If there were no Beatles: Ripple effect

Let’s pretend that The Beatles either didn’t exist / for some reason never really made it big. What sort of ripples would this have on later events or inspirations that have been borne out of their music, be it style, lyrics, or whatever?

I thought of this while reading recently that Stephen King got his title for The Shining from “Instant Karma.” Not earth-shattering, I know, but it’s what inspired the OP.

As for other bands that were inspired by their music, the list is endless. I can think of Frank Zappa and Prince off the top of my head.

Then there’s the Marketing Effect - all the bands from the 60’s that wore matching outfits, the British Invasion, top-selling movies, etc.

And then there’s minor things: maybe Brian Wilson was right and the Beach Boys’ career would’ve been “ruined.”

You can be as specific (No opening scene in Austin Powers) or as wide-sweeping (rock and roll dies) as you like.

No Rutles! A major tragedy.

Also, no Life of Brian; George Harrison was instrumental in getting that film made when no other funding was available.

Well, Charlie Manson* would never have heard “Helter Skelter”, decided to start a race war, and kill Sharon Tate which would have meant that Roman Polanski wouldn’t have gotten into that pedophile mess and wouldn’t have won the Oscar for “The Pianist” due to the Hollywood backlash against that. (Inhales)

*Meanwhile, Dennis Wilson decides that Charlie would be a terrific opening act for The Beach Boys but he doesn’t become more than an one-almost-hit-wonder.

My mind would be set on something else!

I am reasonably certain that the Korgis would never have recorded “Something About The Beatles”.

Also, Little Richard would be bigger than Jesus.*

*This may be true anyway.

No Withnail and I. Executive-produced by George Harrison. Arguably, a greater loss than no Life of Brian.

“We want the FINEST WINES AVAILABLE TO HUMANITY. And we want them HERE, and we want them NOW.”

Indian Mysticism & Hinduism would be less well known in the west. The hare Krishnas would have remained a much smaller and more obscure religious group, as George Harrison donated his Letchmore Heath mansion (renamed Bhaktivedanta Manor) north of London, some sources report he gave them a sum of 20 million pounds.

Same for Transcendental Meditation and the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

No concerts for Bangledesh, another George Harrison project.

The Travelling Wilburys wouldn’t have sounded the same.

Linda Eastman would have probably married an American.

Yoko Ono would be an unknown.

Yoko Ono’s music would not have been forced upon the world.

Y’all aren’t thinking big enough.

Yoko would be dead after having spent years selling her body for progressively smaller quantities of coke and smack.

Folk music remains the main type of popular music.

None of the British Invasion groups (the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, the Who, the Animals, Herman’s Hermits, etc.) would have been known outside the UK. The Rolling Stones probably wouldn’t even have a recording contract (they were signed by Decca after George Harrison recommended them). Guitar bands would have been out of fashion, anyway.

No Monkees!

And the film industry! No Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Similarly, there likely would’ve been no folk-rock. Dylan doesn’t go electric in 1965 and remains an acoustic performer. The Byrds and other similar groups either never form or remain obscure. And from there, a considerable amount of music made in the subsequent 44 years is never heard (e.g., no Gram Parsons, country rock, Buffalo Springfield, CSN&Y, the Eagles, alt country, etc.).

As for folk music remaining the main type of popular music, if it does, it does so by a narrow margin. I think highly polished Phil Spectorish pop would follow closely behind as would the slick R&B of Motown. Music aimed at adults (i.e., people above 30) would probably continue to make up a bigger share of the record-buying public.

Also, the Yardbirds don’t hit the U.S. and, as a result, there’s no Led Zeppelin a few years later. One of the cornerstones of heavy metal is thus never set.

The Beatles were the breakout group for the British Invasion. They were deemed edgier than Herman’s Hermits and Gerry and the Pacemakers but more wholesome than the Rolling Stones or the Animals. Any one of a dozen groups, including the Who and the Kinks, could have been the group that opened things up. The Beatles were lucky enough to be mentored by George Martin who was both an outsider to the rock business and an insider to the recording business. They had the energy of a typical Skiffle band as typified by Lonnie Donegan but the rock sensibility Chuck Berry and other Chess recording artists.

In other words, The KINKS RULE!!!

Mark David Chapman would be a long serving member of Congress.

Concept albums wouldn’t be popular for at least five-ten more years.

Naw, he still would’ve won (it’s a Holocaust movie for Pete’s sake!), he just would’ve been able to attend the ceremony.

Jazz might be strong today, with Rock weaker. After all, some people want something edgier than Folk.

The movie Across the Universe would be very short and have no particular plot to speak of.

I agree. Without the Beatles, I don’t think the British Invasion wouldn’t have happened, it just have been lead solely by the Stones, and some others would come to the forefront. I think some of the other highly talented British bands would have taken up the slack. The Zombies could have been just as big as the Beatles, or the Kinks. The Beatles later psych style was easily matched by the Move, Creation, Traffic, Tomorrow, Pink Floyd, etc, etc. Just what specifically did the Beatles add to the world of music? Besides over-merchandising… None of them were especially masterful of their instrument and innovative compared to others on the scene. Besides super high props for introducing the west to the Sitar and Indian music in general, Harrison is no Clapton (as he acknowledged when he had Clapton pay the lead on ‘When my guitar…’ and others). As much as I love George, he’s still no Syd Barrett, Keith Rowe, Eddie Philips, Jeff Beck, Pete Townsend or any of the other 60’s UK trailblazing guitarists. Ringo is surely no Keith Moon or Mitch Mitchell, and didn’t terribly advance the world of drumming (though I do love the drum line of Tomorrow Never Knows). I have to admit McCartney’s bass playing did open up some ears, even if Entwhistle was innovating just as much or more. Production wise, the Beatles were experimenting in the studio, but also were others. In fact, other singles/albums produced at Abbey Road studios have a similar sound. It wasn’t as much the Beatles as it was their production crew, who worked on other acts as well. They did have one of the highest studio budgets, so they had the funding to keep screwing around, even to excess - as I once heard it characterized “performing the 20th take of that one ‘sponteneous’ laugh at the end of a song”. Vocally? While some damn catchy and resonant songs, there are equally as many others by wonderful bands, and some with much more polished multi part harmonies. Specifically, the Beach Boys were voted the top vocal group in England in 1966, over the Beatles! Just shows how much more the British “got them” once they matured, vs. the confused American crowds. And speaking of the Beach Boys, with no Sgt. Peppers to beat him to market and send Brian over the edge, Brian (hopefully) would have completed “Smile” and that would have become the monumental, pioneering initial ‘concept album’ that would pave the way for much to come.

but sadly, no ‘Concert For Bandladesh’. or “Band On The Run”, but waaay less sad.