What I Learned from The Beatles

Adhi Waluyo
4 min readJun 1, 2018
Photo: thebeatles.com

I have been a big fan of The Beatles since I was a kid. Their music is majestic and beautiful at the same time. However, I’m going to talk about what I learned from them in terms of their attitude and circumstances. Here they are:

1. Turn Bad Trade-Offs to a Positive Experience
If you are a true Beatle or even just a casual Beatle, you might know the fact that The Beatles went to Hamburg first to begin their musical journey. They went from clubs to clubs with no proper place to stay. They even use some sort of drug to keep them strong enough to play every day. When they perform, the visitors at the club sometimes fight each other but they must keep playing. This is the thing that I want to address: they focus heavily on one thing, which is playing music. They chose to begin their musical career by doing it the hard way (left Liverpool for Hamburg). I know most musical acts at that time begin their career in the same way, however, The Beatles chose to go to a rather unknown, unfamiliar place that they have never experienced before. In return, they get a hard time settling there but in turn, it is for the better because they feel like they were being forced to play tighter every day, even John Lennon admitted it.

2. Commitment Always Comes First
Most of The Beatles’ singles were created by Lennon-McCartney and secured the first spot in the chart. They have high standards and they elaborated it through carefully curating which songs (created by the other Beatle) are good enough to fill an album. The tension arises while they were making White Album (1968), which many critiques said that it was “wild and beautiful”. Creative differences, never-ending arguments, even George Martin (Beatles producer) and Ringo Starr left briefly are a few examples of how The Beatles were starting to disintegrate, however, they managed to overcome this and created an album which many fans believe that this is their best album: Abbey Road (1969). Moreover, the album filled with lyrics about peace, love and understanding which clearly the antithesis of The Beatles’ condition at that time.

3. Use Your Ego Wisely
Brian Epstein, the man who discovered The Beatles, died in 1967. He was the man who managed to “polish” The Beatles (urged them to wear proper attire, hairstyle and have a good attitude) and secured them a professional recording contract by convincing his belief of the group to many labels. In short, he took care of the “business” side of The Beatles, so the group can focus on making music. Paul McCartney often stepped in as a leader and made the decision, which led the creation of Magical Mystery Tour (1967) and Let It Be (1970) film. If you haven’t watched it, here’s the summary: a non-scripted psychedelic movie with no context except having fun and how The Beatles show the turbulent circumstances they were having while doing everything they can to not to fight often. The point is, your ego often comes subconsciously while you’re sure you do things that will please everybody, so be careful.

4. Bring Out the Best in Others
John Lennon and Paul McCartney are the primary songwriters of The Beatles, often they had an inspiration for a song in unique ways, such as while seeing an advertisement or even as ordinary as reading a newspaper. For George Harrison and Ringo Starr, most of their songs were created based on their point of view or experience of something. I knew that Lennon & McCartney often involved in polishing other member songs (which I believe they did it so it will meet their “standards”) but it also shaped them to be better. “Something” (Harrison’s song) and “Octopus’s Garden” (Ringo’s song) which appeared on Abbey Road (1969) are the results of this long-run input processing. The results were getting more visible when Harrison released his All Things Must Pass (1970) album where some of were left out in many Beatles’ session, yet the album managed to achieve six times Platinum certification (more than 6,000,000 units sold) in the US. You can see that if you have inputs toward others, you should constantly telling them until they improve.

Being an avid Beatles fan has helped me in many ways. Even though I was born in a different era with them, they really have influenced me in life. As corny as it sounds, they are the best band in the world. They spread love through their lyrics and passion through their innovativeness. Lots of people admit they are the reason for them to start a band or even to learn a musical instrument. Endless adoration not only comes from the older generation but the younger ones also often seen in Paul McCartney’s concert. So, you should listen to them at least for once in your life!