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The Culture Vulture

About cultural things: music, dance, literature, theatre and local events.

Whatever happened to ….. THE BEATLES?
Wednesday, January 11, 2023 @ 8:22 AM

We all think we know what happened to the most successful pop/rock and roll band in history. But do we really?

The Culture Vulture, who was in his early teens when the Fab Four from Liverpool appeared on the scene with their first single 'Love Me Do' in 1962, grew up with them and still considers them to be the most innovative and influential band ever. “Forget The Rolling Stones, The Monkees, Pink Floyd, Abba, Oasis, Take That and the rest!” he says.


History of The Beatles

The Beatles were only around for about ten years and only toured for four, yet their legacy is huge. Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, with the know-how of producer George Martin, produced a bewildering quantity of songs.

In the UK, they released 12 studio albums, 13 EPs and 22 singles. In all they recorded and released 219 tracks.

They also made four films, if you include the children’s cartoon ‘Yellow Submarine’ and the disastrous ‘Magical Mystery Tour’. But you can forget them really, they’re just historical curiosities, although I still have a soft spot for ‘A Hard Day’s Night’.


Solo careers

After their acrimonious split in 1970, all four went on to solo careers with differing degrees of success.


Paul McCartney

Bassist and ideas man Paul formed Wings, bringing in Denny Laine from the original Moody Blues and his wife Linda McCartney. He toured universities in the early 1970s and built up a head of steam culminating in a string of hits over 10 years. Wings released 7 studio albums, one live, 2 compilation albums and 29 singles.

Their best album, Band on the Run, sold 6 million copies and was EMI’s most successful album of the 70s.

Paul has continued to innovate and is still active at 80 years of age.


John Lennon

Lennon ploughed his own furrow from his home in New York. He had success as a solo artist but also with his wife Yoko Ono and the Plastic Ono Band. He was also a peace-activist.

As a solo artist for around a decade, he released 11 studio albums and 23 singles. His most famous songs from this period are ‘Give Peace a Chance’, ‘Happy Christmas (War is Over)’, ‘Imagine’, ‘Instant Karma’ and ‘Jealous Guy’.

He was assassinated in December 1980 aged 40 by a fan, Mark Chapman.


George Harrison

The ‘Quiet Beatle’ and many fans’ favourite, George also went his own way musically, producing classics like ‘Something’, ‘My Sweet Lord’ and ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’. A good friend of Eric Clapton they often jammed and recorded together. He was also part of supergroup The Traveling Wilburys with Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty. Formed in 1988, Orbison died later that year and the group only continued until 1991.

His interest in film led him to co-found HandMade Films in 1978. The company produced a number of famous films, including ‘Monty Python’s Life of Brian’, ‘Time Bandits’, ‘The Long Good Friday’, ‘Withnail and I’, ‘Mona Lisa’, ‘A Private Function’ and ‘Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels’. The company went defunct in 2020.

George passed away in November 2001 aged 58. He died of lung cancer.


Ringo Starr

Born Richard Starkey, Ringo was drafted into The Beatles in 1962 when Pete Best was jettisoned.

After the break-up of The Beatles, Ringo was active as an actor and narrator, as well as continuing to drum. He met and married Bond Girl Barbara Bach (1981) and lives in California. He has remained active, principally with his own group Ringo Starr and his All-Starr Band.

He wrote, recorded and released songs regularly through the decades, but few achieved commercial success in the UK.

He has also acted in a number of films and narrated the first two series of ‘Thomas and Friends’ (Thomas the Tank Engine).

Under-rated as a member of The Beatles, he nevertheless did compose a few songs and sang a few, notably ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’, ‘Yellow Submarine’ and ‘In An Octopus’s Garden’.

Despite the joke about his drumming skills:

US interviewer: “So, Mr Lennon. Is it true that Ringo Starr is the best drummer in the world?”

Lennon: “Look, mate, he’s not even the best drummer in The Beatles …..!”

in 2011 Rolling Stone magazine readers voted him as the fifth best drummer of all time. In 2020 he was named as the wealthiest drummer in the world, with a net worth of 350 million dollars.

Now aged 82, he is the oldest surviving Beatle.


Best ever

The Beatles’ best ever song? Blimey! That’s tough. In the frame for me, in alphabetical order, ‘A Day In The Life’, ‘Eleanor Rigby, ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’, ‘Penny Lane’, ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’.

Best album? It’s between ’Abbey Road’, ‘Let It Be’, ‘Rubber Soul’ and ‘Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’.

Definitely not ‘Revolver’ or ‘The Beatles’ (White Album).

Best early album? ‘With the Beatles’.


In conclusion, all I can say is that The Beatles, together with producer George Martin, had it all. Talent, ingenuity and versatility.  

And longevity. Their music lives on to this day.


© The Culture Vulture






Tags: Abba, Abbey Road, A Day In The Life, A Hard Day’s Night, All-Starr Band, A Private Function, Band on the Run, Barbara Bach, Beatles, Bob Dylan, Culture Vulture, Denny Laine, Eleanor Rigby, George Harrison, George Martin, Give Peace a Chance, HandMade Films, Happy Christmas (War is Over), Imagine, In An Octopus’s Garden, Instant Karma, Jealous Guy, Jeff Lynne, John Lennon, Let It Be, Linda McCartney, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Love Me Do, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, Magical Mystery Tour, Mark Chapman, Mona Lisa, Monkees, Monty Python’s Life of Brian, My Sweet Lord, Oasis, Paul McCartney, Penny Lane, Pete Best, Pink Floyd, Plastic Ono Band, Revolver, Richard Starkey, Ringo Starr, Rolling Stone magazine, Rolling Stones, Roy Orbison, Rubber Soul, Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Something, Strawberry Fields Forever, Take That, The Long Good Friday, Time Bandits, Tom Petty, Traveling Wilburys, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, White Album, With A Little Help From My Friends, Withnail and I, Yellow Submarine, Yoko Ono

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