Forty-nine years ago this summer—in late July and August 1966—the Beatles found themselves in a touchy situation. On July 29 of that year, a teen magazine called Datebook published segments of a nearly 5-month-old interview with John Lennon. Among the republished segments was this quote by Lennon: "We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first — rock 'n' roll or Christianity."
In a new interview with Esquire, Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards sounded off a little on The Beatles, saying that their landmark album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, was a "mishmash of rubbish."
Revolver is the album that made the Beatles recording artists in the absolute sense of the term. Their previous six albums had demonstrated John Lennon and Paul McCartney's increasingly ambitious songwriting skills and the group's competence with a range of musical styles. But the productions, while strong, were undistinguished.
As any rock fan knows, the Beatles never got back together. What they might not know is that even partial Beatles reunions and "near misses" were frustratingly rare back when such things mattered (prior to George Harrison's death in 2001). Which is why the video below is so enjoyable.
Of the four Beatles, George Harrison brought to the group an assortment of electric and acoustic guitar approaches, flavors influenced by everyone from Chet Atkins and Carl Perkins to the Byrds and Bob Dylan.