Who Will Be The Next Beatles?

Posted by on February 12, 2012 in Articles | 3 comments

Who Will Be The Next Beatles?

By Aaron Kupferberg



Trick question. With the onset of years, the more we look back, with more certainty we can say that no one will ever approach what the Fab Four have done. You can argue that Michael Jackson had more #1 debuts, or Madonna had more top ten singles, but none will make the same musical, cultural, and social impact. It goes well beyond Beatlemania to the way an rock group is conceived. Prior to the Beatles, bands were put together by powerful record labels, and ruled like serfs in a musical fiefdom.The template for gathering your buddies, getting signed by a label, get rich and famous and control your artistic vision started with them.


The first band labeled “the next Beatles” was Badfinger, and their tragic story served as a warning for other bands that the “template” was never a easy roadmap to success. Since then, hundreds of successful bands from Oasis to the Jonas Brothers have had the music press make the same lazy comparisons. But its best we don’t even ask the question unless that group can support an entire city long after its demise.


Spending a bit time at Beatlefest in New Jersey this year, I listened with rapt attention to author David Bedford who’s book “LIddypool” goes into all the nooks and crannies of the band’s  birthplace and the early lives of Fab Four. Prior to 1980 the important places mentioned in the book were slowly disappearing, and the city of Liverpool didn’t really accept the significance of its place in history. There was no musical tourism at the time and like most 60’s music, it was considered ephemeral and only trumpeted by a few old codgers reliving the past. After the death of John Lennon on December 8, 1980, people finally woke up to the fact that The Beatles were more than a 60’s phenomenon. And Liverpool now boasts massive revenues from “Beatles Tourism.” We may see a public park at Neverland Ranch someday, but I doubt it will ever approach the level of Graceland’s tourist expectations.


Bottom line here is that the next successful band will not use a template that’s 50 years old, but a combination of “outside-the-box” methods that gets great music to the ears of people who will appreciate and crave it. The musical landscape is no longer a fiefdom, but an ocean where only the most dedicated and self-reliant artists will float to the top. International Pop Overthrow is just one of the ways artists and music fans connect, it’s a small enough venue to build a rapport with those of likeminded musical tastes, and remember… The Cavern isn’t a bad place to start a phenomenon!


Reprinted from the IPO 2011 UK Programme


  1. A friend of mine (who was formerly with Cheepskates) has relocated to Liverpool and is loving it!

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