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Author Topic: Stuart Sutcliffe - The Lost Beatle  (Read 2483 times)

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BeatlesAtTheirBest

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Stuart Sutcliffe - The Lost Beatle
« on: June 17, 2012, 01:09:01 AM »

Many Beatles fans know the story of how Stu had just purchased a bass and was learning how to play it he he joined the group. Fans also know he sang "Love Me Tender" and "Loving You" when they played the clubs of Hamburg. He was shown doing this in the the movie "Backbeat" (singing rather badly). But did you know that Stu really could sing? He was not only in the choir as a teen, but was head chorister!!! When he sang with The Beatles he often got the biggest ovation of the night!!!

He took piano lessons as a kid and even owned an acoustic guitar. In fact there are photos of Stu during the time he shared a flat with John where Stu's guitar is clearly visible in the shot.

Stu's influence on the early years of The Beatles, especially John Lennon, was HUGE. When he came into the picture he became John's mentor and even took over as manager of the band. It wasn't Brian Epstein or Allan Williams who was The Beatles first manager. It was Stuart Sutcliffe!!! When he came on the scene, McCartney & Harrison were bumped down a peg and the new pecking order went...

1. John Lennon
2. Stuart Sutcliffe
3. Paul McCartney
4. George Harrison.


"When Stuart came in, it felt as if he was taking the position away from George and me. We had to take a bit of a back seat. "

- Paul McCartney on Stuart Sutcliffe


That's the biggest reason McCartney hated Stu so much., not because Stu couldn't play bass.

Like I said, his influence on Lennon was huge. If Lennon was a genius as he claimed, well Stu was too. Maybe more so. Just look at what the two of them had to say about each other.


“I looked up to Stu. I depended on him to tell me the truth. Stu would tell me if something was good, and I'd believe him”

- John Lennon on Stuart Sutcliffe


"He was self-centered yet at the same time he was always a loyal friend. A frustrated and misunderstood child not given its due need in affection ends in a man without roots. In rebellion or bewilderment, almost embittered; this was John."

- Stuart Sutcliffe on John Lennon


Lennon would spend his whole life examining himself trying to discover what was already obvious to Stu as a teen.

When was the last time you ever heard any of the facts listed above in a Beatles documentary? You certainly didn't hear it in The Beatles Anthology.

Here are links to watch a great documentary on Stuart Sutcliffe, original bassist for The Beatles. It contains a lot of the same info found in other Beatles Documentaries, but also has a lot of info you won't find including some evidence backing up some of what I just said. Check it out. I am not saying to blindly trust everything you see and hear (especially from Stu's sister who has been accused of revising history a bit regarding her brother), but if you are a real Beatles fan and interested in knowing real truths about their early years, I am sure you will find it worth your time.


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« Last Edit: July 05, 2012, 02:54:49 AM by BeatlesAtTheirBest »
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TomMo

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Re: Stuart Sutcliffe - The Lost Beatle
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2012, 04:00:18 PM »

Fantastic post!

I've always felt that there were so many "what if's" in the rise of the Beatles, and Stu was one of the biggest "what if's".

Stu's relationship with Astrid would bring about the Beatle haircut and the shadowy photographs. The haircut became a gimmick which was part of the total fascination of British Beatlemania. I've often wondered if the Beatles would have conquered America if they had kept the rocker/greaser haircuts. Kids in the U.S. had grown tired of the 50's looks, especially when the big acts of Elvis' era faded away, and the Fabian/Frankie Avalon era brought the neater, "safer" image. For those of us who were around, the haircuts WERE a big deal. How many Beatle wigs were sold in 1964? The cover of "With The Beatles" ("Meet The Beatles" in the U.S.), with the Astrid influenced photo showed that the Beatles were not the usual "pop" musicians.

By the same token, Stu's decision to leave the Beatles to stay with Astrid and return to his other love, art, probably resulted in the Beatles avoiding an issue that might have destroyed the band before they barely got started. What if Stu had stayed with the band? At what point would he have become a matter of dispute between John and Paul? I think John's friendship and loyalty to Stu would have outweighed any objections by Paul. It could have gotten really ugly.
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Bobber

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Re: Stuart Sutcliffe - The Lost Beatle
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2012, 04:48:40 PM »

He took piano lessons as a kid and even owned an acoustic guitar. In fact there are photos of Stu during the time he shared a flat with John where Stu's guitar is clearly visible in the shot.

As a matter of fact pictures of Stu's guitar are on this forum as well somewhere.


Quote
That's the biggest reason McCartney hated Stu so much.
How much prove is there that Paul really hated Stu? Tell me. I need facts to back this up.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2012, 05:05:56 PM by Bobber »
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TomMo

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Re: Stuart Sutcliffe - The Lost Beatle
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2012, 05:13:26 PM »


How much prove is there that Paul really hated Stu? Tell me. I need facts to back this up.

None whatsoever, unless you accept Pete Best's version of the Hamburg period. Methinks Pete may have biased.
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BeatlesAtTheirBest

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Re: Stuart Sutcliffe - The Lost Beatle
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2012, 07:07:35 PM »

As a matter of fact pictures of Stu's guitar are on this forum as well somewhere.

How much prove is there that Paul really hated Stu? Tell me. I need facts to back this up.

Dot Rhone, Paul's girlfriend from the summer of 1959 to summer of 1962 has confirmed it - in fact using those exact words to describe Paul's feelings about Stu.  She said that John had a very close relationship with Stu, much closer than he was to Paul.  That pushed Paul out of the picture and Paul didn't like that.  He also had no use for Stu in the band and wanted him gone.  She had said Paul really hated Stu.


 

« Last Edit: June 17, 2012, 07:09:11 PM by BeatlesAtTheirBest »
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Bobber

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Re: Stuart Sutcliffe - The Lost Beatle
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2012, 07:59:26 AM »

Dot Rhone, Paul's girlfriend from the summer of 1959 to summer of 1962 has confirmed it - in fact using those exact words to describe Paul's feelings about Stu.  She said that John had a very close relationship with Stu, much closer than he was to Paul.  That pushed Paul out of the picture and Paul didn't like that.  He also had no use for Stu in the band and wanted him gone.  She had said Paul really hated Stu.

So, we have the statement of a girl Paul dated when he was young. Paul was 17 or 18 when Stu joined the band and in his young angriness he may have said that Stu was no good, should not bring the band any further and that he hated him.
Fact is that on the existing recordings with Stu, he does not show a great musical talent. He's keeping the rhythm and that's alright for a bassplayer to do, but that's about it. Maybe (but that's not even a fact), he brought the band a personality and a sense of selfconciousness. Another fact is that I have said more than once that I hated certain people when I was 17 or 18. It's an age thing, it's all of no importance today.

So, we have the Dot Rhone statement. Is that the best you can do?
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BeatlesAtTheirBest

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Re: Stuart Sutcliffe - The Lost Beatle
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2012, 02:19:30 AM »

So, we have the statement of a girl Paul dated when he was young. Paul was 17 or 18 when Stu joined the band and in his young angriness he may have said that Stu was no good, should not bring the band any further and that he hated him.
Fact is that on the existing recordings with Stu, he does not show a great musical talent. He's keeping the rhythm and that's alright for a bassplayer to do, but that's about it. Maybe (but that's not even a fact), he brought the band a personality and a sense of selfconciousness. Another fact is that I have said more than once that I hated certain people when I was 17 or 18. It's an age thing, it's all of no importance today.

So, we have the Dot Rhone statement. Is that the best you can do?


Lennon & McCartney themselves have confirmed that Paul was rotten to Stu and wanted him out of the picture in the worst way.  Also, Rhone dated Paul for THREE YEARS 1959-1962.  That's the entire last three years of Stu's life.  Her comments on Paul's feelings at the time should not be so easily dismissed.  She was in a very close personal position to know Paul's feelings.  Maybe the best position of anyone short of Paul himself.

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Bobber

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Re: Stuart Sutcliffe - The Lost Beatle
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2012, 08:42:24 AM »

It's all pulled out of porpotions I'm sure. This is 50 years ago.
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TomMo

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Re: Stuart Sutcliffe - The Lost Beatle
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2012, 11:41:05 AM »

It's all pulled out of porpotions I'm sure. This is 50 years ago.

You are most likely correct, Bobber; WAY out of proportion. But referring back to my "what if", what would have happened if Paul and John had gotten into an argument about Stu? Would John's loyalty to Stu have won out over what Paul believed was best for the band? The point is moot, of course, because Stu solved the problem for John.
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nimrod

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Re: Stuart Sutcliffe - The Lost Beatle
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2014, 12:36:42 PM »

You are most likely correct, Bobber; WAY out of proportion. But referring back to my "what if", what would have happened if Paul and John had gotten into an argument about Stu? Would John's loyalty to Stu have won out over what Paul believed was best for the band? The point is moot, of course, because Stu solved the problem for John.

Well, Mark Lewisohn's new book answers this in a way.

Paul was pretty horrible to Stu, he even harassed Stu so much that they had a fight, John stayed out of it altogether, preferring to see how things unfolded without his intervention.
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Moogmodule

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Re: Stuart Sutcliffe - The Lost Beatle
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2014, 09:32:36 PM »

Well, Mark Lewisohn's new book answers this in a way.

Paul was pretty horrible to Stu, he even harassed Stu so much that they had a fight, John stayed out of it altogether, preferring to see how things unfolded without his intervention.

It seems judging by Lewisohns and others that there really was no love lost. I think hate is a bit too strong word for a bunch of late teen/early twenties. But I doubt if Stu had lived Paul would have sent Xmas cards. Paul admitted in Anthology he hadnt handled it very well. Excusing himself for his age.

I noted the Lewisohn book says that the fight was more of a draw even though everyone expected Paul to kick Stu's ass. I recall a book I read years ago (I think the Norman book) said that Paul beat the crap out of him.

Luckily for ours and the Beatkes sake Stu knew he wasn't in the others league and didnt really want to be in the band that much anyway. The Beatles with a mediocre bassist and three guitars, or worse, with no McCartney, doesn't bear thinking about.
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nimrod

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Re: Stuart Sutcliffe - The Lost Beatle
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2014, 10:14:49 PM »

Yes apparently everyone was surprised at Stu's strength for such a weedy small guy, apparently he threw Paul onto the piano

I think Paul felt very bad about his treatment of Stu, it tells in that when they got back the Hamburg, (after his death) only George & John went to Astrids house for a visit, Paul feeling it was insensitive.....and this was when Astrid took those really great photo's of John & George in half shadow.

Paul just didn't like Stu, that is obvious, maybe hate IS too strong a word...........as Paul said  'We all loved John' ...... I think he was jealous of their close relationship and it bugged him that Stu wasn't a very good bass player.

Yes were all fortunate that Paul took over on bass, Stu would never have been as good. Although he did join another band sometime after he left the Beatles, a band called the Bats, so he did miss playing.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2014, 10:27:25 PM by nimrod »
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Moogmodule

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Re: Stuart Sutcliffe - The Lost Beatle
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2014, 10:23:17 PM »

Yes apparently everyone was surprised at Stu's strength for such a weedy small guy, apparently he threw Paul onto the piano

I think Paul felt very bad about his treatment of Stu, it tells in that when they got back the Hamburg, only George & John went to Astrids house for a visit, Paul feeling it was insensitive.....and this was when Astrid took those really great photo's of John & George in half shadow.

Paul just didn't like Stu, that is obvious, maybe hate IS too strong a word...........as Paul said  'We all loved John' ...... I think he was jealous of their close relationship and it bugged him that Stu wasn't a very good bass player.

Yes were all fortunate that Paul took over on bass, Stu would never have been as good. Although he did join another band sometime after he left the Beatles, a band called the Bats, so he did miss playing.

That's right. I'd forgotten about The Bats. He must have got to like it at least as a hobby. And although he was never a great player George and others did say he learned to play ok in the end. He probably would have been a competent player.

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Brynjar

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Re: Stuart Sutcliffe - The Lost Beatle
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2014, 08:59:36 AM »

Am I right in saying that Stuart "only" got a mention in In My Life of all of the boys´ songs?
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