The Beatles’ tech guru ‘Magic Alex’ dies

Yannis Alexis Mardas passed away in Athens at 74

The Beatles associate and “tech guru” ‘Magic Alex’ has passed away at the age of 74.

Yannis Alexis Mardas, known by the nicknames ‘Magic Alex’ and ‘John’, was one of the first Apple Corps employees after becoming friends with John Lennon. Mardas’ blinking light invention, dubbed the ‘Nothing Box’, is said to have stimulated Lennon’s LSD trips.

Mardas has been acknowledged as as a co-writer on Beatles outtake ‘What’s the New Mary Jane’. He also made an appearance in the band’s Magical Mystery Tour film (scroll below to watch).


Mardas accompanied The Beatles on their 1968 visit to India and was the person to break the news of Lennon’s divorce plans to then-wife Cynthia Lennon.

In 1968, Mardas was in charge of building The Beatles a new recording studio but soon parted ways with Apple Corps.


Late in life, Mardas sued the New York Times for defamation after the newspaper called him a “charlatan”. He said in a statement: “I invented a large number of electronic devices, none of which had anything to do with music of the business of the Beatles. It must be remembered that none of these had even been thought about by others at the time, although most of them are now in common use”.

CNN Greece reports that Mardas died of natural causes in his Athens apartment.


See a video featuring Mardas’ electronic inventions below:

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