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Mythology - Continued Live Performances

Posted by **Beatles Fan Robert** on Aug 31, 2017 at 8:58:15 AM:

There is a cottage industry mythology hovering over the long-extinct group.

On one hand, aging baby boomers with fading hearing and foggy, nostalgic memories.

Post-Beatles writers and fans.

There has always been this yin - yan about how good they were prior to Brian and the studio albums and how good afterward.

And you can make a good argument either way, but only if you were THERE.

Which I was, in part.

I am old enough to have been aware of the first Sullivan appearance, in glorious black and white.

Beatlemania in all it's technicolor glory.

Top-ten radio with Beatles ruling the airwaves.

Jesus is dead controvesary.

Shea

Granny glasses (circa Revolver)

Pepper

The Yellow Submarine movie

Paul is dead.

Abbey Road

Phil Spector

Paul law suit.

Ono sideboard.

So I have pretty good recollections of that period of time.

But I am too young to have been around during the Hamburg of Cavern days, and all I know if from reading books - many of them.

So intelluctally I can agree with those who were there that they were an exciting, riveting live act.

And from my seven year old memories I can tell you that the Sullivan appearance was electric.

But what I can also weigh in with is that, based on what I've seen and heard on film and records, for most if not all the live concerts it was an ocean of screaming adolescent girls and out of tune playing.

Ringo said as much - they could not hear above the roar of the crowd, and so were playing on auto pilot.

Which goes to show how damn good of a band they were, since they could not hear their instruments or their singing.

And so the only lasting testimony to their brilliance as composers and singers are the studio albums.

For which George Martin deserves the lion's share.

Without his impeccable choices at the control board, you have no innovations using different instruments and recording techniques. Which really propelled all the albums from the lead-in to Please Please Me (Paul counting off one, two, three, heralding that something really special was going on), through Revolver and Pepper.

So for anyone still alive who does remember live performances and can attest to their quality, and by that I mean the Hamburg and Cavern performances, those memories must be recorded before they are forever lost.

But I do not have those memories - only being able to watch video and listen to live records.

And based on those recollections I cannot see how they lived up to the legend.

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Last updated on Aug 31, 2017