In Marvin Martin’s book, ‘The Beatles: The Music Was Never the Same’, the book is about how the Beatles changed popular music forever. They inspired many people to try and make music of their own. Marvin Martin goes into detail about the band and their music. The members are John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr.
The famous stars grew up in Liverpool, in northwestern England. Starting with the year 1940, Britain was brought into World War II. In that same year John Lennon was born on October 9. Lennon was a troublesome kid. He was the type of person who would annoy teachers, talk back to adults, and want to be the center of attention. Music traits have always been in his family. For example, his grandfather lived as a professional entertainer. John had taken a guitar from his family member Julia and played it until it was no longer of good use. He started playing in what was labeled as a ‘Community Band’. The band made their musical debut at the party on Rosebery Street.
Paul McCartney also had a history with music. Even though his father, James McCartney, was partially deaf he taught himself how to play the piano. He was a part of a band called ‘Jim Mac’s Band’. On June 18, 1942, Paul McCartney was born. After his mother’s death he picked up on how to play the guitar. At that moment his life changed. When Paul was young, he did vocal training. He sang in the church choir. As he grew older, he got a trumpet. Paul taught himself how to play because he liked the trumpet much better than choir. On the day June 6, 1957, his band played at St. Peter’s Church during a picnic. The gig was played near John Lennon's house.
George Harrison did well in school but much like the other two, Paul and John, he was much more interested in music. He was barely a teenager when a guitar spiked his interest. Unlike the others George didn't have a musical background. Yes, his parents enjoyed listening and dancing to music, but there was no musical heritage. He was much influenced by Elvis, Buddy Holly, and others. Once he grew older and lost all interest in school, he bought his second guitar. He would play with other musically inclined people as well. He had met a guitar playing buddy named Paul McCartney. They would practice together for hours on end and teach each other how to play. He was in a local band named ‘The Rebels’ with John and Paul. George also played with a different group called ‘Les Stewart Quartet’. They would go around Liverpool and play any gig that was available. George was the initial reason that the Beatles was formed.
July 7, 1940 was the day Ringo Starr was born. He was born three days prior to the Battle of Britain. At the age of sixteen he had set up his very own drum set. The set was made up of homemade items. He bought a 3.00 bass drum, used firewood to make the sticks, tin cans, and more. He said that he never really played a real beat and that he would just mess around. Later, his stepdad bought him a drum set. A month after that him and his employees formed a group. They played for fun with the occasional money earned here and there. The group would perform at the company that they worked for at times. Some places that they performed were weddings, dances, parties, and skiffle contests. After Ringo’s skills progressed, he auditioned for another band named ‘The Darktown Skiffle Group’. He was accepted. Ringo played with other bands randomly at times. His grandfather bought him a new drum set. The year 1959 came and he was offered an opportunity of a lifetime. Ringo started playing with a group that would later be named ‘Rory Storm and the Hurricanes’. That was considered the best group until the Beatles passed them. Once Rory’s group had landed a gig at the season resort in Wales called the Butlin's. Ringo was offered a position to be their drummer.
The Beatles never were able to keep a drummer. Their first official gig took place at the Cavern Club. John and George weren’t exactly friends. More like band members to each other. Normally the band would practice at each other's houses. August 1959 the three Beatles decided to stay together officially. Still no official drummer.
Once the Casbah gig was over the three members, John, George, and Paul were looking for a new name. So, the old name ‘Quarry Men’ was out. The boys qualified for the finals that were taking place at Hippodrome Theatre in Manchester on November 18. If they won the finals that meant they could possibly have a brief spot-on Carroll Levi’s television show. Soon after they realized being a trio was not enough. They needed a bass player or drummer. A solution was soon made by recruiting Stuart Sutcliffe. Still with no name they had come up with the ‘Beatles’ with the help of John and what they liked to call him ‘Stu’. They attempted to name it after Buddy Holly as some sort of spin-off. The reasoning for the name was as John stated: “Just thinking about what a good name The Crickets would be for an English group. The idea of the Beetles came into my head. I decided to spell it BEAtles to make it look like a joke”.
The Beatles were offered an audition. The two requirements that were made was they needed to have a drummer and a name. Some name suggestions were given. One example was ‘Long John and the Silver Beetles’. John Lennon did not want to be called ‘Long John’, but made a compromise and the Silver Beetles stuck. As for the drummer situation they had someone named Tommy Moore suggested. The auditions were held on May 10, 1960, at Williams’s Blue Angel Club. At the time this club was not yet open. The last group that went was the Silver Beetles. The drummer did not come as they were without one at the audition. Once they were halfway done the drummer, Tommy Moore, decided to show up. The music that they used was Elvis’ material. Parnes and Fury, the judges, loved them. They had claimed that they had ‘something else’. Fury immediately took notice of the group and wanted them right away. One problem occurred. Parnes did not want Stuart. In the end Parnes turned them down.
Highly disappointed, they left. Not too long after, is when they got their first ‘professional gig’ on May 14. They played so well they were asked to come back on May 20. They were still referred to as the Silver Beetles. One day they were asked to accompany Johnny Gentle who was a television and recording star. The tour would last nine days. The boys were happy about the offer of course. They labeled this as the ‘biggest thing to happen to their careers’. A problem had later been discovered. They wanted to do the tour but it was on such short notice. The tour would begin on May 20. This left them with only two days to prepare. Despite the short notice they took on the offer.
A week after the tour they had lost their new drummer again. They held auditions for a new drummer. Pete Best became the fifth Beatle as their drummer after the blackjacks were falling apart. At the time Rory’s band who had Ringo as their drummer was getting better gigs.
Everything was looking up for the Beatles. They shared playing time at Hamburg with Rory’s band. The two bands were brought together. John, Paul, and George with one of the band members being Ringo. This became the first time the Beatles played together. The first song they had worked on was ‘Summertime’.
They had visited Hamburg, and in that time, they had made their first record. The record became fairly popular. They were a part of the Top Ten after a recording executive found them. In May 1961 the Beatles started recording many songs. They recorded with Sheridan, this included ‘My Bonnie’ and ‘The Saints’. The record label called them the Beat Brothers. This also included their first piece of original work, ‘Cry for a Shadow’.
The stars had become popular changing the way people looked at rock and roll forever. Of course, they eventually had to move on. The Beatles broke off in 1970. John Lennon never stopped recording. He found new people and occasionally brought in some old band members from the Beatles. In October 1975, John became an official resident of the United States living in New York. Paul went solo for a while until he formed a new band in 1971. His band won two Grammy Awards. He stayed writing songs until the 1990s. He broke off of his band in 1983. In total they had around eight albums and quite a bit of singles. He grew up to have two daughters and a son. Mary, Stella, and James. George never stopped loving music. He was once in an interview with the Rolling Stones and said, “I was starting to write loads on tunes, and one or two per album (with the Beatles) wasn't sufficient for me”. He had been offered a major project in 1971. Ravi Shanker had come to him for an idea to raise money to aid Bangladesh. This was a country severely affected by the civil war. He later released an album in 1987, Cloud Nine. Ringo took the separation the hardest. He told the magazine Peoples that he didn't know what he would do. He stated: “I sat in my garden for about a year wondering what on earth was going to happen to me. I was sick”. Ringo then had minor roles in things such as, ‘A Hard Day's Night’, ‘Help’, ‘Candy’, ‘The Magic Christian’, and ‘Blindman’. He went on to make more solo recordings. In 1973 he released ‘It Don't Come Easy’, which became a huge hit. He had three kids Zak, Jason, and Lee. As he grew older, he became reliant on drugs and alcohol for support which only made his problems worse. He went into rehab in the late 1980s. Ringo formed an All-Starr Band in 1889.
This book was very informative. If you are interested in reading or learning more about the Beatles this book goes into a lot of entails about how the band came to be, their career, and the breakup. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more.