Monday, May 7, 2007

Rodney Dangerfield

Rodney Dangerfield used to have a great bit about not ever getting any respect. We usually think that such a fate only befalls the truly mediocre among us, but there truly are some interesting stories involving individuals ultimately considered truly great, but who were overlooked at the beginning. I guess Vincent Van Gogh might be one of the more well-known examples. Another would be Johnny Unitas, the great quaterback for the Baltimore Colts, who was unable to even make his hometown team, the perennially-awful Pittsburgh Steelers.

Add the Beatles to this category. When they originally tried to get a recording contract, they were turned down by virtually all of the studios in England, and were finally only able to get a four song deal with a comedy label run by George Martin, who had so little faith in their abilities that he had them immediately fire their drummer. Out went Pete Best, in came Ringo Starr and Martin still wouldn't let Ringo play on the Beatles first single, Love Me Do.

Then, after the Beatles made it big in Britain, they tried to duplicate their success in the U.S. and virtually no one wanted to carry them, not even Capitol Records, which was Parlophones' corresponding American label. The Beatles ended up issuing their first American album on something called VeeJay Records, called Introducing the Beatles. Only a year or so later, would Capitol recognize its error and come out with a similar title called The Early Beatles.

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