The Beatles

The Beatles were an English rock band that formed in Liverpool in 1960. From 1962, the group consisted of John Lennon (rhythm guitar, vocals), Paul McCartney (bass guitar, vocals), George Harrison (lead guitar, vocals) and Ringo Starr (drums, vocals). Settled in skiffle and 1950s rock and roll, the group later worked in many genres ranging from pop ballads to psychedelic rock, often including classical and other elements in creative ways. The nature of their enormous popularity, which first came out as “Beatlemania”, changed as their songwriting grew in sophistication.

They came to be seen as the representation of ideals of the social and cultural revolutions of the 1960s. It started off pretty poppy and as the decade went on it became more psychedelic and it changed because they were doing drugs. Young people were becoming more open to change, they were more open to new opportunities and experiences There is a very small age group and now middle aged Americans or Britons who were dramatically impacted by the band, their ages are now between 51 to 59.

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It was this age group that was elite in 1964, when they were between 8 to 16, they took part and were eyewitnesses to their arrival in the US. The 1960’s were a time when people finally said and acted on what was really on their mind. It was also a time of broadcast, everyone thinks of hippies when they think about the 60’s but there was also a strong conservative side as well. And often time they clashed. Things back then were more black and white (politically wise) than they are today. The 60’s were an important time for human rights. Martin Luther King and the Rosa Parks incident happened in the 60’s.

Nixon’s presidency also happened during the late 60’s early 70’s. The Vietnam War and the Invasion of Cambodia happened because of Nixon which triggered a huge reaction in the “hippie” movement. The hippie movement was mainly white, middle class college students. The Kent State Massacre which originally was just a peaceful protest which turned into a terrible shooting by the National Guard against university students who were unarmed. This caused people to unify against the government many other protests and more shooting happened because of the KSU shooting.

The KSU massacre caused the only nation wide school protest; which included over 4 million students. This even affected those fighting in Vietnam. The government realized how powerful the youth movement was and lowered the voting age from 21 to 18. The music reflected what was happening; songs like “What’s going on” by Marvin Gaye and “Eve of Destruction” by Barry McGuire reflect with the hippie movement. Then there are songs like the “Ballad of the Green Beret” by Barry Saddler which express the opposite views.. pro military, ultra conservative. overall the 60s made American Society more liberal.

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