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Did the Beach Boys Influence the Beatles?

Updated on December 21, 2019
Beach Boys first LP-1962
Beach Boys first LP-1962
Beatles 1963
Beatles 1963

The Beach Boys and the Beatles are rock icons for entirely different reasons. Both developed along parallel paths in time (late 50's to early 60's), both heavily influenced by numerous early black blues and rock icons, namely, Little Richard, Chuck Berry. Both bands were revolutionary for time in vastly different geographic landscapes: the Beach Boys were a California West Coast band that embodied longer bleached blonde hair and surfing music with vocal harmonies. The Beatles grew up on Elvis, Everly Brothers, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, and other American pop artists. They also had longer hair.

The Beach Boys beat the Beatles to success in 1962 with their first Capitol Records LP and by 1964, had several under their success. In contrast, the Beatles in 1962 had been rejected and were unknown in much of England. They were still evolving into their iconic Beatle look and sound. Still, being influenced by American pop artists. The Beatle harmonies are oftern attributed to the Everly Brothers or Buddy Holly and the Crickets, but were the Beach Boys?

As indicated, the Beach Boys were like the Beatles in the USA starting in 1962, on a much lower scale. Being a West Coast band, California for much of the 60's, was the trend setter in art, fashion and music. It began there and moved across the USA to the East Coast.

Did Paul or John listen to the Beach Boys in 1962-3 and it influenced their harmony style? The earliest mention of them influencing them was in 1966, specifically, Paul, after he heard the Beach Boys, Pet Sounds, while making Revolver. The Beach Boys were influenced by the Beatles in 1965 when they heard their, Rubber Soul LP. In 1968, Paul's , Back in the USSR, is a tribute to the Beach Boy harmony influence. So, we know they both influenced each other with harmony styles.

But the Surfer look also directly influenced the Beatle suits worn in 1963. These suits has collarless jackets\shirts. This was direct copy of the "Surfer shirt" first introduced when the Beach Boys arrived. This fashion was available in the USA in clothing stores. As to longer men's hair, the surfer hair style was longer, but not as long as the Beatles and with streaks of blonde hair in a swept back fashion. Of course, the Beatle hairstyle was directly on the forehead and over the ears, which was not the case for the Beach Boys. Capitol Records also signed both groups.

It is unknown if Paul or John had heard of or listened to the Beach Boys in 1962-3, no one has ever ask them if they were influenced by their harmonies.

Maybe someone should ask, LOL.


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