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© Ash Newell
“1964 – Ed Sullivan, my life changed forever. The Beatles. I was seven years old but to this day I think it was like the second coming. All of the Beatles were mesmerizing. It was the sound, the look, everything. No-one has yet to come close to changing the world like the lads from Liverpool have.
“At first, every member’s job was obvious, but as the years went by things merged, John played solos, as did Paul and George. It was hard to know who did what until I did my homework. Cut to 25 years later and I got to work with Paul and then George separately as well as George Martin and Geoff Emerick and I got a lot more info.
“John added an energy that cannot be described in a few words. Just the way he stood when he played exuded a vibe – think of him and his sanded blonde Epiphone on the rooftop doing ‘Get Back’. Rhythm guitar was cool because John played it! He played solos, too, but his part of the overall feel of the band when they played live was the glue. Especially early on, as they got more experimental and they wrote separately, their roles became less defined. Check out the end of ‘Abbey Road’ when John, Paul and George traded solos or ‘Sgt Peppers…’ All I know is John gave the edgy slant to the band and Lord knows we all thought he was so cool as well.
“My feeling is that The Beatles gave such a strong group effort and I love them all, but John had a vibe that brought the best out of Paul – and vice versa – and in my book, they made the most magical songwriting team in history. Too many people place too much value on chops, which are just meaningless without groove. John was like the hi-hat, strumming the groove of the song.
“I could do volumes of detail but God bless John and his contribution to the guitar as well as everything else. Lord knows how many guitars he helped sell over the years! He is the soundtrack ofmy life. Thanks is not enough!”
TG209 (on sale 26 November) features John Lennon on the cover and honours the working class guitar hero's contribution to the guitar world, including interviews with 'Nowhere Boy' Aaron Johnson and 'Imagine' session guitarist Joey Molland.