The story should be fiction: four teenagers running all over Liverpool in search of any gig at all. Six years later, they were the four most famous and musical men on earth, the best dressed and on a good day the most captivating people anyone can remember.
They left their Cavern Club and within months they took the ascendancy in the British pop world. They played hundreds of concerts in Britain, invented Beatlemania, recorded “I Want to Hold Your Hand” (their fourth British number one in a year) and while they were conquering Paris, the record went to Number One in America three weeks before “The Ed Sullivan Show” in New York.
The Beatles swept through the great US cities, drawing tens of thousands to airports for the merest glimpse.
A Hard Day’s Night guaranteed them star status in the cinema and they laughed their way through Help! Paul dreamt that he had written “Yesterday” – and he had. They were the first band to play a baseball stadium, Shea in New York, breaking records for crowd fever, numbers and good cheer. They went to Buckingham Palace to receive medals from the Queen.
Supported by the steady hand of the great George Martin, they went into the studio which brought an amazed world the mighty whirligig of Sgt Pepper, “Penny Lane” and “Strawberry Fields Forever.” They never stood still.
The Beatles started their own company, Apple Corps with five creative divisions – records, films, etc. – and then went public with an offer that anyone with an artistic need could come to them and get help. At the same time, The Beatles flew to foothills of the Himalayas to learn meditation. There, between sessions with the Maharishi, they wrote songs for what would become known as The White Album.
When recording started, the songs had come in such profusion that, famously, the album had thirty of them — enough for two high-class musicals. They sped from one track to another, content that the unity of the album would transcend the disparity in the style and content of the tracks. It was always their strength that they wrote bewitching singles.
John met and married Yoko; Paul met and married Linda. George matured far beyond his years, settled into his spiritual space and expressed himself writing classic songs; Ringo was now writing his own numbers and was widely acknowledged as a supreme drummer and a very good actor.
That the rift between The Beatles, evolved with much public angst, was a pity but this is not a perfect world is it? Relationships anyway, were repaired long ago. And in the end, the equation between the love they took and the love they made was intact into infinity. They still represent the twentieth century's greatest romance.