The Beatles Did You Know
So many stories about The Beatles have been told and heard. Who knows what's true and what's myth. Here's few I found most interesting:
- George Martin played keyboards on almost every Beatles’ album.
- There are more than 3,000 recorded versions of Paul McCartney’s ‘Yesterday’
- David Bowie’s mega-hit Fame was written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon.
- ‘From Me To You’ is the shortest Beatles single clocking in at one minute and 57 seconds.
- 20th August 1969 was the last time that all four Beatles recorded together, when they finished ‘I Want You (She’s So Heavy’).
- It was George Harrison’s dentist who introduced John to LSD after slipping it into the guitarists’ coffee during a night in April 1965.
- On the Help! album sleeve the semaphore letters that the four Beatles are spelling out with their arms does not say HELP, but NUJV. It turns out that the semaphore arm positions for „Help“ didn't look aesthetically pleasing to the photographer so he rearranged them to form a nonsense phrase.
- Among the food and drink mentioned in Beatles' songs are eggs, onion, cornflakes, honey, coffee, marshmallows, cherry, truffles, ginger, pineapple, honey, octopus, turkey, marmelade, cocoanut fudge, tangerine, strawberries, mustard and pies. But there are no 'scrambled eggs', as the melody for the famous melancholy string setting 'Yesterday' apparently just popped into Paul McCartney's head when he woke up one morning. Until he could find words for it, the McCartney walked around the house humming 'scrambled eggs...baby, I love scrambled eggs' so that he wouldn't forget the tune.
- In late November 1960, George was deported when it was discovered that, at 17, he was too young to be legally playing in nightclubs. Shortly thereafter, Paul and Pete were also deported after being arrested for nailing a condom to the club wall and setting it on fire.
- Among the people who sing backing vocals on ‘All You Need Is Love’ are Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Marianne Faithfull, Jane Asher, Mike McCartney, Pattie Harrison, Eric Clapton, Graham Nash, Keith Moon, Hunter Davies, and Gary Leeds of the Walker Brothers.
- The BBC banned ‘I Am the Walrus’ because of the reference to 'knickers' in the lyrics. In an interview with official Beatles biographer Hunter Davies, he revealed a desire to take the Beatles’ edginess in a new direction altogether: „Why can't you have people f***ing as well? It's going on everywhere in the world, all the time. So why can't you mention it? It's just a word, made up by people... It doesn't mean a thing, so why can't we use it in a song? We will eventually. We haven't started yet.“ The BBC also banned ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’, Fixing a Hole’ and ‘A Day in the Life’ because they decided they all referred to drugs.
- “Michelle” was inspired by Paul’s favorite technique for picking up girls at parties. McCartney once shared in an interview that he and Harrison, self-described “working-class boys,” often felt at odds at the boho-chic parties they went to as teens with Lennon (who was older and attending art college). To hold his own, McCartney developed a habit of dressing in black, sitting in a corner with his guitar, and singing in made-up French to see if he could draw over any of the Juliette Greco-type women. It never worked, but one day Lennon suggested that McCartney make “that French thing” into a song.
- Ringo's real name is Richard Starkeym called 'Ritchie' by his doting mother, was always known in the group's public performances, films and album covers as Ringo, but in recordings and studio takes, Paul can be heard calling out 'Ready, Richard?' before counting the band off. The drummer's first nickname, Rings, reportedly came from his habit of wearing large amounts of jewelry, particularly on his fingers. Later, while at a holiday cap, he changed it into 'Ringo' to sound more cowboy-ish.