You don't have to tell us The Beatles were a great live band. We're Epiphone--right? But there might be a few out there who think all the fuss was for nothing--just a bunch of studio trickery. Colin Fleming of The Atlantic
neatly (and hopefully for all time) takes that notion apart in a great essay that uses The Beatles' little-heard live tv recording made in Stockholm in late 1963 (50 years ago!) to make his case.
This recording is not that
unknown--it's been bootlegged many times and a portion of it appears on The Beatles Anthology.
But it's the first time all the cuts from the 7-song set have been assembled in one place and it's worth a listen. Just consider Paul's bass line in "I Saw Her Standing There" for a convincer. (Try those lines yourself on an Epiphone Viola Bass.
If you listen carefully, you'll also notice The Beatles are pegging the VU meters at the start and the (probably) panicked sound engineer takes a few seconds to bring everything back down to a more, well, Swedish tv-appropriate level. This was not a live band to be trifled with. If you can hang on through "She Loves You" and "Twist and Shout," The Beatles never let up. If only they had had their Casino
's for this show.