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Wednesday, August 17

On Today's Date in 1962, Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band Played Together as the Fab Four for the First TIme

It was on today's date in 1962, two days after Pete Best was fired, that Ringo Starr took over the drumming duties for what was soon to be the most popular band in history.

 
After just two hours of rehearsal, the new "official" lineup of John, Paul, George and Ringo was unveiled at the Horticultural Society Dance, in Birkenhead. The previous drummer, Pete Best was fired two days earlier and the band hired Richard Starkey aka "Ringo Starr". He had already been playing around Liverpool with other bands so they knew about him and he had a reputation as a solid drummer. The fans weren't so happy though.  Holding signs and screaming, "Pete is Best" was the welcome the new drummer received. Imagine if that's how Deadheads greeted Keith or Brent or god help us, Vince. 


This was the very first time the lineup we know as The Beatles had ever played in public. By 1966, the Beatles had become too big to play in public anymore and ended their tour at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. They had gone through the maelstrom of Beatlemania for more than enough time. The band members are on record as saying, they would mime the songs, or play different songs, or sing different lyrics and it didn't matter because no one could hear anything over the sound of people screaming. Ringo was upset mainly because they had just become a crap band. They couldn't hear each other playing and their gigs rarely went the whole time because of riots in the early days. They just weren't functioning as a band anymore. They were just personalities.

Ringo became the "lead" character in all of the Beatles film attempts. "A Hard Day's Night" is still a great film and holds up even today. That was the classic Fab Four. It did drive the perception of them as one-dimensional characters though. Ringo contributed a song or two to each album, singing lead in the cover of Buck Owen's "Act Naturally" and was mainly confined to one or two songs per record. He wrote "Octopus's Garden" after a fishing trip in which the fisherman caught an octopus and he had a suspicion that there was more to the weird sea creature than appears on the surface. It's funny how scientists have now come to believe that octopi are one of the smartest sea creatures and have a startlingly high intelligence to what we previously believed to be be true. That's besides the point though.

What is generally not known is that Ringo was the first Beatle to quit the band. After being relegated to the sidelines for most of the Sgt. Pepper/White Album sessions, he had grown tired of being pushed around by Paul and the passive-aggressive treatment by John and the constant presence of Yoko. He stormed out and when he came back, George had surrounded his drum kit with flowers to welcome him back. Not to long after that, Paul went to the media and said the dream was over. The famous rooftop concert was in 1969. The biggest band in the world only lasted about ten years. Oh, but what years they were. They managed to create the singer/songwriter template, the artist owning their own material trend, and revolutionized the way that bands used the studio instead of just merely recording there. Not to mention, the group released some of the catchiest, most melodic, most transcendent pop music the world has ever seen and they managed to do that underneath a microscope of fame that no one, maybe Elvis or Dylan, has ever had to endure. So, on the day that Augustus Caesar died so many years ago, another completely different but incredibly influential cultural icon was born.
Written by Greg Heffelfinger





the Last Beatles live rooftop performance w/ Billy Preston on keys
Jan. 30th 1969
Setlist:
Get Back
Don't Let Me Down
I've Got a Feeling
One After 909
Dig a Pony
Get Back reprise " Thanks folks and I hoped we passed the audition"-John Lennon

This was the edited version for the film of the event. Alan Parsons recorded it in the basement and Micheal Lindsey-Hogg directed, including getting footage of people on the street, If you were there here is the setlist.

Real Setlist: (wikipedia)
  1. Get Back—sound check, jam
  2. Get Back—"rehearsal"
  3. Get Back; I Want You*; Don't Let Me Down—jam
  4. Get Back
  5. Don't Let Me Down
  6. I've Got a Feeling; Ooh! My Soul—tease (Richard Penniman)
  7. One After 909—jam
  8. One After 909
  9. Danny Boy—tease (Ernestine Schumann-Heink)
  10. Dig a Pony—tuning up, jam
  11. Dig a Pony—false start; Dig a Pony
  12. God Save the Queen —impromptu few bars jam (Thomas Arne)
  13. I've Got a Feeling; Rainy Day Women #12 & 35—single line "Everybody must get stoned" sung twice by Lennon (Bob Dylan)
  14. A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody—tease (Irving Berlin)
  15. Get Back—false start
  16. Don't Let Me Down
  17. Get Back
*This song's title became I Want You (She's So Heavy) in August 1969.





























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