The Beatles: the mop-topped foursome that have owned the world since they wanted to hold your grandma's hand. Once the leading influence in getting everyone high, now they're on Rock Band. How did it come to this?
In 1957 Paul and George join John's skiffle band, the Quarrymen, and proceed to rock the burbs of Liverpool.
The first clue that Paul Is Dead
Bored of England, in 1960, decked out in leather, they change their name to the Beatles and head to Hamburg to play shows, get drunk, get into bar fights with audience members and piss in the streets for about two years. As a band of five, the Beatles had three guitarists giving John, Paul and George plenty of room to eat, smoke, drink and insult on stage.
They'll fuck you up.
During this time, George loses his virginity while John and Paul watch. They applaud the performance. Not long after, George gets deported. The band ships back to Liverpool and plays The Cavern Club like nobody's business.
Who shat in this crowd's drink?
This somehow lands the boys with a manager and a recording contract with EMI in 1962.
Oh, & this guy:
By 1963, every girl in England wants to marry the Beatles. They've released their first two albums, but nothing sticks on the US charts, not yet.
THEN GODDAM 1964 COMES AROUND. The Beatles break the hearts of American girls everywhere just by landing there, oh, and appearing on the Ed Sullivan show a few times. At this time, the only reason to see them in concert was to compete for who could scream louder as a sort of tearful mating ritual. See, these girls thought "I Want To Hold Your Hand" meant, "I want you to be the mother of my children." And boys wanted in on that desperate action. Thus began the first British Invasion since 1812 and, much to the chagrin of parents everywhere, these kids wanted to be invaded. Badly.
If they had longer hair, those guys would get some.
The Beatles then make a movie showing how much girls love them. This allows for generations to come to wish they were the people (mostly girls) running in that mob or getting mobbed by swarms of women. How could you not want to smother/hang out with these guys?
Next, they get smoked out by Bob Dylan.
The first time the Beatles ever got high, though it probably wasn't John's first time, after all, he went to art school, was one evening in 1964 when Bob Dylan came by for a visit. See, Dylan thought the line in "I Want To Hold Your Hand" "I can't hide" was "I get high" and didn't think it would be the boys first time. When after a hit, George started giggling uncontrollably and Ringo fell asleep, Bob started getting suspicious. From then on, the Beatles had a lot more laughs and made a lot less sense to the uncool kids who weren't yet smoking pot.
In 1965, The Beatles win a freakin' medal from the Queen of England.
Guys, I'm so high right now.
To celebrate, they make another movie, this time with something resembling a plot: there are tanks, the Bahamas, girls in bikinis, booby traps, a tiger, secret agents, the Alps, an imaginary eastern religion based on monthly human sacrifice...what's not to love?
They meet their God: Elvis. The next year, he attempts to get them kicked out of the country because they're spreading "anti-Americanism".
That'll teach you to step on our flag.
Around July of 1966, the Beatles, namely John, pisses off every religious person in the South [read: everyone in the South] by talking to his columnist friend about how ridiculously popular his band is: "More popular than Jesus." The press is never your friend.
33% of the world loves Jesus. 99.7% of the world loves Beatles.
Jesus tells people in the South to burn Beatle merchandise. Record sales go up.
He has 6 more copies to keep the fire going good and toxic.
Soon after, The Beatles don't wanna give any more concerts, leaving girls no more chances to scream for their love without winding up with a big fat restraining order.
The Beatles hit the drugs and the recording studio.
In 1967, The Beatles re-exploded everyone's minds. First off, the highly anticipated Sgt. Peppers makes everyone want to join marching band or the gay army. Drug sales skyrocket while barber shops go out of business. The Beatles practice Transcendental Meditation and everyone wants to meditate.
The Most Influential Band of All Time
Their manager, Brian Epstein dies. Everyone wants to try to comfort the Beatles and not know what to say about their loss. The acid-shit crazy movie Magical Mystery Tour comes out and not everyone was on acid yet so no one knew what to think.
This preview shows about a tenth of the crazy contained in this movie.
All the Beatles did in 1968 was make their guru their manager and write the White Album. Pssh, that's nothing. In '65 they did at least one world tour and released four albums.
Meanwhile, an animated movie with Beatles music and the voices from the Beatles animated series comes out. Everyone wants what they're taking.
Another thing the Beatles neglected to do that year: star in their own movie, though, to be fair, they did make a guest appearance:
With a referral to a track on Sgt. Pepper's, half-cocked jokes and their constant jiggling, they make drugs look that much more fun.
So much fun.
Despite their efforts to make everyone love each other, the love dims in the studio. It's 1969. Free love runs rampant. Woodstock happens. Do they hug, bang chicks and bask in their success? Not quite.
Mostly they bicker and record Abbey Road at Abbey Road studios, too bitchy to come up with a more creative title.
"If you could just shut up for once in your life, John."
Trying to patch things up a bit, they attempt another movie. It's about the making of the Let It Be album, which was way more awkward and the colors weren't bright enough for people on enough drugs to care about the movie.
Somewhere in this time, John marries Yoko. This, shocking as it may seem, did not break up the Beatles. See the lovely family dynamic they've got going?
For the sake of your own sanity, don't watch the whole thing.
Is it just me or is she calling out John's name for a while there? I hope that's not what their sex sounded like. Do you feel a shiver running down your spine, too?
A couple months after Let It Be is released on record in January 1970, Paul leaves the Beatles, releasing a solo album 10 days later with a detailed explanation as to why he left.
What a smug prick.
The Beatles break up. Rumored to never make music all together ever again.
The Beatles never really stopped releasing music. There's the Red and Blue compilation albums that came out in the mid-70s, some live albums and reissues/releases of UK versions to us Yanks in the 70s/80s, Past Masters 1 & 2 in '88 and scattered collections.
Somewhere in there Michael Jackson buys the rights to all the Beatles' music.
But starting in 1995, the Beatles came out with their first series of #1 albums since they actually made music together: The Anthologies. Not only did they release three 2-disc albums, they released them along side a documentary series running over 11 hours in total, just 2 minutes shorter than the Extended Lord of the Rings triology.
Beatle nerd wet dreams
Also, there's a "new" Beatles song on each album, not just previously unreleased, no, freakin' new. They took old and unfinished recordings of John Lennon's which were recorded not for the Beatles just before he was shot and killed for being a hypocritical Beatle... then added their own stuff. NEW. Right. They made zombie music.
Your Mother Would Know
Following the latest wave of success, Beatles 1 is released in 2000, chock full of #1 hits. Well, they went #1 again. Shocking.
Three years later, Let It Be... Naked comes out with nothing special about it aside from it's ability to piss me off. Seeing as they already made a whole movie about making the album, someone decided they needed to make more money off the last real Beatle album. So, Phil Spector's production on the album was stripped away, the album repackaged and for good measure, they stuck in a bonus disc of banter. Sounds like shenanigans to me.
People should know by now to not question Phil Spector.
And we're not going to talk about Love.
The most recent releases from the Beatles, out as of September 9th, are Beatles Rock Band and re-releases of their entire collection with DVDs, available individually or in a full-blown box set. Rock Band even says "Double Fab" as you gain whatever you gain in Rock Band that normally wouldn't say "fab".
In the end, it's pretty clear that no matter how much we pay them to, the Beatles will never go away.