It may have been 20 years ago today that Sgt. Pepper taught a fictional band to play, but in the real world, it was 50 years ago that the most influential rock band of all time (IMO) called it quits.
On April 10, 1970, the rock world was shaken by the The Daily Mirror’s headline heralding, “Paul is quitting The Beatles.” The word had leaked from a press release for Paul McCartney’s upcoming, first solo album. That night, Macca performed “Maybe I’m Amazed” on a British TV show. The next day Ringo Starr, playing peace maker, went to Paul’s home, but Paul shouted him off the front porch.
Can it really be a half century ago?
I was too young to comprehend the moment, but I’m sure my older sisters took it hard. The Beatles albums and 45’s spun regularly on the Watson turntable in the 60’s – and well into the 70’s. One of my Doc’s Doctrines for tail-end Baby Boomers like me is that everyone’s first favorite band was The Beatles.
While Beatles fans were heartbroken by the shocking development, insiders knew the band had been on the outs for some time, beginning with a power struggle over the band’s management following the 1967 death of manager Brian Epstein. John, George and Ringo wanted The Rolling Stones manager, Allen Klein, while Paul wanted his father-in-law, Lee Eastman of Eastman-Kodak fame.
Yoko Ono’s role was only one of the factors that caused The Beatles demise. Creative differences were high, their record company, Apple, was floundering, and they were burnt out from years of being under the Beatlemania microscope. John had voiced his desire to leave the band in 1969. But Paul beat him to the punch, controlled the story, and stole his thunder, much to John’ chagrin.
Either way, The Beatles were creative geniuses who produced so much innovative music in their less-than-a-decade together that lives on at Peoria’s classic rock station, 95.5, GLO. And listen Sunday morning at 9 for The Beatle Brunch with Joe Johnson for more stories about the end of The Beatles.