LIFE The Beatles

LIFE The Beatles

LIFE The Beatles

The songs are iconic, their faces unmistakable. When John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, all cheeky young lads from Liverpool, exploded on the international stage in the 1960s, with their mop tops and infectious love songs it was a cultural earthquake. Beatlemania swept the globe. The Fab Four’s music and lyrics would continue to grow in maturity and sophistication, including the albums Rubber Soul, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and Abbey Road broke new ground. After breaking up in 1970, the Beatles found both solo success and tragedy, with Lennon’s 1980 assassination and Harrison’s untimely death from cancer. But their music is eternal. This special edition tells their story and includes: The early days, John and Paul: friends and rivals, the women they loved, and going solo.

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United States
Meredith Corporation
111,75 kr.(Inkl. moms)

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2 min.
they’re still with us

FROM ALMOST THE MOMENT they broke up, 50 years ago this spring, the Beatles were rumored to be reuniting. In one tumultuous decade they had literally risen from obscurity, ascending from a Liverpool cellar to unprecedented heights of fame, making themselves indispensable to millions. And so, from the very beginning of the end, the world was trying to put the Beatles back together. “My answer to the question, ‘Will the Beatles get together again?’ is no,” Paul McCartney wrote to the British music journal Melody Maker in the summer of 1970, mere months after news of their breakup had become official. The letter was an effort, in McCartney’s words, “to put out of its misery the limping dog of a news story which has been dragging itself across your pages.” What a…

10 min.
in the town where i was born

Paul McCartney and John Lennon met in a churchyard, as befits the biblical scale of their lives. Paul had a classmate at the Liverpool Institute High School for Boys named Ivan Vaughan with whom he shared a birthday, June 18, 1942, making them both 15 years old on the midsummer day in 1957 when Vaughan invited McCartney to see a skiffle band, the Quarrymen, at the Woolton Parish Church Garden Fete, in Liverpool. The lead singer of the Quarrymen, a friend of Ivan’s, belted out the wrong lyrics to “Come Go with Me,” by a doo-wop group from Pittsburgh called the Del-Vikings, and after the gig, Paul met that older boy, who was nearly 17 and wore a kind of Elvis Presley pompadour. James Paul McCartney was immediately unimpressed with John…

12 min.
yes, i’m gonna be a star

The Quarrymen briefly became Johnny & the Moondogs, the Silver Beetles, and finally, by the summer of 1960, the Beatles, in homage to Buddy Holly and the Crickets. (John loved Holly in part because he also wore glasses.) Their first manager, a businessman named Allan Williams, booked them to play in Hamburg and drove them to Germany himself in a van—along the way taking a ferry from Harwich in England to the Netherlands. John, Paul, George, drummer Pete Best, and bassist Stuart Sutcliffe performed in nightclubs on the notorious Reeperbahn. It was Sutcliffe’s girlfriend, and later fiancée, a German photographer and fashionista named Astrid Kirchherr, who cut Sutcliffe’s hair in a mop top, a style then in vogue in Germany and emulated by the rest of the band. In Hamburg, playing…

2 min.
beatlemania: a phenomenon in pictures

ECSTASY AT THE PLAZA Fans in New York ran through the street against traffic, past mounted policeman, as they swarmed the Plaza Hotel, where the Beatles were still staying three days after their appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, whose audience of 73 million was not the only indication that this was a watershed. One fan outside the Plaza held a sign that read “Elvis Is Dead.” No Americans, of any age, were immune to the Beatles’ charisma. News anchor Walter Cronkite, who months earlier announced the death of President Kennedy on CBS, was not a fan, but his teenage daughters eagerly attended the Sullivan rehearsal. Among the spectators watching the Beatles depart the Plaza—next stop, Washington, D.C.—was New York Catholic archbishop Francis Cardinal Spellman, who had been born in the…

16 min.
i’ll be writing more in a week or two

The Beatles wrote and recorded more good music, more frequently, in less time, than any artists before or since. When they weren’t on the road, they were preparing albums, two a year, plus singles, which required the Beatles to keep office hours, reporting to EMI’s studios at 10 a.m., when George Martin and the technicians (whom the band thought of as the “adults” in the room) expected them to arrive. During certain periods of torrid fertility they would, after spending half an hour tuning their instruments, record two songs in the morning, break at 1:30 for lunch, then return at 2:30 to record two more songs in the afternoon, leaving the office—Abbey Road—at 5:30 p.m. In this way, reporting for shift work in a rock ‘n’ roll music factory, they…

11 min.
love is all you need

The Beatles emerged from their chrysalis in 1967 as something else entirely. With the release of their new album, they hadn’t just stopped touring; they had stopped being the Beatles. Well, that was the conceit anyway. McCartney dreamed up a collective alter ego for the group, partly inspired by his dad’s old group, Jim Mac’s Jazz Band, partly by the quirky names suddenly in vogue in rock ‘n’ roll—the Incredible String Band, for instance, or Big Brother and the Holding Company. The idea was that the Beatles, playing dress-up, would become another band entirely. And so in the spring of 1967 came the birth of the “concept album”: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. McCartney has recalled that just a couple of days after the album’s release, he and Harrison went…