100 Fab Beatles Facts

In honour of John, Paul, George and Ringo, here’s 100 little-known facts and bits of trivia about the ’60s icons, from the Pope’s reaction to their “bigger than Jesus” boast to raucous tales of condoms lit on fire. Ready? Here we go…

Advertisement

1The Beatles

The Beatles - (Left to right) John Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney, at a press conference before a show in Gaumont, Kilburn.
The last time McCartney and Lennon ever jammed together was at a bit of a boozy studio session, playing with Stevie Wonder and Harry Nilsson. A bootleg, 'A Toot And A Snore', appeared in 1974.

2Ringo Starr - Our World TV programme

Ringo Starr of the Beatles rehearsing at the EMI Studios in St. John's Wood, London for the group's appearance in the international television programmne "Our World". They have written a song 'All You Need is Love' specially for the programme.
The iconic drop-T Beatles logo was sketched by a music shop owner, Ivor Arbiter, when Ringo bought a new drumkit from his London shop in 1963.

3Music

The Beatles: (l-r) Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison and John Lennon
The band bought Greek island Leslo, surrounded by four smaller islands (one for each Beatle), for £95,000 in summer 1967. They sold it a few months later, bored with the idea.

4

5Music - The Beatles - London Airport

The Beatles arrive at London Airport: (l-r) Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison.
Lennon and McCartney wrote The Rolling Stones' first hit, 'I Wanna Be Your Man', after the Stones whined they needed a hit single. Lennon said afterwards: "We weren't going to give them anything great, right?"

6The Beatles

The Beatles with their Variety Club award for Showbiz personalities of the Year (1963). The Awards were held at the Dorchester Hotel, London
Worried that no-one would understand their Liverpudlian accents in 1964 film 'A Hard Day's Night', US music execs considered dubbing them over with American actors. McCartney harrumphed: "We can understand a fucking cowboy talking Texan!"

713s_27 copy

©Apple Corps Ltd
Lennon and McCartney once started work on a play called 'Pilchard', about a bloke who thought he was God, but never finished it.

8Music - The Beatles -

The Beatles, from left to right, John Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney, at Heathrow Airport after arriving back from Paris.
When Bob Dylan first heard 'I Want To Hold Your Hand', he decided The Beatles must be groovy drug-inspired folk and mistook the line 'I can't hide' for 'I get high'.

9Now, The Flying Beatles

The Beatles over the stage at the London Palladium during rehearsals for the midnight charity show Night of the Stars.
John Lennon didn't like his own voice and wanted to sound like Elvis. He begged producer George Martin: "Do something with my voice! You know, put something on it. Smother it with tomato ketchup or something. Make it different!".

10

Paul McCartney, drummer Pete Best and George Harrison were all deported from Germany during their first Hamburg club residency in late 1960: a 17-year-old Harrison for being underage; McCartney and Best for setting a condom on fire in their room.

1113s_01 copy

Lennon once wrote a Dylan parody called 'Stuck Inside Of Lexicon With The Roget's Thesaurus Blues'.

12Film - Beatles Film 'A Hard Day's Night' - Twickenham Studios

George Harrison plays the fool wearing false eyes
In an early interview George Harrison let slip that he liked jelly babies. Consequently, he was pelted with them at gigs for years afterwards. This could be painful, especially in America, where jelly babies weren't available - so fans threw harder jelly beans instead.

13Paul McCartney - Our World programme

Paul McCartney from The Beatles at a rehearsal for an appearance in the international television programme 'Our World' at the EMI Studios, St. John's Wood, London. The group have written a song especially for the programme called 'Love is all you need'. The programme will be seen live in 24 countries all over the world with a potential audience of 400 million people.
According to gossiping tabloids, Brian Wilson was so knocked out when McCartney played him 'A Day In The Life', the Beach Boy decided to "retire and live in a sauna bath".

14Music

(L-R) Beatles' John Lennon and Paul McCartney look out of a car
Last year The Pope forgave Lennon for his infamous 1966 statement "we're bigger than Jesus". The Vatican decided it was merely a "boast by a young working-class Englishman faced with unexpected success".

15Music - Variety Club Luncheon - Savoy Hotel - 1963

Susan Maughan gets a lift from Billy J Kramer (l) and the Beatles (l-r: John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and George Harrison.) All three acts were recipients of awards presented to them by Melody Maker magazine following a national poll - the Beatles scooped the 'Top Vocal Group' gong while Kramer was voted '1964 Hope' and Maughan received the 'Top Female Singer' award
For a while 'Abbey Road''s working title was 'Everest' (after engineer Geoff Emerick's fave brand of fags), but when it was suggested the disgruntled band go to the Himalayas to shoot the cover they decided they couldn't be arsed and named it after the street the studio was on.

16Music - Beatles Press Conference

(L to R) Beatles' John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr sit round a table
The term 'Beatlemania' was invented by Canadian hack Sandy Gardiner, first appearing in the Ottawa Journal, November 1963, to describe "a new disease" sweeping the globe.

17Music - The Beatles Awarded MBEs - Buckingham Palace

The Beatles show off their MBEs at Buckingham Palace (l-r): Paul McCartney, George Harrison, John Lennon, Ringo Starr
John claimed he had named the band after a vision in a dream, saying a man appeared "on a flaming pie," saying, "You will be Beatles with an 'a'."

18Music

Paul McCartney, Beatles bass player
Paul, a Catholic, was inspired to write 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer' by the Vatican ritual where a cardinal bangs the late pope on the forehead five times with a silver hammer to make sure that he is dead.

19Film - Beatles Film 'A Hard Day's Night' - Twickenham Studios

Paul McCartney (r) on set
One of the worst Yoko-related arguments ensued after Ono stole Harrison's chocolate digestive while the band were recording in the Abbey Road studios. George yelled that she was a "bitch".

2013s_06 copy

The line "I am the eggman" was allegedly inspired by The Animals' Eric Burdon's predilection for cracking eggs on his lovers' naked bods.

21Music - Beatles

Ringo Starr, Beatles drummer
Ringo Starr orginally wanted to be a hairdresser.

22Fleetway Studios

George Harrison, The Beatles
'Paperback' has become Cockney rhyming slang for ‘raita’ (rhymes with 'writer'), the cooling savoury yoghurt often served in Indian restaurants.

23The Beatles - London Airport

The Beatles, wearing cape-type coats, on the steps of the plane on arrival at London Airport from their Australian tour. At a Press Conference at the airport Lennon denied a rumour that he was leaving the group.
Pre-pop stardom Paul had a go at being an electrician: "I was hopeless. They gave me a job winding coils and called me Mantovani because of my long hair."

24Music - Beatles at the EMI Studios

George Harrison at the EMI Studios, St. John's Wood, London. The group have written a song especially for the programme 'Our World' called 'All You Need Is Love. The programme will be seen live in 24 countries all over the world with a potential audience of 400 million people.
The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band appear in the stripper sequence in Magical Mystery Tour and play a song entitled 'Death Cab For Cutie'. Guess who nicked it for a band name?

25Music - Variety Club Luncheon - Savoy Hotel

The Beatles (l-r: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison) with Millicent Martin. Both acts were recipients of awards presented to them by Melody Maker magazine following a national poll - the Beatles scooped the 'Top Vocal Group' gong while Martin was voted 'Top Female TV Artist'
The song 'Sexy Sadie' was originally entitled 'Maharishi' - ­ it was written by Lennon while staying at the guru's Indian ashram, and is about their growing disillusionment with him.

26The Beatles

The Beatles play with an Army audience when on location shooting for their new film at Larkhill. Left to right - Ringo Starr, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison.
Strawberry Fields was a real place - it was ­ a children's home run by the Salvation Army in Liverpool. It's since been demolished.

27

28

In early 1963 the band claimed to have already written over 100 songs. Paul said: "We have such a fairly easy job thinking up tunes these days. If we think up a tune very quickly we know we've got a hit."

29

30

31image copy

©Apple Corps Ltd
Little Richard became a big fan when he heard The Beatles in early 1963, but was amazed to find out they were white boys. He said: "Honestly, if I hadn¹t seen them with my own eyes I'd have thought they were a coloured group from back home."

32

The Beatles auditioned for Decca in January 1962, but A&R executive Dick Rowe declined to sign them, declaring, "Guitar groups are on the way out". D'oh!

33

34

The Beatles first entered the NME Charts (as they were then known) on October 26, 1962 with 'Love Me Do'. It entered at Number 27, wedged between Billy Fury at 26 and Buddy Holly at 28.

35

36The Beatles - Christmas Show

Beatle Paul McCartney wearing an Eskimo outfit during filming of the Beatles Christmas Show at the Hammersmith Odeon, London.
The so-called "magic circle" were the only folk allowed in the recording studio: the Fab Four, George Martin and road managers Neill Aspinall and Mal Evans. Then John met Yoko Ono and dragged a bed in.

37Music - Beatles Press Conference

Ringo Starr, Beatles drummer NME
The statue of Eleanor Rigby sitting on a bench in Liverpool's Stanley Street was made by '60s singer Tommy Steele.

38Music - Beatles Rehearsal for Royal Variety Command Performance

(L-R) Paul McCartney, George Harrison, John Lennon and Ringo Starr on stage during rehearsals
John wrote 'Strawberry Fields Forever' while on the set of 'How I Won The War', in which he had a cameo role.

39Film - Beatles Film 'A Hard Day's Night' - Twickenham Studios

A sitting George Harrison talks to US Director Dick Lester
A 16-year-old Harrison failed to convince his family to emigrate to Canada, Australia or Malta.

40Music - Beatles Rehearsal for Royal Variety Command Performance

(L-R) Paul McCartney, George Harrison, John Lennon and Ringo Starr
Early on, John and Paul agreed to a joint Lennon/McCartney credit on all Beatles compositions written by either of them or together. Yoko got the hump after the band split when Paul attempted to change the order to McCartney/Lennon on songs he'd written.

41The Beatles - Christmas Show

The Beatles wearing Eskimo outfits for their Christmas Show at the Odeon, Hammersmith, London.
John Lennon returned his 1965 MBE to the Queen in 1969 "as a protest against Britain's involvement in the Nigeria-Biafra thing, against our support of America in Vietnam and against 'Cold Turkey' slipping down the charts". He signed it "love, John".

42Film - Beatles Film 'A Hard Day's Night' - Twickenham Studios

(L-R) John Lennon talks to Julia Foster during filming
John's song 'Julia', dedicated to his late mother, Julia, and wife Yoko, was the only Beatles song he recorded without the others' help.

43Beatles - MBEs

Thumbs up from George Harrison, seen with John Lennon (left) and Paul McCartney as the Beatles drive away from the London home of their manager, Brian Epstein, in Williams Mews for Buckingham Palace to receive their insignia as MBEs from the Queen.
After George got drunk and threw up on the floor in Hamburg, no one would clean it up. As it grew more crusty and disgusting it became known as a "fiendish thingy". Thus George's famous 'fiendish thingy' saying.

44New Beatle

New face with the Beatles, Jimmy Nicol 24 who is filling in for Ringo Starr, the group's drummer who was taken hospital after collapsing during a photographic session at Barnes Studio. Nicol is pictured during a quick rehearsal in London with other members of the group Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison. He will deputise for Ringo on the Beatles tour to Denmark and Holland
Conspiracy theorists cited the 'Abbey Road' cover as proof that McCartney died and replaced by a lookalike. It apparently shows a preacher (Lennon), undertaker (Starr), corpse (bare-footed Paul), gravedigger (Harrison); and the car reg indicates the age Paul would have been if alive (28IF).

45

46Music - Royal Variety Command Performance - Rehearsals - Prince of Wales Theatre

The Beatles jump to it on stage, left to right, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison.
Legend has it that the Beatles' ill-advised, abortive album sleeve for 'Yesterday And Today'­ - which depicted the band in butcher's overalls, holding raw meat and slain dolls - was a dig at Capitol's 'butchering' of their records.

47

48Music - The Beatles Return To UK From Australia - London Airport

The Beatles arrive back at London Airport after completing their tour of Australia: Ringo Starr (front l), George Harrison (front r), Paul McCartney (back l) and John Lennon (back r)
The last time all four Beatles recorded together in the same studio was for 'I Want You (She's So Heavy)' for the 'Abbey Road' album on 20 August, 1969.

49Back Again

Back again at London Airport, this time after a trip to Scandinavia. The Beatles pictured late this afternoon left to right John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and George Harrison
Paul's first acid trip was on the evening of 21 March, 1967. He apparently did it to keep John company, after Lennon had 'accidentally' ingested a tab of acid.

50Music - The Beatles

The Beatles hold banners proclaiming 'all you need is love' in four languages (l-r) Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison Jenn Five/NME
After his first acid trip, John raved: "It was truly a religious experience. I had never realised what people were talking about when they said God is within you."

51The Beatles - Paris trip

Three of The Beatles pop group board an airliner for Paris at London Airport. Left to right: George Harrison, John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Ringo Starr was left stranded in Liverpool owing to fog.
The most played track at The Beatles' 'Sgt. Pepper' press launch was Procul Harum's 'A Whiter Shade of Pale'. Lennon was obsessed by it, and played the song non-stop on his white Rolls Royce's record player all the way to the party.

52Film - Beatles Film 'A Hard Day's Night' - Twickenham Studios

Beatles drummer Ringo Starr (c) with Susan Whiteman (l)and Tina Williams (r) Jenn Five/NME
In France they changed the title of 'A Hard Day's Night' to 'Quatre Garçons Dans Le Vent' ('Four Boys in the Wind').

53The Beatles filming 'Help'

The Beatles (left - right) John Lennon, Ringo Star, Paul McCartney and George Harrison on Salisbury Plain during the filming of 'Help'. PA
John claimed 'Ticket To Ride' "was one of the earliest heavy metal records made".

54Music - The Beatles - Around the Beatles Television Show

The Beatles' Paul McCartney (l) and George Harrison (r) at the microphone
It has been argued that The Beatles were responsible for MTV ­ - they were the first group to create promotional film clips to sell their music.

55Beatles Documentary

**FILE** Former Beatle John Lennon performs during a charity concert to benefit mentally challenged children at New York's Madison Square Garden, in this file photo from Aug. 30, 1972. Berwick Academy in Maine, canceled Tuesday March 6, 2007 world premiere of the John Lennon documentary "Three Days in the Life" after lawyers for Lennon's widow warned that she had not authorized a showing of the film. (AP Photo-File)
John Lennon loved cats. He had 10 while living in Weybridge with first wife Cynthia. His mum once had a cat called Elvis, because she was a big Presley fan.

56The Beatles - A New Role

The Beatles - left to right Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and John Lennon at Rediffusion's Wembley Studio rehearsing again for 'Around the Beatles', the first British television show built around the group. Jenn Five/NME
At one point, Ringo seriously considered emigrating to Texas to become a country musician.

57Music - The Beatles - Around the Beatles Television Show

(L-R) The Beatles' John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison rehearse at Wembley
Before writing 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps', George Harrison randomly picked a book on a shelf, opened it and read the first word he saw. The word was 'gently'.

58The Beatles - Tour of Europe

The Beatles on the steps of the plane before leaving London Airport for Paris at the start of the Continental tour which will include France, Italy, and Spain. In front, George Harrison (left) and Paul McCartney. Rear, John Lennon (left) and Ringo Starr.
All The Beatles were scared of flying, especially George.

59Entertainment - The Yellow Submarine Press Preview - Bowater House

Ringo Starr, drummer of the Beatles pop group with a Blue Meanie during the press cartoon film preview of 'The Yellow Submarine' at Bowater House, Knightsbridge, London
A burst appendix and a bout of pleurisy kept Ringo in hospital for three years as a child.

60The Beatles - Tour of the United States

Cramme dwith their luggage into a small car the Beatles go out to the aircraft at London Airport, when they left for a tour in the United States of America. Seen through the rain-speckled window are: Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and George Harrison. Andy Willsher/NME
Reacting to Lennon's death in 1980, McCartney offered the lame response: "It's a drag, isn't it?" (he later said he was in shock).

61The Beatles - The Gaumont

The Beatles, John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr at The Gaumont, Kilburn. Jenn Five/NME
Among the people on the cover of 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' are Stuart Sutcliffe, Laurel and Hardy, Marilyn Monroe, Karl Marx, boxer Sonny Liston, Bob Dylan, Lenny Bruce and Shirley Temple.

62RINGO STARR

Beatles drummer Ringo Starr carries a camera as he arrives at Queen Charlotte's Hospital in London, England, Aug. 20, 1967 to visit his wife, Maureen, who gave birth to their second son, Jason, on Aug. 19. A button on his coat lapel reads, "I miss you like hell." (AP Photo)
When the Beatles requested Shirley Temple's permission to use her image on the cover of 'Pepper', she was the only celebrity who insisted on hearing the album before granting permission.

63Music - The Beatles - Around the Beatles Television Show

The Beatles Rediffusion's Wembley Studio rehearsing for 'Around the Beatles', the first British television show built around the group.
Mae West at first refused to let the band use her image on the 'Pepper' sleeve, but gave in when the fellas each sent her a personal note explaining how much it would mean to them.

64Fans rooftop welcome for The Beatles

The Beatles wave to screaming fans on the roof as they pass No.3 Building on arrival from their Australian tour
1967's 'She's Leaving Home' angered the American far right, who decided it was a cryptic advertisement for abortion.

65Beatle in the field

Looking as though he's not too well armoured against the wind, Beatle Ringo Starr huddles over his drums at Larkhill on Salisbury Plain. The Beatles had invaded Army territory for location shooting of scenes for their new film
Ringo, George and John left school with no qualifications (although John wangled his way into art school), while a relatively swotty Paul scooped five O levels and one A level.

66The Beatles make a film and the fans besiege theatre

The Beatles on stage at the Scala Theatre, London, when making their first film. (L-R) Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and John Lennon. Police were called to guard the doors of the theatre as hundreds of fans clamoured outside
Stuart Sutcliffe rechristened what was left of The Quarrymen (Lennon, McCartney, Harrison), 'The Beatles' when he joined the band as bassist in 1960. They officially became The Beatles in August that year.

67Music - The Beatles - Around the Beatles Television Show

Paul McCartney at Rediffusion's Wembley Studio rehearsing with the rest of the band for 'Around the Beatles', the first British television show built around the group. PA
'Please Please Me' had the distinction of having credited John and Paul's compositions as McCartney-Lennon instead of Lennon­McCartney.

68Beatles to Stockholm

A wave for the fans seeing them off as the Beatles were about to board a BEA Liner for Stockholm
Although there is an Eleanor Rigby buried in Woolton Cemetery (where McCartney met Lennon playing in The Quarrymen), the Rigby bit was inspired by the name of an ladies undies shop and the Eleanor after Eleanor Bron, the actress in 'Help!'.

69Music - The Beatles - Around the Beatles Television Show

The Beatles - left to right Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Paul McCartney at Rediffusion's Wembley Studio rehearsing for 'Around the Beatles', the first British television show built around the group.
The band played their last ever live performance on a grey lunchtime, 30 January, 1969, in a 42-minute set atop the Apple HQ, Savile Row, central London. Ringo dourly observed: "London's garment district finally got to see The Beatles' last concert."

70MBE for John Lennon

Beatle John Lennon smiles as he poses with his Member of the Order of the British Empire medal (MBE), presented to The Beatles by the Queen of England in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace, in London, England on Oct. 26, 1965. (AP Photo)
The Beatles final gig was stopped when police arrived. Envisaging a headlining end to the band, Ringo was happy to see them. "I wanted the cops to drag me off kicking the cymbals and everything." But actually PC number 503 simply nipped round the back and pulled the plug.

71LENNON ONO BED-IN AMSTERDAM

Beatle John Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, hold a bed-in for peace in room 902, the presidential suite at the Hilton Hotel in Amsterdam on March 25, 1969. The newlyweds, holding solitary tulips, begin a seven-day Love-In to protest against war. (AP Photo)
Though she bought him his first guitar, John's Aunt Mimi discouraged him from a  career in music, saying: "The guitar's all right as a hobby, but it won't earn you any money." Years later, John gave her a silver plaque with that quote engraved upon it.

72The Beatles

Back again at London Airport, this time after a trip to Scandinavia.
'She's Leaving Home' was actually inspired by a story in the Daily Mail headlined 'A-Level Girl Dumps Car And Vanishes'. Londoner Melanie Cole, 17, was found living with her boyfriend the next week.

73John Lennon

John Lennon of The Beatles during a press conference before a show iat the Gaumont in Kilburn, north London.
'Good Morning Good Morning' was written by Lennon after being annoyed by a Kellogs' Cornflakes telly ad. It's believed to be a bilious riposte to McCartney's 'Good Day Sunshine'.

74Fleetway Studios

The Beatles, (L-R) Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and John Lennon
Murdered playwright Joe Orton's fave Beatles song was 'A Day In The Life'. It was played at his funeral in Golders Green Crematorium, north London, on 18 August, 1967.

75The Beatles

A line of fans on the opposite bank of the Thames watch The Beatles, (left to right) Ringo Starr, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Paul McCartney, as they arrive at Teddington, Middlesex, by launch.
At Lennon's specific request, the animal noises that feature at the end of 'Good Morning Good Morning' are in pecking order ­ eg, the order in which the beasties would eat the previous one.

76Music - The Beatles at the EMI Studios

Paul McCartney arriving at the EMI Studios, St. John's Wood, London. The group have written a song especially for the programme 'Our World' called 'All You Need Is Love'. The programme will be seen live in 24 countries all over the world with a potential audience of 400 million people. Andy Ford/NME
'A Hard Day's Night' was so called after Ringo wittily moaned that was a 'hard day's night' after a knackering day's filming on 19 March, 1964.

77The Beatles - A New Role

The Beatles John Lennon at Rediffusion's Wembley Studio rehearsing again for 'Around the Beatles', the first British television show built around the group.
There's been much speculation who the drug-supplying doc is in 'Doctor Robert'. Lennon claimed in 1980 it was him, saying:  "I was the one who carried all the pills on tour in the early days."

78The Beatles - MBE

The Beatles (L-R) John Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney almost crowded out by interviewers at a press conference at Twickenham film studios after the announcement that each had received the MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours.
It was actually Dylan who first 'turned the Beatles on'; giving them their first marijuana cigarette on 28 August, 1964 in the Delmonico Hotel, NY.

79Music - The Beatles - Record Star Show

The Beatles, left to right, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, George Harrison and Paul McCartney, at the Record Star Show at the Empire Pool Wembley, London. Andy Ford/NME
Donovan came up with the last line of 'Yellow Submarine'; offering 'Sky of blue, sea of green' after McCartney popped round to his pad and played him an unfinished demo.

80Music - The Beatles - American Tour

The Beatles, left to right, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Paul McCartney, board their plane at Heathrow Airport for their tour of America.
Looking back in 1980, Lennon decided 'Help!' was an actual cry for help from the depths of what he referred to as his 'fat Elvis' period (dysfunctional marriage, lonely in his suburban mansion).

81BATTLE OF THE BANDS GLANCE

** HOLD FOR RELEASE UNTIL 12:01 EDT WEDNESDAY AUG. 12, 2009 ** In this Sept. 21, 1964, file photo The Beatles, from left, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon and George Harrison board a plane for England at a New York airport with some of their fans in the background. A new poll by the Pew Research Center examining the generation gap four decades after Woodstock and the rebel yell of 1960s youth finds that rock and roll rules across generations and the Beatles are high on the list of every age group's favorite bands. Michael Jackson was the No. 1 pick in the under 30 group, the Eagles topped out in the 30-49 age group, and the Beatles topped the 50-64 age group. For those 65 and older, Frank Sinatra can't be beat. (AP Photo, File) Tom Martin/NME
It was Stuart Sutcliffe's girlfriend Astrid Kirchherr's idea for the boys to trade their DA (duck's arse) quiffs for the longer moptop style.

82Music - The Beatles - Heathrow Airport

Left to right: John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and George Harrison at Heathrow Airport before flying out for a series of engagements in Sweden. Andy Ford/NME
The Beatles played the now-legendary Liverpool Cavern Club 292 times; it was during a lunchtime session on Saturday 28 October, 1961 that they were first seen by their future manager Brian Epstein.

83Entertainment - The Yellow Submarine Press Preview - Bowater House

Members of the Beatles, left to right, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney and George Harrison at a press review of The Yellow Submarine at Bowater House, Knightsbridge.
Brian Epstein quickly swapped the boys' leather jacketed biker boy look for pink mohair suits, made by his tailor Beno Dorn in Birkenhead. He apparently persuaded them this was a good thing by taking them to see a be-suited Shadows show.

84John Lennon and Yoko Ono

John Lennon, one of the Beatles, and his Japanese girl friend, Yoko Ono, leave car to enter Marylebone court in London on Oct. 19, 1968. They appeared on charges of possessing cannabis, the British name for hashish. The trial was set for late November after the police asked for time to have the seized drugs analyzed. (AP Photo)
Eric Clapton was the man George was waiting for at a garden one morning when he started writing 'Here Comes The Sun'.

85Music - YMCA Competition - The Beatles - Astoria - London

Inno Sorsy of Accra, Ghana, now at school in Kent, meets the Beatles, left to right, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr in their dressing room as a winner of a YMCA competition. Tom Martin/NME
Paul confessed to Uncut in 2004 that 'Got To Get You Into My Life' was "about pot - although everyone missed it at the time", and 'Day Tripper' was "about acid".

86The Beatles - Press Conference

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, The Beatles
The Beatles got the inspiration for their first UK Number One single, 'From Me To You', from the NME letters page, which was then called From You To Us. They wrote the song on a coach during a tour supporting Helen Shapiro.

87Theatre - Royal Variety Performance - Prince of Wales theatre

Hollywood's ageless 'glamorous grannie', Marlene Dietrich, joins some of the new generation of entertainers, The Beatles and singer-actor Tommy Steele (extreme right), on the stage of the Prince of Wales theatre, London.
Fearful that audiences in America's Deep South would be segregated for their 1964 US tour, the band declared in an advance press statement: "We will not appear unless Negroes are allowed to sit anywhere."

8813s_20 copy

"Semolina pilchard" in 'I Am The Walrus' is a reference to Scotland Yard drug squad detective Norman "Nobby" Pilcher, who orchestrated the raid on Lennon's London flat in October 1968.

8913s_23 copy

Wilson Lee/NME
Ringo wrote the 1969 song 'Octopus's Garden' after taking a boat trip on holiday in Sardinia. The boat's captain told him about how octopuses collect shiny objects from the seabed to build gardens. He declined to eat the octopus lunch offered.

9013s_30 copy

Jealous about the cacophony The Who managed to generate on vinyl, The Beatles recorded 'Helter Skelter', their attempt to make a really, really big racket.

9113s_17 copy

Legend has it George Martin signed The Beatles for Parlophone apparently without hearing them, because he was so impressed by their humour.

92

Presumably Lennon was being ironic when he said of manager Brian Epstein's death on 27 August, 1967, "Isn't it exciting?".

9313s_07 copy

John Lennon was inspired to write 'I Am The Walrus' after a cursory reading of Lewis Carroll's poem 'The Walrus And The Carpenter'. He was dismayed to learn - upon closer inspection - that the walrus was in fact the villain of the poem, not the hero.

9413s_14 copy

'Fixing A Hole', from 1967, was written by McCartney after extensive DIY on his Scottish farmhouse. Not about drugs, as some have alleged.

9513s_10 copy

The popular "Paul is dead" rumours first appeared after he had a moped accident on 9 November, 1966. It was luridly reported, with some claiming he'd been decapitated. Actually he'd merely cut his lip (he then grew a moustache to cover the scar).

9613s_03 copy

Both Lennon and McCartney claimed it was a coincidence that 'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds' spelt L-S-D. They claimed it was actually inspired by a picture young Julian Lennon had drawn at school of a little girl.

9713s_02 copy

The cartoon version of McCartney on 1968's 'Yellow Submarine' is voiced by actor Geoffrey Hughes ­ Eddie Yeats from 'Corrie'/Twiggy off 'The Royle Family'.

98Britain Beatles Royalties

**FILE** The British rock and roll group The Beatles are seen during their first U.S. tour in this 1964 file photo. The band members, from left to right, are George Harrison, John Lennon, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney. The Beatles' Apple Corps company has settled a royalties dispute with record label EMI, the two companies said Thursday, April 12, 2007, raising hopes that Beatles recordings may soon be legally available online. (AP Photo, file) Andy Ford
McCartney announced the end of the Beatles on 10 April, 1970. This infuriated Lennon, who tried to take the credit for ending it, sniping, "I started the band. I disbanded it."

99

Advertisement
Advertisement