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Miscellaneous questions about the Beatles
2 December 2015
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Ahhh Girl
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Annadog40 said

Did a bunch of posts from this thread vanish?

At SG and ewe2's suggestion, I moved some posts to the thread about George's vocal range.

I don't know what song John and Paul wrote for Cliff

11 January 2016
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trcanberra
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Given my current classical binge I am curious if anyone knows if this quote is true / verified:

Paul McCartney wrote “I have always adored Mahler, and Mahler was a major influence on the music of The Beatles. John and me used to sit and do the Kindertotenlieder and Wunderhorn for hours, we’d take turns singing and playing the piano. We thought Mahler was great.”

It has been doing the rounds for some years now but I have been having difficulties tracking down a creditable source. It's fascinating if it is true.

I also note the following off the "Not A Second Time " wiki:

"This song inspired a musical analysis from William Mann of The Times, citing the "Aeolian cadence" (Aeolian harmony) of Lennon's vocals as the song draws to a close, and noting that the same chord progression appears at the end of the final movement of Mahler's "Das Lied von der Erde." Lennon, years later, remarked: "To this day, I have no idea what [Aeolian cadences] are. They sound like exotic birds."

and as further discussed here at the BB:

https://www.beatlesbible.com/songs/not-a-second-time/

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21 January 2016
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Earlier today I was discussing a studio that is famous for providing perfectly tuned instruments for their artists. It got me to thinking, who was responsible for tuning the Beatles instruments at Abbey Road ? Especially in the later years when multiple takes were common, I would imagine that the guitars had to be tuned often. Just wondering a-hard-days-night-paul-7

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21 January 2016
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A good question, that; I've not heard anything about it, but I assume the Beatles themselves tuned their instruments-- probably to the piano, each other, and whatever they could find... not always a perfect method, as evidenced by the slightly flat everything-but-the-flute in You've Got To Hide Your Love Away

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22 January 2016
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Do we know of any fans of The Beatles who quit following them and wouldn't ever buy their records because of Pete Best's sacking?

You know some of those "Ringo never. Pete Best forever." fans.

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22 January 2016
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Necko
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Pete Best probably was one. 

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22 January 2016
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Mona Best was another. I think that will be about it.

 

If i remember correctly, in 'Tune In' its pretty clear that whilst there was some hostility to the sacking at the time after a few days or weeks it all blew over and those who swore they'd never be fans again drifted back.

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22 January 2016
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Ahhh Girl said
Do we know of any fans of The Beatles who quit following them and wouldn't ever buy their records because of Pete Best's sacking?

You know some of those "Ringo never. Pete Best forever." fans.

  @Ahhh Girl ,I was going to answer Denny Flynn pete-best, but I stumbled on the following blog excerpt while researching the name. This would seem to bring doubt on my 50 years of disliking Denny (although now I have a whole different reason to dislike him).

Is it true that George was the one who campaigned to have Ringo join The Beatles as their drummer?

Here is George’s own comment on the subject, from The Beatles Anthology book:

“To me it was apparent: Pete kept being sick and not showing up for gigs so we would get Ringo to sit in with the band instead, and every time Ringo sat in, it seemed like ‘this is it’. Eventually we realised, ‘We should get Ringo in the band full time.’

I was quite responsible for stirring things up. I conspired to get Ringo in for good; I talked to Paul and John until they came round to the idea.”

Is it true that George received a black eye during the fan uproar about Pete Best being kicked out of the band in favor of August 1962?

George and Ringo both commented on it in The Beatles Anthology:

Ringo: “The first gig in the Cavern after I’d joined was pretty violent. There was a lot of fighting and shouting; half of them hated me, half of them loved me. George got a black eye, and I haven’t looked back.”

George: “Some of the fans - a couple of them - were shouting ‘Pete is best!’ and ‘Ringo never, Pete Best forever!’, but it was a small group and we ignored it. However, after about half an hour it was getting a bit tiring so I shouted to the audience. When we stepped out of the band room into the dark tunnel, some guy nodded me one, giving me a black eye. The things we have to do for Ringo!”

Ringo: “George fought for me.”

However, there are two theories to this:

In Spencer Leigh’s book The Beatles in Liverpool, he writes: “It is often said that some angry fan gave George a black eye, but this was really because a jealous boyfriend didn’t like the way his girl was looking at George.”

As ever, Mark Lewisohn’s research for The Beatles - All These Years: Tune In is meticulous - and here is what he has written: “It was also George who took a black eye for the pleasure of having Ringo in the group, or so the two of them readily believed. The Cavern (alcohol free 1957-70) was a friendly place; the few difficulties that arose were dealt with quietly and non-violently by one of the door staff - but at the lunchtime session on Friday 24 August, six days after Ringo joined, there was an altercation by the band room and George was smacked in the face. The result was a bruise across the bridge of his nose and around his left eye, one that stayed many day’s and went multiculoured. Several saw or heard the fracas but accounts differ in the key details. George himself said that he was hit after losing patience with a few people on the audience who were still calling out ‘Pete forever, Ringo never’; he told them to ‘bugger off’ (or two other words to that effect), and later, as he stepped out of the band room, someone dealt him head-butt, the popular Liverpool move that Paul once saw George himself deploy in the Institute playground. Others are doubtful. ‘George as bopped in the Cavern by some guy jealous for his girlfriend.’ Paul says, and at least one other person agrees. And it does seem that the assailant - 19-year-old Denny Flynn - hit out not for Pete but because he enjoyed it. One of the Cavern regulars, Dave Spain, is certain it had nothing to do with drummers: ‘Denny Flynn wasn’t a relative or friend or even a fan of Pete Beat, he probably just wanted to stretch his muscles. He was notorious in Liverpool as a hard-case.’ Yet while it’s unclear if George sticking up for Ringo did lead to someone sticking one on him, it didn’t matter to the two of them - they were certain of the connection and it became another of the thousands of layers in their kinship. ‘George fought for me!’ Ringo would say, proud and laughing.

In Lewisohn’s footnotes, there is a bit more information: “‘Bugger off’” from The Beatles Anthology TV series; Paul from author interview, 19 May 1987. Dedicated George fan Sue Houghton agrees: ‘I never thought his black eye was anything to do with Pete Best, it was someone’s jealous boyfriend.’ Mike Berry, who shared a Cavern bill with the Beatles in Sunday 26 August, remembers George saying he’d been ‘nutted’ by a man jealous because his girlfriend had taken a shine to him. Other witnesses claim, variously, that it was Paul, not George, who cussed at the hecklers in the audience; that John fought to protect George; that when George returned to the stage for the Beatles’ second lunchtime set John and Paul were in hysterics and kept calling him ‘Teddy Boy !’; or that when George didn’t return to the stage with them John announced it was because he was ‘feeling a little bit aye’. It’s Billy Kinsely who maintains the Beatles carried on as a trio - he says they played songs that didn’t need a lead guitar, including a number his group the Mersey Beats often did, I’ll Never Let You Go (Little Darlin’), one of Elvis’s great Sun records.”

Whatever the case may be, George and Ringo had a tight friendship that would last until George’s untimely passing. 

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23 January 2016
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I wonder many of the Beatles state it was the death Brian that split the Beatles. What do you guys think? What was the relationship with the Beatles and Brian 

23 January 2016
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I'm not sure. I think that the Beatles got tired of the business side of things after Brian died which was the primary cause of their breakup although there were many other factors.

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23 January 2016
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pepperland is partly right, but gets it wrong. Brian was essential. The Beatles didn't get tired of the business side after Brian died, they'd never had to handle the business side of being Beatles before Brian died, beyond saying Yay or Nay. It could even be argued that John getting together with Yoko was John looking for someone to replace Brian's role in his life. Magical Mystery Tour  would have been better organised had Brian lived. Get Back /Let It Be  would have been better organised. Apple would have had a strong focus. Lots of things would have been different had Brian have lived.

The only thing that can't be known if how much longer The Beatles might have had had Brian lived. That's a whole "What if...?" that has as many different paths as you can possibly imagine...

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23 January 2016
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What was the relationship with Brain Epstein? I heard from many it was a Father-son type relationship

23 January 2016
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SayaOtonashi said
What was the relationship with Brain Epstein? I heard from many it was a Father-son type relationship

Just six years separated Brian from John Lennon , the eldest Beatle (at the time of their first meeting).  It's doubtful that type of relationship was fostered.  As they got older, Brian became more of a peer.

23 January 2016
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Had any of the Beatles said anything about Brian death? Were they close friends?

24 January 2016
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Here is a composite of John and George's press conference (with Ringo, but he barely says a word) in Bangor following the news of Brian's death, @SayaOtonashi. It's rare to see John quite as exposed as he is here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?.....aTPj4OzVx0

You can tell John's feelings of loss when he says of Brian, "He was one of us..."

In the Rolling Stone interview in 1970, John reflected back on the news of Brian's death, and what it meant for The Beatles:

How would you trace the break-up of the Beatles?

After Brian died, we collapsed. Paul took over and supposedly led us. But what is leading us, when we went round in circles? We broke up then. That was the disintegration.

When did you first feel that the Beatles had broken up? When did that idea first hit you?

I don’t remember, you know. I was in my own pain. I wasn’t noticing, really. I just did it like a job. The Beatles broke up after Brian died; we made the double album, the set. It’s like if you took each track off it and made it all mine and all George’s. It’s like I told you many times, it was just me and a backing group, Paul and a backing group, and I enjoyed it. We broke up then.

Where were you when Brian died?

We were in Wales with the Maharishi. We had just gone down after seeing his lecture first night. We heard it then, and then we went right off into the Maharishi thing.

Where were you?

In Wales. A place called Bangor, in Wales.

Were you in a hotel or what?

We were just outside a lecture hall with Maharishi and I don’t know… I can’t remember, it just sort of came over. Somebody came up to us… the press were there, because we had gone down with this strange Indian, and they said "Brian’s dead" and I was stunned, we went in to him. "What, he’s dead," and all were, I suppose, and the Marharishi, we went in to him. "What, he’s dead," and all that, and he was sort of saying oh, forget it, be happy, like an idiot, like parents, smile, that’s what the Maharishi said. And we did.

What was your feeling when Brian died?

The feeling that anybody has when somebody close to them dies. There is a sort of little hysterical, sort of hee, hee, I’m glad it’s not me or something in it, the funny feeling when somebody close to you dies. I don’t know whether you’ve had it, but I’ve had a lot of people die around me and the other feeling is, "What the fuck? What can I do?"

I knew that we were in trouble then. I didn’t really have any misconceptions about our ability to do anything other than play music and I was scared. I thought, "We’ve fuckin’ had it."

 

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24 January 2016
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"Where were you?

In Wales. A place called Bangor, in Wales."

Some very well-known people were born there, and the interviewer sounded like he didn't even know where the country is. Harrumph.

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27 January 2016
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What of George Martin's relationship?

18 February 2016
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The question of a band's "Magnum Opus" keeps getting tossed around. Like Led Zep have Stairway to Heaven, Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody, and so on. What, if there is one, could be considered to be Beatles' Magnum Opus? Or does this question not apply to Beatles because of their evolving nature and versatility?

 

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18 February 2016
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Abbey Road and/or SgtPepper are generally considered to be the highlight of the Beatles' albums. 

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18 February 2016
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Yes, but I was talking about "that one" song. I think the most popular choice would be A Day In The Life , but I'm not sure.

 

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