In 2014, on the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' arrival in the United States (and legendary February 1964 appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show), Guitar World celebrated the 50 best guitar moments from the band's hit-making history.
The Beatles were such talented songwriters that it’s easy to overlook the fact that their music has some great—and occasionally groundbreaking—guitar work.
In assembling this list, we looked beyond our personal favorite songs and reflected on where John Lennon, George Harrison and Paul McCartney showed their talents as guitarists, whether in a solo, a riff, a technique or by their astute selection of instrument and arrangement.
For some songs, we’ve gone a step further and analyzed the guitar work to give you insights into the magic that makes these moments so special.
50. Across the Universe Let It Be… Naked (2003)
John Lennon considered the Beatles’ recording of this 1967 composition “a lousy track of a great song,” dismissing even his own work on it. He was too hard on himself: his imperfect acoustic guitar work and vocal delivery effectively work in service of the song’s sincere devotional message, thoug details
Paul McCartney has nothing left to prove. After nearly three hours and three dozen songs Tuesday night at Nationwide Arena, any doubters surely came around. Yes, he played “those songs,” many, many of them. He dressed them in a half-dozen or so Wings songs and a few new ones from his most recent release, 2013’s New.
The 73-year-old exhibited confidence, humility, an easy sense of humor, and a contagious feeling of fulfillment that made even the most common, overly familiar Beatles hit, if not new again, certainly alive and well worth revisiting.
Though he performed so many crowd favorites, the lengthy set reminded, as well, what a rich and lengthy career the lucky McCartney has enjoyed. A simple list of last night’s tunes alone will light memories, from Hey Jude to Eight Days A Week; Band On The Run to Lady Madonna; Blackbird to Paperback Writer. But McCartney made each one a new experience.
It helped that he had one of the finest bands on the road today. In fact the four of them — Rusty Anderson on guitar, Brian Ray on guitar and bass, Paul “Wix” Wickens on keyboards and the incredible Abe Laboriel Jr. on drums — rocked hard, sounded like twice as many mus details
When you have this much talent on one stage at one time … something is going to happen. And when the master of ceremonies is a Beatle, well, you’re in for a memorable evening.
To be clear: When your pedigree includes having been one-quarter of the greatest pop band that the world has ever known, there’s really nothing to prove.
It’s not surprising that Lennon, McCartney and Harrison all had post-bug music aspirations (and success), but Starr always seemed like the one who was enjoying himself the most.
While much of the material covered off during last night’s performance from Ringo Starr’s All Starr Band would sound as familiar on a cruise ship as a rock stage, there’s something to be said for people who still know how to play their instruments and sing live in this racket.
Todd Rundgren, Greg Rolie (Santana), Steve Lukather (Toto), Greg Bissonette (David Lee Roth) Warren Ham (Bread) and Richard Page from Mr. Mister all bring serious credentials of their own — never mind that they’re mostly from an era of ’70s and ’80s AM radio.
Kicking off with the Carl Perkins nugget, Matchbox, Starr handled lead vocals just as he did f details
It is a Tuesday afternoon and students are milling in to fill the seats of Zimmer Hall’s auditorium for a very unique class. The professor walks in with a guitar strapped to his back and sets up a piano, indicating this course is a bit different from the average University of Cincinnati lecture. “I teach Music of The Beatles — quite possibly the coolest class at the University of Cincinnati,” said Roger Klug, a music theory graduate from the College-Conservatory of Music (CCM). He has been teaching the course for five years now.
Five years ago, CCM was looking to expand courses to students outside of the department and Klug was approached to write the outline for a Beatles-themed class. “It sounded like fun. It sounded like work. It sounded like fun work,” Klug said with a grin. When the original class of 70 students quickly filled up, two more were added during its first semester of existence.
Now, Music of the Beatles is offered during the day and night, as well as online with open enrollment to all students in any field of study. In fact, Klug says the vast majority of his students are non-music majors. The key to getting through to students who do not study music, Klug sai details
“Every time I see your face it reminds me of the places we used to go…” sings Ringo Starr in his song Photograph, co-written with George Harrison on a yacht in the south of France in 1971. Much of the world may not be aware that Ringo is also a photographer who chronicled the frequent travels of The Beatles during their heyday in the 1960s.
His new book, also named Photograph, features images ranging from childhood and his pre-Beatle days, through behind the scenes glances of private moments with John, Paul and George with family and friends.
Ringo hadn’t thought much about the photos until approached by Genesis Publications, which suggested putting together a limited edition book. Only 2500 signed copies were printed and sold out within two weeks.
Last month, a more affordable open edition was released as well as a downloadable e-book. “I thought those pictures had been lost forever, as I never had an archive and I live in three countries,” Ringo recalls. “I was so happy to find them.”
He was uniquely able to take shots from the point of view of an insider and friend, capturing serious as well as playful moments. Speaking at the ArcLight Cinemas i details
Four new statues of the Beatles went on display on Liverpool’s waterfront for just a few hours today.
The resin copies of the £200,000 8ft tall bronzes of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr were in place for final preparations ahead of their official unveiling later this year.
Their brief appearance was designed to finalise positioning and look at the works needed to fix them to paving in front of the Cunard building.
Chris Butler of Castle Fine Arts foundry, which is making the bronze statues from a design by sculptor Andrew Edwards, said: “It was like a sneak preview of what the statues will look like there. “There was quite a crowd gathered to see them at one point!
“I was a little bit distracted with the people from the council but the reaction seemed to be pretty much positive.
“Today was really for the groundwork and to see how the position of the statues will be secured. “It’s the first time they’ve really been in place and it was amazing to see.”
Another dry run is planned over the next few weeks before the final unveiling of the statues, which have been paid for by the Cavern Club and ar details
More Beatles? That’s the question a skeptic might reasonably ask at the recent announcement of a new version of the group's 2000 “1” hits compilation that became the biggest-selling album of the decade, the new edition being packaged with performance footage and films for each of the Fab Four’s 27 No. 1 hits on the album.
In fact, one of the prime movers behind the new “The Beatles 1/1+” project, which will be released Nov. 6, initially had the same reaction.
“My first question about it was whether this might be just a ‘ka-ching!’ prospect,” Jonathan Clyde, Apple Corps Ltd.’s director of production and producer of the “1/1+” told The Times on Thursday. He conducted a playback session in West Hollywood of several of the videos for about 50 music writers and a few VIPs including Doors drummer John Densmore and filmmaker Michael Lindsay-Hogg, who directed the Beatles' cinematic swan song, “Let It Be.”
“But the more we dug into the archives, the more I realized how much great material hasn’t been made available before,” he said. “And more than just visuals to accompany the songs, a story begins t details
Close but no Beatles reunion.
Yes, both remaining Fab Four members – Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney – are touring North America this fall and in one case – Toronto – arrive in town mere days apart. (Macca’s at the Air Canada Centre Oct. 17 and Ringo and his All-Starr Band are at Massey Hall Oct. 20)
But don’t expect them to appear on each other’s stages, says the 75-year-old Starr, whose trek includes seven Canadian cities in October promoting his 2015 album, Postcards from Paradise, which includes him recording with his All-Starr bandmates (the same lineup that has been touring with him since 2012) on a disc for the first time.
“I wouldn’t think so,” said Ringo with a chuckle.
“I was with (Paul recently) in England actually and he’s going on tour and I said, ‘Well, where are you going? I’m doing this,’” recalled the drummer, down the line from his L.A. home recently.
“And he’s like ahead of me. He put his tour together unbeknownst to me. I put mine together for the autumn unbeknownst to him and here we are. I mean, that’s CLOSE to being psychic.”
By: Jane Steven details
Go beyond "Imagine."
Like many artistic geniuses who died young, John Lennon’s catalog has been painstakingly examined since his death. But some of his best moments remain unappreciated when compared to the classics he penned both with the Beatles and as a solo artist. In honor of what would’ve been Lennon’s 75th birthday, we’ve rounded up some of his deeper cuts to slot between “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Imagine.”
The Dirty Mac, “Yer Blues” (1968)
With the Beatles disintegrating around him in December 1968, Lennon appeared on The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, a goofy event staged by the Rolling Stones that also featured the Who, Marianne Faithfull, Jethro Tull, and Taj Mahal. While Lennon appeared alongside Yoko Ono for a strange performance and Mick Jagger for a bizarre comedy sketch, his standout — and, perhaps, the entire event’s standout — was a one-off supergroup formed with Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, and Jimi Hendrix Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell. Dubbed The Dirty Mac, the ensemble performed Lennon’s Beatles tune “Yer Blues” with a raucous gusto that makes the original version sound details
It became the track that many listeners skipped on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Indeed, the Beatles’ “Within You Without You” challenged fans with its Indian instrumentation, at that point quite foreign to Western ears. Yet the track has transformed into one of the album’s more intriguing songs, its philosophical lyrics and intricate lead vocal showcasing George Harrison’s astonishingly rapid development as an accomplished singer and songwriter.
Composed on a harmonium after a dinner party hosted by Klaus Voormann, “Within You Without You” represents Harrison’s second full venture into Indian music, the first being “Love You To” from Revolver. In his autobiography I Me Mine, Harrison explained that the tune came first, then the line “we were talking…”
Recording took place on March 15, 1967, with no other Beatles present other than George Harrison. Under the direction of George Martin and engineer Geoff Emerick, Harrison and Indian musicians playing such instruments as the sitar, dilruba, tambura, tabla and svarmandal recorded the basic backing track. According to Mark Lewisohn’s The Complete Beatles Recording Ses details