Friday, 14 September 2012
The Beatles: Who walked out first?
June 21st, 1966. The Beatles are in the studio recording "Revolver", and John Lennon brings in "She Said, She Said". Paul McCartney gets into a fight with the other three, and leaves the studio. The three records the song with George Harrison on bass guitar.
"John brought it in pretty much finished, I think. I'm not sure but I think it was one of the only Beatle records I never played on. I think we'd had a barney or something and I said, 'Oh, fuck you!' and they said, 'Well, we'll do it.' I think George played bass.", Paul McCartney in the book "Many Years From Now".
August 27th, 1968. Tensions had been building within The Beatles for some time during the recording of the White Album. On this day matters came to a head, and Ringo Starr left the group. Starr flew to the Mediterranean where he spent two weeks on Peter Sellers' yacht. During the break he wrote Octopus's Garden. Meanwhile, The other three Beatles share the drums on Back In The USSR and Paul plays the drums on Dear Prudence while continuing to record the White album.
"I left because I felt two things: I felt I wasn't playing great, and I also felt that the other three were really happy and I was an outsider. I got a telegram saying, 'You're the best rock'n'roll drummer in the world. Come on home, we love you.' And so I came back. We all needed that little shake-up. When I got back to the studio I found George had had it decked out with flowers - there were flowers everywhere. I felt good about myself again, we'd got through that little crisis and it was great." Ringo Starr The Beatles' Anthology.
January 10th, 1969. George Harrison walked out on this day, unable to tolerate any longer the tensions within the group. The Beatles were at Twickenham Film Studios, where their rehearsals were being captured on camera.
"I got up and I thought, 'I'm not doing this any more. I'm out of here.' So I got my guitar and went home and that afternoon wrote Wah-Wah." George Harrison, The Beatles' Anthology.
September 20th, 1969. John Lennon had decided to leave the Beatles the week before, when he was due to play with the Plastic Ono Band in Toronto. Today he announces his decision to the other three.
"So I said, 'The group's over, I'm leaving.' Allen [Klein] was there, and he was saying, 'Don't tell.' He didn't want me to tell Paul even. But I couldn't help it, I couldn't stop it, it came out. And Paul and Allen said they were glad that I wasn't going to announce it, like I was going to make an event out of it. I don't know whether Paul said, 'Don't tell anybody,' but he was damn pleased that I wasn't. He said, 'Oh well, that means nothing really happened if you're not going to say anything.' So that's what happened." John Lennon, in the Rolling Stone interview and book "Lennon Remembers".
Of course, the first one to leave The Beatles was Stuart Sutcliffe.