(Source: Deviant Art)

They probably didn’t realize they were, but the Beatles were very creative marketers.

Most of us probably didn’t understand it at the time either as it was always all about the music and the Fab Four wearing white hats, constantly riding into coming our lives and making it just that bit better- and happier and sunnier.

Today, there is a two, even three year wait for a new record by a major artist, it comes out and, most of the time, we shrug our shoulders and say, And so?

However, anything by the Beatles was an event. Remember the television premiere of All You Need Is Love and Hello, Goodbye- and rushing home to view it while wearing a kaftan and smoking some weed while your parents thought the exorcist was needed?

Looking back, wasn’t this incredible inter-active marketing?

It was possibly even one of the first successful uses of social media- but without Facebook, twitter, twatter, apps and saps. It was “just the Beatles”.

Same with the release of every record- every album, single, EP and mini-movies long before MTV and music videos.

Remember watching that mini-movie that was Magical Mystery Tour, those trippy- jeez, there’s a word that’s a blast from the past- films for Strawberry Fields Forever and Penny Lane plus the goofy and innocent feature films A Hard Days Night and Help to the warts and all documentation that showed “the lads” coming apart at the seams and “messaging” us to Let It Be.

In-between, there was the animated madness of Yellow Submarine with Blue Meanies and the startup of that “indie” creative hub that was Apple through which we got a small taste of Zapple and Wonderwall music along with signing up the wonderful music of the much underrated Badfinger and the first album by a new American singer-songwriter named James Taylor with his opening track being his song called Something In The Way She Moves.

The Beatles were evolving- and never stopped- and many of us evolved with them.

Today, all this would be considered “content” and labelled promotion or marketing or social media.

Back then, it was the Beatles- something new again from the Beatles- a surge of creativity which also included touring, all of which lasted a mere seven years.

Today, we have Bono wanting to be the Pope and every celebrity trying to save the world while John put his balls on the wicket and said that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus. Gimme some truth indeed.

(Source: Worth 1000)

All this current self-righteousness is very noble but with many of it reeking of We Are The World phoniness whereas the Beatles saved our souls by being around with their music.

Always there was the music of the Beatles and which was a musical diary of our lives. It was marketing without any cynicism as it was music without labels, constraints and boundaries. It was life.

This is what many musicians today don’t understand and music companies have forgotten to remember in their blinkered pursuit of progress in the “digital area”.

Yes, we can all chant the mantra that there is more music today than ever before. There has to be as new mediums and apps have made creating sounds easier to produce and easier to get out there- though once out there, much of all this falls through the cracks or simply becomes too much clutter.

There is also the habit to spend months and, sometimes years, to produce a few tracks and then sit back and be chuffed at one’s self and think the work is done. This is progress? To some, perhaps.

For me, there is much to learn from the past and the work ethics of, sure, the Beatles as a band and with their solo careers, but also the Stones, the Who, Led Zep etc.

With a minimum of tools, but a very healthy appetite for melodies and variations of their music- nothing like the production tools we have today- they kept pushing that creative envelope.

They built so many OTHER ideas on their “core business”- music- that they had to get it out- and they did cos imagination and creativity have no time limits.

It was constant enhancement and evolvement of songwriting, arrangements, production, harmonies, textures, fashion, publishing and so much more with great friends like the amazing Derek Taylor and Neil Aspinall plus a music company and label that supported them- EMI and Parlophone.

Today, we have so many mediums and carriers for music, a DIY world, but something is not working.

There is way TOO much content out there- BUT, not enough content from new artists to test the waters and see what music fans would like- and pay for- and which then leads to unchartered waters and discovering new revenue streams one never even knew existed.

This is the thinking, the Beatles, the Stones, Andrew Loog Oldham, Brian Epstein, Jac Holzman, Berry Gordy Jr, Chris Blackwell etc gave what was the music industry.

Either we have been crap mentors and not passed on this knowledge, or else, we have but few are listening.

I leave you with this keynote speech from David Grohl. Dig it like a pony and Come Together. He’s gone right back to get where he is and where music MUST be.

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