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Apr. 4th, 2007 @ 11:32 am Rant Post #12
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macca
abromeds:
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From:pauls_left_hand
Date:April 6th, 2007 12:37 pm (UTC)
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it was a combination of issues that led to the group's demise.
Too true. There was so much going on in these, relatively young, fellows' lives, I'm surprised they lasted as long as they did. Most people do a lot of growing up between 16 and 25 and the ideologies you explore in your teens may be very different than those you grow into later on. I don't think for one moment that they could have been anything other than close, because of all they had been through together, but their extraordinary experience must have become terribly claustrophobic, possibly resulting in their need to break away from each other, much like most of us break from our parents.

It seems more likely to me that all the 'reasons' are just symptoms, rather than causes, of what was an inevitability.
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From:geminigirl58
Date:April 6th, 2007 02:35 pm (UTC)
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You make a very valid point. I've always held to the belief that if they agreed to have an "open" marriage, like the Stones did, in that they allowed both solo and group activities, they would have had the staying power. Instead, their thinking was rather dichotomous--black or white. Either you're in a group or you're solo. Even though there was some itching to do things with other people (I'm speaking more about John and George here), at least for John, I don't think he really completely got over the loss of Paul (and vice-versa). So, although that separation and individuation was needed (because their existence had been claustrophic and symbiotic), it was a rocky road to independence and never completely severed. I guess like grown children, one must find a way to assume your own identity separate from parents but maintain a connection as well. J&P just didn't succeed at that task into the 70s. It was only with John's death that it ended for him and as we all know, it's never ended for Paul.
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From:pauls_left_hand
Date:April 6th, 2007 07:16 pm (UTC)
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I've always held to the belief that if they agreed to have an "open" marriage, like the Stones did, in that they allowed both solo and group activities, they would have had the staying power.
Too true. Why do you think it was that they didn't? Was there an element of mistrust, perhaps between John and Paul, born out of competition or maybe a kind of boyhood gang allegiance? I know that when Ringo was hospitalised and couldn't go to Australia with them, GM had a terrible time trying to persuade GH not to quit the tour when they replaced Ringo with Jimmy Nichols although, interestingly, John and Paul had little trouble seeing the sense in it.
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From:minds_opaque
Date:April 6th, 2007 08:15 pm (UTC)
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Good points from both of you!

their need to break away from each other, much like most of us break from our parents.
Definitely. Being a four-headed monster worked well for them as teenagers, but they were older now, and they wanted to have their own lives and families. The only thing is, I don't think they knew how to just grow apart. Maybe they felt they had to rip the Beatles monster open in order to start fresh. I don't think it would have ever occurred to them to have an open marriage because the Beatles was this particular way of relating to each other, not just a band.

Oh--here's another source of conflict. What if some Beatles wanted to individualize (George, for example), and others didn't (John and Paul)?
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From:geminigirl58
Date:April 7th, 2007 02:18 am (UTC)
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You read my mind, girl, for after I typed the idea about an "open marriage", which I really do think ideally would have helped them, I thought to myself that they would not agree to it. John & Paul's relationship was so symbiotic and they were so much of a couple, that the only thing would be to tear the union asunder. In answer to your second question, if George wanted to do some solo work and J&P didn't--and continued to work together, John at least would have been indifferent. Didn't he mention in some interview about the Beatles really being about him and Paul? Paul may have been more bothered by George's moonlighting but as long as he had his Johnny, he would be ok.
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From:minds_opaque
Date:April 7th, 2007 12:13 pm (UTC)
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Well, John and Paul might be fine with it.

George would probably be much better treated by other musicians than by the other Beatles. Wouldn't that suggest to him that he was really better off without them?
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From:geminigirl58
Date:April 7th, 2007 01:05 pm (UTC)
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It might. It might have embolded George to assert himself more in the studio, which may have caused some conflicts. Or they may have accommodated him occasionally. Who knows? Because of the filial connection they had, I doubt that George would have left quite so easily and soon, though. If he had an outlet for his songs, that may have appeased him. Any split with the group may have come years later if he just got fed up with the baby brother status, while being treated as an equal with everyone else.
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From:minds_opaque
Date:April 7th, 2007 02:22 pm (UTC)
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Because of the filial connection they had, I doubt that George would have left quite so easily and soon, though. If he had an outlet for his songs, that may have appeased him.
Good point, he would try to get what he needed in the Beatles and only leave as a last resort.

On the other hand, I think he was already fed up with his little brother status. Remember when George died and Paul said "he was just my little brother?" If he said that 40 years later, how likely is it that he would have changed his attitude in time for George to stay in the band? I doubt George would have wanted to stick around if it meant that no matter what he did or said or wrote, he would always be John and Paul's little brother.

Heh, I'm making it sound like George broke up the Beatles. Well, if the open-marriage deal had worked, he probably would have.
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From:abromeds
Date:April 7th, 2007 04:13 pm (UTC)
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That's a really interesting thing to think about. I think back in '69 the tug of the Beatles might just have kept George around, if, like you've said, he had an outlet for his songs and a regular escape from the Lil Bro treatment.

He did an interview in '70 that supports that theory:

GEORGE: I think this is a good way, you know, if we do our own albums. That way we don't have to compromise. I mean, we lose whatever we get from each other... I'm sure that after we've all completed an album or even two albums each, then that novelty will have worn off.

Q: You think the Beatles will get together again, then?

GEORGE: Uhh... Well, I don't... I couldn't tell, you know, if they do or not. I'll certainly try my best to do something with them again, you know. I mean, it's only a matter of accepting that the situation is a compromise. In a way it's a compromise, and it's a sacrifice, you know, because we all have to sacrifice a little in order to gain something really big. And there is a big gain by recording together -- I think musically, and financially, and also spiritually. And for the rest of the world, you know, I think that Beatle music is such a big sort of scene -- that I think it's the least we could do is to sacrifice three months of the year at least, you know, just to do an album or two. I think it's very selfish if the Beatles don't record together...

And it'll all be okay, you know. Just give 'em time because they do really love each other, you know. I mean, we all do. We've been so close and through so much together that it really... But the main thing is, like in anybody's life, they have slight problems. And it's just that our problems are always blown up, and uhh, you know, shown to everybody. But it's not really... it's not a problem. It's only a problem if you think about it.

...It's just a matter of time, you know, just for everybody to work out their own problems and once they've done that I'm sure we'll get back 'round the cycle again. But if not, you know, it's still alright. Whatever happens, you know, it's gonna be okay.


Of course, it's been theorized that George's optimism might have been a bit of a PR ploy at this point, partly to help out with the lawsuit. So maybe that's all it is... or maybe he was being sincere. Either way, it's interesting.
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From:minds_opaque
Date:April 7th, 2007 07:14 pm (UTC)
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Oh, thanks for showing me that, I hadn't seen that interview before!

If you take him at his word, it sounds like he thought the open-marriage thing was going on and he was fine with it. (Oops, sounds like I was wrong before!) I wonder if he was really as laid back about it as he sounds here.
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From:geminigirl58
Date:April 7th, 2007 10:22 pm (UTC)
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That is an interesting interview! Perhaps it was PR but maybe he genuinely felt that. No doubt that was prior to the lawsuit. It's interesting how he pins in all on J&P and kind of insinuates that everyone doing their own thing for a few albums will be enough to get it out of their system. Sounds like, at least at that point, he wasn't ready to let go of the group completely.
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From:geminigirl58
Date:April 7th, 2007 10:11 pm (UTC)
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Heh, I'm making it sound like George broke up the Beatles. Well, if the open-marriage deal had worked, he probably would have.

Nah, I don't think you are. With the open marriage concept, he would have been playing with other people but I don't would have been ready to leave the group entirely.

Yeah, when Paul used the "little brother" comment when George died, I winced,although Paul said it with love and affection. I don't know if George could ever have gotten out of that baby brother role with J&P. Their memories of him is child-like. It's like once someone is your child, even though they are all grown up and you may respect that individual as an adult, you still get flashes of when they were a child. And they still will always be "your baby".