The Beatles were the greatest band of their time and, as a result, their tours were not all that different from those of their contemporaries.
But they also did not all tour together.
The group was not an all-star unit.
Rather, each member of the band had to do a different set of shows.
“There are two very different styles of rock and roll in the band,” says Peter Beresford, author of The Beatles: Their Lives and Times: “The one you have, the one you are, and the one that you are not.”
That was the case for Paul McCartney and George Harrison, the two most iconic figures of the 1960s, as well as Paul McCartney himself.
Beresford describes the foursome as a group of “two or three very, very different men” who were “not a bunch of mates who were all together in a room together”.
And the four were also not all touring together.
The Beatles only played one concert a year, in 1969, before deciding to tour for the rest of their lives.
Their first four tours were, as Beresfats notes, “quite successful, in terms of selling records and the like”, but the four did not play the same number of shows over the course of their career.
According to Beresfd, the four members of the Beatles were: “George was very keen to do more and more and the band was always looking to get bigger and bigger, which meant they were always playing bigger and larger venues.”
In addition to the venues they played, the Beatles toured with a “dynamic team”, who worked with each of the members of their band to ensure the group performed in the right places at the right times.
In a recent interview, Paul McCartney recalled that the “dynamism” involved was “very, very, subtle”.
It involved “everybody going in and out of different places, and all the other things that a band does, all the different parts of a band, and then they had to work with each other, so they got to a certain place in the middle of it all and were able to keep moving, and keep playing.”
There were other changes.
On one tour in 1962, the band played their final show in front of a live audience of almost 2,000 people, including a couple of members of Paul McCartney’s family.
While some of the shows that were sold to the public in the UK were played in the stadium, the “live show” was on the road and was played at clubs and restaurants.
At the end of the show, the bands were “all hugging each other and crying together”, and “the whole band sang a song, and I think it was called ‘Auld Lang Syne’, but I’m not sure”.
The Beatles were not a traditional rock band.
Instead, they “laid out the whole show”, playing a range of different songs from their repertoire, and taking turns on keyboards.
When the Beatles recorded the band’s first album, Rubber Soul, in 1964, they played it on two separate stages, and also had to be on stage for a whole song at a time, to ensure “they had all their songs in their right places”.
There was a particular point in Rubber Soul when Paul McCartney said to the group, “We’re not going to have a show for a year”.
“I don’t know if we did it because we wanted to do it, or whether we wanted it because of the fact that we could have done it and it wouldn’t have been as successful,” Beresffs adds.
He also believes that “they would have been better off without that idea of the live show”.
Accordingly, the last of the group’s three studio albums, Let It Be, was recorded live in the studio with only one member of Paul and George McCartney, while they played at various venues.
So the band did not just play their shows in the same place, but they also changed their style of music, adding “a little bit of rock’n’roll”, as Beersford describes it.
And their music was not all about rock.
They also had an “acrobatic style”.
During their first three albums, the group recorded songs from an assortment of different styles, from country to blues to jazz, including tracks from the Beatles’ hit single “Let It Be”.
In 1964, Paul and John Lennon wrote an essay for the BBC called “Why we never toured together”, in which they wrote that they were “so used to doing the same things every night that we just didn’t get it.
We’d get into bed together, have a chat and then we’d go somewhere else.”
The band also had “an adventurous attitude” to their performances, which was reflected in their songs.
One song, “Crazy