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Which Beatle came from the most musical family?

None of The Beatles came from families where early piano or recorder lessons were then norm. Music came into their lives via  he radio and records played on primitive players. Classical music was consciously avoided - the radio would be switched over or off when it came on in the McCartney home.  Musical instruments were around, but not learned in a systematic way. Julia Lennon played banjo and occasionally sang in local pubs.  A lodger did provide John with a harmonica, which he intermittently played when he was young. Ringo had to make do with a toy drum proveded by a kindly hospital visitor. Generally, music was seen as a diversion, rather than a potential source of income. The major exception was Paul’s father, Jim.,  Jim McCartney sang and gigged in local ragtime groups and  his work’s brass band.  He had taught himself various instruments including the piano, double bass and the E-flat tuba.  This musical curiosity was passed down to his two sons. They grew up watching their dad

What Paul McCartney 's first instrument?

Jim bought Paul his first instrument  for his fourteenth birthday. It was intended to help distract him after the recent death of his mother.  The trumpet was accompanied by some lessons - which Paul was unkeen on continuing. It seems they introduced him to at least some basic musical theory I persevered with the trumpet for a while. I learnt ‘The Saints’, which I can still play in C. I learnt my C scale, and a couple of things. Though Paul ‘loved’ trumpet, there were practical problems. ...I realised that I wasn’t going to be able to sing with this thing stuck in my mouth, so I asked my dad if he’d mind if I swapped it for a guitar, which also fascinated me. He didn’t, and I traded my trumpet in for an acoustic guitar, a Zenith, which I still have. How The Beatles learned to play

Who was the tallest Beatle?

'Evidence' of an alleged height disparity  One thing we can all agree on — none of The Beatles needed to worry about banging their heads on low ceilings or door frames. The official record has Lennon, McCartney and Harrison as the same height: 5'11" with Ringo Starr 5'8".  Some have speculated that these figures are a little generous. Full story  here  (3 minute read) Free Beatles Teaching Materials

Which classical composers influenced The Beatles?

None of The Beatles had a background in classical music. Paul McCartney's (jazz musician) father would turn the radio off if a classical record came on.  George did, however, learn one classical 'party-piece' in his early teens, which he taught to Paul. Neither boy the title but they had the vague idea that it was by Bach. They would later learn that it was Bourrée from the E Minor Lute Suite — and that they had been playing it inaccurately. A decade later the Bourree would directly inspire one of Paul McCartney’s most famous compositions. Full article (4 minutes) free here

Which four Beatles songs mention Queen Elizabeth II?

The Beatles with Princess Margaret. Paul McCartney has often expressed his admiration for Queen Elizabeth, who came to power five years before he joined The Quarrymen.  We all kind of liked the Queen. It’s an age thing. We were kids when she was crowned, so to us she was like a glamorous film star. We identified with her. She’s ours. She’s the Queen.   Interview with the Radio Times, September 2019 There are  four Beatles tracks which mention Queen Elizabeth II:  Penny Lane, For You Blue, Mean Mr Mustard   and Her Majesty . Read more  (free) Free Beatles Teaching Materials

Best Beatle Cover Versions? With a Little Help From My Friends by Joe Cocker

By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8063909 The best known interpretation of a Beatles song, performed in sensational fashion at Woodstock in 1969. On Sergeant Pepper With a Little Help From My Friends is a charming sing-along, ideally suited to Ringo's vocal range. Joe Cocker takes it to a different place.  Paying tribute to the late Sheffield singer Paul McCartney said:   I remember him and [producer] Denny Cordell coming round to the studio and Saville Row and playing me what they recorded. It was just mind-blowing. He totally turned the song into a soul anthem, and I was forever grateful to him for doing that."

Best Beatles cover versions? Golden Slumbers by George Benson

There have several thousand covers of Beatles songs but a short list of those which work well. Twist my arm and I’d go for George Benson’s interpretation of Golden Slumbers   from his extraordinary The Other Side of Abbey Road (1971) Benson was a young jazz guitar prodigy at a time when the form appeared to have hit the buffers. To purists, his attempt to take on The Beatles was the first in long series of contemptible sellouts. His musical peers saw it differently, with Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, and Sonny Fortune all contributing to what was essentially a new take on the a tradition pioneered by the Ella Fitzgerald Songbooks. Golden Slumbers is a highlight that draws on the unusual genesis of the original. This was famously inspired by  Paul McCartney coming across his step-sister's sheet music for a piece called Cradle Music left on the piano at his father's house in Liverpool. Intrigued, but unable to read the 'black dots on the page' Paul invented a melody an

How did John meet Paul?

On Saturday the 6th July, 1957 St Peter's Church held it a annual summer fete in the Liverpool suburb of Woolton. After the usual stalls and games for children in the afternoon, a new skiffle group played in the church hall in the evening. They were named The Quarrymen, after the school the band-leader attended. His name was John Lennon. John with the Quarrymen a few hours before meeting Paul Paul McCartney was only just fifteen, eighteen months younger than Lennon. He lived a bus ride away and went to a different school. But he and Lennon shared a mutual friend, Ivan Vaughan. Vaughan invited McCartney to the fete, promising that there would be girls there. “You can meet my mate John, too,” he added. “He plays guitar like you…” Read full piece free on on Medium    3 min read with video The Beatles Teaching Pack  free download during pandemic BBC Witness (audio): The Band That Made The Beatles

How did Yesterday change the way The Beatles wrote and recorded songs?

The melody for YESTERDAY came to Paul McCartney in a dream but in other respects it was the most complex Beatles project until that point.  McCartney worked on  the  song for 18 months. He was still writing the song during the filming of Help!. This irritated director, Richard Lester so much that he banned him from playing the then Scrambled Eggs on the set.. George Harrison was similarly unimpressed, remarking ‘Who does he think he is? Beethoven?’  The Arrangement When George Martin suggested adding strings, McCartney was uneasy (‘No vibrato, George. I don’t want to sound like Mantovani!’). Realsiing this would be unnatural for a modern string player, Martin followed McCartney's instructions when writing the part but then asked him to help supervise the arrangement, knowing that this would demonstrate the issue. ‘As a result of which,{McCartney} added the cello phrase in bar 4 of the middle eight (1.25–27) and the first violin’s held high  A in the final verse.’ Macdonald. The Rec

What is the most recorded song of all time?

YESTERDAY was never released as a single in the UK In recent years, a strong case has been made for George Gershwin's aria SUMMERTIME, a cabaret and musical theatre staple. Some estimates suggest that there are up to 30,000 cover version, though this has not been verified. The official winner, at least according to The Guinness Book of Records (1986) began life in Wimpole Street, London    As he has recently confirmed , the melody for YESTERDAY came to Paul McCartney fully formed in a dream. It seemed so familiar that for several days that Paul remained convinced that he had subconsciously plagiarized it. Eventually, a combination of George Martin, singer Alma Colgan and John Lennon convinced him otherwise. Finding words proved a lot trickier. Worried that he would forget the tune, he created a dummy lyric with the working title ‘Scrambled Eggs’. The opening couplet was  unpromising : 'Scrambled eggs/Oh how I love your legs.'  Even with a workable lyric, YESTERDAY, posed ch

Which Beatles song was directly influenced by Bach?

During their early musical education, The Beatles steered clear of classical music. Paul tells how his father 'a jazzer' would pointedly turn off the radio when a classical piece was broadcast. His son metaphorically followed suit, as did his bandmates. It was not for them. Bach - but not as he wrote it George had, however, learned one classical 'party-piece' at an early age. He did not know the title but had the vague idea that it was by Bach. George then taught this partial, inaccurate version of  Bourrée from the E Minor Lute Suite, to Paul. Here it is played according to original score: In 1968 McCartney used the Bourrée as a starting point for what would become one of his most admired compositions. Would Bach have been due a Chiffons-style copyright infringement payday if he had had hung around for another 240 years? It seems very unlikely. McCartney acknowledges that Bach provided the 'original inspiration' for Blackbird - but argues that musically he took

Which song was a piano exercise featuring a dog?

When I taught myself piano I liked to see how far I could go, and this started life almost as a piece you’d learn as a piano lesson. It’s quite hard for me to play, it’s a two-handed thing, like a little set piece .... I wrote it as that, something a bit more complex for me to play’    Paul McCartne y Many Years From Now, Barry Miles Paul dabbled with the piano since early childhood when he listened to his father play in the family living room. As with every other instrument, he did not use sheet music but learned by exploration  and experimentation. While he lodged with the Asher family,  (1964/66) he began devising his own exercises. One of these would end up on The Beatles - better known as the White Album Words The love object of Martha My Dear is in the photo Then while I was blocking out words – you just mouth out sounds and some things come – I found the words ‘Martha my dear’. Many assumed that 'Martha' was Jane Asher. Others suspected it was one of the other glamorous

What is Maxwell's Silver Hammer about?

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash   This ghastly miscalculation ... represents by far {McCartney's} worst lapse of taste under the auspices of The Beatles.    Ian MacDonald The Revolution in the Head Maxwell’s Silver Hammer belongs to a very niche musical tradition: the cheerful murder sing-along. There is also speculation that the lyric was influenced by the murder of Joe Orton, who spent an evening with McCartney some months before his death.  Read More

Which song broke-up The Beatles?

The B842, Kintyre, Scotland I was a bit flipped out and tripped out at that time. It’s a sad song because it’s all about the unattainable; the door you never quite reach. This is the road that you never get to the end of.   from   Paul McCartney, Many Years From Now, Barry Miles The recording of The Beatles took a physical and psychological toll on all concerned. By late 1968 the group was close to collapse. There were several fault-lines but the most significant was  between Paul — desperate to save the musical marriage — and John and George, who wanted out. The rupture was irreconcilable but nobody was yet ready to break up the group . Personal relations inevitably deteriorated. Most of the animus was directed against McCartney, who, despite his cheery public persona, was deeply affected. He retreated to his remote farm in Scotland to lick his wounds  and - Paul being Paul - write some new material. The conscious intention was  to write a commercial ballad for a mainstream s

Who wrote Those Were the Days?

Even at the height of his fame, Paul McCartney enjoyed writing songs for other artists, especially female singers. Often, he did this unbidden, offering Cilla Black Step Inside Love for her first TV show, for example. He was also the most musically adventurous of The Beatles - and eclectic in his taste.  He first heard Those Were the Days in The Blue Angel club in London. The singer was Gene Raskin, a New York-based folk singer with Russian roots. McCartney liked the song and offered to produce a recording by Mary Hopkins, a young Welsh folk singer recently signed by the new Apple label.  Copyright McCartney assumed that  Those Were the Days  had been written by Raskin. In fact, the copyright situation was complex and would become the subject of a legal battle.  The tune is that of the  Russian romance song "Dorogoi dlinnoyu" [ ru ]("Дорогой длинною" Tr: "By the long road").  This may be considered tradtional, though it is sometimes credited to Boris Fom

Why did Paul McCartney write part of Michelle in French?

Nam Ngô "Michelle" was a tune that I'd written in  Chet Atkins ' finger-picking style. There is a song he did called "Trambone" with a repetitive top line, and he played a bass line while playing a melody. This was an innovation for us; even though classical guitarists had played it, no rock 'n' roll guitarists had played it. The first person we knew to use finger-picking style was Chet Atkins ... I never learned it. But based on Atkins' "Trambone", I wanted to write something with a melody and a bass line in it, so I did. I just had it as an instrumental in C. [5] Creating beautiful melodies came naturally to Paul McCartney. With words he had to work harder, often finding inspiration from unlikely sources. While writing  Michelle,  Paul instinctively vocalized his dummy lyric in cod French. At first glance, the seems eccentric - finger-picking Chet Atkins had no obvious Gallic connection. For McCartney, however, the jazzy chord

Which bus terminus inspired a Beatles number single?

"Behind the shelter in the middle of a roundabout' Early Lennon & McCartney songs contained few direct references to their home city. The aim was to produce music that would appeal to a global rather than local appeal. The culmination of this approach was I Want to Hold Your Hand - written  with the express intention of appealing to the US market.  The formula worked - I Want to Hold Your Hand became the biggest selling single of all time. It was however, limiting artistically. By 1965, The Beatles success - and that of the openly introspective Bob Dylan - encouraged Lennon & McCartney to draw on more autobiographical material.  In My Lif e Lennon refers  generally to the 'places I remember'.  Strawberry Fields Forever, names one of these, a local Salvation Army Children's home, and weaves it into a hallucinatory dreamscape. On the surface McCartney takes a more functional approach:  Penny Lane" was kind of nostalgic, but it was really

The shortest Beatles song?

There is no published photo of the Queen with The Beatles, only with her mother and sister (seen here) T he shortest Beatles song   is only 23 seconds long and was unlisted on its original vinyl release. 

What were the 'clues' on the Abbey Road cover?

So here’s another clue for you all/The Walrus was Paul The Beatles  Glass Onion  (The White Album) There were conspiracy theories long before the internet. The Beatles, with their unprecedented fame and influence on popular culture, were particularly prone to them. Perhaps the most notorious began on   the night of January 7, 1967, when  ‘a rumour swept London that Paul McCartney had been killed in a car crash on the M1’. - read the full story here. On 12 October, 1969 a bizarre on-air phone call to Detroit radio station gave new life (!) to the controversy. A caller, identified only as ‘Tom’, had some startling new information. He revealed that The Beatles had been sending secret messages through their recorded songs. ‘Play ‘Revolution 9’ backwards,’ he said mysteriously. ‘And you’ll hear what I mean!’ The DJ duly spun the disk (backwards). After somehow deciphering discordant wailing, he pronounced judgement. ‘Wow! John is saying “dead man!” He’s trying to tell us that

Which Beatle supposedly 'died' in 1966?

One of the most enduring legends surrounding The Beatles is that the Fab Four became the Fab Three in November 1966.

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