Even the Fab Four had issues
The greatest band in the history of music imploded after only eight years, but it was a high-functioning team that produced 13 albums, 5 motion pictures and over time, sold more than a billion records. My clients are always asking for help with difficult people issues and I learned more on the topic by reading Bob Spitz’s new biography, “The Beatles.” Even the Fab Four had issues. Here are 5 Cool Ideas from John, Paul, George, Ringo, and Brian.
1. The team has to answer for each team member.
John Lennon was half of the greatest songwriting team in history. Lennon was out-spoken and sometimes rude. His first words to the American press were, “Shut up!” He was known to be acerbic and rude. At one point, John found it necessary to announce that the Beatles were greater than JC. Oops. As another Beatle reminded John in later years, “You say things and then we have to answer for them.”
2. Like beauty, “difficult” is in the eye of the beholder.
Lennon’s partner was a prodigious, over-achiever named McCartney. Paul was a showman who catered to the masses and constantly worked to smooth the Beatles’ rough edges. John, George and Ringo quickly grew tired of McCartney’s controlling nature. Paul conceptualized the Beatles’ remarkable “Sgt. Pepper” album, but the band greeted his enthusiasm with ambivalence, perhaps because it was Paul’s idea.
3. Unhappy people are easily distracted.
Guitarist, George Harrison, resented Paul’s crowd-pleasing antics. Unfulfilled and sometimes bitter about his own limitations as a Beatle, George was easily distracted by everything from chemicals to an unseemly Maharishi.
4. Strong team members come to resent the weak ones.
Ringo Starr was perhaps the weakest link in the Beatles. Ringo was probably not happy when Paul took over the drums when recording certain songs. The oldest Beatle, Ringo had the least impressive resume when the group disbanded in 1970.
5. Personal problems can make people seem “difficult.”
Brian Epstein managed the Beatles in the early years. He is credited with rescuing the band from certain obscurity and packaging them for the masses, but Epstein was troubled. By most accounts, the man had a poor self-concept and struggled with his identity. Brian’s personal issues led to pill addiction and an accidental overdose.