The American Rock Bands who were influenced by, and followed the British Invasion.
George Harrison once said, “The thing about the Beatles is, they saved the world from boredom.” In early 1964, Life magazine declared: "In 1776 England lost her American colonies. Last week the Beatles took them back."
Recalling the Beatles' sudden popularity, Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys felt that the Beatles had "eclipsed the whole music world". Bob Dylan recalled that, by April 1964, "a definite line was being drawn. This was something that had never happened before ... I knew they were pointing the direction of where music had to go." The Beatles were a band that almost everyone, in the 960s, knew about. The Beatles took England by storm, and America shortly after. The Beatles positively impacted American music, and American Rock bands in particular with their unique style and sound.
Most of the American Rock bands, and artists at this time relied on the artistic ability of paid professionals to write their materiel. But the Beatles decided to do it themselves. They wanted to be able to express themselves, not anyone else. Their fans thrived on the energy of these four men. As well as their song writing, they had a very extensive variety of genres and songs. They had heartbreak songs, songs for troubled teens and loners. The lyrics were relatable, and the music felt like it was targeted at each individual for whatever they needed.
The band often confused parents with their style, and especially their hair. Their hair was long and grown out. The look that they created gave off a cocky or mocking vibe, not the conservative look of the time.
Despite the success the band had seen in the U.K. and Europe, the Beatles were not convinced an American tour was a good idea. They had seen many U. K. artists tour and fail, including Cliff Richard, who toured the U.S. 14th on the bill, supporting Frankie Avalon.
But Brian Epstein formalized a deal for the band to headline at Carnegie Hall, after” I Want To Hold Your Hand” went to No. 42 in its second week. It eventually went to Number 1 shortly after, and the two Carnegie Hall concerts attracted over 6,000 people each.
The Beatles influence on America and American Rock bands and its music is hard to fully establish. Things were changing in America at the time. A feeling of confidence with the Kennedy era. Music until then had been dominated by the very conservative Frankie Avalon, Bobby Vee, Paul Anka and Connie Francis, with the sworn enemy of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Mitch Miller.
Then, here was a loud, long haired group of kids who could really put on a show. The Beatles were the first band, followed by the Rolling Stones, to take the American Southern Black music back to the U.S.A., and not only made it popular, but made people aware of black sensibility and causes.
Although in the short term The Beatles arrival resulted in a drop in sales for the black artists so admired by the Invasion bands, eventually black music became more appreciated, and played more on US radio stations
Black music was now being played to a wider, and whiter, audience.
Holland Dozier Holland, certainly one of the greatest producer and songwriter team ever, were knocking up hits with the likes of "Heatwave" and "Love Like Yours ".As rock became the flavor of the day, the door was open to many American Rock bands.
But many of the early 60's instrumental surf bands that supplied pre Beatles music, were wiped out.
And groups like "The Wall Of Sound" Crystals had their last hit, "The He Kissed Me" in 1963.
Only a few survived, The Beachboys, The Four Seasons and Elvis, who with average to to ghastly films, was backing out anyway.
And of course, the most obvious Beatles influence, the hair.
Slicked back Elvis style was out, long shaggy free flowing was in. The style was quickly followed by most American musicians, The Everly's, Roy Orbison, and The Beach Boys.
As well as black music was now being played to a wider, and whiter, audience and rock became the flavor of the day, the Beatles influence was shown elsewhere.
Bob Dylan, popular folk singer in the US from 1960 on, (eg "Blowin' In the Wind", "Don't Think Twice", "Turn Turn Turn" abandoned the acoustic guitar and went electric, backed by The Band, in 1964. He then turned out hits like "Subterranean Homesick Blues"
and "All Along The Watchtower".
One of the first successful U.S. bands were The Byrds, with the George Harrison style Rickenbacker 12 sting ringing out, were one of the first, and best, to emerge. From Los Angeles, they turned popular folk songs, like Dylan's "Turn Turn Turn" and "Mr. Tambourine Man". An original member, David Crosby, left to form Crosby Stills and Nash, later to include Neil Young.
Jimi Hendrix, sure he made his name in England after he was taken there By Chas Chandler, but American born and bred, it was the British Invasion that got people talking to him and noticing his unique guitar techniques. His arrival in London, and the formation of The Experience turned the pop world upside down!
And the good time jug band sound of the Lovin' Spoonful, capturing the brighter positive vibe of the times beautifully.
And of course, who could forget The Monkees! The first created band, based on the success of the Beatles films. Someone saw dollars in doing an American version, and thew Monkees were born. And, surprisingly, went on to great success with their TV show. I am yet to find a Monkees fan, or met anyone who bought a Monkees record. But, I forked out the money, and went and saw them in Adelaide, and they did put on a good show.
And, in 1968, four boys changed their name from the Golliwogs to something more interesting, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and went on to score 13 top 60 hits.
Then, in 1965, a blues band from Los Angeles hit scene with the classic "On The Road Again"....the high energy Canned Heat.
Here is, an album featuring American music both before and after Beatlemania. On this album are Elvis Presley, Journey, Boston, The Byrds, Jefferson Airplane 20 tracks in all.
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