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18 Facts about the Beatles

    John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, George Harrison = Beatles!

    John, Ringo, Paul, and George: The Fab Four who changed the world. Here’s 18 facts you need to know.

    18 Facts about the Beatles

    1. February 7th, 1964: After conquering the UK, the Fab Four came to America. Two days later they appeared on The Ed Sullivan television show and were viewed by 34% of the population.
    2. April 4th, 1964: That week saw a whopping 12 Beatles songs on the Billboard Hot 100 charts.
    3. Rickenbacker’s iconic 360/12 semi-hollow body 12-string electric guitar made its “ringing guitar” sound debut on the Beatles A Hard Day’s Night album via a prototype given to George Harrison.
    4. John Lennon stated: “We never play to segregated audiences and we aren’t going to start now … I’d sooner lose our appearance money.” That was in response to their 1964 Gator Bowl gig in Jacksonville, Florida. City officials backed down and the boys played to an integrated audience. During those turbulent times the Beatles added legal clauses in their subsequent tours ensuring they would never play to segregated audiences.
    5. In a 1966 UK interview, John Lennon also said, “We’re more popular than Jesus now; I don’t know which will go first – rock ‘n’ roll or Christianity.” Reprinted in the US five months later, havoc ensued when the Vatican protested, Dutch, Spanish, and South African stations banned the Beatles. Hell broke loose in the Bible Belt as conservative Christians burned Beatles records and even the Ku Klux Klan joined the backlash. Later, Lennon said. “If I’d said television was more popular than Jesus, I might have got away with it.” He pointed out that he was only making an observation of how people viewed the Beatles success. Trying to appease the effects of his mistaken statement he finally said, “If you want me to apologize, if that will make you happy, then okay, I’m sorry.”
    6. The Beatles 1966 album, Revolver, was the first to include a political statement in the form of a two minute and 39 second George Harrison song called “Taxman”. At the time, the Beatles were paying an insane 90% of their earnings to the Treasury. Recorded during April, 1966, multiple takes saw the tune’s final version including the guitar solo by Paul McCartney. Ringo played the Cowbell.
    7. After performing over 1,400 concerts worldwide, the Beatles played their final commercial concert at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park on August 29th, 1966. This decision was made, in part, because whenever they played a concert the screaming fans were so loud their music could barely be heard. They also were predominately a writing group, a studio recording band—at least in their minds at the time despite the fact that they were consummate performers having performed in every kind of venue. They didn’t include any new songs at their last performance as they were writing experimental material that required numerous tracks—soon to appear on the Sgt. Pepper album.
    8. The Beatles wrote at least one song title for every letter of the alphabet except the letters Q, U, V, X, and Z.
    9. Beatles made 28 music videos 20 years before the advent of MTV whose John Lack proclaimed, “Ladies and gentlemen, rock and roll,” to introduce the music television show.
    10. From 1965 to 1969 ABC broadcast a Saturday morning cartoon series called The Beatles. It was the first ever animated series that portrayed actual living people.
    11. 1968’s The Beatles album, also known as “the White Album” due to its pure white, wordless packaging, had two songs with Paul McCartney filling in on drums for Ringo Starr who quit the band for 2 weeks during the recording sessions. Those songs are: “Dear Prudence” and “Back in the U.S.S.R.”. The White Album has now sold well over 21 million copies, 2 million of those in advance sales during 1968.
    12. Until the 1970s, Singles outsold Albums. LPs were expensive, Single’s affordable. Having said that, the Beatles released 63 Singles worldwide selling over 2 billion records as of 2014.
    13. In 1963 the Rolling Stones recorded and released the Lennon/McCartney single, “I Wanna Be Your Man”. Later that year, the Beatles recorded and released the song, with Ringo Starr on lead vocal, on their second UK studio album, “With the Beatles”.
    14. Credited to the songwriting team of Lennon/McCartney is Paul McCartney’s chamber-pop ballad, “Yesterday”. Recorded on the 14th and 17th of June, 1965, this song was the first song on a Beatles record that featured only one Beatle—Paul, on acoustic guitar with a string quartet. Yesterday is also one of the most recorded songs of all time with over 2,200 cover versions since its release in September, 1965. Imagine that.
    15. Known as “the Fifth Beatle”, record producer, arranger, composer, conductor, audio engineer, and musician, Sir George Martin, is remembered and credited as a great creative force and a part of the Beatles sound. Not only did he recommend that string quartet on Paul’s, “Yesterday”, he put his ideas and touches on numerous Beatle recordings: he arranged the strings on “Eleanor Rigby”, worked on the orchestral climax for “A Day in the Life”, pieced together two recordings to create “Strawberry Fields” and the list goes on and on. No Beatles list is complete without mention of Sir George Martin, nor Brian Epstein–the Beatles longtime manager, or for that matter, keyboardist and musician, Billy Preston.
    16. George Harrison’s, “I, Me, Mine” was the last song recorded by the Beatles before they broke up in April of 1970.
    17. The Beatles last released album, “Let It Be”, was recorded before the “Abbey Road” album.
    18. The 3rd “Fifth Beatle”: After Sir George and Brian Epstein there was Billy Preston, an American soul musician that George Harrison invited to play during the Let It Be sessions. Billy Preston was the only musician on an official Beatles record to receive label billing. His piano work on the “Get Back” single earned him star status as did his playing with the band at their final live performance atop the roof of Apple Records in London.