I knew that the band was made up of John Lennox, Paul McCarty, George Harrison, and Ring Starr. They started the famous “British Invasion” of the sass’s on American pop/rock music, and they started a craze that swept over the country and made the Battles a name that would echo over the music industry and the future generations and cultures of the world for centuries to come. Since the story’ of the Battles could be researched for a lifetime, decided only to seek out the general story behind their fame. What is the story behind each of the members and how did they meet?
What was involved in their struggle to make it big? How did their music and fame affect the culture? Before began my search I had to make a research question, so I reviewed all the things I wanted to learn and formed the final question: Who were the Battles? Well already knew enough to vaguely answer my question. The Battles were a band of musicians from Liverpool who shaped the face of popular music and culture of their time and all who came after, their fame was a phenomenon that threw American youth into a frenzy over long hair and guitar-laced beats.
They also set an example for all rock acts to follow with a strong sense of autonomy, standing against their record company and management on many issues, even refusing to tour at the height of their popularity. My research didn’t take too long, because I found a lot of information easily on the band. The first thing I did was go to the school library and check out two books on the Battles. There were a lot more that seemed useful, but the two picked seemed to best fit my inquiries. Then after doing a lot of print research I went online and did a search on “the Battles biography”.
The online results were long and not always trustworthy, but the discography and some other information seemed UsefUl, so I book-marked the sites for later. Ecocide then to go talk to a friend of my old teacher who works over at Daddy’s Junky Music, who I knew was a huge Battles fan and would probably give me some good information since he was alive and a part of Battlement. So I called over there to see if I could interview him, and it turned out he was in New York and wouldn’t be back until the 24th, so that source was out. Overall, I think my research went smoothly, and I was happy with my results.
The Results of My Search Before the Battles Before 1955, popular music was a narrow expression of simple, pre conformed melodies that had existed and created a calm, generally upbeat ND sheltered youth. The Battles came onto the scene in 1 964 and slapped the world in the face with a new cult establishing an art form we would later call rock. The Battles gave their contemporary generation of kids with misspent youths a hold onto something new – the sound was previously unheard and it enraptured the listener and made them really hear the music.
The impressionable teenyboppers of the ass’s were addicted to the most outrageous and controversial thing to hit the shelves, a British, long-haired revolution that would “love to turn us on”. The real stronghold beginning of the Battles started in Liverpool on October , 1 940 at 7:00 a. M. While the city was under heavy bombing by the Nazis and a tiny John Winston Lennox was born in a hospital on Oxford Street. Julia and Alfred Lennox gave birth to the soon-to-be prodigy only to divorce before he turned three, leaving him in the care of his Aunt Mimi.
He first attended Dovetailed primary School where signs Of his creative genius showed early on. After graduating from there, John started at Quarry Bank Grammar School, but soon switched to art school, but soon quit. There he met his first wife, Cynthia and Stuart Stultify. Although Stultify had very little good musical ability he bought a bass guitar and joined The Quarrymen (a pre-Beat, Lennox creation). Next came the co-genius of this phenomenon, Paul McCarty. Born on June 18, 1942 to Jim and Mary Patricia Minion, Paul was the eldest of two boys in a very close-knit family.
He first attended Stockton Wood Road Primary School but was soon switched to Joseph Williams Primary School at Caterer because their mother insisted on the best education for her boys. Paul used to love to listen to the radio and was very influenced by his dad who played in a little band but eventually had to give it up because he “got false teeth and loudest play the trumpet properly anymore. ” John’s mother died of breast cancer when he was only fourteen, which devastated the family and launched John into spending some of his time writing songs, which would later be the pay off of his life.
George Harold Harrison was born to Harry and Louise French Harrison on February 25, 1943 in Wavered as the youngest of four children. Like John, George’s first school was Dovetailed Primary (John was three years his senior, so they never met). However, George and Paul shared the long bus ride home and soon became friends, both sharing a love for music. As a kid, George was often labeled by his teachers as “independent and very bright, but protective of his privacy and somewhat introverted” Finally, completing the FAA-four, Ring Starr.
Born Richard Starkey on July 7, 1940 while air raid sirens were going off all around town. His parents, Elsie and Dick Starkey were quite and peaceful folks. Ring used to play drums in the Liverpool Orange Day Parade, then getting his start as the drummer for the best band to date. Ring also played accordion, but never took it too seriously. As a child, Ring was always called “scruffy” by surrounding adults, but it never fazed him much. Little did he know that it would be that “scruffiness” that would end up being his “ticket to ride”.
The Band is Born John Lennox bought a guitar in March 1957 and formed a skiff’s group called the Quarrymen, named after his high school, Quarry Bank. He invited in Paul McCarty after hearing him play. At first the band played mostly covers of already popular songs, but after Pall’s first live performance with the band he played some stuff that he had written to John, who, not wanting to be outdone, returned the favor, thus creating the best songwriting duo Of the century. The two decided to share all songwriting credits in their career, although they only actually co-wrote a few songs. ) The lineup of the band was changing frequently, but by October 1959 it consisted of Lennox, McCarty, George Harrison and drummer Colon Wanton. By March of 1960, Lennox ;s art school classmate Stuart Stultifies joined the band as a bassist and suggested the name the Beetles, as a creative response to the popular contemporary Buddy Holly’s group the Crickets. By that summer they were the Silver Battles, settling on simply the Battles in August.
That month the Battles left for Hamburg, West Germany, with their new drummer Pete Best, to try to establish themselves in Europe. The band quickly became a very popular local act, performing at various clubs. They were expelled from the country in November because George Harrison was underage. The Battles returned to Germany in early 1 961, when Stultifies had left the band to pursue his art career and to continue his love with a girl he had met in Germany the year before. McCarty took over on bass, and Stultifies died of a brain hemorrhage the following year.
Coming back to Liverpool, the band became a widespread underground sensation, frequenting a local venue called the Cavern Club, where they played a total of 292 times. The original Battles had a fifth member, Stuart Stultifies. While in Germany, he met and fell in love with a girl, and wasn’t there for a lot of the band’s biggest times. The first full studio recording of the Battles was made in late 1961 and had eight tracks including “My Bonnie” and “Cry For a Shadow’. Stuart was not there to record it.
He died on April ID, 1962 from a severe brain hemorrhage. The beginning of the Beetle’s fame came at the time in which a man named Brian Epstein heard the boys play at a club and signed them. Thus turning them from a scruffy street band of somewhat amateur beat musicians into a mart, professional ensemble of entertainers. Under his management, on New Year’s Day, 1962, the Battles auditioned for a deal on Decca Records, performing a total of fifteen songs, twelve covers and three originals.
Talent executive Mike Smith rejected the group and told them that “guitar groups are on their way out”. They perused, however, and were signed by George Martin of Persephone on May 9, 1962. After their first recording session, George Martin suggested that their current drummer be replaced, and soon well-known local, Ring Starr, was signed. By October, the band released their first single, “P. S. I Love You”. It charted on he Top 20, and the band became regular guests on the BBC, performing on the channel over fifty times between 1962 and 1964.
The Rise to Fame In February of 1963, the band was back in the studio recording their second album, Please Please Please Me, released in March. It was an overnight hit, and stayed at the top of the charts in Britain for thirty consecutive weeks. Battlement had begun. After a performance before the royal family, Persephone released a second Battles album in November, called With The Battles. By the end of 1 963, the Battles had sold over 2. 5 million albums in Britain, and had a succession of million-selling singles. Soon, word of this new British sensation caught some attention in America.
The first few Battle singles were signed to Chicago-based label Eve Jay Records. Eve Jay helped the Battles put all their new released singles onto one album, Introducing the Battles, their first U. S. LIP. During the later part of 1963 it was the only Battles material available in America, therefore selling amazingly well. But in early 1964 the court awarded the rights to all Battles recordings to Persephone/Capitol Records, and the record went out of print, only to become one of the most counterfeited albums in music history.
The band went on to release a total of 13 albums in the U. S. Alone between early 1964 and 1 966, not to mention the two movie credits under their belt for A Hard Day’s Night and Help!. A lot changed for the Battles in 1966. First of all, Lennox was quoted in an interview where he predicted the end of Christianity as saying that the Battles were “more popular than Jesus”. As a result, 200 radio stations banned Battles records and there were public burnings of records and memorabilia of the band. Finally, Lennox released a public apology.
Then, after five years of relentless touring recording, and constant media spotlighting, the Battles Ecocide to become solely a studio band. In November 1 966, the band entered Abbey Road Studios, where they spent the next 129 days making undeniably the most creative rock album in history. No band before had put this much work into making an album, and it paid off. The Beetle’s spent a total of over 700 hours making SST. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, whereas their first album, Please Please Please Me, was recorded in only 585 minutes.
Epstein was extremely worried about the release of the album, however. He was already concerned about the constant differing opinions between himself and he band, and he thought that the numerous drug references in the record would cause further controversy over the band and tarnish their clean image that he had worked so hard to create. Paul came up with the title and concept: an old-fashioned band playing a concert in “the summer of love. ” Most songs were also written by Paul, since John had become so lazy at this point that he hardly left his house.
The US version was almost identical as the UK version ; except that the “inner groove” track was not included and the disc was banded, and the British version was not. The album was a huge success. It went on to win four Grammy’s, including est. album. The record was an earth-shattering opus. The incredibly varied sound effects and “studio tricks” not only changed the way pop/rock music is recorded, but it also opened a new door for cover art and put focus on an album as a whole, as opposed to only the released singles. The Downfall of the Battles As John became progressively lazier, things began working against the fame of the Battles.
On August 27, 1 967, the Battles manager, Brian Epstein, died of a drug overdose, possibly intentional. The band was saddened, but refused to hire a new manager, taking complete control over their own career. Their first project out from under Epstein management was the BBC television series and related album Magical Mystery Tour. Critics attacked both and the Battles were heavily criticized for their attempts. This is pinpointed as the beginning of the end of the Battle reign. By early 1 968, the group had managed to form their own record label, Apple Records, and had begun work on a double record set.
Allegedly there was constant tension during the recording sessions though, and band members would stomp out and hand in individual recordings instead of recording as a band together. The result of these sessions was the White Album, correctly titled The Battles, released in November 1 968, and featuring a guest track with Eric Clayton titled “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”. That month, Lennox released his own first solo album, recorded with his new love interest, Yoke Non (a relationship extremely controversial in its time), unfinished Music No. -Two Virgins. Late in 1968 a short animated film was released with inspiration credited to the song “Yellow Submarine”. Under the upbeat nature of the film, the real band was hardly speaking. In January 1 969, the band began work on a new album live in the studio without overdubs) tentatively titled Get Back. For a film to go along with it, the Battles performed on the roof of their studio; their last public appearance ever. While working on the album the band had enough creative differences to completely shelve the project.
On March 12, Paul McCarty married American photographer Linda Eastman, and soon after Lennox formally married Yoke Non. By May the situation had worsened. The band hired Allen Klein as their new business manager, despite opposition by McCarty. Although the band’s conflict progressively intensified, the band returned once more to the studio to scored Abbey Road, an amazingly cooperative and refreshingly cohesive album. In September 1969, Lennox told his bandmasters that he wanted to leave the group, but because of renegotiation’s With Persephone/MME Records, the breakup was put on hold.
Meanwhile, rumors that Paul McCarty had died in a motorcycle crash several years before had spread like wildfire over America, people claiming of the “clues” put in Beetle’s albums. (see attached page for story). The Battles’ reign over America and Europe continued as a steady downfall, not lasting much longer past the acid-soaked ass’s. Then, on December 8, 1980, John Non Lennox was shot to death just outside his apartment by Mark David Chapman, after a night of working on new recordings. His death marked the end of an era when love and peace were respected and voracity and envy were denounced.
A generation was forced to realize and contemplate the outlook of its own unsubstantiated ethics, and a defined end was put to a decade of music that changed the world. Even after the end of Battlement and the greatly mourned death of an amazing creative mastermind, the Battles backlogged continues to sell millions, providing Capitol records with a high percentage of its income. Rights to all Lennox-McCarty compositions were sold during the ass’s for hundreds of millions of dollars, at one point passing through the hands of Michael Jackson.