When the Beatles started playing to big crowds, they didn't have the kind of stadium-filling amplifiers known today. They had essentially the same amps they used in the studio. These generally were Vox AC-100 amp heads with 12-inch speakers.
John Winston Ono Lennon, MBE (born John Winston Lennon; 9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980) was an English musician, singer and songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as a founder member of the Beatles, the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed band in the history of popular music. With Paul McCartney, he formed a songwriting partnership that is one of the most celebrated of the 20th century.
Born and raised in Liverpool, as a teenager Lennon became involved in the skiffle craze; his first band, the Quarrymen, evolved into the Beatles in 1960. When the group disbanded in 1970, Lennon embarked on a solo career that produced the critically acclaimed albums John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and Imagine, and iconic songs such as "Give Peace a Chance" and "Imagine". After his marriage to Yoko Ono in 1969, he changed his name to John Ono Lennon. Lennon disengaged himself from the music business in 1975 to raise his infant son Sean, but re-emerged with Ono in 1980 with the new album Double Fantasy. He was murdered three weeks after its release.
The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. Their best-known lineup, consisting of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, became considered by many as the greatest and most influential act of the rock era. Rooted in skiffle and 1950s rock and roll, the Beatles later utilised several genres, ranging from pop ballads to psychedelic rock, often incorporating classical elements in innovative ways. In the early 1960s, their enormous popularity first emerged as "Beatlemania", but as their songwriting grew in sophistication, they came to be perceived by fans and cultural observers as an embodiment of the ideals shared by the era's sociocultural revolutions.
Starting in 1960, the Beatles built their reputation playing clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg over a three-year period. Manager Brian Epstein moulded them into a professional act and producer George Martin enhanced their musical potential. They gained popularity in the United Kingdom after their first hit, "Love Me Do", in late 1962. They acquired the nickname the "Fab Four" as Beatlemania grew in Britain over the following year, and by early 1964 they had become international stars, leading the "British Invasion" of the United States pop market. From 1965 on, the Beatles produced what many critics consider their finest material, including the innovative and widely influential albums Rubber Soul (1965), Revolver (1966), Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967), The Beatles (1968), and Abbey Road (1969). After their break-up in 1970, they each enjoyed successful musical careers. Lennon was shot and killed in December 1980, and Harrison died of lung cancer in November 2001. McCartney and Starr remain musically active.
A guitar amplifier (or guitar amp) is an electronic amplifier designed to amplify the electrical signal of an electric or acoustic guitar so that it will produce sound through a loudspeaker. Most guitar amplifiers can also modify the instrument's tone by emphasizing or de-emphasizing certain frequencies and adding electronic effects, typically distortion and reverb. For acoustic guitar, vibrations of the strings are "picked up" by a microphone or piezoelectric pickup. For electric guitars, strings are all made of metal, and the pickup works by electro-magnetic induction.
Acoustic guitars have a normal microphone, designed to convert acoustic vibrations into an electrical signal, but usually they do so from direct contact with the strings (replacing the guitar's bridge) or with the guitar's body, rather than having a membrane like general-purpose microphones.
Mesa/Boogie (also known as Mesa Engineering) is a company in Petaluma, California that manufactures amplifiers for guitars and basses. It has been in operation since 1969.
MESA was started by Randall Smith as a small repair shop, which modified Fender combo amplifiers. Smith's modifications gave the small amps much more input gain, making them much louder as well as creating a unique (for the time) singing, distorted, harmonically rich guitar tone. Prominent early customers included Carlos Santana, and Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones; 'word of mouth' exposure from these top players helped to establish Mesa/Boogie's reputation as a top-notch amp builder.
An instrument amplifier is an electronic amplifier that converts the often barely audible or purely electronic signal from musical instruments such as an electric guitar, an electric bass, or an electric keyboard into an electronic signal capable of driving a loudspeaker that can be heard by the performers and audience. Combination ("combo") amplifiers include a preamplifier, a power amplifier, tone controls, and one or more speakers in a cabinet, a housing usually made of hardwood, plywood, particleboard, or, less commonly, moulded plastic. Instrument amplifiers for some instruments are also available without an internal speaker; these amplifiers, called "heads", have to be plugged into an external speaker cabinet.
Instrument amplifiers are available for specific instruments, including the electric guitar, electric bass, electric keyboards, and acoustic instruments such as the mandolin and banjo. Some amplifiers are designed for specific styles of music, such as the "traditional"-style "tweed" guitar amplifiers used by blues and country musicians, and the Marshall amplifiers used by hard rock and heavy metal bands.