16 July 2013
20 January 2012
29 August 2013
Another One said
Paul or John?
John established the band, first he was the leader and then Paul became the leader of The Beatles?
Is this true?
For a lot of the time I don't think they had a set leader like some bands have. Having said that there is no doubt John was it early on, and that Paul was their driving force in the later period as John's drugs and desire to leave came to the fore. However, you could even claim it was George for a time when he dragged them all off to Rishikesh. He was also influential in having Ringo join – so to me at least it seems they often acted via group dynamics rather than 'leader'.
1 May 2011
There is another thread where folks discuss who the leader was in the band, it can be found here.
1 December 2009
Actually, "front man" strikes me as a less prestigious position – it suggests a performer who commands the attention above all onstage, usually the singer, who may or may not actually be the "leader" of the band. Like Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin – he was the front man but Jimmy Page was the band's main musical director, conceptualist, and driving force. He was unquestionably the leader.
1 December 2009
john started the band, BUT! the minute
paul joined the band….
HE OWNED IT!
Checkout his track record and all
the studio out takes
Heh, I suspect you'll get some disagreement there!
Pretty sure most everybody here is familiar with everyone's track records, too.
3 May 2012
22 December 2013
John was always "The Leader", and the only reason Paul played more of a "leadership role" later on was by default, due to John's growing disinterest in The Beatles. Paul couldn't sustain it though and his assuming of the role caused many problems pretty much as soon as he took hold of the reins. George started to not turn up during the 'Sgt. Pepper' sessions and wasn't particularly enjoying himself after 1966, John went along with the 'Magical Mystery Tour' project to get his mind off of Brian Epstein's untimely death, and even Ringo was losing patience by the 'White Album'. Don't get me wrong, we are all eternally in debted to Paul for taking control, a lot of good came out of his relentlessness to keep the ship afloat when it first began sinking, but John still stands as the group's "leader" if there ever was one, even if he wasn't so obviously a "leader" later on in the group's career.
John's disinterest in "living the myth" was "leading" the others to maturing as human beings, George certainly became much more open about breaking away once John began to not give a crap anymore, instead of keeping disturbingly quiet about his unhappiness within the group as he'd been for years. I don't necessarily feel that Paul clinging to something that was inevitably doomed as good "leadership", a good "leader" looks to what's beyond the horizon and breaking new ground, in the years that Paul was supposedly "leading", he was in fact, trying to keep things more the same instead of doing something new. A good "leader" smashes down barriers and dispenses with preconceived notions, in my opinion, and John was still the "leader" of the group in 1969 by this definition. It's also likely why the group never reformed after 1969, it was never going to happen unless John "the leader" took the initiative…:-)
18 November 2011
John was originally the leader, he had been the oldest (pre-Ringo) and the others looked up to him. Paul (who had always led them in the studio) started exerting more and more influence around 1965 (when John started getting depressed and into drugs) and really cemented his leadership by 1967 with Sgt. Pepper and MMT. When the latter project failed, Lennon got one last hurrah with the White Album, which is a lot rougher – like an anti-Pepper. After that, he stopped caring, while Paul tried to keep the band together.
In short, John was the original leader, Paul took over the reigns about halfway through.
17 October 2013
I'm a 'John' man…..just.
I think he was the leader that the others looked to when times were tough…..but he wasn't up to being the leader in the studio. When he had Brian in his pocket he was more than a match for Paul and the at that time an 'un-allied' George Martin. I think from all I've read and seen after Brian's death he began to feel that Paul and GM were increasingly on the same wavelength and were becoming something of a team. Although given utmost respect from George M he was feeling like the third party. John's aggression was always a mask for his insecurities. "None of your production shit George" he wanted to get back……But still Paul ran the show.
We can argue for eternity whether it was simple love for Yoko that split them up, or that John ran to her 'in part' looking for an easy way out of a competition he was losing interest in, because………..he was losing it.
just a personal opinion.
1 November 2013
I think that at the beginning, it was certainly John, he created it and led it. I think his leadership peaked around Beatles For Sale, then once he got into all the drugs, I think Paul took over. After Brian's death, they were just kind of wandering, and Paul pulled them together to make Magical Mystery Tour. Musically, it was undoubtedly Paul. He's the best bassist of all time, a superb keyboardist, a great guitarist, and a solid drummer. Many people have said that John is a better guitarist than Paul, but I don't believe this to be true. I think that because all John really did was guitar (other than, of course, songwriting and singing, in which he ranks among the best ever) he tends to be viewed as a guitarist. Meanwhile, Paul did everything, so he gets to be a fantastic bassist (and again, up there in writing and singing) but his guitar accomplishments are overlooked. His Taxman solo ranks among the most famous in The Beatles catalog. George grew to be the best guitarist of all three (in my opinion) but he wasn't at the beginning. So, to sum it up: up to Help! I think it was John, afterwards, Paul, especially during Magical Mystery Tour and Let It Be.
Vote now for the best Beatles song ever at this thread. PM me for more details.
17 October 2013
This thread isn't about who's better, John or Paul? It's about something quite different. Leadership is a quality that that doesn't always depend upon who's 'best'.
As I said, I think John was the leader from the beginning and in some ways he remained the 'leader' until he died. But he couldn't match Paul in the studio……….And I feel he gave up trying to. He knew most times what he wanted and dispatched others to find a way to do it. Paul I feel wanted more control over his own songs and how they sounded……..So he learned his trade. Partly I'm sure to make his songs better than John's.
John I recall reading, once 'complained' about how, "all the experimental stuff crept into my songs" as though the approach to his offerings was more sloppy and laid-back than Paul's for instance.
John hadn't run out of creative ideas. They were tumbling from him at the very end of the Beatles. The Plastic Ono Album is a very good one. Raw and bleeding and out of the Beatle comfort mode.
He was still competing with Paul though. And paul with him. Those two owe each other so much……. and we owe them.
7 February 2014
John was the leader. John was the founding member of the quarrymen – it was his group – the others joined later. John was the oldest which is significant when you are teenagers. When they went to Hamburg, it was an intimidating situation with gangsters, strippers, rowdy audiences etc. in which most teenagers would be scared to death. John was thick skinned and confident and had bottle – without someone like that in the group, the Beatles would never have survived Hamburg.
Even later on, John was still the leader IMHO.
When the Beatles where in India in 1968 and the Beatles decided to leave after the Maharishi was accused of sexual harassment, John was the one who all the others looked to to confront the Maharishi. In fact, John said that whenever there was something unpleasant to do, he was the one who had to do it or words to that effect.
Look at this interview from 1968.
John is the one who dominates the conversation, not Paul.
This is not to denigrate Paul's musical contribution to the Beatles in anyway. What Paul did was immense, but John was the leader IMHO.
17 October 2013
I don't think John was as confident as he tried to appear but I agree that John had a grip on the others. Probably a lack of a sense of consequence that made the others step lightly around him……..One 'consequence' from that is that it forced upon Paul the role of 'diplomat'. He became the emollient smoothing out the interviews always aware of how they were coming over.
Confusing though. I don't think he could lead as well as Paul led in the studio………But then I don't think he needed inspiration from collaborating with writing partners the way Paul did after their split.
Back against the wall……John.
Work to be done ………Paul
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