By the fall of 1965, the Beatles and George Martin had come to regard the recording studio as a place to experiment, think outside the box and slowly pull away from their tried-and-true formulas. On October 12 of that year, they did just that, recording a brilliant new John Lennon composition inspired by a clandestine affair he was having at the time. The recording would feature an exciting new tool, George Harrison's sitar.
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. With that in mind, Guitar World celebrated the 10 best guitar moments from the band's hit-making history.
In The Beatles’ catalog, “Hey Bulldog” is a bridge between the psychedelic excesses of 1967 and the rock and roll revivalism they would pursue on the White Album and Let It Be. Written by John Lennon, the song is a straightahead rocker featuring a seductive boogie-style riff and some excellent aggressive lead guitar work.
In the decades since his passing, on December 8, 1980, John Lennon’s legend has continued to grow, both for his contributions to the Beatles and his accomplishments as a solo artist. Even so, he is rarely singled out for his acoustic guitar playing. This is perhaps due to the spotlight-grabbing abundance of “stand- alone” acoustic Beatles cuts written by Paul McCartney, such as “Blackbird,” “Yesterday,” “Michelle” and “Mother Nature’s Son.”
"'Something' was written on the piano while we were making the White Album," George Harrison explained in 1980. "I had a break while Paul was doing some overdubbing, so I went into an empty studio and began to write. It didn't go on the White Album because we'd already finished all the tracks."
George Harrison wasn't exactly a fan of being "on the road." After the Beatles' final tour in 1966, he toured only twice as a solo artist. Twice! There was his '74 tour of the U.S. and his '91 tour of Japan. That's it. Outside of that, Harrison's live performances were limited to special events, including the 1971 Concert for Bangladesh, the 1987 Prince's Trust Rock Gala and his April 6, 1992, benefit concert for the U.K.'s Natural Law Party.
To put it bluntly, even though it appears on a groundbreaking, legendary guitar album—Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton—"What'd I Say" is not a "standout track" by any means. It just sort of sits there, and its lengthy drum solo (played by Hughie Flint) isn't exactly "Moby Dick." Who knows, maybe it was a crowd favorite at the Bluesbreakers' live shows.
Caspar Babypants is releasing a new album this week, Beatles Baby, his second album of Beatles covers for young children. “I recorded this one for the parents too,” he told me, explaining that he chose certain songs to keep dad singing in the front of the car as the kids are kicking to the beat in the back car seats.
This week in 1969—September 13, 1969, to be exact—John Lennon performed at Varsity Stadium in Toronto, Canada, with a hastily assembled backing band. The band, which performed under the "Plastic Ono Band" moniker, included Eric Clapton on lead guitar, Klaus Voorman on bass and future Yes member Alan White on drums. Oh, yes; Yoko Ono was there too ...
A 1964 “British” Rickenbacker guitar owned and played by John Lennon will be coming to auction in December. The guitar, shown in the video below, is part of a trove of more than 800 personal items—including gear and rare albums—owned by Beatles drummer Ringo Starr, who is putting it all up for auction at Julien’s Auction in Beverly Hills, California, December 4 and 5.