Advertisement

COVER STORY : A Magical Mystery Tour: Some Beatles Fun Facts Even Yoko Might Not Know

Most portentous Beatles-related coincidence: The group’s album, “With the Beatles,” was released in England on Nov. 22, 1963--the same day that President Kennedy was assassinated.

*

Most macabre misreporting of a Beatle malady by the press: The BBC reported in 1964 that Ringo Starr had his toenails removed. In fact, the extricated anatomy in question was Ringo’s tonsils.

*

Advertisement

Most intriguing rejected Beatles’ album titles: “Abracadabra,” “Magic Circles,” “Bubble and Squeak"--all considered for “Revolver.” “A Doll’s House” (after the Ibsen play), “Revolution” and “Door"--all considered for “The White Album” (the sound of a door closing ends sides 1 and 3).

*

Most amazing lineup for a 1960s British rock concert: The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Who and the Yardbirds, who all played on the same bill once only--at the May 1, 1966 New Musical Express Poll Winners Concert.

*

Advertisement

Most significant painting owned by a Beatle: Rene Magritte’s painting of an apple, owned by Paul McCartney, which became the inspiration for the name of the Beatles’ Apple Corps. Ltd.

*

5. Least impressive reception for a Beatles song: The Rate-a-Record segment of Dick Clark’s “American Bandstand” show in 1963, which gave “She Loves You” a mediocre overall rating of 73.

*

Advertisement

Most undistinguished and downright inane Beatles-related coincidence: The Beatles and the Sex Pistols both played their last concerts in San Francisco.

*

9. Most panache by a Beatles album cover artist: Painter-bassist Klaus Voorman, the Beatles’ old friend from Hamburg who played on many of their solo recordings, integrated his face to his album covers for “Revolver” and for all three upcoming volumes of “Anthology.” (David Hockney was asked to do the anthology cover, but was indisposed.)

*

Advertisement

Greatest performance on a Beatles record by a chauffeur: Alf Bicknell, the Beatles’ official driver, manipulated chains to produce sound effects on “Yellow Submarine.”

*

Number of individual songs recorded live by the Beatles for BBC radio: 288, between March 7, 1962, and June 7, 1965. None were released until “The Beatles Live at the BBC” in 1994.

*

Advertisement

Most frightening moment on a Beatles album: The gibberish and audible-to-dogs-only whistle found only in the side 2 outgoing groove of British copies of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” which sent many an intoxicated college student into undue paranoia.

*

Most famous black eyes suffered by a Beatle: George Harrison’s--received after an Aug. 19, 1962 Cavern Club show (Ringo’s debut), in a melee with fans angry over the band’s Aug. 16 sacking of original drummer Pete Best.

*

Advertisement

Song with most solo vocal lines by different Beatles: The forthcoming “Free as a Bird,” in which John, Paul and George each sing phrases alone, making it the only Beatles-penned song of its kind. (The group’s cover of the Isley Brothers’ “Shout,” which will appear on “The Beatles Anthology, Vol. 1,” also has three individual vocal solos.)

*

Most candy thrown at a pop group: Probably millions of jelly beans, or jelly babies, as they are known in Britain, hurled with love at the Fab Four at their concerts.

*

Advertisement

Latest song entrance by a Beatles drummer: Ringo, who did not start drumming until after the first two verses of “Hey Jude,” because he was stuck in the loo (as they say in Britain) when the band unwittingly proceeded to record the song without him. (“Hey Jude” was nonetheless No. 1 in the United States for nine weeks.)

*

Worst decision by a Beatles bass player: To leave the group after four appearances and return to college, as was done by one Chas Newby on Dec. 31, 1960. Newby, like McCartney, was left-handed and born on June 18. He was asked to stay for the Beatles’ next tour, but books beckoned.

Most unfortunate cancellation of a Beatles concert plan: During the Beatles’ ill-fated “Get Back” project in early 1969, they entertained the idea of returning to the concert stage--either aboard an ocean liner or in a Roman amphitheater in North Africa. (They wound up on the roof of Apple in London for their last live appearance, Jan. 30, 1969.)

Advertisement

*

Saddest Beatles recording session: The very last studio session for a Beatles album, April 1, 1969, which found Phil Spector overdubbing chorus and orchestra onto several “Let It Be” album tracks. The only Beatle present was Ringo, who added drum parts to “Across the Universe,” “I Me Mine” and “The Long and Winding Road.”

Compiled by Rip Rense; memorabilia courtesy of Chris Ridges; illustrations by Paul Corio


Advertisement
Advertisement