The Beatles get a shot of rhythm and blues with their cover of Chuck Berry’s smash hit “Roll Over Beethoven”.
Originally written and recorded by Chuck Berry in 1956, “Roll Over Beethoven” was one of The Beatles favorite Chuck Berry songs. Berry had a massive influence on the group, The Beatles were covering his songs even before they were officially ‘The Beatles’. The song’s lyrics were monumental to the time, explaining how Ludwig van Beethoven would roll over in his grave at fact that rock and roll, as well as how rhythm and blues, was replacing classical music. The Beatles helped to solidify “Roll Over Beethoven”’s legacy as one of Rock and Roll’s most defining songs.
In June of 1994, The Beatles had just begun their first world tour which had started in Denmark. During their two-day visit to the Netherlands, The Beatles had to perform without Ringo Starr, who was getting surgery to remove his tonsils and drummer Jimmie Nicol had replaced him for 13 days of the tour.
The below version of The Beatles performing “Roll Over Beethoven” was filmed as part of a television program on Holland’s VARA-TV, where the band had to play over the pre-recorded studio version of the track for the live show, which also included their songs “Can’t Buy Me Love” and “Twist and Shout”. During their performance of “Long Tall Sally” audience members had flooded the stage and The Beatles were forced to leave. The song carried on while the band had left the stage, only drummer Jimmie Nicol remained onstage and continued without the others.
Devon Ebersold for Keeping the Blues Alive
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