We open on December 27th, 1961, at the Cavern Club on Mathews Street in Liverpool, just a mile inland from the confluence of the River Mersey and the Bay of Liverpool. Across the Irish Sea, over the Atlantic Ocean, a continent beckons.
Pete Best calls in sick, and the boys bring in Richard Starkey—Ringo Starr to the world—to sit in on drums, his first paid gig with the Beatles. It clicks musically; the band really swings with Ringo on drums. Right away, George Harrison starts “conspiring” to bring Ringo into the group. Ringo sits in again a few months later, and that seals the deal. It won’t be long.
By midsummer, the Beatles are a signed group, and Ringo has moved in behind the drum kit. That fall will see the release of their first single.
Along the way, we will meet two men: Brian Epstein, the Beatles’ manager, and George Martin, their producer. We get to know these two a little bit, and discuss their role in igniting Beatlemania, first in England in 1963, and then in America a year later.
We will examine George Martin’s enormous contribution to the Beatles’ recordings, by taking a look at five early hits.
And finally we return back to where we started in Episode Seven: February 7th, 1964 at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City, as the Beatles arrive in America. Something even bigger arrives alongside them.
We close out with a meditation, a think-piece on arrival, and bring this two-part episode to a conclusion—and to a beginning.
The Beatles: “In My Life” from Rubber Soul, 1965 Parlophone Records
Paul McCartney: “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey,” from Ram, 1971 Apple Records
Chuck Berry: “Back in the USA,” single released 1959, Chess Records
Ray Charles: “What’d I Say,” single released 1959, Atlantic Records
The Beatles: “Boys,” from Please Please Me, 1963 Parlophone Records
The Beatles: “Please Mr. Postman,” from With the Beatles, 1963 Parlophone Records
The Beatles: “One After 909” from Anthology, Vol. 1, 1995 Apple Records
The Beatles: “It Won’t Be Long,” from With the Beatles, 1963 Parlophone Records
The Beatles: “Twist and Shout,” from Please Please Me, 1963 Parlophone Records
The Beatles: “Love Me Do,” single released 1962, Parlophone Records
The Beatles: “Please Please Me,” single released 1962, Parlophone Records
The Beatles: “I Saw Her Standing There,” from Please Please Me, 1963 Parlophone Records
The Beatles: “She Loves You,” from With the Beatles, 1963 Parlophone Records
The Beatles: “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” US single released 1963, Capitol Records
The Beatles: “Rock And Roll Music” from Beatles for Sale, 1964 Parlophone Records
The Beatles: “All My Loving,” from With the Beatles, 1963 Parlophone Records
John Lennon: “#9 Dream,” from Walls and Bridges, 1974 Apple Records
Epstein, Brian (1964): A Cellarful of Noise
Everett, Walter (2001): The Beatles as Musicians (Vol. 1): The Quarry Men Through Rubber Soul
Johnston, Sue (2011): Things I Couldn’t Tell My Mother
Lewisohn, Mark (2013): Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years
Martin, George (1994): All You Need is Ears
McDonald, Ian (1994, revised 2005): Revolution in the Head: The Beatles’ Records and the Sixties
Miller, Scott (2011): Music: What Happened?
Norman, Phillip (2008): John Lennon: The Life
Spitz, Bob: (2004, E-Book published 2012): The Beatles: The Biography
Thompson, Gordon (2008): Please Please Me: Sixties British Pop, Inside Out
Note: the sources are much the same as Episode Seven. The one notable addition is Phillip Norman’s biography of John Lennon.
Beatles Anthology: six DVD set, three audio CDs, and accompanying book, 2001 Apple Entertainment Ltd.
George Harrison: Living in the Material World, directed by Martin Scorcese, 2011 HBO Films
Online Sources, By Topic in Order of Appearance
British Beatles Fan Club: http://www.britishbeatlesfanclub.co.uk/
George Martin: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/10/arts/music/george-martin-producer-of-the-beatles-dies-at-90.html?_r=0
Transcript of Beatles Press Conference at JFK Airport, Feb. 7th 1964. (Audio retrieved from YouTube) http://www.beatlesinterviews.org/db1964.0207.beatles.html
Bob Spitz performed by Bob Ferguson
Mark Lewisohn performed by Matt Bragg