research to know the facts, nor to know what I believe, which is that Paul played the solos on "Taxman" and "Good Morning Good Morning", which imo are the two best guitar solos on Beatles recordings. I'm not trying to take anything away from your hero George Harrison; I know he was the lead guitarist and contributed many fine solos of his own. I say that Paul remains overall the most musically talented of the band. You disagree, you say it was George: fine. We're all entitled to our opinions. Especially on what should be an essentially neutral, nebulous topic, ie. "Who was the leader". That's fine. But please don't accuse me of not knowing my facts, OK? If you want an argument as to "Who was better, George vs. Paul?", wait for Paulsbass to return and you two can fight it out!

OK, I'm done ranting. I'm sorry. We're all friends here.

Thanks for your input. First of all, George Harrison is not my hero. He might be my favorite of the group but they are all very talented. I am not into hero worship. I don't post very often and only do so when I feel a necessity to offer something constructive to say. I do believe we are all friends here and we should be allowed to state our opinions.  

The further one travels, the less one knows
15 July 2013
12.16am
Von Bontee
A Hole In The Road
Apple rooftop
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Fully agree!

One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!" -- Paul McCartney
15 July 2013
8.17am
LongHairedLady
coming in through the bathroom window
Apple rooftop
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17 January 2013
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Inner Light said

Von Bontee said
For pure musicianship & compositional ability, Paul McCartney stands the tallest. His bass & keyboard skills were unsurpassed, he contributed the finest guitar solos to be heard on a Beatles recording, and "Dear Prudence" shows that he could certainly hold his own with Ringo, drumwise. But I don't think there's any question that Lennon was the leader, even if he did nothing other than start the damn band.

Paul had the best guitar solos on a Beatles recording? I don't think so. Why would anyone think this. George was the lead guitarist of the group. The majority of solos were played by him. I think some additional research needs to be done by you to actually see who did what in these songs. 

As far as who is the leader, Lennon started the band and he was the leader. He just got fed up with all the politics and game playing.

I get so tired of some of the comments, not that you said this, but in general that McCartney basically was the Beatles. They are all very talented and without all of them, they would never have been as successful as they were. 

I personally love Paul's guitar solos, they're just random awesomeness.  I'm not going to say he was better than George, it's just a different style.

I'm not going to even get into the "leader" thing, it's just an opinion anyways (like most threads I guess, but whatever).  It was them as a unit that made them what they were, whoever the leader may have been.

"Please don't bring your banjo back, I know where it's been..  I wasn't hardly gone a day, when it became the scene..  Banjos!  Banjos!  All the time, I can't forget that tune..  and if I ever see another banjo, I'm going out and buy a big balloon!"

 

16 July 2013
4.58am
LongHairedLady
coming in through the bathroom window
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Changed my mind, gonna chime in.

In my opinion, John was most definitely the leader up until Sgt Pepper and so on, when he started to lose interest.  Before that I know Paul himself has admitted that he was "bossy"...  but not until later on did he start to take over as the "leader" of the group.   The thing about that, is it's always bothered me how much flack he got for it, especially during "Let It Be".  Paul had to take charge, because nobody else gave a shit anymore.  a-hard-days-night-paul-10  

"Please don't bring your banjo back, I know where it's been..  I wasn't hardly gone a day, when it became the scene..  Banjos!  Banjos!  All the time, I can't forget that tune..  and if I ever see another banjo, I'm going out and buy a big balloon!"

 

16 July 2013
11.43am
fabfouremily
Sitting in an English garden
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^ Fully agree. Had nobody done anything, they would've fell apart sooner. Despite Paul taking over and doing all what he did though, I think John still saw himself as the ''leader'' because he was the one that started the group way back when (when he definitely was it), which, at least I think, is why he was so resentful towards Paul.

''We're just knocked out. We heard about the sell out. You gotta get an album out, you owe it to the people. We're so happy we can hardly count.''

16 July 2013
9.24pm
Linde
The Netherlands
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I agree with you, Emily. That's how I see it too. He just couldn't take Paul taking over ''his'' band. But I also think that if cared that much about someone else taking over, John should've stepped forward as a leader again.

 

4 September 2013
11.25pm
ram on
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Funny Paper said
This interesting description of Paul and John co-writing BFTBOMK focuses on the images and lyrics, but says nothing about the chords.  One wonders where and how the two of them came up with a melody and chord sequence completely unlike any other song they'd done. 

BFTBOMK has the feel of that kind of circus music/monster movie music/Slavic music, I'm not sure what genre one could call it, but it definitely has a palpably recognizable feel as some singular genre in its own right.  I suspect that John had more input in this aspect of the song, as it is known he had a more sophisticated knowledge of music, and Paul was a quick learner and then with prompting helped come up with "glue", but the main melodic/chord structure was John.  And really, it's that melody/chord structure that is the very heart and soul of that song.

 

In my opinion, I think  you are wrong when you say  Lennon "had a more sophisticated knowledge of music ". In fact, Lennon, in his Playboy Interviews,  admitted Paul had a better musical education than him.  According to Martin, Emerick and Norman Smith, it was Paul who had a a more sophisticated  knowledge of music, and that shows in Paul's  melodies/ song structures, which in general are more complex than Lennon's. So think is right to say that McCartney surely had strong participation in the creation of  the main melodic/chord structure of Mr. Kite.

4 September 2013
11.58pm
acmac
Carnegie Hall
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John was initially the leader and remained so in the sense of having a more dominating personality -- that is, he had the ability to inspire others with his own enthusiasm/vision, he was a natural object of "hero-worship" (as per George's quote about him being the sort people would "choose to march behind in war"), and he had the sort of macho swagger that we're all conditioned to consider authoritative and defer to. Certainly he was the "voice" of the band to the public/media, etc.

Paul is naturally a "power behind the throne" sort of person; he has said himself that he's happier and more comfortable as the second-in-command. In the middle period, the Rubber Soul-Sgt. Pepper "golden age," I think we see the happy results of a perfect balance between the two: Paul is probably more of a driving force musically (writing at least as many songs, spurring John into writing, having a greater influence over their arrangement, execution, and production, etc.), and he flourishes in this role because he still has the support of John's cooperation and enthusiasm (and therefore the cooperation of everyone else -- though George is beginning to chafe at his second-class status). 

The best analogy I've seen of their power dynamic is from Mike Gerber (I think) at Hey Dullblog: Picture John and Paul each with an oar aboard a rowboat called "Beatles." Once John stops rowing, there's no way Paul can possibly keep the boat smoothly on course by himself. Basically I agree with the earlier poster who said that the "synergy" between John and Paul was the leader of the band. I also like the family analogy, with John as Dad and Paul as Mum.

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