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Apr. 12th, 2007 @ 12:29 am Rant #14
The Break-Up of The Beatles

OK, so this isn't really a rant, but several of you regular frequenters of this comm (including the mod) have asked me my thoughts on the Beatles' break-up, particularly Paul's role. Well, obviously I don't think you can point a finger and fix the blame completely on any one person (much as I would love to completely blame Yoko). No, I suppose everyone had a hand in it.

Let's start with the obvious, Yoko. Everyone (including myself), likes to blame the breakup on Yoko. I suppose that's because she's such an easy target, she's very difficult to like as a person (unless you are xxprettyinmetal or queenpeladon), and she used to steal George's food (THAT BITCH!!!!). That said, I don't think Yoko broke up that band, or even caused the break up. If anything, I think she was more of a catalyst. I think things were already starting get strained and bad among the boys well before she showed up, (what with Brian dying, leaving The Beatles with no manager, growing personality conflicts between Paul & George, financial issues with Apple, growing drug use, etc, etc, etc) and when she did show up, the manner of her arrival and the way John expected her to be immediately accepted by the other three as having every right to be there, caused huge contention in an already deteriorating situation. I don't doubt for a minute that Yoko tried to isolate and separate John from the other 3, especially Paul, and she acted as though she had every right to be there and be a part of "the Beatles." But in all fairness, that attitude of hers, which drives me completely nuts, wasn't totally her fault; John treated her like she did have every right to be there, and it was "his band" after all, so what was she supposed to think? It was obvious that she wasn't wanted, but none of the other 3 actually had the stones to say "John, we don't like Yoko, and we don't want her here." So instead they just shot her nasty glances, and a small resentment turned into a huge one over a short time.

Which brings me to John. John was an ass, we all already know that (and I wrote such a lovely rant about it on the first rant post), but I don't think that's what broke up the Beatles. No, I think his growing addiction to heavier and heavier drugs played a huge role, and the breakdown of his relationship with Paul. Not trying to downplay the roles of George, and Ringo, but let's be honest, there would be no Beatles if not for John and Paul, their song writing, and their bond. That said, when John started getting into heavier drugs, and Paul didn't, that was the first big rift in their relationship. Add to that, that no wives, girlfriends, or friends ever broke into the box that was "The Beatles" and no one, not even George and Ringo were able to break into the Lennon/McCartney team. Then one day, John just decided that Yoko was "it" for him, that they were joined at the hip, and that he couldn't live without her. Ok, I can definitely see falling very suddenly and unquestioningly in love, so fast that it hits you like a freight train. I get that. In fact, I've lived that. But seriously, John should not have expected everyone to look at Yoko and see everything he did. If he wanted her around, fine, let her sit up in the control booth while he made music with his band. If he wanted to make "music" with her, that's fine too, continue to make more albums with her. But don't assume that the other 3 people in your band are going to open up their arms after nearly a decade of playing together and say "yes, John, we'd love to have the GIRL who can't play an instrument and sounds like a cat being swung around by its tail when she sings, join our band. That'd be just great." Seriously John, what were you thinking? I'll tell you what he was thinking, he was thinking about himself, and ONLY himself. That mindset and selfishness by all of them is ultimately what brought the band down, IMHO.

The natural segway from John is to Paul. Pretty Perfect Paulie (another clue to who wrote this rant), who never did anything wrong, and only had the Beatles' best interest at heart right? Erm, kind of. I do think that Paul was the only person who took The Beatles' careers seriously after Brian died. Paul was the brain child behind Sgt Peppers (for which he will be punished later), Magical Mystery Tour, and Let it Be. Were these ideas great? In theory yes, and had someone like Brian actually been around to make things work, I think MMT the movie would have much more successful, and Let it Be probably would have faired better as well. Paul wasn't helping things either by turning into an over controlling perfectionist, who completely suppressed all of the other 3 Beatles' creative inputs, especially when it came to his songs. He took charge of the band and became quite bossy. But honestly, they let him. They sat there and grumbled under their collective breathes about how bossy and controlling Paul was becoming, but yet none of them were willing to step up and take the reigns. They all sat idly by while Paul tried to drive things on his own. It's a common theme among them all; they are all silly boys, who sat and grumbled and gossiped like old women, yet never ever talked anything out. I honestly think that had they actually sat down just the four of them and said everything that bothered them, and got everything out in the open, that would have cleared a lot of things up, and maybe we would have all been treated to some Beatles' disco. But no, because even when Paul requested that they meet just the 4 of them, John, Paul, George, and Ringo, to discuss the manager situation, John said "there is no John, there is JohnandYoko." *Le sigh* Yeah John, we get it, you two were in love, and you two were one unit and made all decisions together, but at that point, refusing to leave her even for a meeting? You're just saying that to be obstinate and because you know it would annoy Paul.

Oops, got sidetracked, back to Paul. I honestly think Paul tried, even after he was suddenly and without any warning replaced completely by Yoko. He even let John and Yoko move in with him when John first left Cynthia. But obviously he and Yoko didn't get along. Paul viewed Yoko as the unwanted interloper, and Yoko viewed Paul as a threat to her control over John. And I think both of them were quite jealous of the other's standing with John. Poor Cyn; she never stood a chance.

But back to Paul; Paul handled the entire Yoko situation badly. Why he never told John how hurt he was by being suddenly cast aside, I don't know, but if I had to guess, pride was the causal factor. One of those immature "well if John can't tell on his own what's wrong, I'm certainly not going to tell him" mindsets that women are most often guilty of (not calling Paul a woman, but gosh those eyelashes!....). So I think Paul eventually reached a breaking point after recording Abbey Road. I think he was fed up, tired of having the other three "gang up" on him over the manager issue, and so instead of being mature about it and just saying "I quit" and walk away (which is what John and George pretty much did) he sued the other three to official & legally end The Beatles. Kind of like a spoiled little boy who, if he can't play with a toy he loves anymore, he's going to break it so no one else can play with it. And I haven't even touched on some of the more sneaky, back-stabbing things that Paul did (well, which they all did, except for Ringo maybe), because honestly I don't think it matters at this point to list all the little nasty things they did to each other (plus my book that points most of these out is currently being loaned to a friend, and I don’t want to misquote anything); it should suffice to say that by the end there, battle lines were drawn, and feelings were hurt, and the idiotic men weren't talking about anything, just making snide comments.

Now onto George, the most useless member of the Beatles (but that’s an entirely different rant), and the most ungrateful, complaining, bitch of the bunch (yeah OK, over the last year I’ve become less and less impressed with George, but again, that’s a different rant). My personal feelings aside, I do think George exacerbated the problem. He was never up front with his feelings or aired his grievances to the others (well, none of them did, silly men that they were), but instead chose to sit along the sidelines and make cutting/snide/hurtful comments, without ever really coming out and saying anything. Obviously George was jealous of John & Paul, and dare I say, with good reason. His writing was nowhere near their’s, and because of that, he rarely got any record space, and as he once said he had “so many songs in his head by the end, that it would have taken 50 years to get them all out on record at the rate they were going.” I could make some snide comment about how I think that’s actually a good thing, since I don’t like his music in general, but instead I’ll sympathize with him about how much being overshadowed by John and Paul and being considered a “Lesser Beatle” had to really have sucked. But he handled it badly. He could have voiced his issues with the band, but didn’t, instead he pouted, and then acted like some predatory cat circling John and Paul waiting to exploit any weakness between them. OK, I need to end this paragraph now, even though there are many many more things that George did to contribute to the break up, but unfortunately, my personal dislike for the man is so strong that I don’t think I could rationally discuss them, so in the interest of fairness, I will end it here.

I think Ringo was mostly blameless. He strikes me as just being happy to be there, and along for the ride, and ready and willing to go with whatever the majority wanted to do. I guess if any blame had to be placed on Ringo, it could be said that he sat idly by, and let the band fall apart with his inaction, and non-confrontational behavior, but I don’t think that’s really fair either, since I honestly believe that Ringo was the glue that kept the band together those last 3 years. The Beatles didn’t have room for one more monster sized ego, and Ringo was definitely the peace-maker of the bunch. I’m even going to go out on a limb and say that we have Ringo to thank for “Let it Be” and “Abbey Road.” I believe that his calming, non-confrontational presence & personality kept the band from completely falling apart long enough for them to eek out those last two albums.

Obviously I haven’t really touched on the crazed fans, roadies, and the many other things that contributed to the break-up (ie Apple & Manager woes), but I think this rant has gone on long enough. BTW, I’m not trying to start any fights, offend anyone or anything like that. These are just my personal thoughts on the break-up, so don’t be hatin’!
About this Entry
macca
abromeds:
From:(Anonymous)
Date:April 12th, 2007 09:06 am (UTC)

You Have To Be Joking

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Where do you get off saying those things about George , He most certainly told John that He did not like Yoko , in fact they had a huge fight over it
in the studio , and how dare you call Him useless , where the hell would The Beatles have been without His lead guitar work ? As for His songs you really can't havelistened to them , as He was and still is a wonderful songwriter and a lot of His songs were just as good if not better than a lot of the stuff both John and Paul were writing.
As for the break up , no-one person was to blame although Yoko ceratinly was the biggest problem , but even though they did go their own ways , that doesn't mean that deep down they stopped really care for one another and they did make peace with each other , and we are the lucky ones as we still have their music.
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From:queenpeladon
Date:April 12th, 2007 09:34 am (UTC)

Re: You Have To Be Joking

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George fans scare me a little bit.

"a lot of His songs were just as good if not better than a lot of the stuff both John and Paul were writing."

While I don't agree that George was next to useless, and I think his contributions were crucial to the Beatles, there's no way I can agree with that statement. I doubt even George would.

"As for the break up , no-one person was to blame although Yoko ceratinly was the biggest problem"

*headdesk* If the Beatles were really that strong and unified, do you really think some girl would have been able to drive a wedge between them singlehanded? No - it required John's utter determination to make her a constant, inadvertantly destructive presence, for a start (because believe it or not, there were two people in that relationship). And then... oh, just reread the rant!

"though they did go their own ways , that doesn't mean that deep down they stopped really care for one another and they did make peace with each other , and we are the lucky ones as we still have their music."

I don't think the OPer was contesting that - this rant is about the break-up, not the aftermath, or their legacy.

I think certain fans need to be able to take a step back from their blinding love for their favourite and be able to view them objectively. George could be a wanker, just like everybody else.
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From:queenpeladon
Date:April 12th, 2007 09:29 am (UTC)
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Mmm, big juicy rant...

"That said, I don't think Yoko broke up that band, or even caused the break up. If anything, I think she was more of a catalyst."

This is exactly what I think - "catalyst" is the perfect word for her involvement in the break-up.

"Seriously John, what were you thinking? I'll tell you what he was thinking, he was thinking about himself, and ONLY himself. That mindset and selfishness by all of them is ultimately what brought the band down, IMHO."

Again, wholehearted agreement.

"He took charge of the band and became quite bossy. But honestly, they let him. They sat there and grumbled under their collective breathes about how bossy and controlling Paul was becoming, but yet none of them were willing to step up and take the reigns. They all sat idly by while Paul tried to drive things on his own."

And again... come on, what's with all this being right? Seriously, I couldn't find anything to criticise or even question in your rant - your opinions coincide exactly with my own on this subject. Great job. :)
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From:safelybeds
Date:April 12th, 2007 11:32 am (UTC)
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And again... come on, what's with all this being right? Seriously, I couldn't find anything to criticise or even question in your rant - your opinions coincide exactly with my own on this subject. Great job. :)

I know. I mean, you'd think she was in the Marines or something, what with all her persuasive battle tactics.
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From:safelybeds
Date:April 12th, 2007 10:54 am (UTC)
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I have an inkling to who you are (which I'm sure you'll come out about).

First off, love the rant. Love the objectivity. *claps*

It was obvious that she wasn't wanted, but none of the other 3 actually had the stones to say "John, we don't like Yoko, and we don't want her here." So instead they just shot her nasty glances, and a small resentment turned into a huge one over a short time.

VERY important point here. Communication was nearly nonexistant at this point. Paul was making decisions without everyone's approval, John was slagging off from his responsibilities without so much as a "I'm leaving now", George disappeared into his meditation and just shot everyone sarcastic comments and Ringo was subtly manipulative in his own passive-agressive way, which certainly isn't the most straight forward style of communication. I think if any of them just had to courage to stand up and lay it all out in the beginning, I think many of the infamous issues would've been nipped in the bud early.

I think Ringo was mostly blameless. He strikes me as just being happy to be there, and along for the ride, and ready and willing to go with whatever the majority wanted to do. I guess if any blame had to be placed on Ringo, it could be said that he sat idly by, and let the band fall apart with his inaction, and non-confrontational behavior, but I don’t think that’s really fair either, since I honestly believe that Ringo was the glue that kept the band together those last 3 years. The Beatles didn’t have room for one more monster sized ego, and Ringo was definitely the peace-maker of the bunch. I’m even going to go out on a limb and say that we have Ringo to thank for “Let it Be” and “Abbey Road.” I believe that his calming, non-confrontational presence & personality kept the band from completely falling apart long enough for them to eek out those last two albums.

I love the whole rant, truly, but since it's early in the morning and tired I'm going to just comment on this bit. Typical, eh?

Anywho, I agree with your characterization (and wish the "he was expendabele" crowd would do the same). But I also believe he had his own issues that contributed to band tension. He was a passive-agressive (alright, mostly passive) guy. The way he left in The White album strikes me as something I would do in elementary school. He went to John and said "Hey, I'm leaving because I feel like you all don't like me" ...and then John just said something along the lines of "Really? I thought you didn't like me. Hm *walks off*". So then he went to Paul, got a similar reaction, and ran off to Sardinia to write Octopus's Garden. Do I think this may have strained the band a bit? Yes.

I think he also resented being the one who had to convince everyone of everything. Everyone expected him to be nice and when he stood up for himself his head was chewed off. For instance, there's a quote from Magical Mystery Tour: My Like with the Beatles, in which Paul says something along the lines of, "You'll never get Ritch to do that," concerning Klien (which deserves a rant, by the way. Klien needs to be dressed down). When Ringo steps forward and said he'd already signed, Paul flies off the handle at him almost moreso than George or John (just in that moment, though). Then of course there is the story where John and George (rather cruelly) send Ringo off to talk with Paul about the Let It Be release date...leading to Ringo being forcably ejected. I don't think he was ever cut out to be the assertive communication link the other Beatles wanted him to be and the friendly "on everyones side" guy they expected him to be at the same time. So, although the other Beatles (well, George and John) used him rather cruelly, his inability to stand up for himself shouldn't go unnoted.

Ringo rant over. :)
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From:safelybeds
Date:April 12th, 2007 11:39 am (UTC)
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Oh and, by the way, would you consider expanding your George view point into a rant? I had no idea you felt that way about him and would really love to hear your elaboration on that opinion. :)

*waits patiently for you to do my bidding*
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From:(Anonymous)
Date:April 12th, 2007 11:48 am (UTC)
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YOU BAT-SHIT CRAZY BITCH!

Well, someone had to say it. ;)

*whistles innocently*
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From:zyzzybalubah
Date:April 12th, 2007 01:51 pm (UTC)
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I'm not convinced.
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From:abromeds
Date:April 12th, 2007 02:58 pm (UTC)
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Hey balubah, just wanted to let you know I haven't forgotten I owe you a response, I just... I'm kinda busy right now and just don't have the energy to write up my own Theory of the Breakup... it's depressing, you know? :P Anyway, sorry 'bout that, hope you understand. :) I'll get back to you one of these days...
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From:adaveen
Date:April 12th, 2007 02:37 pm (UTC)
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I LIKE Sgt Pepper. Please feel free to trash MMT (movie) all you like, though.

George isn't useless, but he IS grumpy and ungrateful,

I'll thank Ringo for Abbey Road, the juries is still out on Let it Be.
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From:merryb87
Date:April 12th, 2007 05:11 pm (UTC)
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Sooo basically everyone in the band is a bitch, and its there fault they let it get so bad. You just kind of wish some therapist was there to say. "Now, John tell me, what is pissing you off." They had a huge lack of being able to communicate well at all. All the Beatles, in their head, thought they where the shit(yes even little Ringo, i'll get to him in a mintue.), the best of the best, and that is really what tore them apart, which I think was a good thing, because think of all the great songs that came from their solo work!

Okay onward to Ringo, I may have read what your wrote wrong, but I don't think that saying Ringo doesn't have a massive ego, isn't correct. He does, I'm pretty postive he thought in his head, he was the greatest drummer in the world at one point and no one had chops like him. I think, as what Safelybeds was saying, very passive about it, which lead him to go back and fourth with thinking; "I'm really really good!" to "I'm really really bad." But I still think he had an ego, a massive one, maybe not as massive like John, Paul and George, but It was there.

Other than that, you're a real Bitch. ;)
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From:minds_opaque
Date:April 12th, 2007 05:50 pm (UTC)
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But honestly, they let him. They sat there and grumbled under their collective breathes about how bossy and controlling Paul was becoming, but yet none of them were willing to step up and take the reigns. They all sat idly by while Paul tried to drive things on his own.

Brilliant! If there's one word that describes John and George during the breakup, it would be "passive-aggressive." John often seems like he can't decide whether he wants in or out of the Beatles, and changes his mind on that from day to day. If he can't make up his own mind, he can't talk about it, so all he can do is passive-aggress. I think George really felt there was no way he could get any respect within the band and wanted out, but at the same time found it hard to leave because he was so close to the others. Again, he was just a little too conflicted to do anything but passive-aggress.

I honestly feel that Paul didn't want to run the whole Beatles enterprise, but he felt he had to because no one would step up and take responsibility. And then to be criticized for being bossy when he was just doing what he had to do...not pleasant. (On the other hand, I think we can all agree that that situation did not bring out the best in Paul either!)
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From:zegenta
Date:April 12th, 2007 07:12 pm (UTC)
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Damn it, why couldn't they just communicate?!
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From:adaveen
Date:April 12th, 2007 07:47 pm (UTC)
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Why the Beatles broke up:

A. Everyone's a bitch:

1. John: Decided he was an "artiste" and could hock a luggie on a half brick and call it "Art". Probably because he had convinced himself he was a genius, was made to believe he was a genius (by his girlfriend, because that's what girlfriends SAY during the first couple of years you're going out with them, and no longer needed "them guys" to produce great music, with both melody and soul and beat and meaning. The fact that he was hopped up on heroin most of the time may have something to do with this delusion.

2. Paul: In the absence of Brian, probably thought he was the most sensible and business saavy one of the bunch, as well as having an even-handed and popular artistic streak and a good head for what the public wants, stepping in and forcing issues, working everyone to death and beyond tolerance, at the same time being completely reactionary and childish and overreacting in response to John's new girlfriend and doing whatever he could to put his partner off by pouting, disdain, and guilt trips.

C. George: a self-righteous, passive-aggressive little twit who thought he was on par with Hendrix and thought that 7 years of having his clothes torn at by maddened fans gave him the right to album space so he could tell us all off about how horrible we all are, without actually offering any useful advice on how not to be horrible.

D. Ringo: Being in the right place at the right time also means chancing it that you'll be in the wrong place at the wrong time. He should have found an agent to find him better movie parts. Ringo rulez! It's no surprise that he's had his battles with the bottle, it's more of a miracle that he's survived THIS long, considering what he's been through. I think he survived for a reason...

B. Because it was TIME

It was just TIME for them to break up. It was finished. There was nothing left for them to do together. All fairy tales have an ending. Needs must be for the sake of the mythos. They went out with the bang that is Abbey Road, which will always stand NOT as a last gasp, but like a supernova, with the final line an enduring quote of universal brilliance.

If it hadn't all exploded, it wouldn't BE a legend, would it? The prophet needs to be crucified, the lover needs to lose his fair lady in death, the preacher needs to learn the weakness of humanity and the drummer... well, he just needs to keep the beat.

Cos the beat goes on...
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From:my_belle_
Date:April 12th, 2007 11:32 pm (UTC)
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Now onto George, the most useless member of the Beatles (but that’s an entirely different rant), and the most ungrateful, complaining, bitch of the bunch

As a member of the secret society of George Harrison worshipers I take offense. He was not useless and actually provides me and...well, myself, hours of meditation enjoyment daily. Every day I put "Within You Without You" on repeat on my stereo, blast it to maximum volume and ignore the pounding from my neighboors and sit for 2-3 HOURS envisioning George and I together (in every sense of the word...The Church of George does not frown upon impur thoughts...in fact, it thrives on them). We even discuss such wildly important topics as hair styles of the 1960s and American Idol (he's a Sanjaya fan-Indian and all...you know). He is my world and I will proudly defend His honor as my GOD.

**crickets**

OMG. KIDDING!!!!!!!

Great rant-I love how you can present your arguments with points to backup your opinions (and I'm joining the list of requesters for a George Rant! Hey, maybe I'll even fill you in on more on my "Church of George") instead of just saying "Paul rules all because he's got gorgeous eyelashes" (which he does) and George sucks because his hairs too thick (it's not, but whatever). :P

Okay...was any sense made here? :D

yeah, wierd mood I'm in.
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From:xxprettyinmetal
Date:April 13th, 2007 12:24 pm (UTC)
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Oh I got a mention! We hear at the Secret Society of Yoko Worshippers will certainly be pleased by the lack of Ono-blaming.

Seriously though, this touched on some very good points. Especially the fact that it wasn't ONE thing that busted them up, it was many many things that enevitablly meant that the band just wasn't working anymore.

As I sit here listening to Milk and Honey, I must say that the break up wasn't an all together bad thing. A lot of them got on better than when they worked together, and they ALL produced a huge ammount of solo stuff that is brilliant. Think of what might not have been.

The Beatles didn’t have room for one more monster sized ego, and Ringo was definitely the peace-maker of the bunch.
That's hitting the nail on the head right there. He would have continued with the Beatles forever given half the chance.

No, I think his growing addiction to heavier and heavier drugs played a huge role, and the breakdown of his relationship with Paul.
Have you cracked open my head and stolen my thoughts recently?

Great rant. Really great.
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