When thinking about the founders of punk, The Beatles isn’t the first name to come to mind. The Ramones, The Sex Pistols, The Velvet Underground, The Rolling Stones, The Iggy Pop, The Clash, these are the names more usually associated with the Punk genre. But what about The Beatles? Let’s take a look through the “Fab Fours” early beginnings and see how evidence “undoubtedly” proves they were not only the biggest punk band in the world, but also the first.
Ground breaking and ahead of their time, the “Mop Top”, Brit pop legends took the world by storm in an instant in 1963 when their chart busting, “Please, Please Me” album and hit single, “Love Me Do” went straight to the top of the charts . John, Paul, Ringo and George enjoyed success after success with their popular tunes and the boys made £millions and $millions rocking and rolling around the world through the early sixties.
But behind the fake smiles and loads of money, rumour has it all was not well with these four ordinary lads, originally from the scruffy and dirty terraces (a common breeding ground for punk rockers) of Liverpool, England. By 1968 they were tired of their riches, complying with all the rules, carrying a handkerchief and being nice to everyone and started work on a new album of music in a new style. This was to be their most controversial to date, an album of anarchy and an album that would stick 4 fingers to the world, the British monarchy and the authorities and inspire millions of punks around the world. It was the birth of punk rock !
The album name was originally planned as “A Dolls House” but after deciding it would sound too much like the future release by Siouxsie and the Banshees “Happy House”, they renamed it “White Album” to avoid a costly law suit, so I’ve been told. Ask almost anyone who was a teen in the 70s and they’ll tell you the White Album was a punk rock “must have” as it features many punk rock classics including this little Punk Rock gem…
Well if “Helter Skelter” doesn’t convince you The Beatles were the first ever punk band, then lets take a look at the “overwhelming” evidence…
- Just like every punk rock band, The Beatles were controversial. When John Lennon said “we are greater than Jesus”, what he really meant to say was “screw the world, I’m a punk and we’re a punk band and I don’t care if you burn our records (because you’ll buy them all again anyway, either on vinyl or CD)”
- The Beatles, like all punk bands, start with the word “The”
- Many of The Beatles songs were only 2 minutes long which is the average length of a punk rock tune
- The Beatles were a 4 piece band (which is officially the exact number of punks needed in a band to be classed as a punk band)
- Lennon and Yoko admitted to being the original punks in Playboy interview
- Search “Punk Rock” in Wikipedia and there is no mention of The Beatles ever being a punk band. (now there’s proof if ever you needed it)
- The art work on their 7th album, “Pistols” was deemed too controversial for the 60s and was withdrawn and renamed “Revolver” but in 1975 it became the inspiration to a new and equally large punk band, “The Sex Pistols”
…of course, it’s just a theory, but there must be some truth in this right?