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Author Topic: 1966: The Contradiction  (Read 4873 times)

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Bobber

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1966: The Contradiction
« on: February 14, 2008, 07:36:16 PM »

The Beatles must have felt very strange in 1966. After they completed the recordings for Revolver and discovered their new and innovative ways, they had to go to the States to do another tour with songs they were about to forget. Besides the fading signs of Beatlemania, I guess The Beatles were not particularly happy with the tours of the summer: The Manila Drama, the Bigger Than Jesus Saga and this contradiction in their output. Thoughts?
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Kaleidoscope_Eyes

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Re: 1966: The Contradiction
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2008, 09:14:32 PM »

Sorry to appear thick but... where's the contradiction?  :-/
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Bobber

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Re: 1966: The Contradiction
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2008, 08:22:22 AM »

Musically they made a major leap forward (Revolver), while they had to return to earlier music in order to play songs live.
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Kevin

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Re: 1966: The Contradiction
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2008, 09:22:45 AM »

Yes - it must have seemed very wierd. And they would have been very aware of what was going around them - not just in the studio but on the stage, and realised their 20 minute mini-gigs were not the way of the future, and clashed horribly with their hip new image and sound.
Live they either had to change or stop. Even if you take away the screaming girls could they have gone on stage and played an hour long set of their contempory music in 66? - a suprise gig at The Roundhouse maybe? And I don't accept that this was because their music had become too complicated to reproduce on stage. (Bands like Pink Floyd, Mothers Of Invention and The Grateful Dead were managing to perform their marathon epics) By their own admission they had become rubbish live. Some more than others just wouldn't cut the mustard.
God bless George Martin.
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Kevin

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Re: 1966: The Contradiction
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2008, 09:46:04 AM »

One Hour At The Roundhouse, Camden. October 1966
The world's best vocals, Paul's pounding bass, Ringo's peerless drumming, John's chopping rhythm, George's seering white-hot guitar....... how could it fail??? ummmmm :B

Taxman
Rain
Norwegian Wood
Eleanor Rigby (acoustic version)
I
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BlueMeanie

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Re: 1966: The Contradiction
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2008, 12:51:36 PM »

I believe that this is where a more experienced manager would have come in handy. Stop playing live - which was the main thing that bonded you in the first place - and bury yourself in a recording studio between four walls that you can't run away from, for months on end? Methinks it has disaster written all over it. Ok, many bands do this, but they also go out on tour afterwards. Radiohead spring to mind. Playing a series of smaller, well rehearsed, and longer concerts would have done them good. And maybe breaking away from Abbey Road itself could have been a good thing. Los Angeles was mentioned during the Get Back sessions, how good could that have been?

Beatlemania was gone by that time, there weren't as many kids hanging around outside the studio, and they were able to go out without getting mobbed (to a certain degree). A lot of gigs in 1966 were not selling out, so scaling down might have been a good idea. Regardless of what they say, I don't think they were making music that couldn't be performed live. Imagine booking The Albert Hall for a couple of weeks, with an orchestra, and an Abbey Road tape op behind stage for the special effects. Augment the band with a keyboard player, and maybe another guitarist (or multi-instrumentalist), and some backing singers, and they could have had a truly mind blowing show. They had enough music in the can to perform for an hour and a half without having to dip into the Beatlemania stuff.

Here's a possible set list:

First Half:

Paperback Writer
And Your Bird Can Sing
The Word
If I Needed Someone
Norwegian Wood
For No One
I'm Only Sleeping
I'm Looking Through You
Dr. Robert
Rain
Drive My Car


Second Half

Strawberry Fields Forever
Sgt. Pepper (Entire Album)


Encore

Penny Lane
Love You To
Tomorrow Never Knows

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Bobber

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Re: 1966: The Contradiction
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2008, 01:43:57 PM »

Weren't they convinced that they could not produce their latest records well on a live stage? George admitted that Paperback Writer was hardly doable because of the complex and multiple harmonies. Maybe they should have realised that it wasn't necessary to let their songs sound live as on the records. I think they didn't really want to go touring in 1966 at all, not in the way they had done it in 1964 and 1965, because it didn't really matter though it was good for the money. But they only played two songs from Rubber Soul (Nowhere Man and If I Needed Someone, if I'm correct) during their last tours, plus Paperback Writer. I think it would have possible to experiment more on stage like they did in the studio, instead of thinking that it didn't matter anyway.
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BlueMeanie

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Re: 1966: The Contradiction
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2008, 02:01:42 PM »

I've heard them say this about Paperback Writer. I can't see that it's that difficult. Maybe a little rehearsal for that tour would have helped in the first place! Or they could just have left the opening vocal out completely.

It's true that much of their music was not conducive to playing in a baseball park in front of 50,000 screaming girls, but in a more controlled environment, such as an indoor theatre I think it could have been achieved.

At the end of the day, I think the one major factor in their demise, was the one that brought them close in the first place. Playing live.
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Kevin

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Re: 1966: The Contradiction
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2008, 04:12:14 PM »

Quote from: 483
I've heard them say this about Paperback Writer. I can't see that it's that difficult. .

I've heard tribute bands do a more than adequate version, so I find it hard to believe that with a little effort the greatest rock and roll band in the world couldn't make a passable attempt. I think they just got lazy.

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Kevin

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Re: 1966: The Contradiction
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2008, 04:59:21 PM »

Quote from: 483
I believe that this is where a more experienced manager would have come in handy


Or maybe someone a bit hipper. The guys that organised the UFO gigs were young and pretty much learning as they went a long (according to Joe Boyd's book.) Brian's Gentleman Jim routine had had it's day. They needed someone to take them out on a limb. I suspect he secretly longed for the good old days. But there you go, you can't have everything, abnd hindsight is a wonderful thing.


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An Apple Beatle

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Re: 1966: The Contradiction
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2008, 09:39:21 PM »

Quote from: 483
I've heard them say this about Paperback Writer. I can't see that it's that difficult. Maybe a little rehearsal for that tour would have helped in the first place! Or they could just have left the opening vocal out completely.

It's true that much of their music was not conducive to playing in a baseball park in front of 50,000 screaming girls, but in a more controlled environment, such as an indoor theatre I think it could have been achieved.

At the end of the day, I think the one major factor in their demise, was the one that brought them close in the first place. Playing live.
Their live at the budokan version was not great. I can imagine them laying down the 3 harmonies lines all together & double tracked & spliced in the studio and then live, not knowing which stoner was gonna pick which harmony. I speak from experience...when we leave that song for a while and come back to it, it takes a bit of refreshing for us all to lock back in on the pitch and harmony.

Definitly worth being in the set though. ;)
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Andy Smith

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Re: 1966: The Contradiction
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2008, 10:08:48 PM »

Quote from: 483
Sgt. Pepper (Entire Album)


oh, that would have been something!! :D

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adamzero

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Re: 1966: The Contradiction
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2008, 10:12:58 PM »

I don't know if this is a fair comparison BUT: Keith Richards is the driving force behind the Stones.  Without him, the sound wouldn't be the same.  I think John Lennon's guitar was at the root of the Beatles sound--augmented by the other three.  When John lost interest in the Beatles, the live thing was over.  

But you can tell the power that the Beatles might have sustained (with John's interest) in his version of "Yer Blues" with the Dirty Mac and the rooftop performance in Let it Be.  

On another tack--the Stones were a great live act through the 70s once they'd gone "back to their roots" as a five-piece with piano (and sometimes horns).  No reason the Beatles couldn't have done the same thing.  Imagine a live "Helter Skelter" or "Come Together."   Or an acoustic set with "Blackbird" "Here Comes the Sun" and "Julia."  

Oh well.  No sadder words than "what might have been."
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Joost

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Re: 1966: The Contradiction
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2008, 02:58:43 PM »

Every time I look at a DVD of one of Paul's more recent concerts, I have to think about how amazing it must be to be Wix Wickens... He's standing there on stage with Paul McCartney and pretty much on his own he's playing almost all the parts that the Beatles couldn't do live on stage... He's making the difference between being able and not being able to play all that later stuff.
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DaveRam

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Re: 1966: The Contradiction
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2008, 09:15:35 PM »

I think they maybe could have done the more complex songs live , i think BlueMeanie is right some backing singers and a couple of guitar players and a string quartet , and one of them 60's organs.
I don't think you needed to replicate note for note what you heard on the record ? the whole point of doing a live show is to get a good vibe going and im sure they would have done that .
Ive seen film of  " Pink Floyd " doing complex work at the UFO Club or was it  The Middle Earth Club ? with a strange light show and them stoned 60's groover's lapted it up.
On the McCartney Years DVD Paul showed he could work the Mellotron they could have had that on stage ampted up , it would have been great , i can see it now " WHAT A SHOW " and maybe a few  " Go Go Dancers " for good measure  :o ;) ;D
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fendertele

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Re: 1966: The Contradiction
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2008, 10:50:08 PM »

Quote from: 185

I've heard tribute bands do a more than adequate version, so I find it hard to believe that with a little effort the greatest rock and roll band in the world couldn't make a passable attempt. I think they just got lazy.


i also have heard decent covers of the song, but as great as the beatles were they never had the voice monitors that the bands nowadays covering the song have.

which was probably one of the reasons they performed it and nowhere man quite off key at the budokan '66 ?
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fendertele

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Re: 1966: The Contradiction
« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2008, 10:56:23 PM »

Quote from: 9
I don't know if this is a fair comparison BUT: Keith Richards is the driving force behind the Stones.  Without him, the sound wouldn't be the same.  I think John Lennon's guitar was at the root of the Beatles sound--augmented by the other three.  When John lost interest in the Beatles, the live thing was over.  

But you can tell the power that the Beatles might have sustained (with John's interest) in his version of "Yer Blues" with the Dirty Mac and the rooftop performance in Let it Be.  

On another tack--the Stones were a great live act through the 70s once they'd gone "back to their roots" as a five-piece with piano (and sometimes horns).  No reason the Beatles couldn't have done the same thing.  Imagine a live "Helter Skelter" or "Come Together."   Or an acoustic set with "Blackbird" "Here Comes the Sun" and "Julia."  

Oh well.  No sadder words than "what might have been."

whenever ive spoke with folks about what was the thing that made the beatles great or stood out most , its always been the drum and bass combo, most of there songs has the drums and bass right up front with the vocals and the guitars are kind of hidden compared to how most other bands music is mixed.

rain is a very good example
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JimmyMcCullochFan

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Re: 1966: The Contradiction
« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2008, 09:23:25 AM »

Great thread guys  :)
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Bobber

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Re: 1966: The Contradiction
« Reply #18 on: February 26, 2008, 09:31:24 AM »

Quote from: 758

i also have heard decent covers of the song, but as great as the beatles were they never had the voice monitors that the bands nowadays covering the song have.

which was probably one of the reasons they performed it and nowhere man quite off key at the budokan '66 ?

Oh certainly. They had expected not to be heard and not to be able to hear themselves, so why bother rehearsing and getting things and harmonies alright? It was a shock to them to actually hear themselves play in Japan.
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harihead

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Re: 1966: The Contradiction
« Reply #19 on: February 26, 2008, 12:55:12 PM »

It was a shock to me, too. It hardly sounded like the same band. But they were tired, really fed up, and it shows. Whereas other band might have said, "Oops! We need more rehearsals!" they said, "Yeah, we can't play live. Sorry!" I think they just wanted to get off the treadmill and try to have a more normal life.
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