Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Beat of the Beatles Goes On

By S. L. Robertson

The Beatles, a band whose inception occurred almost 50 years ago, are still relevant today. Starting out in Liverpool, England, 1960, with members Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Pete Best and George Harrison, the band created a compelling sound with incomparably youthful appeal. As their fame caught fire, Best was replaced by drummer Ringo Starr and the rest, as they say, is history.

The bright, pop tunes, sweet, simple lyrics and engaging harmonies that defined that band's first forays into the limelight, with the boys sporting sleek bob hairdos and slim, matching suits, gave way to harder rock riffs, deeper, more introspective prose and the hippy attire, and hairstyles, of the times. Topic matter in their songs transcended from puppy love and girls to gurus, yogis and psychedelia.

Their music evolved, exploring various genres and their lives shifted and altered, eventually drifting apart. Each of the internationally famous band members carried on to find their own individual avenues of success in the years following the band's 1970 break up.

Paul McCartney (b. June 18, 1942) proved to be the most successful businessman of the lot, though after the tragic passing of his wife and partner, Linda Eastman McCartney, some suggest the terrific sense he so consistently displayed in professional matters wasn't always well exercised in his personal realm.

Ringo Starr (a.k.a. Richard Starkey, b. July 7, 1940) has probably been the least heard of in post-Beatles years, although he too has achieved a rather respectable degree of continued accomplishment.

The late George Harrison (February 25, 1943 - November 29, 2001) was exceptionally prolific with his music and created hit after hit, both as a solo artist and also in wonderful collaborations with friends who proved as fantastically talented as Harrison himself. With Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and Roy Orbison, Harrison's Traveling Wilburys put out a charming handful of late 80's hits.

John Lennon (1940 - 1980) was never far from the public eye, as he and spouse Yoko Ono seemed always to be engaging in some sort of news-worthy act or protest up until the time a crazed gunman ended the famed Beatles' life, barely two months after his 40th birthday.

Today, oh so many years later, we still find modern musicians emulating the Beatles' style. Current groups strive to match the magical quality of the band's early harmonies. To site just one recent example, Melbourne, Australia's group 'Jet' has been hitting the airwaves since 2003 with a sound that is more often than not distinctly Beatle-esque. Fashions have even turned full circle (at least once, maybe twice) with youngsters again sporting the skinny, leg-hugging trousers that were popular back in the Beatles' earliest days.

Dare we guess that, no matter how many decades may pass, the Beatles' legacy will carry on long after the remaining band members have passed from this earth, well after the last of the screaming girls who once wept while watching them in concert has left our world. Paul, George, Ringo and John will live on in the memories of their music and the bands who continue to find inspiration in the indelible notes the Beatles have left to us.

Authors Sam Robertson and Kate Kelly enjoy writing on numerous human-interest topics, including entertainment, health and relationship issues. With decades of literary experience and plenty of publications between them, they offer a wealth of expertise and intriguing perspectives.

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