If The Beatles first saw fame in 1962

If you ask anyone they will
agree, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones are two of the most influential bands
of all time. Between “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles and “Paint it Black”
by The Rolling Stones, each band has some major music hits. Each of these bands
came together in the UK during the 1960’s; an extremely transformational time
for music in general. However, today in the music industry it’s a toss up of
who carries the most influence and relevance in today’s music. Many modern-day music
artists and producers are and have been heavily influenced by each of these
bands and their music continues to carry on as some of the greatest to this
day. In this essay I will compare The Beatles’ and The Rolling Stones’ stories and
their influence on music as we know it.

            To begin let’s talk about the Beatles and how everything
started. The Beatles began their decade long story in Liverpool, England. Four
of them; John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, all
growing up in Liverpool. The band started with John Lennon asking the others to
join separately in the early 1960’s (Forster, 2009). The Beatles first saw fame
in 1962 when listeners began to grow fonder of their music. The Beatles had a
pretty short-lived run of fame from 1962 until 1970, when they broke-up.

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            The Rolling Stones were all united in London, the birthplace
of the band. Each one of the members a part of the Blues scene at the time in
London. The founding member of The Rolling Stones is Brian Jones, he gathered
each of the members in 1962. Of the band members, Ian Stewart was the first to
sign on for Brian Jones’ offer. The next members to join were Keith Richards,
Charlie Watts, Mick Jagger, and then Bill Wyman. After some performances, the
band then decided to drop Ian Stewart as a band member and offer him a position
as their road manager (Nelson, 2010). This is one spot in which The Rolling
Stones and Beatles are different. The Rolling Stones have never broken up and
still are performing together to this day.

            Each of the bands influences were similar in the sense of
1950 American Rock and Roll. Each Saturday in the UK, Radio Luxembourg in
Belgium would broadcast American music from eight pm until twelve am. Growing
up, each one of The Beatles; John, Paul, George, and Ringo would listen to the
broadcast. They would hear the music of Fats Domino, Little Richard, Bill Haley
Elvis Presley, and Buddy Holly (Mulligan, 2010). Each of the members would go
on to play in folk bands and perform covers of the songs they heard from the
broadcast. As the band members came together they continued to perform covers
of their favorites from the broadcast but also began to create original works. When
it all began, The Beatles were aware that they needed to make an attempt to
create original music and in turn John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote some
music and found success with it. The most important influence on the song
writing of The Beatles came from legend, Buddy Holly. The Beatles first pieces
of work are easy to trace back to the techniques and ideas of Buddy Holly.

            The Rolling Stones influences started in the same form as
the Beatles, 1950’s American Rock and Roll. However, each of the members of The
Rolling Stones had a love and obsession for American R. R was not
easily come by in the UK and that led to Mick Jagger making contact by writing
a letter to an American record company. Mick Jagger asked for a way to gain
access to R music in the United States (Nelson, 2010). When The Rolling
Stones began to fall together, they would cover music from the legends of:
Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, and Jimmy Reed (Nelson, 2010). By far,
the biggest impact of influences on the band had to be Jimmy Reed and his
music. Keith Richards and Brian Jones’ gathered knowledge on weaving their
guitar work together to be some of the best lead guitarists to live (Nelson,
2010). Not only that, Charlie Watts would be pushed and excited to try new
things on his drums because of the music (Nelson, 2010). The influence of
Rhythm and Blues on The Rolling Stones is truly what set them apart during this
golden age of Rock and Roll.

            The Beatles started their story by playing Rock and Roll music
but shifted over into the mainstream Pop music. The music that John Lennon and Paul
McCartney would write shifted their focus into simplistic music of the three-chord
composition theory of Buddy Holly. Even though The Beatles were labeled as a Pop
band they would dabble in Psychedelia and some other genres of music
flourishing during the ’60’s.

            For the first time ever, the British music scene began to
show a bad side, The Rolling Stones. American Rock and Rollers during this time
were the “bad boys” of music, but they would have to make way for the British
music invasion. Although The Rolling Stones began with music reminiscent of soulful
Chicago Blues, it turned into something dirtier and faster (Wenner, n.d.). With
their progressive ideas and concepts of Rock and Roll and Blues, they became
the pioneers of British Rock.

            The Beatles used their image as a marketing tactic and it
played a large hand in their overall success. They were clean cut with their
edgy “mop tops”, unlike The Rolling Stones who had no care about their image.
This is when the start of “Beatlemania” came to the scene. Girls would swoon and
track everything the band members would do. The Beatles could be described as talented,
attractive, comical, and charming.

            During the early years of The Rolling Stones, Mick
Jagger, Keith Richards, and Brian Jones all lived together in a two-bedroom
apartment in the Edith Grove neighborhood of London (Nelson, 2010). During
which time there were rumors of the three’s sexuality amidst. They would often
sleep in one bed together to keep warm during the winter; they could not afford
to put money into the coin operated heater. The Rolling Stones conformed to this
image of a bad boy, and it stuck (Wenner, n.d.). The stories of them sharing a
bed only further confirmed the image and they did nothing to stop it (Nelson,

            When John Lennon and Paul McCartney were first acquainted,
they each felt threatened by each other (Mulligan, 2010). Both being musicians
and holding an immense love for music, they were able to overlook the competition
and threat of one another (Mulligan, 2010). In 1957, the two would often skip
school to hang out at Paul’s house to write music (Romano, 2013). Although each
member of the band was able to somehow magically connect on stage and through
music, after the death of Brian Epstein, their manager, they were no longer
able to find a connection with each other (Forster, 2009). John Lennon would never
let the other three live down the fact that he invited them to join their magical
band (Forster, 2009). Ultimately, his words and actions would contribute the
most to the breakup of the Beatles (Forster, 2009). The Beatles were able to
connect for one last album, Abbey Road, and set aside their problems for the
love of music (Forster, 2009). The only way they were able to accomplish such a
feat was with the help of George Martin to direct and demand that the members
stay in unity and have discipline (Forster, 2009). The Beatles would officially
breakup after seven years of fame, in 1970.

            The Rolling Stones have had their issues even though they
have not broken up and have been rocking since their coming together. They always
seem to find a way back to each other after breaks (The Rock and Roll Hall of
Fame, n.d.). For example, in the 1980’s The Rolling Stones took a three-year
hiatus in which Mick Jagger and Brian Richards attempted their own solo careers
(The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, n.d.). During the three years the group did
not talk but reconnected on a songwriting retreat for ten days in Barbados (The
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, n.d.). From this retreat we received the “Steel Wheels”
album and their tour.

            In conclusion, no one can hold a doubt in the works of
The Beatles or The Rolling Stones. They each created paths that will continue
to be walked by many in the music industry for the coming years. The impact
that each of the bands have can be seen throughout each and every genre. Their
images, concepts, techniques, and style echo in modern musicians today and will
not stop anytime soon.