The Liverpudlian icons played a crucial role in the development of the 1960s counterculture movement, aiding the rise of popular music into the mainstream as an art form. The band took their cues from skiffle, beat and ’50s rock and roll. Latterly, the band would be influenced by classical music, ballads, Indian music, psychedelia and hard rock. Ultimately, The Beatles revolutionised every aspect of popular music.
Much of the Beatles‘ generation-defining career is cemented in the vast mythos of popular culture. The widespread tales of their careers and the well-documented personal lives has resulted in an untellable amount of discourse surrounding the band. However, one rumour frequently abounds; The Beatles were on a never-ending cycle of tours.
However, in a radio interview with Ringo Starr in 1977, he revealed that the band had actually stopped touring in 1966. The lengthy interview, which was broadcasted on the airwaves, is a dense retrospective on the drummers’ life. At about the halfway point, the interviewer posits: “John said in an interview, ‘By the time the Beatles came to America, they couldn’t perform live anymore.’”
Ringo replied: “That’s the truth. I mean, it’s the great truth. No one heard us, not even ourselves. I found it very hard. I mean, I’m looking at amplifiers thinking the sound is going to come through my eyes instead of ears, but it’s like—I couldn’t do any fills because I’m just there just to hold it together somehow, you know. So if I go off for a ‘fill’ which isn’t as loud as all your force on an off-beat it would get lost anyway.”
Ringo explained: “That’s when we decided to stop in ’66. Everyone thought we toured for years, you know, but we didn’t. I joined in ’62, and we’d finished touring in ’66 to go into the studio where we could hear each other… and create any fantasy that came out of anybody’s brain.”