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A World Without The Beatles

Updated on June 17, 2011
Photo 1962
Photo 1962
Beatle Cartoons 65-67
Beatle Cartoons 65-67
Beatlemania that Justin bieber wishes for
Beatlemania that Justin bieber wishes for
Beatles thru the years
Beatles thru the years

Hmmm. What would it be like? Seriously, not whimsically. First, would any of The Beatles made it in music solo? My answer is no, at least not The Beatles did. The only two that may had made it were John and Paul. To know this answer, one has to look back to 1960-2 period. The demos they made for Decca Records as a band show they were not very impressive. As a band, they were nervous and sounded stiff. The leads on the guitar were the same and sounded like a tin can. The original songs were simply horrible. These were not Love Me Do, or PS I Love you. These were Hello Little Girl, Like Dreamers Do. In both cases, neither had a good hook, and as a song, both were as John and Paul would say later, "throwaways". John's Hello Little Girl was simply a stupid song all around. Paul's, Like Dreamers Do, was equally dumb as he tried to appeal to Decca with his version of Elvis Presley's voice. The other songs completed were covers of older 50's songs, equally all bad choices when trying to impress a record company.

Decca's one error was that the execs then said no to The Beatles because " rock bands were a thing of the past". How wrong they were about that, and right for rejecting them for the demos.

Had the Beatles just broken up then, they were at the end of trying to get a record deal, John most likely would've ended up a nobody bloke who might have ended up like his merchant sailor dad, whom he never knew. He might have ended up like his son, Julian. In bands, yet never making it as big as Elvis, which was his goal then. He might have ended up dead from drinking and drugs. Paul, most likely would have found some middle class job, got married and had kids while still playing music for them and relatives at events. He might had been more successful in music. He was always more grounded and stable. But, the kind of stardom he sought, being bigger than Elvis, would have escaped him also. George would have followed the same path as Paul, but he would have been even less successful, he hated school. And Ringo, well, he would just be a drummer in a band until who knows when. He was that for The Beatles' rival band, Rory and the Hurricanes.

Rock music itself would not had evolved as it did, as rapidly as it did. It would not be called "art" by some, because there would not be Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Paul's concept). There would not be backward tape loops provided the unique lead guitars on, Tomorrow Never Knows, that was John's idea, or using feedback from a guitar in a song as they did in 1965's, Paperback writer. There would not be long hair on men. That was the greatest gift to men besides their music and clothes. Hard to believe, but it is true. Men did not have long hair before 1964 in modern culture. There would not have been a British invasion by British rock bands in 1964-5, the influx of this greatly changed rock music forever not only in song structure, sound but in style and presentation. The Beatles opened that door. It was a door The Rolling Stones quickly used, as did The Kinks, Traffic, Spencer Davis, Dave Clark 5 and many others. MTV would never have had the formula for a rock video without The Beatles' " A Hard Days Night" movie in 1964. Without the Beatles, rock music would have been nothing special, just a re-hash of old ideas and without them, other rock stars like Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, would never have picked up a guitar or a kit. The world would be without their own music for The Beatles' greatest gift was inspiration to those who worshiped them as well as many others who had not even been born. There would not have been that, "Beatle sound" that permeates music in many ways today. The harmonies balanced in a rock song, the wit of the lyrics, the overall sound.

Thank god they kept trying after 1962!


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    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Thanks Jack! nice counterpoint to agree with.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      In fact, had there been no Beatles, the Stones would have been prot0-Beatles themselves. They had a similar look (and sound) to The Beatles at the start and their manager made a conscious effort to make them into the the counter-Beatles because he knew they couldn't compete head-on. Would the Stones have been as good? Probably not, but if you need a definition of influence, there it is, and that was 1963.

      That said, I do think this article does overstate some things and get a few facts wrong (the feedback was on "I Feel Fine"), but it even leaves out innovations that changed the face of music recording (to some, a negative). Automatic Double Tracking (ADT) was invented for the Beatles (and not because of the quality of their voices, but because of John's own insecurity about his voice; nevertheless, double-tracking of voices was common place but laborious). 8-track recording (not the cheap playback format) was invented for The Beatles by EMI. Where it not for their growing demands to record with more channels, that innovation would have been delayed. Simply put, The Beatles pushed the envelope at every opportunity with instruments, technique, style, subject matter, etc. They pioneered psychedelia (Norwegian Wood, Tomorrow Never Knows), Hard Rock (Helter Skelter), Orchestral (Eleanor Rigby), long format (A Day in the Life, Hey Jude), the list goes on. Now @Petey perceives these innovations as negative being somewhat of a purist, but most artists at the time saw them as advances. And let's face it, those were times for experimentation.

      And as for John's "junky" [sic] status (did he really collect that much junk?), he wasn't that much different than other musicians of his time (or even now), but he kicked it (more than once) and as far as wife-beating, I'm sure he came to regret it, and in his defense and not to condone it, it wasn't all that discouraged at the time (we're talking about Cynthia here, so pre-1968).

    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      Well, I guess you are not a beatle fan. Hmm, Eric Clapton said he picked up the guitar because of the beatles. Phil Collins said he picked up the guitar and then drums because of the beatles. The Foo foo fighters lead picked up the guitar because of Paul McCartney. Their influence on music is all over the radio and some TV ads. The stones even did a Beatle song. Some are in denial, you are one of them.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      What complete and utter horse shit this article is. You don't talk about the negative impact the beatles had? All the things wrong with the music industry today is down to the beatles if you think they had that bigger influence. (over production to hide bad voices, over indulgent celebrities - bands not playing songs live - music being more about effects then songs) you don't talk about how most rock and punk skipped the beatles completely. You don't talk about all the amazing albums that people considered 'art' before 1967s SGT Pepper. about how it was a film makers idea to make a hard days night, and he probably would have made the film anyway and how there were music videos already out there. You don't talk about Eric clapton was an established and talented guitarist, miles ahead of george. what about bob dylan, the beach boys, the who, jimi hendrix? You look at how blues had already evolved in the 50s and 60s, and i would say music changed as much from the 40s to the 50s to the 60s, as it did in the 60s. Just because you judge change by superficial qualities. Hears a nice thought. How about a beatle fan has a balanced opinion??? that would be nice...

      and how much of this influence was down to those 4 guys being innovative and great musicians, or just hype and popularity. When some black guy plays a riff noone cares, but when the same popular beatles play the same riff, they get lauded as pop genius, and so everyone hears about them, and cites them as influences, and so the beatles get the credit for being innovative.

      If Bob Dylan, clapton, neil young never existed then music would be very different, and beatle style pop would rule over the world, so if anything i wish beatles never existed. if you the beatles had any real impact on those artists career you are a moron, and having a contemporary respect for an artist doesn't mean you incorporate their music into your own, and if dylan, clapton or neil young followed the beatles example then the world would be in an aweful place, and there probably would be no good music. you should ask yourself, what if the beatles had been more influential, then what would have happened.

      oh yeh, and John Lennon was a junky wife beating child abuser. well done for worshiping him!!!

    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Thanks, they were a major force in my life.

    • montecristo profile image

      Angel Caleb Santos 

      7 years ago from Hampton Roads, Virginia

      Great article. Good thoughts. I like it.


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