The Beatles had several music influences, including Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan, and Elvis Presley. Another influence was Buddy Holly, a significant figure for The Beatles, as his unique style became instrumental in who the fab four wanted to be as artists.
The Beatles were impressed by Buddy Holly because he wrote and performed his own music
Buddy Holly was a rising rock star during the 1950s. Unfortunately, the “Rave on” singer died young, at the age of 22, in a plane crash. However, he still left a lasting legacy during his short music career, becoming an influential figure for many rock stars that rose to prominence during the 1960s.
In an interview with Barnes & Noble’s James Daunt, Paul McCartney said The Beatles were impressed by Holly because many of his hit songs were written and performed by him, something that not many artists did at the time.
“We didn’t know people didn’t write their own things,” McCartney explained. “And so we’d get a record, and we would discover the people who did. Little Richard always had credit on his things, Buddy Holly was pretty much on everything that he performed. And so when we saw him, we liked that he’d written it, that he was singing it, and that he was playing guitar because a lot of other people just stood there without an instrument. So it became very much something for us to emulate.”
Holly inspired John Lennon’s iconic look
Buddy Holly was not only influential to The Beatles on a musical level, but he also inspired their style. Many early appearances from John Lennon with The Beatles feature him without glasses. However, Lennon liked that Holly wore glasses, which later became a part of his style.
“And the other thing was John loved the fact that he wore glasses because John wore glasses but always took them off if he thought there were girls around or, you know, if he wanted to look good,” McCartney shared. “So when Buddy Holly came with glasses, John put them on proudly. But yeah, Buddy was a big influence.”