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Lecture 2

MUS321H1 Lecture 2: The Beatles in Liverpool and Hamburg
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Department
Music
Course
MUS321H1
Professor
James Kippen
Semester
Winter

Description
MUS321-Week 2 Lecture 2 The Beatles • Got along because everyone was competitive, both had mother bond when their mothers died • Stuart Sutcliffe o Lennon’s friend from Art College o talented artist o played bass o stimulated Lennon’s intellectual/artist • Liverpool coffee houses o Casbah, 1959 o Jacaranda, 1960 ▪ re-opened now because it was popular based on The Beatles o Unaccomplished o No drummer • Drums and Hamburg o Williams offered stint in Hamburg, August to November 1960 o Reeperbahn: clubs, strip clubs, sex shops, brothels ▪ going over one month at a time to make money o Drummer? ▪ they had to find a drummer • Randolph Peter Best o Born November 24, 1941 o Good looking o main attraction for girls o personality: quiet, aloof, sullen o the drummer they found at the Casbah shop • First Hamburg Visit o long sets at Indra, Kaiserkeller o Decadent atmosphere , rowdy audiences, drugs, dismal living conditions o opportunity to learn large repertoire of US hits, showtunes, etc. to try out their own competitions ▪ copying all of this material and doing their set, but also doing their own competitions o Rehearsal, Hamburg 1960 ▪ Movin’ n’ Grovin’ (Eddy) • audiences were telling them to act out, make expressions ▪ Hello Little Girl (Lennon) ▪ They tended to cover other songs like how they were ▪ NB-Vocal harmonies? ▪ Influences? • The Look o developed electrifying stage act o hooked up with existentialist youth groups: art, literature o Astrid Kirchherr o New haircuts • Back to Liverpool o Ignominious end to Hamburg stint ▪ towards the end of the stint, it was discovered that they were playing at other clubs and the promoter didn’t want them to play for other competitors ▪ said Harrison was underage /17 o Top Ten Club/Tony Sheridan o H deported o McC and Best Arrested deported ▪ burn/fire • Stucliffe and Kirchherr o Stutcliffe opted to stay • The Cavern o “headquarters” o began to establish reputation as exciting new band o needed to refine the sound o bass player • Momentous decision? o McCartney opted to play the bass because no one else could o Harrison copied other guitar style o chose a violin bass o Why? ▪ it’s a light bass, promotes a lot of agility ▪ he was going to infuse that base as well ▪ melodically creative ▪ so this decision to put him on bass was a way to make him shine individually in this band • Back to Hamburg in 1961 o William sent them back after they had a bass player and sounded like a rock band o played at the top ten and star club o alternated sets with Tony Sheridan ▪ already a big star o while there with Tony, they made a copy of albums ▪ “My Bonnie”/ “When The Saints go marching in” ▪ these were rock and roll versions ▪ high energy rock and roll versions • In need of a manager? o Fell out with Williams o Brian Epstein (1934), ran family’s record shop: North End Music Store in Liverpool ▪ made a profitable business o Demand for “My Bonnie” ▪ he noticed a demand for it and didn’t even know who The Beatles were ▪ he managed to import from Germany the record “My Bonnie” and started selling it ▪ and then went over to the Cavern 1961 and listen to the Beatles ▪ they founded they were unprofessional ▪ uncouth ▪ ate/smoked on stage ▪ talked/joked/swore ▪ captivated by energy and sound in their music through their personalities ▪ attracted to Lennon o Taming of The Beatles ▪ Epstein promised tours, recording contrasts, more money but • no more jokes, swearing on stage • no eating, drinking • organized sets o not just randomly come up with an idea on the spot • limited time on stage • exchange leather for suits and ties o matching suits and ties • Really sell their souls to this success ▪ “Faustian” bargain? • Decca, Jan 1, 1962 o Decca studios, London o 60 minutes session, 15 songs ▪ Epstein chose songs that didn’t make them comfortable o goofy songs, wooden rhythms, tense performances—quote unlike their live shows ▪ so the goofy songs come off as lacking in energy o Own compositions? ▪ included their own as well ▪ McCartney is more tensed, the accompaniment is quite funny and doesn’t have swing – Til’ There Was You ▪ Their songs aren’t as danceable anymore, the arrangement is changed ▪ they’re much more accomplish in their instruments o What did Decca do? ▪ they thought about it and they didn’t want Be
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