Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Art-For-Art’s-Sake Theatre: The Beatles “Please Please Me”

Time once again for our usual midday Wednesday feature.

On this day in 1970, Paul McCartney officially announced his departure from The Beatles, citing business disagreements. But only seven years and about two months before -- to be exact, on February 11, 1963 -- the four lads from Liverpool assembled at the Abbey Road studios in London and, twelve hours and £400 later, had their first album, Please Please Me, completed. The details of his historic event in recording history are cited in a recent article in Rolling Stone.

In those days, 14 songs were the standard number on a long-playing record. So the Beatles entered Abbey Road that winter morning knowing that their task was to churn out the additional 10 songs. It was a job for which they were uniquely well-suited ... [and] the Beatles' producer, George Martin, sought simply to capture the band's live energy, to turn a staid studio – previously known for recordings made there by the London Symphony Orchestra and Peter Sellers – into an annex of the sweaty, sepulchral Cavern Club.

Although they were together as Harrison, Lennon, McCartney, and Starr, for less than a decade, their work is never dated, and wins a new generation of followers, even the children and grandchildren of those who screamed their hearts out in the early years. The first video clip is from a 1964 concert in Washington, DC. The second featured Paul himself and his road band (still playing his revered Hofner bass), in a scene from his 2006 DVD, “The Space Within Us.”

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