Tuesday, August 24, 2010

What Could Have Been

In January 1969, George Harrison quit the Beatles--for five days.  John Lennon had this reaction:  "If he doesn't come back by Tuesday, we get Eric Clapton."

The preceding was a bit of trivia that I found in the newest mental_floss magazine--and all I can say is WOW!!!  Just how would this have changed music as we know it, if this had happened?!

Of course, the Beatles would have changed considerably.  While Harrison was an amazing guitarist--he doesn't get the praise for his abilities that he should--having Clapton in the Beatles could have changed their sound substantially.  Could you imagine all of the guitar riffs in Beatles' songs?  Would the Beatles have taken a turn at being like Cream?  Would we have had some of the beautiful ballads like 'Yesterday' if they had a genius guitarist like Clapton?  So many possibilities from what was.

You also have to wonder how long would the Beatles have stayed together.  Just how much of a 'voice' did Harrison have in the group and would Clapton have had more or less?  And how would Clapton have developed his talent in such a group?  From what it seems, Lennon and McCartney had their creative battles--and both had quite the big egos.  Ringo and George were the 'quiet' members of the group and were overlooked and stayed in the background more than they probably should have.  It wasn't till the Beatles broke up that the two of them actually were able to shine.  Clapton always wanted to be the one in the background and had to be encouraged to come to the forefront and do any amount of singing--so, would he have received this type of encouragement if he had been a Beatle?

Then, of course, you have the music from AFTER the Beatles broke up.  Would it still have come to pass?  Would Harrison have become as big a star on his own?  And don't forget everything Clapton did that might have not happened:  the Yardbirds, Cream, Blind Faith,  Derek & the Dominoes, etc.  Would Clapton have made his way to becoming one of the 'elder statesmen' of rock if he had been with the Beatles?  Could he have sustained his career all these years, as he has?

It is amazing to think about the possibilities of what could have been if one little decision had or had not been made.  The same is true in our own lives:  what if I had/had not gone to the party that night;  what if I had/had not met that person;  what if I had/had not made that wrong turn?  It most definitely boggles the mind to think about!  And this could keep you awake for days, if you let it!  ;)


Anonymous said...

Yeah, once in a while I think, "what if?". But who's to say that the path we choose is the wrong one?

meleah rebeccah said...

WOW! I simply cannot IMAGINE the Beatles with Eric Clapton as the guitarist! That really WOULD have changed EVERYTHING!

cmk said...

janet: Yes, I had a brain fart and forgot to say 'everything happens for a reason.' But it still can be fun to 'what if.' ;)

meleah: When you think about all of the ways things would have been different...unbelievable!

meleah rebeccah said...

very unbelievable!