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Who is The Leader?
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25 November 2013

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There is another thread where folks discuss who the leader was in the band, it can be found here.

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
7 January 2014
Billy Rhythm
Candlestick Park
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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...:-)     

7 January 2014
Ed Sullivan Show
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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.

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9 January 2014
Arrived Somewhere (But Not Here)
Apple rooftop
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31 October 2013
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I think that at the beginning, it was certainly John, he created it and led it. I think his leadership peaked around Beatles For Salethen 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 TourMusically, 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 HelpI think it was John, afterwards, Paul, especially during Magical Mystery Tour and Let It Be

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