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Thread: Beatles influenced by Bill Monroe?

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    Registered User Rex Hart's Avatar
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    Default Beatles influenced by Bill Monroe?

    I am currently reading Ivan Rosenberg's excellent book on Bluegrass and came across a statement from Jim (Roger) McGuinn.
    He basically said that he was a folkie and wasn't really interested in the electric or popular music of the day until he heard the Beatles. He said that he heard Bluegrass overtones in the Beatles music which had the same modal and harmony qualities of Bill Monroe's music. He didn't know if the Beatles were even aware of this, but that they were obviously influenced by WSM. It kind of makes sense to me when I hear the stuff the Beatles were doing harmony wise.

    Listen to the harmonies on Eight Days a Week or the middle eight on I Don't Want To Spoil The Party. Let your mind wander just a bit and you can imagine Mr. Monroe and Jimmy Martin singing the same thing. Am I crazy this or is this a stretch?
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    Default Re: Beatles influenced by Bill Monroe?

    It's no secret the Beatles were heavily influenced by American country and folk and rockabilly music . You can hear it sprinkled liberally throughout their catalogue from dylanesque acoustic guitar to Harrison's Carl Perkins picking , the" grass" vibes of I've just seen a face to mcartnrys twangy vocal of rocky raccoon and on and on . The interesting thing about Beatle harmonies was the way the harmony in a duet scenario was often sung below the melody( 8 days a week ) . A mandolin would not have sounded out of place on a Beatles song . Hell........... They used a sitar !!!

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    Registered User sarai's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beatles influenced by Bill Monroe?

    I don't think its a stretch at all. We are doing a lot of Beatles songs right now using bluegrass instrumentation. A lot of fun.

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    Default Re: Beatles influenced by Bill Monroe?

    Have a good lookie here to understand some of the Beatles' early musical roots:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skiffle

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    Default Re: Beatles influenced by Bill Monroe?

    Funny, in my hazy youth, I seem to recall a Bill Monroe being listed as having played on Sgt. Pepper's, somewhere in the orchestra. Turns out it was a different Bill Monroe.

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    Default Re: Beatles influenced by Bill Monroe?

    I Don't Want To Spoil The Party just begs for that syncopated G-run (same one TR does in Freeborn Man) after the first line. I can't keep myself from doing that whenever I have occasion to play that song.

    But then, those guys were pretty much influenced by everything (listen to You Know My Name, Look Up The Number) . . . what's not to love about that kind of approach?
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  8. #7

    Default Re: Beatles influenced by Bill Monroe?

    I know i've heard more than one bluegrass cover of "I've Just Seen A Face" (although the only one i can call to mind at the moment is Arlo Guthrie & Shenandoah on the live album "One Night"), so apparently you're not the only one to hear it!

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    Default Re: Beatles influenced by Bill Monroe?

    Proof positive.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: Beatles influenced by Bill Monroe?

    Quote Originally Posted by notneils View Post
    I know i've heard more than one bluegrass cover of "I've Just Seen A Face" (although the only one i can call to mind at the moment is Arlo Guthrie & Shenandoah on the live album "One Night"), so apparently you're not the only one to hear it!
    Get a hold of Beatle Country by the Charles River Valley Boys for a whole album of bluegrassed Beatles.

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    Loarcutus of MandoBorg DataNick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beatles influenced by Bill Monroe?

    The Dillards did a whole Beatles tribute album, Bluegrass style...
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    Default Re: Beatles influenced by Bill Monroe?

    I once heard it said that Lennon wrote simple melodies with complex rhythm and chordal accompaniment, and McCartney wrote more complex melodies with simpler rhythm and accompaniment, ( calm down all you Harrison enthusiasts). I'm guessing Big Mon's style is closer to Lennon's, or should I say Lennon's is closer to Monroe's.

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    Default Re: Beatles influenced by Bill Monroe?

    I wonder what Chris Thile would do with Revolution 9? Maybe sing it backwards?
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    Default Re: Beatles influenced by Bill Monroe?

    I think there's only so much (a finite amount) music you can play, that won't get you beat up, when gigging in a barrel house. Be it in Baltimore, or Liverpool.

    That's one big Dreadnaught there Edge!

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    Registered User Rex Hart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beatles influenced by Bill Monroe?

    Imaginary interview....

    Q) Mr Lennon, I hear you used to play skiffle music?

    A) Yeah, and I like bluegrad and that mandolineer Bill Monroaf. He is fab and gear.

    Q) Mr. Monroe, one of the Beatles says he like your music.

    A) Yes sir.

    Q) They also said you were fab and gear.

    A) Well, my gear is a 19 and 23 Gibson mandolin. But I really don't care for Beatles or any other bug. Ain't know part of nothing.

    Q) Have you listened to their music? ( Plays She Loves You)
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    Registered User Rex Hart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beatles influenced by Bill Monroe?

    continued from previous post...

    A) They did just about as good as they could do.

    Q) The Beatles sell millions of records, would you like them to record one of your songs?

    A) Now them boys are welcome to record any of my songs..just like that young Presley did. He wasn't bad at all!
    Last edited by Rex Hart; Nov-06-2013 at 2:08pm. Reason: poor punctuation and humor
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    Default Re: Beatles influenced by Bill Monroe?

    Quote Originally Posted by DataNick View Post
    The Dillards did a whole Beatles tribute album, Bluegrass style...
    When and where is it?

  19. #17

    Default Re: Beatles influenced by Bill Monroe?

    Craig Duncan did a bluegrass Beatles tribute and there were a couple of the Pickin' on the... recordings.

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    Loarcutus of MandoBorg DataNick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beatles influenced by Bill Monroe?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Bunting View Post
    When and where is it?
    I think you're right again Mike, I mispoke....It's the Wheatstraw Suite Album from 1968 that has the cut "I've Just Seen A Face/Fallin" on it, not a complete tribute album...lots of Dylan stuff too....my bad on that one.
    1994 Gibson F5L made by Bruce Weber's team


    "Mandolin brands are a guide, not gospel! I don't drink koolaid and that Emperor is naked!"
    "If you wanna get soul Baby, you gots to get the scroll..."
    "I would rather play music anyday for the beggar, the thief, and the fool!"
    "Perfection is not attainable; but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence" Vince Lombardi
    Playing Style: RockMonRoll Desperado Bluegrass Desperado YT Channel

  21. #19

    Default Re: Beatles influenced by Bill Monroe?

    Quote Originally Posted by DataNick View Post
    I think you're right again Mike, I mispoke....It's the Wheatstraw Suite Album from 1968 that has the cut "I've Just Seen A Face/Fallin" on it, not a complete tribute album...lots of Dylan stuff too....my bad on that one.
    I think that's where I first learned that tune. Good album too, but no Dylan Sorry to be picky here (but I do play the mandolin )
    And speaking of picks, I use a Blue Chip.

  22. #20
    Loarcutus of MandoBorg DataNick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beatles influenced by Bill Monroe?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Bunting View Post
    I think that's where I first learned that tune. Good album too, but no Dylan Sorry to be picky here (but I do play the mandolin )
    And speaking of picks, I use a Blue Chip.
    No problem with being accurate....that's what I get for taking my guitar player's word instead of checking it out myself.


    I just read that Doug Dillard wasn't on this album...is this when he was in Dillard & Clark with Gene Clark?
    1994 Gibson F5L made by Bruce Weber's team


    "Mandolin brands are a guide, not gospel! I don't drink koolaid and that Emperor is naked!"
    "If you wanna get soul Baby, you gots to get the scroll..."
    "I would rather play music anyday for the beggar, the thief, and the fool!"
    "Perfection is not attainable; but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence" Vince Lombardi
    Playing Style: RockMonRoll Desperado Bluegrass Desperado YT Channel

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    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beatles influenced by Bill Monroe?

    Listening to the Beatles vocals, what I hear is the Louvin Brothers, more than Bill Monroe. I remember the late Ray Fisher, of the Scottish folk-singing family, telling me that when she was getting interested in music in the 1950's, many young folk and skiffle aficionados in Britain were listening to the Louvins and other American country acts that sounded "traditional."

    And remember Monroe saying there were only two really good tenor singers, and one was Ira Louvin. (No points for figuring out who he thought the other one was.)
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    Loarcutus of MandoBorg DataNick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beatles influenced by Bill Monroe?

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    Listening to the Beatles vocals, what I hear is the Louvin Brothers, more than Bill Monroe. I remember the late Ray Fisher, of the Scottish folk-singing family, telling me that when she was getting interested in music in the 1950's, many young folk and skiffle aficionados in Britain were listening to the Louvins and other American country acts that sounded "traditional."

    And remember Monroe saying there were only two really good tenor singers, and one was Ira Louvin. (No points for figuring out who he thought the other one was.)
    That's interesting Allen because in the documentary "Bill Monroe, The Father Of Bluegrass", Ricky Scaggs says basically the same thing. He calls The Louvin Brothers, The Delmore Brothers, The Everly Brothers, and The Monroe Brothers (not in historical order here) the "Brothers Duet" style of singing that influenced John Lennon & Paul McCartney. Ricky Scaggs makes the point that The Monroe Brothers, and hence Bill Monroe, had a "lineage" influence effect on the Beatles singing style early on.
    1994 Gibson F5L made by Bruce Weber's team


    "Mandolin brands are a guide, not gospel! I don't drink koolaid and that Emperor is naked!"
    "If you wanna get soul Baby, you gots to get the scroll..."
    "I would rather play music anyday for the beggar, the thief, and the fool!"
    "Perfection is not attainable; but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence" Vince Lombardi
    Playing Style: RockMonRoll Desperado Bluegrass Desperado YT Channel

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    Default Re: Beatles influenced by Bill Monroe?

    Quote Originally Posted by DataNick View Post
    I just read that Doug Dillard wasn't on this album...is this when he was in Dillard & Clark with Gene Clark?
    I believe Herb Pedersen replaced Doug Dillard for Wheatstraw Suite.
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    Registered User Justus True Waldron's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beatles influenced by Bill Monroe?



    - 2004 Macica A
    - 1952 Selmer Centered Tone
    - Eastwood electric mandola
    (and lots more)

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  29. #25
    Loarcutus of MandoBorg DataNick's Avatar
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    Default Re: Beatles influenced by Bill Monroe?

    Justus,

    Haven't looked yet but is that your band?
    1994 Gibson F5L made by Bruce Weber's team


    "Mandolin brands are a guide, not gospel! I don't drink koolaid and that Emperor is naked!"
    "If you wanna get soul Baby, you gots to get the scroll..."
    "I would rather play music anyday for the beggar, the thief, and the fool!"
    "Perfection is not attainable; but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence" Vince Lombardi
    Playing Style: RockMonRoll Desperado Bluegrass Desperado YT Channel

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