Recently, the much-anticipated video game The Beatles: Rock Band was released, allowing fans to experience for themselves some of the awesomeness that is The Beatles. Box sets of the band’s remastered works, which sold out a day before they were released on Amazon.com, are available for purchase.
What is it about the Fab Four that can still generate that much excitement almost forty years after their breakup and has mesmerized generation after generation? No one knows for sure or has even come close to replicating their magic since. Check out these twenty-five other things you might not know about The Beatles.
1. The origin of the group’s name is unclear, but they did go through many other ones before settling on The Beatles, including: Black Jacks, Quarry Men, Johnny and the Moondogs, the Beatals, the Silver Beetles, the Silver Beats, and the Silver Beatles.
2. “Dear Prudence” was written about Mia Farrow’s sister, Prudence. The sisters attended a Transcendental Meditation course in India at the same time as The Beatles.
3. The song “Penny Lane” caused the street signs for the actual lane in Liverpool to be stolen so often that the town just painted “Penny Lane” on the buildings and did away with the signs.
4. “Hey Jude” was written by Paul McCartney for Julian Lennon. McCartney wrote it in the car while driving to visit John’s son.
5. Their first song broadcast in the United States was “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” A D.J. in Washington, D.C., played it after his girlfriend brought it back from London. It was so popular with listeners that the station played it every hour for days on end.
6. The Beatles held all five top spots on Billboard’s singles chart during the first week of April 1964. They are the only artist to have ever managed that feat.
7. At the end of “Strawberry Fields Forever” John mumbles something, which at the time fans thought was “I buried Paul” and led to speculation that McCartney was dead. Lennon actually said “cranberry sauce.”
8. “I Am the Walrus” was banned by the BBC because it contained the word “knickers” while “Fixing a Hole,” “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” and “A Day in the Life” were banned for allegedly referencing drugs.
9. “Got to Get You into My Life” was written as an ode to marijuana by Paul.
10. Ringo and Paul were both left handed.
11. Paul’s real first name is James; Ringo’s real first name is Richard. John changed his middle name from “Winston” to “Ono” after he married Yoko.
12. John was the first Beatle to get married—to Cynthia Powell in 1962, after learning she was pregnant with their son Julian. He divorced her in 1968.
13. Ringo Starr has been married to Barbara Bach since 1981; they met while filming Caveman.
14. George Harrison married Pattie Boyd in 1966 and was with her until they split in 1974. Boyd then moved in with Eric Clapton, who was Harrison’s best friend.
15. Paul McCartney met his first wife, Linda, in 1967 at the Bag O’Nails—a London club.
16. Ringo was the first to leave the band, walking out during recording of the White Album. The other three took turns playing drums as they finished the album. When he returned to the studio, Starr’s drums were covered with flowers.
17. Ringo Starr was in a coma for two months when he was six after his appendix ruptured. He suffered many other ailments and hospitalizations throughout his childhood as well.
18. George Harrison was the youngest of the group and the first to have a solo hit, “My Sweet Lord,” after The Beatles broke up.
19. The music for “Yesterday” was written before the lyrics. McCartney used the working title “Scrambled Eggs” while composing it.
20. The “Abbey Road” album was originally going to be called “Everest” after a brand of cigarettes. Paul wanted the group to travel to Tibet and pose on Mt. Everest for the cover.
21. In 1964, The Beatles refused to play in Florida at the Gator Bowl unless the audience was unsegregated. Changes were made, and they ended up playing to an unsegregated audience.
22. George Harrison thought his birthday was February 25 for most of his life, but later discovered it wasn’t via his birth certificate. He was actually born at 11:50 p.m. February 24, 1943.
23. Before joining The Beatles, Ringo Starr considered moving to Texas. He loved watching western movies growing up, especially those starring Gene Autry.
24. John was known as “The Smart Beatle”; Paul was known as “The Cute Beatle”; George was known as “The Quiet Beatle”; and Ringo was known as “The Sad Beatle.”
25. John Lennon’s aunt told him, “The guitar’s all right as a hobby, but it won’t earn you any money.” Later John had that quote inscribed on a sliver plaque and gave it to her.
Okay, Beatles buffs, what did we miss? Leave your favorites in the comments section.
By Julie Ryan Evans for BettyConfidential