Both John Lennon and George Harrison said hearing "Heartbreak Hotel" was what got them interested in playing music.
George first heard the song on the radio while riding his bicycle past a neighbor's house. He bought his first guitar a few days later.
"It was Elvis that really got me buying records. When I heard 'Heartbreak Hotel,' I thought, 'this is it'. And I started to grow sideboards and all that gear..."
-- John Lennon
Lennon has also stated that without Elvis, there would have been no Beatles.
"They weren't playing much of Elvis' stuff on the radio in those days. To hear 'Heartbreak Hotel' I had to go into a record shop in Liverpool and listen to it through headphones in one of those booths. It was a magical moment, the beginning of an era."
-- Paul McCartney
McCartney now owns the double bass played on "Heartbreak Hotel".
Chuck Berry was another big influence on The Beatles and other British bands such as The Rolling Stones.
"If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it 'Chuck Berry'."
-- John Lennon
The Beatles were also influenced by American artists such as Buddy Holly, The Everly Bros, Little Richard and Carl Perkins.
Ringo was a fan of country music and sang lead on "Act Naturally" recorded earlier by Buck Owens.
The Rolling Stones, The Animals and The Yardbirds are among the bands influenced more heavily by American r&b and blues artists such as Muddy Waters and Howlin Wolf.
British bands such as The Kinks, Gerry and The Pacemakers, The Moody Blues, Spencer Davis Group, Dave Clark 5, The Hollies, The Zombies and The Small Faces were also influenced by American music.
Some of the British Invasion bands were never able to escape their original sound, but some such as The Kinks, The Moody Blues,The Zombies, The Rolling Stones and The Animals evolved and created unique sounds of their own and are counted among the greatest bands of rock. The Kinks became a major influence on other bands, including The Who.
By the time The British Invasion began in 1964, The Beach Boys, who formed in 1961, were already on the American charts. They would later be influenced by The Beatles' RUBBER SOUL. Brian Wilson described RUBBER SOUL as an album full of all good and all original songs, and said he was inspired to make a great album.
Brian told his wife, "Marilyn, I'm gonna make the greatest album! The greatest rock album ever made!" The results was PET SOUNDS, which McCartney calls his favorite album, and inspired The Beatles album SGT PEPPER'S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND.
Future members of The Byrds saw "A Hard Day's Night' and decided rock and roll was the music they wanted to play.
"When the Beatles had come out, the folk boom had already peaked," McGuinn notes. "The people who had been into it were getting kind of burned out. So the Beatles kind of re-energized it for me. I thought it was natural to put the Beatles' beat and the energy of the Beatles into folk music. I heard folk chord changes in the Beatles' music when I listened to their early stuff like 'She Loves You' and 'I Want To Hold Your Hand.' I could hear the passing chords that we always use in folk music: the G-Em-Am-B kind of stuff. So I really think the Beatles invented folk-rock. They just didn't know it."
David Crosby and Chris Hillman have said basically the same thing.
In February 1964, Dylan embarked on a twenty-day trip across the United States. Riding in a station wagon with a few friends (Paul Clayton, Victor Maymudes, and Pete Karman). According to Maymudes, Dylan "nearly jumped out the car" when "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" came on the radio and said "Did you hear that?..that was f'n great! Oh man.." Dylan had already been following The Beatles since 1963.
Bob Dylan was impressed by the Beatles' innovation,"They were doing things nobody was doing. Their chords were outrageous, just outrageous, and their harmonies made it all valid."
Dylan has more recently said, "I'm in awe of McCartney. He's about the only one that I am in awe of. He can do it all. And he's never let up... He's just so d--n effortless."
John Lennon and George Harrison as well as The Byrds and many others were influenced by Dylan.
I know there are many British and American artists I havent mentioned. I'll leave that up to you. Don't wanna make the initial post too long.
The point for me is, in the 60s, the many various artists were influencing each other, making the 60s one of the most creative decades in rock.
If The Beatles had not existed, or had not been the first to break through, do you think there would have still been a British Invasion, and who would or could have led it?
Who are your favorite British Invasion and/or American artists?
What American or 'British Invasion' artists have I not mentioned who you think were important to the development of rock in the fifties and sixties?
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