On 50th anniversary of the Beatles' arrival in the United States (and legendary appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show), Guitar World celebrates the 50 best guitar moments from the band's hit-making history.
Although the last thing the red-hot Beatles needed in early 1964 was a "secret weapon," that's exactly what they got—in a beautiful Fireglo finish. George Harrison got his first Rickenbacker 12-string in February of that year, during the Beatles' first U.S. tour. The guitar was given to him by Francis C. Hall, owner and president of the California-based Rickenbacker company.
Despite the diversity of George Harrison's many pursuits during his 58 years on earth — racing, gardening, Indian religion and culture, film making and anything remotely associated with ukeleles, Mel Brooks or Monty Python — he'll go down in history as one fourth of the Beatles.
The powerful and bluesy "I've Got A Feeling," which John Lennon jokingly called "I've Got A Fever," is a true Lennon/McCartney composition. It blends — via alternation and superimposition — two incomplete songs, one by Paul McCartney, one by Lennon.
There was no mania quite as manic as Beatlemania, and it was at its undisputed height in 1964. In February, The Beatles had conquered the United States, the birthplace of their rock and roll idols, appearing twice on the Ed Sullivan Show and performing pandemonium-inducing shows at the Washington Coliseum and Carnegie Hall.
Here’s a rare clip of two denim-clad musical legends performing together with acoustic guitars. It’s George Harrison and Bob Dylan rehearsing “If Not For You” before The Concert for Bangladesh in 1971. “If Not For You” was originally penned by Bob Dylan and appears on his 1970 album, New Morning. Soon after George Harrison released a version of the song on his post-Beatles masterwork, All Things Must Pass.
Christmas time is here again! So sang the Beatles on their 1967 Christmas record, one of several now-collectable flexi-discs issued annually to members of the band's official fan clubs in the UK and the US. The records, which often were mini-masterpieces in their own right (1966 and 1967 in particular), featured spoken and musical messages from all four members of the band.
Outside of Saturday Night Live, no other current TV show can boast as many impressive musical guests as The Simpsons. And The Simpsons has the edge because its many musical appearances are actually meant to be funny. Scores of rock icons—including three Beatles, two Rolling Stones, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Metallica—have appeared on the show as eight-fingered, yellow-tinted versions of themselves.
Having opened a Pandora's box with their critically acclaimed and commercially successful album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, The Beatles faced serious competition from a variety of openminded artists who were expanding rock music's barriers.
Just as an overworked Lennon and McCartney came up with an overnight masterpiece in 1964 with "A Hard Day's Night" amid a stressful filming and recording schedule, the Beatles responded to time constraints in 1965 with another monumental step forward called Rubber Soul.