Competence and the Beatles Last Concert

On January 30, 1969 the Beatles hated each other, and they were sick of working on their album, "Let It Be" inside of their cramped studios. On a whim, they took all their equipment and moved it five floors up to the roof, in the middle of winter. Then they performed for about a half hour. They had last performed lived over two years earlier. It was their last "concert" together ever. They broke up shortly afterwards and never performed together again.

(click image for the full video)

I say it was a "concert" because people in the blocks around them quickly began to realize what was happening. People couldn't believe it. You see office workers climbing out of windows and down ladders to get a better view. Women running  up and down the street to try and see better. An older man with a pipe climbing up a fire escape to stand on a rooftop and just watch. After about ten minutes the streets were crowded with people on the street staring up on the roof of the building where the music was coming from. People on the ground couldn't see the band but they knew it was them. The effect of the Beatles singing live shut down London for a half hour.

About halfway through, so-called "reality" started to hit some of the passersby. One guy said, "it's' a bit of an imposition to absolutely disrupt all of the business in this area." We'll never know the name of that guy. We'll never know what he was working on in January of 1969 that was so important. Or what any of the "business" in that area was that winter afternoon. But 43 years later we still watch the video. We still listen to the songs.

A couple of things I find interesting about this video: 

A) They hated each other. At this point the Beatles were basically over. The album was originally called "Get Back" after one of the songs in it. But they couldn't "get back" together and ultimately it was called "Let It Be". It was their last released album. You can blame it on anything: Yoko, Linda, creative conflicts, Phil Spector, Brian Epstein's death, and on and on. But they hated each other despite the mega-success they created together.

B) You can see on their faces as they get to the roof: They were never going to perform again. Ringo looks sad. George Harrison looks particularly upset. In fact, a few weeks earlier he and John Lennon had gotten into a fist fight and Harrison had run out and said he was "quitting". "See you in the clubs," he said as he left. The band debated replacing him with Eric Clapton but Harrison came back. The Beatles wouldn't be the Beatles without the four of them, McCartney had the wherewithal to say.

C) Harrison hated the fact that Lennon was getting more and more detached from the band and doing his own thing. Lennon hated Harrison's and McCartney's music writing. (Lennon, after the album came out, said of "The Long and Winding Road" and producer Phil Spector's treatment of it: "He was given the shittiest load of badly-recorded shit with a lousy feeling to it ever, and he made something of it.") In other words, they hated each other. And they didn't hold back. They just simply did not want to work with each other anymore despite the years of creative and financial success. George Harrison joined The Beatles when he was 14 years old. They all had grown up together.

D) The second song they sing in the video is poignant, "Don't Let Me Down". It was originally written by John Lennon for Yoko. Despite his success he was terrified of being let down by Yoko. Despite our attempts to climb away from the worst fears of our childhood, success only magnifies those fears. We're like birds trying to climb a tree to reach the sky. Only when we learn how to fly can we truly be free. Being let down as a kid, or young adult, explodes into a plea to not only one woman but to millions of eventual listeners.

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It feels like he's not just singing it to her. He's singing it to the Beatles, who he felt let down by. He's singing it out there to the air, to the blocks of people staring out their windows at him. He's singing to London. He's pleading to his future where he would be creatively on his own -  "Don't Let Me Down". And, prophetically, the world let him down in the worst way on December 8, 1980. The song never made  it to the final released album. I like the original shot in the video, of Lennon and McCartney singing it together, with Ringo in the middle in the background. The three barely spoke to each other at that point. They had all let each other down. And  yet that wouldn't prevent them from creating beautiful music.

E) Competence. Despite all the troubles. Despite their contempt for each other's musical abilities. Despite the fragmented legal and emotional fallouts that was quickly cascading them towards their demise, they went up on that stage and PERFORMED. I've listened to the video 100 times. Paul opens his mouth and it begins and doesn't stop for twenty minutes. It's beautiful. Competent people move forward and do what they do. I hope in my life I could be as good at any one thing as the four of them were at what they did that day but I doubt it will happen.

And finally, "beginner's mind".

At the end of the video, with the police now getting into the action and telling them to shut it down because of noise complaints, they finish with the song "Get Back" again. Paul McCartney riffs in the middle of the song, "You've been playing on the roofs again, and you know your Momma doesn't like it, she's gonna have you arrested!"

And when they finally put their instruments down, John Lennon only half-sarcastically says (the last line The Beatles ever say to an audience), "On behalf of the group and ourselves, I hope we pass the audition." 

A creator can't ever rest. No matter what you do, no matter what your creation is. Every moment is the audition. Every time you create is a chance to go on the roof and do something new, in a way that hasn't been done before, in a way that is potentially disruptive, playful, unique, and vulnerable. People will hate you, people will love you, people will climb on the rooftops to see you before the police arrest you. They passed the audition that one last time. Now it's our turn.

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  • I don’t think I have ever been so entranced with a blog post before as I am with this one. That video is a part of me as well..Thanks

  • This is amazing. This is why I read you, James. Thank you.

  • Oren

    To save everyone under 40 the trouble of looking up “The Beatles”, they were the original boy band, and many of their fans who grew up in the 1960s still haven’t gotten over their original crushes.

    • Randi Brooks

      What Ed and Oren said is *so beyond ignorant,ridiculous,stupid,ludicrous and wrong*!

      The Beatles were *NEVER* a ”boy band”! As a poster Reverend Rock,who is a rock musician,reverend and a big Beatles fan said on a classic rock site years ago,that anyone who knows The Beatles history knows it’s ludicrous to even *suggest* such a thing! And what a huge insult to their enormous talent as true singers,song writers and musicians! The Beatles were a *zillion* times more talented and cool than any stupid,uncool,untalented real boy band!

      The Monkees are the first true boy band because they didn’t even start off as a genuine band, they were all musical but they were originally hired as actors to play members of a TV pop rock band for their TV show, they didn’t start off playing together like Paul at age 15,George age 14 and John age 16 playing guitars and singing,then playing a few years later for 8 hours a night in sleazy strip clubs( and The Beatles had sex with many young women groupies,many who were teen girls and strippers) like The Beatles did in Hamburg Germany(or anywhere) for 2 years in a row,taking speed pills to stay awake to do it,and working their a*ses off playing as a real rock n roll band,and then playing successfully in the Cavern club as a real rock n roll band for years by the time they made it big.

      And The Beatles wrote and played a lot of great rock n roll and pop rock songs in their early days. John and Paul wrote the rock n roll song I Wanna Be Your Man write in front of Keith Richards and Mick Jagger in 1963 and they were both really impressed that they could just write a song just like that,and it inspired them to start writing their own songs and both bands became good friends from then on. And this song was one of The Rolling Stones first hits.

      There is just no comparison to The Monkees etc. A guy so accurately said on a message board many years ago when some idiots called them a ”boy band” that The Beatles were *never* a boy band,not even during their 1963-1965 period. And another guy said a few years after this on another forum,when some idiot said this,that he too once thought the early Beatles were a boy band like NYSNC,or The Back Street Boys,until he got out of 7th grade.

      Every time some ignorant person unjustly calls them a boy band,I’m sure John Lennon’s ashes must be turning with outrage.I’m sure he would go on to these sites and say I was *not* the founder and the leader of some f*king,stupid,uncool,untalented, boy band get that through your stupid f*cking heads!

      And younger people don’t know what type of music was out in 1963,even though I wasn’t born yet,I know that The Beatles early songs like She Loves You and I Want To Hold Your Hand were hard rock compared to the music out then.There was just Bobby Darin,The Four Seasons,Bobby Vinton and The Beach Boys surfing hits.

    • Randi Brooks

      Here is a very good educational you tube video by MeanMr Mayo who is a member of The Beatles fan site,Abbryd debunking this stupid,ridiculous,ludicrous myth that The Beatles were ever a boy band.

    • Randi Brooks

      Both VH1 and MTV have been using Richie Unterberger’s excellent All Music Guide’s long Beatles biography as their Beatles biography they both used to not have a very good biography of The Beatles.Here are great Beatles biographies that totally debunk this totally stupid,inaccurate,ludicrous,ridiculous myth that they were ever a ‘’boy band’’!

      The Beatles own documentary The Beatles Anthology

      The great 1982 Beatles documentary,The Complete Beatles narrated by award winning British actor Malcolm McDowell

      And any great reputable accurate Beatles biography would debunk this ludicrous,stupid myth.And I have *never* read or heard *any* legitimate serious rock critics or rock music journalists describe them this way and for extremely great reasons!

    • Randi Brooks

      As The All Music Guide says in their excellent Beatles biography “That it’s difficult to summarize their career without restating cliches that have already been digested by tens of millions of rock fans, to start with the obvious,they were the greatest and most influential act of the rock era and introduced more innovations into popular music than any other rock band of the 20th century.”

      “Moreover they were among the few artists of *any* discipline that were simultaneously the best at what they did *and* the most popular at what they did.” They also say as singers John Lennon and Paul McCartney were among the best and most expressive in rock.

      Also on an excellent site,The Evolution of Rock Bass Playing McCartney Style by Dennnis Alstrand,Stanley Clarke,Sting,Will Lee,Billy Sheehan,George Martin and John Lennon are quoted saying what a great,melodic and influential bass player Paul has always been.

      And Wilco’s John Stirratt was asked in Bass Player which bass players have had the most impact on his playing and the first thing he said was, Paul McCartney is one of the greatest bass players of all time,if you listen to what he was tracking live in the studio it’s unbelievable.” “With his tone and musicality he was a huge influence,he covered all of his harmonic responsibilities really well but his baselines were absolutely melodic and inventive.”

      In this 2010 interview the blogger says that John Stirratt has an affinity for good melodies so it’s not surprising that Paul McCartney is one of his musical icons and then he quotes him saying that he’s always absolutely in awe of his playing,including Paul’s Beatles years.

      And in an online 1977 Eric Clapton interview,Eric Clapton In His Own Words he says that there was always this game between John and George,and he said partly because John was a pretty good guitar player himself .

      He played live with John as a member of John’s 1969 Plastic Ono Band.

      And there is a great online article by musician and song writer Peter Cross,The Beatles Are The Most Creative Band Of All Time and he says that many musicians besides him recognize Paul as one of the best bass guitar players ever.He too says that John and Paul are the greatest song composers and that to say that John and Paul are among 2 of the greatest singers in rock and roll is to state the obvious,and that John,Paul and George were all excellent guitarists and that George is underrated by people not educated about music but that Eric Clapton knew better,he also says that both John and Paul played great leads as well as innovative rhythm tracks.

      John Lennon co-wrote,sang and played guitar on one of David Bowie’s first hits Fame in 1975 and David invited John to play guitar on his version of John’s beautiful Beatles song Across The Universe.Brain May,Ozzy Osbourne,and Liam Gallagher and many more call The Beatles The Greatest Band Ever.’

      Also on MusicRadar Tom Petty,Joe Perry and Richie Sambora in What The Beatles Mean To Me all say how cool and great they thought The Beatles were when they first saw them on The Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964 when they were just teen boys,Richie was only 5.Tom Petty said he thought they were really really great.

      Robin Zander of Cheap Trick said he’s probably one of the biggest Beatles fans on the planet.Brad Whitford of Aerosmith said that a lot of that Beatles influence comes from Steven Tyler’s collaboration with Mark Hudson both whom are absolute Beatles freaks and he said I guess the goal is to try and emulate probably some of the best music of the last 50 years which has to be The Beatles.

    • Randi Brooks

      Also in an excellent Beatles book Ticket To Ride by Denny Somach where so many other well known popular respected rock musicians and artists are interviewed about The Beatles praising them including Jimmy Page,Brian Wilson who says he’s always loved The Beatles. And Brian Wilson called John & Paul the greatest song writers of the 20th century on a 1995 Nightline Beatles tribute show,(which had on music artists from every type of music,a young black jazz musician,a middle aged black opera singer,Steve Winwood,Meatloaf,and classical violinist Isak Perleman,who said he plays his children Bach,Beethoven Mozart and The Beatles)and he played With A Little Help From My Friends on the piano and he said he just loves this song. He also said that Sgt.Pepper is the greatest album he ever heard and The All Music Guide says in their Beach Boys biography,that Brian had a nervous breakdown after he heard it. Brian also said that when he first heard The Beatles brilliant 1965 folk rock album Rubber Soul he was blown away by it.He said all of the songs flowed together and it was pop music but folk rock at the same time and he couldn’t believe they did this so great,this inspired him to make Pet Sounds.

      John Lodge and Justin of The Moody Blues are interviewed in this book and Bill Wyman and Ron Wood says how The Rolling Stones became good friends with The Beatles in 1963 after John and Paul wrote 1 of their first hits,the Rock n Roll song,I Wanna Be You’re Man.

      Ron Wood was asked what his favorite Beatles songs and he said there are so many apart from the obvious like Strawberry Fields I Want To Hold Your Hand is one he said he used to like a lot ,and he said he really loved We Can Work It Out.He also says that The Beatles used to have a radio show every Friday where they played live and spoke and he would never miss an episode. He said in fact whoever has the rights to those shows should dig them up,because they are incredible.

      Justin Hayward says that the album he always really loved ,and he said it was when they started experimenting with chord structures ,was A Hard Day’s Night.He says they began to move away from the standard 3 chord thing and just went into more interesting structures .He said A Hard Day’s Night was the album for him and their song If I Fell was the song.He said it started in a different key to how it ended up,and it’s a beautifully worked out song and that there are some songs on that album that were very emotional and evocative. He said that for everybody just starting to write songs as he was,it was a real turn on and eye opener.

    • Randi Brooks

      In this All Music Guide review of The Beatles 1963 album,With The Beatles Stephen Thomas Erlewine says at the end of the very good review that still the heart of With The Beatles lies not in the covers but the originals where it was clear that even at this early stage The Beatles were rapidly maturing and changing turning into expert craftsman and musical innovators.

    • Randi Brooks

      This 1999 review of Mark Lewisohn’s excellent Beatles studio diary book where many of The Beatles recording engineers and tape operators and their producer George Martin are interviewed (and it shows how truly innovative,brilliant and creative especially John and Paul were in the recording studio),The Beatles Recording Sessions titled, Behind The Creative Genius Of A Groundbreaking Band by a musician himself says it all, he says that as a musician he found Mark Lewisohn’s portrayal of The Beatles genius and in parenthesis he says, especially that of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, to be completely thorough and accurate, as well as insightful. He then says if you are to buy any one Beatles book,buy this one.

      And this reviewer RAS who became a big Beatles fan after he read The Beatles Recording Sessions book,said,I think The Beatles ARE BRILLIANT and he said he despairs what his life would be like without The Beatles!! He said that when he first saw this book,he said Oh another garbage Beatles book.

    • Randi Brooks

      From Me To You,and especially She Loves You and I Want To Hold Your Hand were praised by some music critics even from the beginning,like William Mann of The London Times in December 1963 pointed out their interesting unusual chords and arrangements and London Times music critic Richard Buckle also in late 1963 called John and Paul the greatest composers since Beethoven after they wrote the music for a play Mods and Rockers.

      Bob Dylan ,Roger McGuinn of The Byrds as early as 1963 and 1964 pointed out that even in early Beatles songs like She Loves You and I Want To Hold Your Hand had unusual and interesting chords and they arranged them.

      Here in this article about The Beatles chords,Bob Dylan is quoted saying what he thought in 1964 about The early Beatles music,he said that they were doing things nobody was doing and that their chords were outrageous,just outrageous and their harmonies made it all valid.

      Here in Rolling Stone Magazine’s 100 Greatest Song Writers Bob Dylan is number 1,Paul McCartney is number 2, and John Lennon is number 3, Bob Dylan is quoted about a car trip when he heard a lot of Beatles songs on the radio, he said they were doing things and that he knew they were pointing the direction where music had to go.

      Roger McGuinn has said that he started to play a 12 string guitar after he saw and heard George Harrison playing in in the A Hard Day’s Night movie.

      And John and Paul wrote one of The Rolling Stones first hits the rock n roll song, I Wanna Be Your Man in late 1963 right in front of them. And Keith Richards and Mick Jagger were impressed and said wow,how can you write a song just like that and it inspired them to start writing their own songs.

      John Lennon and Paul McCartney were such amazingly talented singer song writers that they were already writing hit songs for other artists as early as 1963 when their own song writing success was getting off the ground,besides The Rolling Stones,they also wrote hit songs in 1963 for Billy J.Krammer and The Dakatos,Celia Black,and Peter and Gordon etc.

      Paul wrote his first song at age 14 and was playing guitar,John wrote heavy deep poetry but didn’t start writing songs until he met Paul and was impressed that he wrote his own songs,and he too started to write his own songs at age 16,and they wrote together and never stopped from then on. Paul wrote the very pretty song I’ll Follow The Sun at only 16.Even when The Beatles first came to America in February 1964 many people said how rare it was for *adult* rock n roll bands and solo artists to write their own songs,and Paul and John were already doing this as teenagers in the mid 1950’s.

      And even though I wasn’t born yet in 1963 I know what type of music was popular on the radio,non rock n roll songs like Bobby Vinton,The Four Seasons,Bobby Darin and The Beach Boys surfing hits,The early Beatles songs like She Loves You, I Want To Hold Your Hand and I Saw Her Standing there etc were hard rock for 1963 and ahead of their time.

    • Randi Brooks

      The early Beatles lyrics were more simple but a lot of their early music was actually much more complex. Just one of many examples I always loved this very early John song written and recorded in 1962 Ask Me

      I have always loved this great beautiful song written by John,with such typical beautiful melodies and harmonies John and Paul usually wrote,and John’s usual beautiful singing voice.And this was amazingly recorded in 1962 on only two track tape! with such limited,primitive recording technology but it of course still sounds great.Except I hate mono it’s limited sounding and only makes their already limited recording technology sound even more limited.I tried to find the stereo version of this song on youtube but I couldn’t find it.

      Here university of Pennsylvania musicologist Alan W.Pollack who did an 11 year extensive analysis of every one of the 200 Beatles songs,analyzes Ask Me Why and explains that it’s structurally complex.

      Here is Alan’s whole Beatles song analysis series

    • Randi Brooks

      Award winning classical composer and music professor Dr.Glen Gass’s Beatles course he’s been teaching since 1982 and he’s been teaching a course in rock music in general since then.

    • Randi Brooks

      31 Year old Beatles and music scholar Arron Krerowicz plays many instruments & writes his own music too

    • Randi Brooks

      In 2010 I read an online article that had an interview with Ernie Isley of The Isley Brothers about a recent tribute to Jimi Hendrix, in which he says that Jimi played for The Isley Brothers & lived with them & that they & he were fans of The Fab Four from the moment they all watched them on The Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964. I always thought that Jimi was only a later period Beatles fan,I knew he played Sgt.Pepper live the weekend it came out,& he played Day Tripper live also,& several people on different message boards said that when he was asked where the direction of music was going,he said ask The Beatles.

    • Randi Brooks

      In the 2012 Newsweek Beatles special celebrating 50 years since their music came out,Steve Jobs was quoted from Walter Isaacson’s biography as talking about how the band’s approach to recording “refining and refining” influenced his own creative process. He said they were such perfectionists they kept it going and going he said. Steve Jobs said that this made a big impression on him when he was in his thirties.Newsweek rightfully says,that it’s hard to imagine another rock band that influenced the way computers are made just as it is to think of one whose name became an adjective. And Newsweek said and that’s why The Beatles still stand apart.

      They quote Steve Jobs saying,”Somebody else could have replicated the Stones,(Newsweek then says,nailing the difference between artists shaped by their times and those who shape them),no one could have been Dylan or The Beatles.”

    • Randi Brooks

      As The Rolling Stone Album Guide said, not liking The Beatles is as perverse as not liking the sun. And Ozzy Osbourne( he’s been a huge Beatles fan he was a young teen from The Beatles early days,and he picked She Loves You as one of Rolling Stone Magazine’s greatest songs of all time,and Sgt.Pepper is one of hi favorite albums) said not loving The Beatles is like not loving oxygen. And a guy who runs Keno’s Classic Rock n Roll Site and who runs a Rolling Stones and John Lennon fan site says in his review of The Beatles 1967-1970 Blue Album damn The Beatles were one great group and he said in his great review of The Beatles 1962-1966 Red album, that if you don’t love or at least like The Beatles and their music then you are not a true rock fan and more than likely will never ever get it.

      He also says that John Lennon showed on Paul’s rocker Get Back why he should have played lead guitar more often because he did such a good job of it. He also said he played a pretty good slide guitar on George’s For Your Blue and he said John also played one of the first and best acid guitar parts on his great rocker Revolution.

    • Randi Brooks

      In this 2008 interview asking Keith Richards who the five greatest bands ever are besides The Rolling Stones,he said obviously he put The Beatles in there. This was 6 years of course before he ridiculously criticized The Beatles brilliant Sgt.Pepper album that The Rolling Stones tried but failed to copy and equal.

    • Randi Brooks

      Ozzy Osbourne has been a big Beatles fan since he was an early teenager,and he picked She Loves You as one of his favorite songs for Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 Greatest songs and Sgt.Pepper is one o his favorite albums. He says that not loving The Beatles is like not loving oxygen and he called The Beatles the greatest band to ever walk the earth.

      Here Ozzy Osbourne says that he doesn’t anyone will ever be as great as The Beatles and he said they were all great,even George Harrison and Ringo Starr were great.

      Here is a video of Ozzy Osbourne meets Paul McCartney for the first time and they hug each other.

      Here Ozzy Osbourne says how hearing She Loves You at age 15 inspired him to go into music.

    • Randi Brooks

      Not only is this so ignorant,ridiculous,and false on a creative and musical level,but on their personal level too. I guarantee true genuine boy bands don’t have groupies.

      The Beatles had sex with *tons* of young women groupies,many who were just teen girls especially during their touring years of 1963-1966 ironically they did this the most during the joke fake cleaned up image Brian Epstein created for them in their early days.In reality they were like pimps playing the part of priests! It’s no coincidence that in The Beatles Anthology video series that Paul,George and Ringo made,the story that is reported of The Beatles being thrown out of a US hotel in August 1965 because Paul was found in his hotel bedroom with an underage girl, that is included in the first great Beatles documentary from 1982 The Complete Beatles which none of them had any involvement making,is completely left out of The Beatles Anthology.

      Paul McCartney also said in Hunter Davies 1968 first edition of the only authorized Beatles biography called,The Beatles, that he had sex at age 15 with a girl who was older and bigger than him,and most 15 year old boys weren’t having sex in 1957,and he said he bragged about it to his classmates the next day and that he was the first one in his class to have sex.Paul also said in this book,that he would go into strip clubs at only 13 and he was the lad in his class that drew nude women.He also got another girl who was his girl friend,pregnant when he was 17 and she was 16,and Paul’s father and her parents wanted them to get married but she had a miscarriage.

      Hunter Davies says in his 1985 update of his Beatles biography, that The Beatles were no different from any other rock band when it came to groupies and he said they just had more to chose from. He said it was up to the road manager to say to these young women,you,you and you 5 minutes later which is really sexist and disgusting but it’s totally typical for every rock band which is what they always were.

    • Randi Brooks

      I really didn’t want to link to this article because unfortunately it says it appeared in Penthouse, the sexist,woman-hating,degrading and violent pornographic magazine in 1984,but I can’t find the full interview anywhere else.

      This is a great interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono at The St.Regis Hotel in September 1971. And Yoko was asked if she knew about what really went on during The Beatles tours,and she says she had thought that he’s an artist I’m sure he has had a few affairs, and she said she was really shocked and she said Oh God! when John told her the whole story about what he called all of the raving that went on their tours,Yoko said she had never heard the word groupie before.And Yoko was no innocent either,John was her third husband,she had a daughter with her second husband,and she had quite a few affairs and even abortions in the 1960’s.

      John is also asked if playing 8 hours a night from 1960-1962 as The Beatles did in Hamburg Germany improved their playing and he said oh absolutely because before that they had only played bits and pieces but in hamburg they played for hours and hours and that’s how they developed their rock n roll sound and playing.He also mentions how they took (meaning speed pills) to stay awake playing so long.

    • Randi Brooks

      Bob Dylan talks of Beatles friendship

      Legend admits: ‘I’m in awe of McCartney’
      May 16, 2007

      Bob Dylan has spoken in depth about his longstanding friendship with The Beatles and his particular bond with George Harrison.

      Talking to Rolling Stone magazine, Dylan talked freely about Harrison’s struggle to find his voice within the songwriting collective of John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

      “George got stuck with being the Beatle that had to fight to get songs on records because of Lennon and McCartney. Well, who wouldn’t get stuck?” he asked.

      Dylan highlighted the writing talents of Harrison, saying: “If George had had his own group and was writing his own songs back then, he’d have been probably just as big as anybody.”

      Speaking against popular belief, the singer also denounced any rumors of competitiveness towards Lennon and McCartney, asserting, “They were fantastic singers. Lennon, to this day, it’s hard to find a better singer than Lennon was, or than McCartney was and still is.”

      Nodding his cap to McCartney in particular, Dylan concluded: “I’m in awe of McCartney. He’s about the only one that I am in awe of. He can do it all. And he’s never let up… He’s just so damn effortless.”

    • Randi Brooks

      Also, classical composer Leonard Bernstein called John and Paul the greatest composers of the 20th century so did Elton John on a 1991 CBS Morning news show,he was asked who he musically admires and he said you can talk about your Rogers and Hammerstein but for the quantity of quality songs that Lennon and McCartney wrote in that short period of time,he said he thinks they were the greatest song writers of the 20th century.Brian Wilson said this too on a 1995 Nightline Beatles tribute show. The Beatles are in the Vocal Hall of Fame and John and Paul have been in the song writing Hall of Fame since 1987,Keith Richards and Mick Jagger have been in it since 1993,but as of now no members of The Who,or Led Zeppelin are in The Song Writing Hall Of Fame or The Vocal Hall Of Fame,The Rolling Stones aren’t in The Vocal Hall of Fame either and The Beatles were awarded about 20 prestigious Ivor Novello awards as great singers and song writers in just a remarkable 8 year recording career,John and Paul won the first one in early 1964.

      They also won an Oscar for their film score of their 1970 film Let It Be.

    • Randi Brooks

      Giles Martin,George Martin’s son who recently remastered The Beatles 1964 and 1965 Live At The Hollywood Bowl concerts rightfully says on All Songs Considered when people ask him if The Beatles were a good live band,he says they were a great live band and he mentions the very limited,primitive sound systems they had back then,and says how great The Beatles played live in the studio on their first 3 or 4 albums,and that they all played their instruments very good.

      He obviously means they played these first several albums live because they didn’t even have any overdubbing until 1965 so they had to play and record those albums live.And their first albums before the great A Hard Day’s Night album were recorded on only 2 track tape,they had 4 track by A Hard Day’s Night and only 8 track for The White album,Let It Be and Abbey Road.

    • Randi Brooks

      Here is a really good July 1976 Rolling Stone Magazine interview with George Martin in which he’s asked about George Harrison who he says is talented but John and Paul are so enormously talented that it was silly to look elsewhere.But it’s obvious George Harrison was even more talented as a song writer and guitarist than most people realize because in this same interview George Martin says that he didn’t give George much encouragement he just tolerated him. And of course John and Paul didn’t give him much encouragement,so he did mostly everything on his own.

    • Randi Brooks

      Around 2003 I found an online interview with George Martin and he said that even though he has produced many other music artists and he has never had the same success before or after producing The Beatles,he has never known or worked with anyone as brilliant as The Beatles. He was also interviews in the 1990’s on a Breakfast With The Beatles show on a local rock station,and he said that John Lennon and Paul McCartney were incredibly talented people and he said it like he still couldn’t believe it. And he also said they both were extraordinarily talented song writers and great singers.

      And in the excellent thorough book by Mark Lewisohn,The Beatles Recording Sessions,George Martin,and so many of The Beatles tape operators and recording engineers are interviewed,(and in the beginning there is a great 1987 interview with Paul McCartney) and they describe in detail how truly innovative, brilliant and creative especially John and Paul were in their amazing 8 year recording career. And there is a big black and white picture of Mick Jagger sitting in between John and Paul in the recording console room listening to the playback of the songs from The Beatles Revolver album.

      And my cousin who was born in 1968 who used to be a lawyer,and his brother born in 62 who is still a lawyer,and their sister born in 64,their oldest brother born in 60,and their parents have always been Beatles fans. My cousin born in 68,went to England around 1991 and he told me that he was at a British Museum where the works of Shakespeare,Dickens,Wodsworth and Keats,Lennon and McCartney’s lyrics are right in the same case. And he said the majority of visitors always said,forget the Shakespeare etc,lets go over to the Lennon and McCartney lyrics.

      When I once asked him,if he still liked The Beatles he said,best band there ever was.My step cousin born in 1958,said they probably were the greatest band ever.He saw Paul McCartney and Wings in May 1976 in concert when he was 18 and he said it was a great show.

    • Randi Brooks

      The Beatles even in their early days were writing and playing on records as well in concerts,both love ballads,and great rocking rock n roll and pop rock songs that they both wrote and cover songs including their great rocking performances in Sweden where the audience was quiet during their performances.

      They were the greatest *rock* band ever! (NEVER A G*d dam*ed stupid,uncool,untalented boy band as so many ignorant morons misperceive them as!) And I have always loved this great blues rocker by Paul,She’s A Woman.

      Except live there isn’t the piano,blending with the great rocking guitars,Paul’s great prominent booming bass,and his great rock vocal! And once again it’s amazing how good they sound on such limited,primitive sound systems of the time and with no feedback monitors so they couldn’t even hear themselves singing and playing,yet they still played and sang great and in sync with each other.

      Here is their great April 1965 New Music Express Winner’s Poll concert from April 11,1965.They won three years in a row.And notice that there are men and women of ages in the audience.

      Here they performed Paul’s great rocking I Saw Her Standing There in Sweden in October 1963 which The Beatles recorded in February 1963 on their first album Please Please Me which was recorded in just one day.

      The Beatles performing their rocking cover of Long Tall Sally with Paul’s great rocking vocal June 1964.

      Here in 1964 June in Melbourne Australia they are playing John’s great rock song that they had recorded in February 1964 on their first great early album A Hard Day’s Night.

      And here they performed Paul’s very good hard rocking,especially for early 1965,I’m Down at The Ed Sulivian Theater August 14,1965 one night before their live Shea Stadium performance.

      Here is their even harder rocking performance at Shea Stadium on August 15,1965 than they did on their record version of Paul’s I’m Down. And they did what a great rock n roll band would do,they ended this rock n roll concert with this rocking song.

      Here they performed a rocking cover of Dizzy Miss Lizzy with John’s great rock vocal,at the same She Stadium concert.

      Here is another great rocking Beatles performance of the cover Twist and Shout in June 1964 in Melbourne Australia

      And what a huge disgusting insult to all of them as very talented musicians,and to John and Paul as extremely talented song composers and great singers,and to John Lennon’s memory and was never the founder and leader of some stupid,uncool,untalented boy band! And I’m certain that if John were still living he would come on youtube and other message boards and say I was *never* the founder and leader of any f*cking stupid,uncool,untalented boy band get that through your stupid f*cking heads!

      If Beethoven,Mozart and Bach had screaming teenage girls in their audiences and they formed a band together they would have been a boy band too right?

    • Randi Brooks

      It’s really amazing how good The Beatles sounded live with such limited primitive crappy sound systems of the time,but they were so great that they would have even sounded good playing out of of cave.

      There is an online interview with Roger Daltry,Roger’s Journey With The Who in The Sun and he was asked if The Who had screaming girls at a certain point,and he said after Can’t Explain they did. He said it was the screaming teenage era and every band had them on their way up. He said it was fun at first but the trouble for a performer when you are that young and inexperienced is that you start to judge your performances on the amount they scream,he said it’s nonsense which is why Lennon gave up. He also said that The Who’s manager turned their image overnight from scruffy rockers to Mods.

      When The Beatles played live in 1963,64,65 & 66 they only had 100 watt amplifiers,no feedback monitors so they couldn’t hear themselves sing and play,plus the screaming crowds and that’s why they gave up touring.

      George Harrison says in The Beatles Anthology video series,that for their August 1965 Shea Stadium concerts, special 100 watt amplifiers were made and that they went up from only 30 watts before. Given how limited and primitive the sound systems were then,it’s amazing they sounded as good as they did live.But it was impossible for *anyone* to sound great on those kind of limited,primitive sound systems of the time.

      Former Kiss guitarist Bob Kulick who produced the heavy metal Beatles tribute album, Butchering The Beatles, said he saw The Beatles in concert in 1966 and he said he could hear parts of Baby’s In Black & Paperback Writer and they sounded amazing.

      A guy Steve from Canada said on Artist Facts,that he saw The Beatles live in 1966 and The Stones in 1996(and the sound systems by then were a zillion times better!) and he said don’t get me wrong,The Stones were great but they were no match for The Beatles and he called The Beatles The Greatest Band Of All Time.

      The Beatles started out playing 8 hours a night in the sleazy strip clubs of Hamburg Germany,taking speed pills to stay awake,wearing tight black leather jackets and pants,smoking and cursing on stage,and had sex with so many young women groupies including the strippers in those clubs,they were successful there. They also played successfully live in The Cavern Club for several years in the early 1960’s.

      John and George especially hated Beatle Mania,and George says in The Anthology series, that it took a toll on their nervous systems, they had no life either trapped in hotel rooms most of the time. They wanted to be popular & successful as every band does, but they didn’t want or ask for the hysteria. John says in his 1975 Tomorrow Show interview that the screaming wasn’t doing the music any good,and that things would break down and nobody would know.

      The Beatles sound great on their live roof top January 1969 concert in The Let It Be Film, and the sound systems had improved by then,(although still very limited compared to today’s) and there were no more screaming crowds.

      Paul was playing guitar and writing songs at 14 and he started soon after his beloved nurse and midwife mother Mary died of breast cancer, and he wrote the beautiful song Let It Be after he had a real seeming dream where he saw her alive again and she told him to just accept things as they are. He says in his authorized biography, that when he woke up he thought how great it was to see her alive again.

      And there is this very good article by Collin Fleming from The Atlantic, 50 Years Later: The Greatest Beatles Performance Of All Time

      And there used to be the full video of The Beatles February 1964 Washington Colosseum and there were over 1,000 likes and many people were saying what Frank and Jack say to this now only audio version of this concert,( many people on youtube are saying why are many of The Beatles videos gone off of youtube now and some are saying it’s because of UMG_MK and I don’t know what this is.) that it’s amazing that with such crappy sound systems of those days and no feedback monitors so they couldn’t even hear themselves singing and playing and many said they still sound so good and great and some say this Washington concert proves what a great live band they were and before they got so tired of all of the Beatlemania garbage they had to put up with all of the screaming drowning out their great music.

    • Randi Brooks

      I also met two people and know a third one who saw The Beatles in concert,one woman and one man who were my high school teachers who saw them in 1966,and the other my second cousin who saw them at the Baltimore Coliseum when she was 16 in 1964,she became a psychologist.They all told me that they were close enough to them to see and hear the The Beatles and that they were great.

    • Randi Brooks

      In this recent Rolling Stone Magazine interview with Paul McCartney he’s asked what he thinks about The Rolling Stones and he says they are a good little rock n roll band but not as good as The Beatles and that he’s going to be playing with them soon.And he’s asked about the song I Wanna Be Your Man and how they wrote it and gave to The Rolling Stones and it became one of their first hits.

    • Randi Brooks

      Here are The Rolling Stones live in 1963 and 1964 they don’t sound better or even as good as The Beatles live then! They aren’t even rocking.

      Here is The Rolling Stones in 1963 performing the cover Roll Over Beethoven.

      Here are The Beatles also performing Roll Over Beethoven in 1964,and clearly their version is more rocking and better!

    • Randi Brooks

      Here is The Rolling Stones performing one of my favorite songs by them,Street Fighting Man the music is great in it,although the words are very good too, while most of the comments are positive,there is a guy in the comments who said it’s a weak performance and they sound like a high school cover band.

    • Randi Brooks

      Here is part of The Beatles great January 1969 roof top concert. What Steve Paradiso says in the comments,That The Beatles were arguably The Greatest Rock n Roll Band Ever is *so true!*

    • Randi Brooks

      I have read all of the brand new almost all 5 star reviews of the new remastered best seller,The Beatles Live At The Hollywood Bowl and many people are saying what I and other fans have said elsewhere,that given how limited and primitive sound systems of the time were,and they had no feedback monitors so they couldn’t even hear themselves singing and playing,they played and sounded amazingly good! I heard the small samples on,and what struck me is how typically great and prominent Paul’s bass playing is,someone said he’s playing it like a lead instrument.Also an reviewer said how underrated John’s rhythm guitar playing is.

      Here on Paul quite a few members are saying that it’s amazing and incredible that The Beatles played so great and sang so great with such primitive sound systems at the time and no feedback monitors so they couldn’t even hear themselves singing and playing.One member said they were without a doubt the greatest live rock band ever!

      Many are saying the same things on this music forum

    • Randi Brooks

      In 1964 The Rolling Stones wrote and recorded a Rice Krispies TV commercial jingle not something cool like a cigarette ad and they also had teen girls screaming at their early concerts.Maybe The Rolling Stones should be called a boy band too.I’m pretty certain The Beatles never wrote and recorded a jingle for a cereal TV commercial.

    • Randi Brooks

      Not only did The Beatles give The Rolling Stones one of their first hits with their rock n roll song I Wanna Be Your Man as you know,and they wrote it right in front of them and Keith Richards and Mick Jagger were impressed and like wow how can you write a song just like that and it motivated them to start writing their own songs.

      The Rolling Stones were good friends with and fans of The Beatles.Mick Jagger was at 4 Beatles recording sessions and Keith Richards was at 2 of them with him.Also Mick Jagger was such a big Beatles fan that in May 1967 when The Beatles were recording their song Baby You’re A Rich Man he came there and stood on the sidelines to watch and listen to them recording it. His name is also on the tape box and he likely sang at the end verses.In Mark Lewishon’s great detailed music diary book, The Beatles Recording Sessions there is a big black and white picture of Mick Jagger sitting in between John and Paul in the recording console room during The Beatles Revolver recording sessions too.

      The Beatles remastered albums sold much more 40 years after their break up than The Rolling Stones remastered albums and they are still together! The Beatles have the best selling album of the last decade with their CD 1.And soon after their music went on iTunes,it went to the top.

      And Brian Jones played the saxophone on the strange Beatles song, You Know My Name Look Up The Number and he and Mick Jagger’s girlfriend at the time Marriane Faithful contributed sound effects on the song Yellow Submarine.

      As this guy Sal66 who is also a musician and has also posted on sites debunking ignorant cr*p about The Beatles has rightfully pointed out, The Beatles wrote,played and recorded I Feel Fine (which The All Music Guide says has brilliant,active ,difficult guitar leads and riffs) in the Fall of 1964 which was the first use of feedback guitar on a pop rock record and it also had a prominent guitar riff throughout this very good song almost a year *before* The Rolling Stones’s Satisfaction came out.

      And on John’s great Norwegian Wood recorded in the Fall of 1965,George Harrison was the first to play a sitar on a pop rock song and it was released on their great album Rubber Soul in December and then in May 1966 The Rolling Stones song Paint It Black came out with Brian Jones playing a sitar.

      And in Paul McCartney’s authorized biography Many Years From Now, Mick Jagger’s former girlfriend singer Marianne Faithful says that she and Mick used to go over to Paul’s house a lot and hang out in his music room. She said he never went to see them at their house they always went to visit him because he was Paul McCartney.She also said that Mick was intimidated by Paul but that Paul was totally oblivious to this.

      Paul also says in this book that he turned Mick on to pot in his music room and he said which is funny because a lot of people would assume it was the other way around. Mick Jagger was also with The Beatles in Bangor when they got the call that Brian Epstein was found dead because he went on the train with them with his then girl friend singer Marianne Faithful to see the Maharishi to study meditation that weekend.

      Also Mick Jagger is quoted on a Rolling Stones fan site, saying that Keith Richards liked The Beatles because he was quite interested in their chord sequences and he says he also liked their harmonies which he said were always a slight problem for The Rolling Stones.He said Keith always tried to get the harmonies off the ground but they always seemed messy.Mick then says,that what they never really got together were Keith and Brian singing backup vocals and he said it didn’t work because Keith was a better singer and to keep going,oooh,ooh,ooh(he laughs) and he said Brian liked all of those oohs which Keith had to put up with.He also said Keith was capable of much stronger vocals than ooh,ooh,ooh.

      On this same fan site Keith Richards is quoted from 1971 saying that The Beatles were perfect for opening doors,when they went to America they left it wide open for them and he said that The Rolling Stones could never have gone to America without them.He also said that The Beatles are so f**king good at what they did.

    • Randi Brooks

      My first cousin who is a head hunter helping people find jobs,she used to an accountant,and when she was 21 a huge Rolling Stones fan she also had The Beatles Revolver album in her bedroom.

      When The Rolling Stones did their Steel Wheels tour in 1989 I asked her if she still liked The Rolling Stones and she said no,but the same year at her wedding shower my male and female cousins were talking about The Beatles who we all love,and my cousin said Oh I love The Beatles.

      And when I was going to Paul McCartney live for the first time in 1990 and I was very excited about it, I was going on about how great he,John and The Beatles were and she said OK, I said you said you love The Beatles too and she said hey bottom line they were geniuses!

      And I once heard a radio host who was a former rock DJ and he said The Beatles are really like the only music artists who have just about every song they did was great and wasn’t great was still good. He said even their album tracks that weren’t released as singles.

    • Randi Brooks

      And I have been a huge Beatles fan, especially a big highly impressed John and Paul fan since I was 11 and I got my first Beatles book for my 11th birthday,I started collecting their albums at age 9, and I had every album by age 13. I was born after 1964 too. when I was 13 a guy at school who was 2 years older than me,gave me Hunter Davies authorized biography,he was a fan and his older brother was an even bigger fan.I would read that book for hours till 5 in the morning.

      Most people I have known all of my life,including my female and male cousins friends,and neighbors know they were brilliant.When I was 11 I had a music teacher who asked us to guess who he was talking about when he said they were geniuses and that they wrote 200 songs,and that most of their songs and albums are great and critically acclaimed in just an 8 year recording career,and I said,The Beatles and he said yes that’s right!

    • Randi Brooks

      In The All Music Guide’s great review of The Beatles Past Masters album,they say they proved that they could rock really,really hard with their songs I Feel Fine,She’s a Woman,and the peerless I’m Down

      all from late 1964 and early 1965.

    • Randi Brooks

      On Last FM. before Last FM. changed their site and now they unfortunately took off the fan groups,The Rolling Stones only had 80 members and they had 2,000 of their fan group in 2007,The Beatles had over 2,000 which became 18,000 and the average age of fans is 22 more guys than girls and they are from all over the world. In 2006,2007 and 2008 The Beatles were the # 1 most listened music artists on Last.FM and they are very popular on YouTube and Rate Your Music where many male and female fans in their teens and 20’s call them The Greatest Rock Band Ever. They are now the number 1 classic Rock band on there as they have been for


      and they did their homework right,in their Beatles biography they rightfully say that The Beatles were an iconic *rock band* and are the most critically acclaimed and successful rock band ever. And on Rate Your Music,they are the highest rated music artists out of over


      And they are number 1 out over 1,000 Top Rock Artists

      The Beatles are still rightfully regarded by most people,most rock critics,and many other music and rock artists as The most creative,innovative,and prolific rock band ever.

      In 1995 25 years after they broke up their Anthology CD’s went straight to # 1 around the world and I heard a rock DJ say that 40% of the people buying them were teenagers,the same exact thing when their 1 CD came out in 2000 30 years after they broke,up and in 2009,39 years after they broke up,they were the second biggest selling artists in the last decade,and their 1 CD was the biggest selling album. And their music went to the top soon after it went on iTunes.And soon after their music started streaming on Spotify it became very popular and Billboard reported that 65% of listeners are under 34 years old which means they weren’t even born when they broke up in 1970.

      There are also a lot of people in their teens,20’s and 30’s who are fans of John’s solo great music,and Paul’s solo and Wings great music.

    • Randi Brooks

      A radio host who was a former DJ once said that The Beatles are one of the only if not only bands that almost all of their songs were great including the album tracks that weren’t released as singles.

      On a message board discussion some years ago about what bands and artists people consider overrated,quite a few said The Rolling Stones and some said The Beatles or both,and a guy said if you ask almost anybody in the music business they will tell you that The Beatles were the Greatest Band Ever!

      I once spoke to a rock DJ about The Beatles and even though he said they aren’t his favorite,he said nobody can say that The Beatles weren’t great,he said especially John Lennon and Paul McCartney as song writers.

      And I once spoke to another rock DJ who is a huge Beatles fan & who has hosted a 2 hour Breakfast With The Beatles radio show for over 20 years & I said that The Beatles work in the recording studio described in details in The Beatles Recording Sessions by Mark Lewisohn,is so impressive & brilliant & he said oh it’s the work of geniuses. I said how can anyone not recognize what extraordinary singer song composers John Lennon & Paul McCartney were? And he said oh you can ask anyone in the music business & they will tell you that.

    • Randi Brooks

      Rate Your Music Top 1000 Rock Artists Queen is number 75,The Beatles are so rightfully number 1 !

      And on the site Digital Dreamdoor where many musicians are members The Beatles are the number 1 Greatest Rock Artists.

      On their 100 Greatest Rock Bass Guitarists Paul McCartney has been number 8 for many years now, John Deacon is number 32.John Paul Jones is number 27,and Bill Wyman is number 95.

      Out over 100 Greatest Rock Drummers Ringo Star is number 13, Roger Taylor is number 31 and Charlie Watts is number 91..

      Out of 200 Greatest Rock Song Writers John Lennon and Paul McCartney are of course number 1 members of Queen are number 47.

    • Randi Brooks

      Here in this 1971 interview at the Sgt.Regis Hotel John Lennon is asked by the interviewer about him using drummer Jim Keltner and if this was a reflection on Ringo’s drumming.And John said, Oh no I love his drumming. He then said I think Keltner is a bit technically better but Ringo is still one of the best drummers in rock.

      And who did John Lennon use as a drummer on his first brilliant solo album John Lennon Plastic Ono Band when he could have gotten almost anyone who would have jumped at the chance to play on one of John’s albums? Ringo.

      And Ringo Star was already a successful drummer in the most popular successful band in Liverpool,Rorry Storm and The Hurricanes when John,Paul and George asked him to join The Beatles.And George Martin didn’t think that Pete Best was that good,and he and John,Paul and George thought that Ringo was much better.

      Also Phil Collins and Max Weinberg are both Ringo fans. And Phil Collins ( who has always been a big Beatles fan and he was in the audience in the concert scene in their great movie A Hard Day’s Night at age 13) says he can’t even duplicate Ringo’s great drumming in A Day In The Life. George Martin says that Ringo always had a great feel and ear for a song and that it was his idea to play the tom toms on A Day In The Life giving it a unique percussion sound.

      Mark Lewisohn says in his great book,The Beatles Recording Sessions,that on a handful of occasions during all of the several hundred session tapes and thousand of recording hours can Ringo be heard to have made a mistake or wavered in his beat. He then says that his work was remarkably consistent-and excellent-from 1962 right through to 1970.

    • Randi Brooks

      This is a great August 1986 hour long Paul McCartney interview by Barbara Hower from Entertainment This Week. She asked him a lot of great intelligent questions including how he felt about John Lennon’s horrible,tragic murder ( by a one time big Beatles fan,and John had been his faviorite Beatle) and she got a rare great interview out of him and he comes across as very likeable intelligent,funny,serious and charming.This is really the best interview with Paul that I have ever seen or heard.She also talked to him about his drug arrests and all of drug related songs of The Beatles and his time in jail in Japan because of having tons of pot with him.And in between commercials Lionel Richie and David lee Roth talk about how great The Beatles,especially John and Paul were as song writers.

      I still have this interview on an old VHS tape from the time. It’s not on youtube though for some reason. Unfortunately it gets interrupted by advertisements but then the interview resumes.But I just watched it again and there were no commercials now, I hope they don’t include them again.Paul also says in this interview that soon after John died Yoko called him up and told Paul that John really loved him.

      Notice how uncomfortable Paul’s face expression is for about a minute in this great August 1986 hour long Paul McCartney interview by Barbara Hower from Entertainment This Week when she says to him,probably your first great love before you married Linda was Jane Asher, it struck a chord.I’m sure that Paul was really in love with intelligent beautiful British actress Jane too,you don’t write the beautiful love songs such as And I Love Her,Things We Said Today, and Here There Everywhere,(plus the great songs he wrote about his arguments with her,which was his own fault because of his sexism constantly trying to get Jane to give up her acting career she loved so much and that she had been doing since she was 5 years old.

    • Randi Brooks

      British classical composer Howard Goodall’s TV special 20th Century Greats features The Beatles,specifically Lennon and McCartney as one of the brilliant music artists featured.

      Here is another even better part of this series

    • Randi Brooks

      What you and Ed said is so beyond ignorant,ridiculous,stupid,ludicrous and wrong!

      The Beatles were *NEVER* a ”boy band”! As a poster Reverend Rock,who is a rock musician,reverend and a big Beatles fan said on a classic rock site years ago,that anyone who knows The Beatles history knows it’s ludicrous to even *suggest* such a thing! And what a huge insult to their enormous talent as true singers,song writers and musicians! The Beatles were a *zillion* times more talented and cool than any stupid,uncool,untalented real boy band!

      The Monkees are the first true boy band because they didn’t even start off as a genuine band, they were all musical but they were originally hired as actors to play members of a TV pop rock band for their TV show, they didn’t start off playing together like Paul at age 15,George age 14 and John age 16 playing guitars and singing,then playing a few years later for 8 hours a night in sleazy strip clubs( and The Beatles had sex with many young women groupies,many who were teen girls and strippers) like The Beatles did in Hamburg Germany(or anywhere) for 2 years in a row,taking speed pills to stay awake to do it,and working their a*ses off playing as a real rock n roll band,and then playing successfully in the Cavern club as a real rock n roll band for years by the time they made it big.

      And The Beatles wrote and played a lot of great rock n roll and pop rock songs in their early days. John and Paul wrote the rock n roll song I Wanna Be Your Man write in front of Keith Richards and Mick Jagger in 1963 and they were both really impressed that they could just write a song just like that,and it inspired them to start writing their own songs and both bands became good friends from then on. And this song was one of The Rolling Stones first hits.

      There is just no comparison to The Monkees etc. A guy so accurately said on a message board many years ago when some idiots called them a ”boy band” that The Beatles were *never* a boy band,not even during their 1963-1965 period. And another guy said a few years after this on another forum,when some idiot said this,that he too once thought the early Beatles were a boy band like NYSNC,or The Back Street Boys,until he got out of 7th grade.

      Every time some ignorant person unjustly calls them a boy band,I’m sure John Lennon’s ashes must be turning with outrage.I’m sure he would go on to these sites and say I was *not* the founder and the leader of some f*king,stupid,uncool,untalented, boy band get that through your stupid f*cking heads!

      And younger people don’t know what type of music was out in 1963,even though I wasn’t born yet,I know that The Beatles early songs like She Loves You and I Want To Hold Your Hand were hard rock compared to the music out then.There was just Bobby Darin,The Four Seasons,Bobby Vinton and The Beach Boys surfing hits.

    • Randi Brooks

      Here is a very good educational you tube video by MeanMr Mayo who is a member of The Beatles fan site,Abbryd debunking this stupid,ridiculous,ludicrous myth that The Beatles were ever a boy band.

    • Randi Brooks

      Paul McCartney is the Mozart of rock and he really was born this way because he inherited his father Jim McCartney’s and Jim’s father’s natural music talent,to a rare ridiculous extreme degree. Paul’s father Jim taught himself how to play the piano at age 14,and he broke an ear drum at the age of 10 so he was deaf in one ear,and he went on to become a classical jazz pianist and the leader of his own band Jim Mac’s Band who were popular in clubs in Liverpool. His father even wrote an instrumental song called,walking In The Park With Eloise which Paul and Wings recorded with the name The Country Hams in 1974 and included this song on their 1976 Wings album,Wings At The Speed Of Sound.

      But his father and grandfather weren’t poets,they were naturally musically talented and Paul has always been more of a *music genius* than a lyric genius even though he can and has written very good lyrics,but he doesn’t have to.And even when he did it’s his *music* that is what is so great about his songs and albums.

      Paul’s father’s father,also played brass and other instruments in a band and was a good singer with a good singing voice.

    • Randi Brooks

      Paul McCartney’s early solo early Wings music which includes a lot of great rock and even some hard rock from 1970-1975 which is Paul’s best post Beatles music

      Here the very good Russian music reviewer George Starostin reviews Paul McCartney’s solo and Wings albums and songs and he so rightly debunks the common stupid myth that Paul’s solo and Wings music wasn’t very good and he gives good and great reviews to almost all of Paul’s 1970’s albums.

      He also gives The Beatles not only an A rating but the highest rating number and he says in italics,and underlines it,Highest Rating Ever.

      Paul McCartney is still in the Guinness Book of World Records since October 1979 as the most successful song composer of all time and he has an honorary doctorate in music from Sussex University in 1988 and another from Yale in 2008.

    • Randi Brooks

      Paul’s 1975 Venus & Mars Wings album is a great rock album and out of the majority of great reviews on it gets a well deserved 5 stars out of over 100 reviews for this album. This is one of the *GREATEST* solo/Wings Paul albums he ever did! It’s great and it’s Beatles quality because every song is very good & if anyone wants to know what a true music genius Paul really is,just listen to the *music* in the great Letting Go.

      My mother only liked classical music,Beethoven,Bach & Mozart,no rock & she played their music on the piano.When I was playing this album and she came into the room when Letting Go was on,she asked me is that Paul McCartney and I said yes and she said Oh that music is brilliant,he’s a music genius like Beethoven! My mother was also a talented artist who sculpted,and drew with charcoal pencils and pastels, and she even sold some of her sculptures at a few local galleries.

      And my sister who is 4 years older than me and had a big diverse music collection since she was a mid teen,bought Venus and Mars when it came out,and I remember listening to it with her,and her friend and my best friend and we all loved it. My sister still says years later that Venus and Mars is one of the best rock albums she ever heard and that it’s unique and she knows no album like it. She always said his 1971 Ram album was a very good album too,although I like this album much better and I really don’t understand all of the love everywhere for his Ram album I think it only has 3 great songs on it, the great rocker Too Many People,Uncle Albert and Back Seat of My Car. Paul’s best post Beatles sounding music was from 1970-1975,with this being his last true great album.After this he wrote some good music but he never wrote the same great quality music again for some reason.

      His first solo album McCartney where he played every instrument by himself (and he played them all great) is very good,Red Rose Speedway and Band On The Run are very good albums too,and he produced all of these great albums by himself and co-arranged the music on Venus and Mars by himself.

  • I love the detail with which you express your views in this blog. I myself have seen this concert countless times and despite knowing that this was their last concert together, ever.. it still brings a smile on my face. However, the fact that you keep using the word “hate” and the fact that The fab four hated each other puts me off a little, it may be true, but be being a beatlemaniac makes it tough for me to come to terms with that fact considering how amazing they were with each other initially. Perhaps I’m just in denial of their hate for each other..
    but I love the way you have written this it is nice to know that people today still give importance to the greatest band in the history of rock n roll..

  • Love the video. Thanks for introducing it to me.
    I have always been fascinated by Lennon. Some of the things he said, just blow my mind. About love and thinking differently, revolutionary. Yet, he was a misogynist for a lot of his life and he admitted to hitting his wife and girlfriends. Not sure what that means, but I still am fascinated by him.

  • kevin faul

    you’ve become an artist

  • Is this post about competence or is it about discipline? for me competence is your ability to do something where as discipline is the ability to carry on doing it no matter what.

    • AtlasAikido

      It makes more sense to think of this as playing to strengths and away from weaknesses. This was a coming together of innovative creative guys and their love of their craft. This “discipline” thing is not what creative people I know focus on. They may notice their “competence” is not where it should be and decide go /no go from there. But it is another red herring. This article and the last jam/meet up looks more like a work-it-out, work-it-thru transition session or progress by incremental improvement and prototyping. And it clearly made more sense for them to progress by backing off as a group–and away from the Group Trap–and splitting off individually to do their own thing. A very natural and satisfying thing to do. Good for them!

  • bitchin yoga

    Sweet memories. Such a beautiful half hour it was. I lived with a drummer and traveled with the band sometimes. They would be furious with each other in between sets, not speaking in the dressing room. When they hit the stage though no one would ever know. I was young at the time. It was a great thing to learn: art triumphs over confusion and anger. Once it’s released it exists outside the people who created it and then it winds back to shape them in the moments they witness it.

  • Otaddy

    I’m one of the haters. Sure these guys had much more talent than what exists on the music scene today, but honestly, I just don’t care for their music and I know I would have been one of the ones irritated by their antics.

    I’m sorry, but I just don’t get it.

  • Like this message. A creator can’t ever rest.

    And by the way, I noticed your Facebook likes skyrocketed recently. Awesome job.

  • Srirang


    Is there a message in there somewhere that I am missing? Honestly, this post is just about a band that you adore, very much. I don’t know anything about beatles except that they were a band. So I might be missing some context here, but otherwise I just don’t see what is in this post, unlike your other posts which generally carry some piece of wisdom, mostly actionable things.

    Or is it the case that you just chose this post to be a simple recollection of your fond memories?

  • redzaffer

    Thanks James. This video is so bittersweet knowing (in retrospect) that this was their last live performance together. I agree that creators should strive to keep creating. Even more important, perhaps, is to savor the times when you’re on a “creative high”. Those times are usually short and sporadic. You can never go back and relive them, and it often takes true presence of mind to recognize them as they happen.

  • I *love* this video. Did you notice that (a) the guy at 11:28 looks like the spitting image of Robin Williams, accent and all; also, (b) the lyrics of “i’ve got a feeling” seem to be very telling of their imminent split up:

    Ev’rybody had a hard year
    Ev’rybody had a good time
    Ev’rybody had a wet dream,
    Ev’rybody saw the sunshine
    Oh yeah, oh yeah.
    Ev’rybody had a good year,
    Ev’rybody let their hair down,
    Ev’rybody pulled their socks up,
    Ev’rybody put their foot down.
    Oh yeah, oh yeah.

  • They were a great part of the reason I wanted to be a professional musician. I used to hide away from my childhood responsibilities listening to “The Beatle Hour” like a crack addict, getting in trouble if I got caught because I had to clean something, do the dishes, or whatever annoys parents when kids are obsessed. Sometimes I took the radio into the bathroom where no one bothered me–the safe zone. I still have some cassettes where I’d try to tape them-I wasn’t very old–I was an anachronism… As you know, I’m not a professional musician–it was my first big failure in life (as well it should have been), but the lessons they taught me–still there. Thanks for repackaging a great story into an even more poignant lesson once again!

  • George Collins

    Wow. Thank you, James. The Beatles have always been my favorite group and I remember very clearly how heartbroken I was when they broke up and how depressing it was to see the movie “Let It Be” when it came out in 1970–when I was eight years old. I’d been a fan since I was five! Just last week I was listening to the “Get Back/Let It Be” sessions on Volume 3 of “The Beatles Anthology” and grooving to these tunes and reading the liner notes again, but I don’t think I’ve watched the rooftop concert in forty years. Bittersweet, yet inspiring. Thank you for posting this and for your always insightful comments. I can now watch this clip and listen to these tunes with a bit of a different–and more hopeful–perspective.

  • Rocco

    I don’t think they hated each other as much as you insist here. Yes there was resentments, etc but don’t forget they went on to record Abby Road after this. One of their greatest albums. They got it together to do that with pride, love and,most definitely, competence.

    • Gary

      Actually, George Martin is said to have had the creative hand in Abbey Road, stringing bits and pieces together to make an absolutely fabulous album — especially side 2. Lennon is said to have disliked it greatly.

  • JAM

    Passel of overrated, undertalented wankers. Decent tunes? Yeh, ‘suppose, but never could grasp the breathless hero worship soapoperas. Band of blokes did well for a bit, were wildly successful a bit, grew up a bit, didn’t have the grit to hold it together, and moved on…to be wildly successful. Wake me when yer done.

    • InnerCynic

      Wake me up when you’re as “undertalented” as they are.

    • Sir Huddleston Fuddleston

      One day, when you have some perspective, when it’s been twenty years since you’ve heard about the bands you once loved, come back here and apologize. The greatest single contribution to popular culture of all time.

  • Rolling Dance Floor

    Beautiful, James. so is Singing Call (1970 Demo) Stephen Stills

  • I don’t know much about the Beatles, but i still enjoyed reading this post. Love how you ended it. Hope ur day is going well James!

  • Rohit

    Loved teh article..very well written James..I love beatles and though my Dad makes fun of me that I still listen to their songs..But they made beautiful songs

  • Bob Breeks

    Things are never what they seem..this roof top concert was copied from Jefferson Airplane…and they never had an invisible keyboard player….who was dubbed on -post rooftop- in the studio at a later date

    • Boon Companion

      Pay attention, Bob. Billy Preston is off to the left, or “stage right.”

      • Billy Preston had an excellent voice as well. Watch his videos in the George Harrison tribute concert.

      • bob breeks

        really…..oh I stand corrected….thanks….give me a chance to watch it again…..but they didn’t exactly give him much of the camera did they?
        Anyway thanks for setting it straight.
        Check out

        for the Airplane gig film by Jean-Luc Godard on a rooftop in Midtown Manhattan (December 7, 1968)

        • Sir Huddleston Fuddleston

          As for “not giving him much of the camera”, the Beatles knew him from Hamburg, and seriously discussed making him a member. He’s the only non-Beatle credited on a Beatles’ song. Get Back — the Beatles with Billy Preston.

          God, people are so ignorant.

  • Jim

    Read “The Talent Code” by Daniel Coyle. It will absolutely blow you away.

  • Bob

    That last sentence is worth it all.

  • EdD

    Sorry, but I was always a Stones/Cream fan. The Beatles weren’t even on the list for me while they were recording. As individual recording artists, they were just annoying with their silly bubblegum tunes. Beatles fans and Monkees fans were about the same to me in those days. Still are, actually.

    • Steven E. Woods

      Yeah, OK Ed

  • Steve

    That was fantastic. I’ve skimmed the video a few times but I guess never really read the complete history of it. And you’re right. Despite the personal issues, they were very good. Thanks for the nice morning.

  • Boon Companion


  • The__Bobster

    Slope-loving Lennon was a real douchebag.

  • Oh great joy! Sadness – with a lasting taste of wonder. Musically, momentously mischievous. So moving.

  • John Public

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and this video. There are so many complex aspects of this history, but I feel like you did a good job of presenting an interesting view. More people would gain a lot by learning about the Beatles.

  • Deuce

    As others have already pointed out, this is a fantastic article. Kudos.

    My only complaint is not with the word hate, because despite being a strong word, it is probably accurate to their collective states of mind at that moment of time, regardless of what came before or after. But I think where James says ‘competence’ he means ‘PURPOSE’. It was the sense of purpose that made the Beatles great in this moment, despite any peripheral emotions or agendas going on at the time. We can all block out the negative in our lives when we are doing something with a sense of purpose. And conversely, having a sense of purpose, DIMINISHES the negative things in our lives. This is what I gather to be James’s true meaning and I think purpose is the better word. Their competence was merely the product of the passion that comes with doing something with a sense of purpose.

    But in no way is this a criticism. The point is the same either way, and it is a profound and relevant one. Look at all the digression and corruption taking place in our society as we lose jobs and industries, and with them the sense of purpose of all who once filled their ranks. Without the pride that comes with a sense of purpose, we have become the Beatles immediately before and after this concert. A bunch of unfulfilled individuals, ripe for division by petty differences. So true.

    Great stuff James!

  • I love your last paragraph – it is so true, especially the line “Every moment is the audition”. It’s true and so many people let the moments pass by, just getting through. Not the great though.

  • porkypine

    Jamesy, your last paragraph is immortal, love it. What did Neil Diamond once write in a song? “Be as a page that aches for a word on a theme that is timeless.” You hit it smack square on the head. Gore Vidal also said “Style, is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.” Nice article.

  • Sage Blum

    Wonderful post, James. Funny how people are so different. I am amazed that anyone can watch the youtube video of that rooftop concert of 1969 & not be amazed at the talent of the Beatles.
    I am grateful for the time they spent together & the music they created together. And am happy for them that they split up when they needed to. A marriage between 2 people has its frustrations. A professional “marriage” among 4 different people can possibly be good for a while. But no one can be surprised if eventually the compromises & frustrations & perhaps unresolvable conflicts, become unbearable. And if there emerges an intense need for each person to follow only their own professional path without interference.

  • Lastangelman

    Read Rolling Stone
    It was Lennon’s anxieties, angst, apathy that ultimately split the Beatles.

  • jquick99

    Notice how NO one watching [spectators, NOT the filming crew] on the rooftop has a camera to capture the moment? If that happened today, every single person there would have whipped out their phone to take a photo.

  • ChasInNJ

    I clicked on the image and saw an ominous notice … “This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by EMI Music.”

    EMI is getting bought up and split apart, yet that did not stop it from doing the dirty work of the Greedy Music Industry.

  • Anonomoose

    The EMI guys forced the removal of the video linked above. However, after a search I found it again to those who came late:

  • Randi Brooks

    Why were all of my posts with a lot of great strong information debunking this totally stupid,ludicrous,ridiculous,ignorant inaccurate myth that The Beatles were ever a ”boy band” erased?

  • Randi Brooks

    And James you wrote a very good nice post.