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Posted By: Jim Liddane on: 09/07/2009 11:46:40 EDT
Subject: RE: Got To Get You Into My Life - 60's Artist Unkown

Message Detail:
Well I do not want to get into an argument on the Beatles!

I only saw them live once - that was in November 1963 - before they made it big in the USA.

I honestly thought they sounded very rough live - but of course, at that stage they had only brought out five singles, and a lot of what they were doing were very poor cover versions of original US hits and that probably coloured my judgement!

I was very pleased (but a bit surprised) when they made it so big in the USA, but happy because they were the first European act to make Number 1 in the USA for several years (the previous one being Acker Bilk).

But soon after, all hell broke loose and every English act was making it huge in the States.

I mean acts like Chad & Jeremy (who never had a Top 20 his in England), had a dozen hits in the USA.

Even a guy in Ireland who had recorded a spoof on the Supremes called "You Turn Me On" (which had not even been released here), took the track to the US - adopted an English accent, and had a Top Ten hit over there!

We thought we would be all made for life if we could imitate a passable English accent, and just get to New York!

So many of the acts became huge in the US - far bigger than they were in the UK.

For example

Dave Clark managed 12 hits in the UK - and about 24 in the US.

Gerry & The Pacemakers - 7 hits in the UK - 11 in the USA.

The Searchers - 10 hits in the UK - 14 in the USA.

Peter & Gordon - 6 hits in the UK - 14 in the USA.

Herman's Hermits (possibly the worst of them live), managed to have hits in the USA which were never even released as singles over here.

I note your remarks about Payola.

It was a crazy time, but even so, whatever about the USA, the Beatles certainly did not depend on Payola in the UK - the only radio station was the BBC and like most state-run organisations, they were incorruptible.

In fact, it took Epstein nearly a year to get the Beatles a record contract, and even then, the BBC did not push "Love Me Do" on their (few) pop shows.

It took Liverpool sales (65% off the entire UK sales for "Love Me Do" were from Liverpool), to push the record barely into the UK Top 20, so that the BBC did go on to play the follow-up ("Please Please Me").

Even then, that did not make Number 1 either, so whatever about the US, in the UK, it has hard graft.

Finally, about Ringo's drumming - I would not like to criticise another musician when I was so average myself, but it reminds me of John Lennon's remark on being told that Ringo had been voted "Best Drummer In The World" in a reader's poll...

"Best drummer in the world? He's not even the best drummer in the Beatles!"

Happy days.

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