Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Beatles BreakUp! Why Bother?

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When my six year old son asked me today
"Why did The Beatles break up?" I realized
that for whatever other reasons they broke
up, The Beatles also broke up partly just
because they were the first rock super group.

They had no model for how to stop playing
together.  The other super groups who emerged
in their wake such as The Rolling Stones
and The Who were not long in figuring out
that you could take breaks from playing with
each other without formally breaking up;
but once Paul realized that the other guys
didn't want to keep up with his pace anymore,
he seemed to see things in terms of either
breaking up or maintaining the Beatles' killing
recording pace.

In this way he seems to have  been the Keith Richards
of the group, though their public personas were so
different.   Richards' new biography, Life, shows he
also drove the Stones so hard no one else could stand
the pace.  Still Richards was used to having to defer
publicly to the lead singer in a way Paul never had to
to John, giving the Stones more durability as a band than
the Beatles precisely, because they were less driven.

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