The Carlington Summit

Hi Pack Ratters! As promised, here's part two of our feature on the greatest rock group in history ... The Beatles. The following excerpts from Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia leave little doubt that the “Fab Four” were one of the leading rock music experimenters of our time, and of course, the most popular band of the 1960s.

The Beatles often used overdubbing and other advanced record-production techniques to invent new musical techniques to invent new effects. Under their influence, rock and roll become more commonly known as rock music. With the help of a crack publicity campaign, their LP (“Meet The Beatles”) became the largest selling album ever released until then. A quartet of musicians from Liverpool England, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr -- the Beatles sang songs written mainly by Lennon and McCartney.

Their infectious music and witty lyrics made them two of the finest Twentieth Century songwriters. Early Beatles songs were in standard forms (“She Loves You”). Their lyrics gradually became more subtle and tender (“Yesterday”) and sometimes abstract (“A Day In The Life”).

They broke up in 1970 and all four went solo. If you want to hear The Beatles, go and pick up their CDs. They still sound great to hear again.

This month we will look at George Harrison and Ringo Star.

Liverpool native George Harrison was born 1943, and made his first foray into the British rock scene as a member of The Rebels from 1956-58. He then joined the Quarrymen where he stayed for four years before signing up as a guitarist for The Beatles in 1962.

In 1970, he launched a solo career and developed an intense interest in Indian culture. In 1971, he organized two benefit concerts for starving people of Bangladesh.

Harrison released several solo albums, and even ventured into executive producing with such film projects as “Life of Brian (1979), “Time Bandits” (1981), “Monty Python Live at Hollywood Bowl” (1982), and “Withnail and I's (1987). He later joined the Traveling Wilburys for their release of an album in 1998. Harrison was named to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the Beatles in 1988.

Ringo Starr was the backbeat behind the Beatles' music. Born Richard Starkey on July 7, 1940, in Liverpool England, Starr got the nickname “Ringo” because of his fondness for rings. A sickly child who missed school often, he left school in his early teens and worked as an engineer's apprentice. He dreamed of becoming a rock start and fashioned drums out of tin cans before getting his first real set in 1959.

Starr met the Beatles while touring with Rory Storme and the Hurricanes in the early 1960s. EMI signed the Beatles in 1962 but disapproved of its drummer, Pete Best, and Starr was chosen as the replacement.

Primarily a background vocalist, Starr sang the lead on a handful of Beatle hits, notably “Yellow Submarine” (1966) and “With a Little Help From My Friends” (1967). His first songwriting credit was “Don't Pass Me By” (1968).

Like the other members of the band, Starr also launched a solo career that spanned the next three decades. His record releases were complemented by appearances in various films, including “The Magic Christian” (1970), and “Caveman” (1981). In 1989, Starr became the host of the children's television series “Shining Time Station.”

Until next month...

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