The Most Iconic Group
John, Paul,George and Ringo! Of course everyone knows they were The Beatles, perhaps the most iconic group of any era. They captured the essence of an emerging generation at a time when the conventions of popular music were seriously shifting. However longevity in the music industry, particularly that of rock and roll, depends on far more then boyish good looks and sharp suits! Interestingly as a group. The Beatles only played together for a relatively short period of time yet their influence in the industry and indeed the world has been significant. What is it about four seemingly average lads from Liverpool, England that has so endured and captured the interest of so many?
It is of course no coincidence that much of the group’s success came from the exceptional song writing of, for the most part, Lennon and McCartney. The diversity and caliber of their musical catalogue is rarely disputed and the sales, number of artists who have covered their work and the obvious longevity it will enjoy, are all testimony to this. Beyond the face of four musicians however it is interesting to ponder their unique personalities and achievements beyond their collective persona. After they ceased to exist as a group they each went on to distinguish themselves in their various musical fields. Paul went on to form the band Wings with his then wife Linda and has continued to be a successful singer songwriter to this day earning a knight hood from the Queen to honor his musical career. Perhaps less known is Paul’s commitment to being a vegetarian and the promotion of certain international charities that work to protect and promote animal rights. In addiction he has also leant his voice to campaign against land mines, poverty and to promote music education.
Ringo Starr, The Beatles drummer, not only contributed to the musicality of the group but was often front and center in their various forays into the world of film, which he continued to dabble in after the group disbanded. Recently knighted his contribution to his field of music is significant but recent generations might be more familiar with the voice of Ringo as he brilliantly narrated two series of the children’s T.V show Thomas and Friends, based on the iconic Thomas The Tank Engine books beloved by so many. George Harrison, lead guitarist of the group, was a more reserved character but equally talented.His continuing fascination with Indian culture and Hindu spirituality was a major part of his life until his untimely death from cancer in 2001 at the age of 58. A lesser know fact is that Harrison loved movies and formed the production company HandMade Films specifically to produce Life Of Brian, the Monty Python script that they were unable to get financed else where. He simply enjoyed the script so much that he was prepared to finance the venture so that it would make it to the screen. Several other notable movies also went through his company, so we have George to thank for that!
Ironically John Lennon is often more remembered for his tragic death at the hands of a lone gunmen in New York then for anything else. However as mentioned he was a prolific and incisive writer both with and without the group. He famously performed politically motivated protests with his then wife Yoko Ono and tirelessly voiced his strong opinions, earning him the distinction of being on the F.B.I watch list for his anti war sentiments.Who knows what else he would have achieved had his life not been cut short . Clearly all four band members were more then the sum of their parts and lived extraordinary lives then and in some instances now.