John Lennon: Guitarist
With the Beatles’ catalog now available via streaming, it gives fans yet another opportunity to appreciate band’s prodigious output. As with any masterpiece, Beatles’ music opens a new door with each visit. No matter how many times (roughly a billion in this case) you hear the songs, there’s always something fresh to appreciate. In this round of bingeing, it was John Lennon’s guitar playing that re-introduced itself. Paraphrasing Mr. Lennon himself, if George was The Beatles’ forgotten singer, John was their forgotten guitar player. Although at this point virtually nothing the band did can be considered overlooked, Lennon had a point.
He was a monster rhythm guitarist. He totally drove the band, particularly in the early days.
Listen to his wildly inventive contributions on early gems like All My Loving and I’m Happy Just to Dance with You. If you play, try copying what he did. Not so easy. More to the point, he came up with this stuff – crafting innovative parts that not only served the songs, but propelled them.
Later, he added raw power and avant-garde touches to tracks like Revolution and the 3-guitar volley on Abbey Road’s The End. His sweet fills on tunes like Get Back gave them their personality. His delicate fingerpicking on Julia showcased his fine touch on acoustic guitar. It’s obviously no secret that all four guys were sharp, road-tested, ceaselessly clever musicians. This latest streaming bounty provides yet another way to love them.
Photo Credit: John Lennon in Paris by Harry Benson/Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images