32 Timeless Facts About The Beatles

Mathew Burke

Most of us know who the Beatles are and even if you don’t, odds are good that you know one of their songs. For those of us who don’t,  the Beatles were an English rock band, formed in Liverpool in 1960. With members John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, they became widely regarded as the foremost and most influential act of the rock era. Do you know who the first Beatle to write a solo #1 hit was? or why Paul was arrested in Germany? Enjoy these facts about the Beatles.

32. Meanwhile, back in the USSR

Everybody likes the Beatles, even Vladimir Putin. The Russian leader has stated that his favorite Beatles song is Yesterday.

31. He’s a real solo man.

Once the Beatles broke up, several members had successful solo careers. George Harrison was actually the first Beatle to have a #1 solo hit. His song called My Sweet Lord topped the charts in December 1970.

30. Imitation is the highest form of flattery

Over 2,200 cover of the song Yesterday have been recorded. This accomplishment landed the Beatles in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2009 as the most covered song ever.

29. Not Safe For BBC

The BBC banned the song I Am the Walrus due to the inappropriate lyrics: “let your knickers down”. This led an infuriated George Harrison to ask: ‘Why can’t you have people having sex as well?’

28. The price is wrong!

On May 22, 2012, one of the outtakes from the famous Abbey Road cover sold for
£16,000 at an auction. That’s the equivalent of $20,000 USD for one. single. photograph.

27. So you’re saying his mom didn’t name him Ringo?

Ringo Starr’s real name is Richard Starkey. In fact, in some of The Beatles’ early recordings you can hear John count in Ringo by saying “ready, Richard”. He changed his name to Ringo to sound more ‘cowboy-ish’, as well as an homage to all the rings he wore.

26. Per-CASH-ion

Ringo may not be a fan favourite. However, Ringo Starr is the richest drummer of all time with a net worth of $300M USD. The next richest drummer is Phil Collins, worth $250M USD.

25. Who is the fifth Beatle?

There is an ongoing debate as to who is the “5th Beatle.” Many say Pete Best, the original drummer before Ringo should be considered the Fifth Beatle. Meanwhile, Paul McCartney has stated that long-time producer George Martin, who played keyboards on almost every Beatles album, is most deserving of the title.

24. She’s a real girl!

The eponymous meter maid (or parking cop) in the song Lovely Rita is a real person, named Meta Davies. She inspired the song by giving Paul McCartney a parking ticket outside Abbey Road Studios.

23. If you ever wanted to hear James Bond do spoken word…

Producer George Martin’s last work was an album full of Beatles covers. Featured on this album were various celebrities such as Jim Carrey, Robin Williams and Sean Connery.

22. Well that escalated quickly….

Although it sounds like a pleasant tune, the song Norwegian Wood became well known for its violent undertones. It is a story of a man who gets invited into a woman’s house. She won’t let him sleep in her bed, and instead forces him to lie in the bathtub. When she gets up for work in the morning, he burns her house down as revenge.

21. Turn me on dead man

The Beatles were well known for implementing a technique called “back-masking”, where messages can be heard when a record is played backwards. The most famous example can be found on the track Revolution 9. Played backwards you can make out the lyrics “turn me on, dead man”. This sparked a widespread conspiracy that Paul McCartney was dead.

20. Puff Puff, Do Not Pass

In 1980 Paul was arrested at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport for trying to smuggle a half-pound of marijuana. When asked why he attempted to bring the weed across the border, he said: “This stuff was too good to flush down the toilet!”

19. Their last song together

The Last song that all four Beatles made together was ‘I Want You (She’s So Heavy’), recorded on August 20th, 1969. The band broke up shortly after.

18. Go away ghostwriters

A Hard Day’s Night (their third album released) was actually the first album in which The Beatles wrote every song. Lennon and McCartney wrote all 13 tracks. Prior to this, the band hired a series of obscure ghostwriters.

17. Game recognize game

Guitar legend Eric Clapton plays lead guitar on “While my Guitar Gently Weeps”, though he is not officially credited on the album.

16. The Last Hoorah

Their final concert, on 30 January 1969, was performed on the rooftop of their Apple Corps headquarters. They played for 42 minutes before the police made asked them to turn down the volume. Before deciding to play their final show on a rooftop, they considered performing in an ancient amphitheater, a desert or a cruise ship.

15. Best Album of All Time

The Beatles have a ton of awards. Perhaps the most prestigious was when Rolling Stone magazine placed Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band as number 1 on their list of 500 greatest albums of all time.

14. The original pick-up artist.

The song Michelle was inspired by one of Paul McCartney`s methods of picking up girls. He would dress in all black and sit in the corner of parties playing made up songs in French. One day, John suggested they turn it into a studio track. It became a hit.

13. Bigger than Jesus

The Beatles are the best-selling musical act of all time, with an estimated 600 million album sales worldwide. This number slightly edges out second place Elvis Presley, but is more than double the third place winner, Michael Jackson.

12. Old friends

George and Paul met when they were 11 and 12 years old, respectively. They rode on the same school bus. George and John went to the same elementary school but they never met until adulthood.

11. Maybe they could pulled a Mariah Carey?

None of the songs on the album Revolver were ever performed in concert. The reason? They were too hard to play live.

10.Won’t you come out to play?

The song Dear Prudence was written about Prudence Farrow, the sister of famous actress Mia Farrow. While in India together, Prudence Farrow became so obsessed with meditation that she became a recluse. The song begs her to come outside and enjoy life.

9. Did they really miss you that much…

2 years before the band officially disbanded in 1970, Ringo Star temporarily quit the band. He said that he wasn’t playing great and felt like he was an outsider. He was only away for three weeks, but during his hiatus he was able to write one of his biggest hits: Octopus’ Garden.

8. Double Threats

The Beatles have also appeared in five movies: A Hard Day’s Night, Help!, Magical Mystery Tour, Yellow Submarine and Let it Be. All the films were fairly well received with, the exception of Magical Mystery Tour which was so bad that The Beatles publicly apologized for it.

7. The Football Broadcast That Changed the World

The news of John Lennon’s assassination was broken that very night that it occurred during ABC’s Monday Night Football. ABC president Roone Arledge made an unorthodox decision when he decided that the quickest way to break the news to the world would be to announce it in the middle of the football game.

6. My Kind of Vacay

As a way to peacefully protest the war in Vietnam, John Lennon and Yoko Ono held two separate week-long “bed-ins”, where they didn’t leave their bed for the entire week. This was later made into the documentary Bed Peace.

5. Everyone has to start somewhere

The Beatles originally toured under the name ‘The Quarrymen’. This eventually changed to ‘The Silver Beatles’, until finally the band landed on the name that would make history.

4. You don’t mess with Jesus

In 1966, John Lennon stated that The Beatles were “Bigger than Jesus” in reference to their popularity. Widespread outrage followed; radio stations stopped playing their songs, records were publicly burned and death threats were made.

3. Sex is on fire… literally.

In 1960 Paul McCartney was arrested for arson along side former Beatles drummer Pete Best. The crime? Lighting a condom on fire. They were playing a gig in Germany and did not have ample lighting for their rehearsal.  They probable should have asked for a lamp…

2. Cover me up

The Beatles recorded many cover songs during their career. The very last cover song The Beatles ever recorded was old folk song Maggie Mae. It was released in 1968 on their album Let It Be.

1. The last hurrah.

The last song John Lennon played for a paying audience was I Saw Her Standing There, on November 28, 1974. He took the stage at Elton John’s concert in Madison Square Garden. The two were close friends.

Sources: 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,

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