Sting Explains How Classic Rock Owes A Debt To The Beatles
By Andrew Magnotta @AndrewMagnotta
November 30, 2021
Sting replied by first explaining how crucial an influence The Beatles were on his early life and the music he eventually created. He noted how John, Paul, George and Ringo's working class origins, and the success they had in music, caused a paradigm shift in the dreams of so many English children of that era and beyond. Many of those children, like Sting, went on to hugely successful music careers of their own.
"I'm glad you mentioned the Beatles, because the reason I'm a musician is because of the Beatles.They were from Liverpool, I was from Newcastle — both port towns in the north of England, working class. They had the same education as me; I went to grammar school, they were scholarship boys — smart, working class kids.
"They conquered the world with their own songs and therefore gave permission to a younger generation — a decade younger — permission to try the same thing. 'Oh, we'll try that.' I know those four chords. I can do that, probably. And we all tried."
"We owe a lot to the Beatles. They really were an amazing influence on all of our lives."
Before The Beatles began taking over the pop charts in the early-'60s, it was rather unheard of for pop artists to both write and perform their own music, let alone find commercial success doing it.
Singer/songwriting was mostly relegated to the folk music world. Part of what made the Beatles so extraordinary was that they had multiple singers and multiple songwriters in one group — and of course it didn't hurt that they were cute, too.
Sting's own unique style, he says, is a combination of his early-fascination with local folk music, the Beatles, his early career as a jazz bassist and his lifelong enthusiasm for the works of Johann Sebastian Bach.
Pressed for a few of the most important Beatles songs to him, Sting said he puts "Yesterday," "Blackbird" and "Penny Lane" among "hundreds" of others.
Sting says the ultimate compliment came a few years ago when Paul McCartney named "Fields of Gold" as one song he wishes he'd written.
"I wish I'd written like 100 [different] Paul McCartney songs," Sting said with a laugh.
Watch the full conversation via the player above!