Stoked by a rabid tabloid press and international interest the likes of which hasn’t been seen in pop music since, the Beatles-Rolling Stones rivalry was considered overblown even by members of each band. But below the surface, there was plenty of tension and competition, often good-natured but sometimes nasty, especially as the 60s came to a close.
The Stones and Beatles shared plenty: a small social circle, management, bemusement about the mania that surrounded them.
But they differed on plenty, including politics, musical style, and originality. Societally, for many people, band preference meant everything.
John McMillian teaches in the history department at Georgia State University and is the author of the new book Beatles Vs. Stones, published by Simon and Schuster.