Former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett has spoken out about The Beatles achieving monumental success despite having “a minimum of technique.” 

In an appearance on the Rock History Music YouTube channel (via Ultimate Guitar), Hackett explained that The Beatles “thrilled” fans without having to rely on technique.

“Technique is a funny thing, isn’t it? You see, you think for a guitarist – ideally, you need chops, you need technique,” he began.

He continued: “On the other hand, it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that The Beatles thrilled us with a minimum of technique…there was no reliance on speed and virtuosity; their virtuosity was all in the songwriting department – whether that was marvellous melodies, whether that was vignettes, stories that became songs.

“Those sort of fly on the wall documentaries that were songs like ‘Eleanor Rigby,’ and ‘She’s Leaving Home,’ just to think of two McCartney favourites. Not to mention having heard ‘I am the Walrus’ for the first time on a mono radio and thinking, ‘Absolutely marvellous – wonder who that was..?’ Find out later – it was The Beatles.”

“I’m walking up King’s road one day, and I walk into the Chelsea antique market up to the first floor where they’re all these Indian silks, strange music was playing – find out later, that was The Beatles.”

“That was ‘Within You Without You.’ Again, complete reinvention. I guess the fact that they had the world’s ear made a difference. Of course, it helps.”

Hackett went on to add that it’s “much easier” to write a good song when “everyone loves you.”

“You start to believe your own publicity and it’s a very nice basis to write something from it,” he said.

“If there are adoring fans out there, of course, it’s a lot easier. But for the long haul, if you’re in it for the marathon, which I am, some projects are obviously going to sell better than others,” he concluded.

Check out Steve Hackett discussing The Beatles: