The Beatles – 100 Fab Facts

Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, large joints and Sgt Pepper as a double album

Beatles VI album

1. A Hard Day’s Night is the only Beatles album where all of the songs were written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

2. Saturday is the only day of the week not mentioned in “Lady Madonna.”

3. Both Linda Eastman and Barbara Bach were in attendance at the famous Beatles’ August 15th, 1965 concert at Shea Stadium in New York. Though they didn’t know it at the time, Linda would later marry Paul McCartney and Barbara would go on to marry Ringo Starr.

4. According to Paul McCartney, The Beatles were once called The Rainbows.

5. Famous people include on the cover to Sgt Pepper include: Marlene Dietrich, W.C. Fields, Oscar Wilde, Diana Dors, Elvis Presley, James Dean, Bob Dylan, Marilyn Monroe, Karl Marx, Aldous Huxley, Sigmund Freud, Aleister Crowley, Edgar Allan Poe, William S. Burroughs, Marlon Brando, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, Lenny Bruce. Also included was the image of the original Beatles bass player, the late Stuart Sutcliffe.

6. After seeing a poster advertising a Slim Whitman concert, Paul McCartney realised that Whitman was also left-handed with his guitar strung the opposite way to a right-handed player.

7. During the week of April 4, 1964, The Beatles occupied the top five spots simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100. “Can’t Buy Me Love”, “Twist and Shout”, “She Loves You”, “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, and “Please Please Me” In addition to these five singles, seven of their other songs held various lower positions on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.

8. The Beatles last photo shoot was on Friday, August 22, 1969, at John and Yoko’s home, Tittenhurst Park, Berkshire, England. (The photos were used on the Hey Jude album).

9. According to Nielson ratings, 73,700,000 people watched The Beatles first performance on the Ed Sullivan show, the largest TV audience in the history of television.

10. When a member of The Beatles, Stuart Sutcliffe sent letters to promoters pretending to be the group’s manager asking for bookings. As this time he spelt the groups name at The Beatals.

11. “Flying”, from the 1967 album Magical Mystery Tour, was the first song credited as being written by all four members of The Beatles.

12. The band bought Greek island Leslo, surrounded by four smaller islands (one for each Beatle), for £95,000 in summer 1967. They sold it a few months later, bored with the idea.

13. “If I Needed Someone” was the only George Harrison song ever performed live in concert by the Beatles.

14. “Love Me Do” was primarily written by Paul McCartney in 1958–1959 while truant from school at age 16. John Lennon contributed the middle eight. Their practice at the time was to scribble songs in a school notebook, dreaming of stardom, always writing “Another Lennon–McCartney Original” at the top of the page.

15. John Lennon, got the inspiration for the Beatles song “Good Morning Good Morning” from a TV commercial for Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. The jingle in the commercial went: “Good morning, good morning, The best to you each morning, Sunshine Breakfast, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, Crisp and full of fun”.

16. The piano chord that dramatically concludes “A Day in the Life” on Sgt Pepper was achieved by John , Paul, Ringo and assistant Mal Evans playing an E chord on three grand pianos simultaneously.

17. John and Yoko’s lived at Tittenhurst Park, Berkshire, England from the late summer of 1969 until August 1971. Ringo Starr later purchased the property and it became the home of Starr and his family until the late 1980s.

18. The George Harrison song “All Those Years Ago” is a tribute to John Lennon, released May 11, 1981, five months after Lennon’s death. The recording of the song featured all three remaining former Beattles (Harrison, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney).

19. Flying to Portland during The Beatles 1965 North Amercian tour, one of the four engines on the plane caught fire, resutlting in the plane landing belching thick black smoke.

20. George Harrison made several cameo appearances in movies, appearing as a nightclub singer in Shanghai Surprise and as Mr Papadopolous in Life of Brian.

21. In 1968 John Lennon was a member of The Dirty Mac for The Rolling Stones’ TV special “The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus”, with Eric Clapton, Mitch Mitchell (from The Jimi Hendrix Experience) on drums, and Keith Richards on bass.

22. “Cry for a Shadow” is the only Beatles song to be credited to John Lennon and George Harrison alone. It’s an instrumental that was written by John and George as a parody of The Shadows style.

Beatles Record Player

23. John Lennon requested that Adolf Hitler, Mahatma Gandhi, and Jesus Christ were included on the cover of Sgt Pepper, but ultimately they were left out, even though a cutout of Hitler was in fact made.

24. Both Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are left handed.

25. David Crosby of the Byrds introduced George Harrison to the work of Indian musician Ravi Shankar in 1965.

26. With the Beatles was released on Friday, November 22, 1963, the day US president John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas.

27. Lennon and McCartney wrote The Rolling Stones’ first hit, “I Wanna Be Your Man”, after the Stones said they needed a hit single. Lennon said afterwards: ‘We weren’t going to give them anything great, right?’

28. George Harrison was a vegetarian from 1968 until his death.

29. On December 17, 1963, a disc jockey at WWDC in Washington, D.C., became the first person to broadcast a Beatles record on American airwaves. James Carroll played “I Want To Hold Your Hand,” which he had obtained from his stewardess girlfriend who brought the single back from Britain.

30. The final bill for the cover of Sgt Pepper was £2,868 5s 3d (equivalent to £38,823 today). It has been estimated that this was 100 times the average cost for an album cover in the 60’s.

31. In the final bridge section of “Hey Jude”, (at 2:58), you can here John Lennon shout ‘Fucking hell!’ as he hits a bum note when singing backing vocals.

32. Paul McCartney was the only Beatle wearing a beard during the recording and filming of the Let It Be album and movie. Ironically, he was the only Beatle without a beard on the cover of Abbey Road, which was recorded the same year as Let It Be.

33. During the group’s 1964 North American tour, a hotel in Kansas City where The Beatles had stayed sold the group’s bed linen to a businessman for $750.

34. When The Bealtes set off for their first Hamburg trip in 1960, George Harrison was given a tin full of his mothers homemade scones.

35. When The Beatles toured Australia in 1964 the reception they got remains the high-water mark of Beatlemania anywhere in the world. In Adelaide over 300,000 fans turned out to see the band drive in a motorcade from the airport into the city, in Melbourne over 20,000 fans lined the route from the airport to the hotel. Army and navy units were brought in to help control the crowds, cars were crushed, hundreds of girls fainted and over 50 people were admitted to hospital with broken bones.

36. Running just 23 seconds long, “Her Majesty” is the shortest Beatles song to be released on an album.

37. The Beatles made a total of 292 appearances at The Cavern Club in Liverpool.

38. In 1964, Glasgow council in Scotland announced that all boys and men with Beatle styled haircuts would have to wear bathing caps after a committee was told that hair from ‘Beatle-cuts’ was clogging the pools filters.

39. George Harrison was also known as: Carl Harrison, L’Angelo Misterioso, Hari Georgeson, Nelson/Spike Wilbury, George Harrysong, George O’Hara-Smith.

40. Ray Coleman’s book “Lennon” printed a list of reoccurring 9’s in the life of John Lennon: Born on October 9th, Brian Epstein first saw The Beatles at the Cavern on November 9th 1961, and secured there recording contract with EMI on May 9th 1962, John met Yoko on November 9th 1966, John wrote “Revolution 9”, “#9 Dream” and “One After 909”, (which was written at his mothers home at 9 Newcastle Road). His body was taken to Roosevelt (nine letters) Hospital which was situated on Ninth Avenue, Manhattan (nine letters). Lennon was pronounced dead there at 11:07pm (1+1+0+7=9).

41. The lyrics for Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!, from Sgt Pepper were adapted almost word for word from an old circus poster which John Lennon had bought from an antique shop in Kent the day the Beatles filmed the promotional clip for Strawberry Fields Forever.

42. In 1963, The Beatles returned to London from Sweden and were greeted by hundreds of screaming fans and a mob of photographers and journalists. American television host Ed Sullivan was at Heathrow as The Beatles arrived, and was struck by the sight of Beatlemania in full swing; he decided to look into getting this group to appear on his US television program.

43. When The Beatles first played The Cavern Club in Liverpool on February 21st 1961, they were paid £6.00.

44. On his 21st birthday, George Harrison received over 30,000 birthday cards.

45. It was Stu Sutcliffes’ girlfriend Astrid Kirchherr who gave Stu a ‘french style’ haircut with a fringe, which all The Beatles later adopted.

46. Both John and Paul wrote songs about their mothers. John wrote “Julia” and Paul, Let It Be which refers to his mother, Mary.

47. The man standing on the pavement in the background on Abbey Road is Paul Cole, an American tourist who was unaware he had been photographed until he saw the album cover months later.

48. Manfred Mann guitarist, flautist and saxophonist Mike Vickers conducted the orchestra for the live recording of The Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love”.

49. George Harrison wrote “Here Comes the Sun”, (from Abbey Road), in Eric Clapton’s back garden.

50. John Lennon originally wrote “Come Together” as a campaign slogan for counterculture guru Timothy Leary’s failed California gubernatorial campaign against Ronald Reagan.

51. When The Beatles first arrived in the US for their first tour in 1964, they were given over 100,000 letters sent by fans.

52. The Paul McCartney song “Yesterday” is the most covered song in the history of recorded music—by over 2,200 artists.

53. In the eight years from 1962 to 1970, The Beatles released twenty-four UK singles and twelve studio albums.

54. In 1965 two female Beatles fans hired a helicopter to fly over the house The Beatles were renting in Beverly Hills, California and jumped from the helicopter into the swimming pool.

55. The Beatles’ iconic “drop-T” logo, was based on an sketch by instrument retailer and designer Ivor Arbiter. It was first used in 1963 on the front of Ringo Starr’s bass drum.

56. With The Beatles became the first album by a group in UK chart history to sell a million copies.

57. The release of Sgt Pepper in Australia was delayed by the Six Day War between Israel and Egypt. The ship carrying the gatefold covers, printed in Britain had to take a longer route when the war temporarily closed the Suez Canal.

58. On the cover of Abbey Road, Paul, John and Ringo are all wearing suits designed by Savile Row tailor Tommy Nutter.

59. With The Beatles stayed at the top of the UK charts for 21 weeks, displacing Please Please Me, so that the Beatles occupied the top spot for 51 consecutive weeks.

60. The completion of the Abbey Road track “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” on 20 August 1969 was the last time all four Beatles were together in the same studio.

61. John Lennon announced his departure to the rest of the group on 20 September 1969, but agreed that no public announcement would be made until a number of legal matters were resolved.

62. After “Penny Lane” became a Beatles hit, the street signs for the actual Penny Lane in Liverpool disappeared with such regularity that the town reverted to simply painting ‘Penny Lane’ on the buildings, rather than have street signs.

63. John’s “Julia,” which appeared on the Beatles White Album and a song dedicated to his late mother Julia, and wife Yoko, was the only Beatle song wherein he played alone, without assistance from the rest of the group.

64. The first all acoustic Beatles song was “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away”.

65. UK pressings of Sgt Pepper end with a 15-kilohertz high-frequency tone (put on the album after a suggestion by Lennon’s and said to be intended to annoy your dog), followed by an endless loop of laughter and gibberish.

66. John Lennon wanted to call The Revolver album Four Sides of the Eternal Triangle. Other suggestions included Magical Circles, Pendulum and Beatles on Safari.

67. Paul McCartney offered his song “Yesterday” to UK singer Chris Farlowe, who turned it down, saying it was too soft for him.

68. Over 50,000 people applied for tickets for The Beatles first appearance on the Ed Sullivan show in 1964. The studio only seated 728.

69. The Beatles hold the record for the largest single sales in one week (by a non-charity single), 970,000 for “I Want To Hold Your Hand”.

70. When The Beatles arrived at Atlanta Airport during their 1965 American tour, dozens of fans ran onto the runway and climbed onto the plane while it was still moving on the runway. The group were trapped inside until police moved the crowds.

71. “Her Majesty”, was originally appeared between “Mean Mr. Mustard” and “Polythene Pam” on Abbey Road, but Paul McCartney disliked the way the medley sounded so he had the medley re-edited to remove it. However, engineer John Kurlander had been instructed never to throw out anything, so after the group left the studio that day, he picked it up off the floor, spliced 14 seconds of red leader tape onto the final mix reel, and then spliced in “Her Majesty” immediately after the leader tape.

72. With The Beatles the second studio album was recorded just four months after the band’s debut album Please Please Me.

73. The album cover to Help! features the group with their arms positioned to spell out a word in flag semaphore. Photographer Robert Freeman had the idea of semaphore spelling out the letters HELP, But when they came to do the shot the arrangement of the arms with those letters didn’t look good.

The Beatles Help

74. Sgt Pepper became a gate fold sleeve because the Beatles originally planned to fill two LPs for the release. The designs had already been approved and sent to be printed when they realised they would only have enough material for one LP.

75. Paul McCartney conceived the album title for Rubber Soul after overhearing a musician’s description of Mick Jagger’s singing style as “plastic soul”.

76. Although the Revolver album was released before the last Beatles tour in August 1966, the group did not perform any songs from the album live as most were too complex to perform with live instruments.

77. On the cover of the Sgt Pepper album sleeve, the Shirley Temple doll is wearing a sweater in homage to the Rolling Stones, who returned the tribute by having the Beatles hidden in the cover of their own Their Satanic Majesties Request LP later that year.

78. John Lennon bought the uninhabited Dornish island near Westport of the coast of Ireland for £1,700 in the late 60’s. In the months before his death John had applied for planning permission to build a house on the island.

79. Marianne Faithfull, Pattie Boyd, Brian Jones and Donovan all sang background uncredited background vocals on “Yellow Submarine”.

80. In 1968 Eric Clapton gave George Harrison the Cherry Gibson Les Paul that he played on While My Guitar Gently Weeps, (this is the guitar George is playing in the Revolution promo clip).

81. In 1967 when John Lennon took delivery of his Rolls Royce which was painted in psychedelic colours, Rolls Royce launched a formal objection.

82. Before beginning work on Sgt. Pepper, the Beatles began work on a series of songs that were to form an album thematically linked to childhood and everyday life. The first fruits of this exercise, being “Penny Lane” and “Strawberry Fields Forever”. Once the singles were released the concept was abandoned in favour of the Sgt Pepper album.

83. “The End” from Abbey Road is notable for featuring Ringo Starr’s only drum solo on any Beatles album.

84. On their last tour of North America in 1966, The Beatles found themselves being introduced to blind, crippled and deformed children in the hope that if they touched them, the children would be healed.

85. The White Album is the only sleeve of a Beatles studio album not to show the members of the band on the front cover.

86. In 1967 When The Beatles performed ‘All You Need Is Love’, live via satellite (seen by 200 million people), as part of the TV global link-up, ‘Our World’, Mick Jagger sat close to Paul McCartney during the live transmission smoking a very large joint.

87. “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” from Abbey Road is the Beatles second longest song at almost 8 minutes (“Revolution 9” being the longest).

88. After John Lennon’s remarks in 1966 that The Beatles were bigger than Jesus, some radio stations banned the playing of all Beatles records. One such station, KLUE in Longview Texas, was taken off air the day after they announced a ban after a lightening bolt struck their transmitter and knocking their news editor unconscious.

89. In 1966 Paul McCartney took part in a free-form jam at London’s Royal Collage of Art, where he played a beer mug and a radiator.

90. John Lennon wrote the lyrics to “I Am The Walrus” after reading a fan letter from a student at John’s old school Quarry Bank, who explained how they would analysis the lyrics to Beatles songs. The teacher who held the class had also written John off as a bad student. John set about writting the most obscure sequnce of lyrics saying , “OK let the f****rs work that one out!”

91. When The Bealtes set off for their first Hamburg trip in 1960, their battered Austin minibus had the word ‘Beatles’ cut from paper stuck on the van sides.

92. “Across the Universe” first appeared on the various artists charity compilation album No One’s Gonna Change Our World.

93. “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!”, was banned from playing on the BBC, supposedly because the phrase “Henry the Horse” combined two words that were individually known as slang for heroin.

94. “Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey” is the longest title of any Beatles song.

95. By 1966 the Beatles had played more than 1,400 gigs and toured the world four times.

96. John Lennon used to play a very small mouth organ, he could play it without hands, just twisting it round in his mouth. When he moved from that instrument to another, he’d throw the mouth organ off the stage to get rid of it.

97. A week before John Lennon met Paul McCartney for the first time, Lennon had attempted to join the Merchant Navy.

98. John Lennon was the first person to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine, issue 1, published on November 9, 1967.

99. John, Paul and George knew Billy Preston (who played Keyboards with the group) from 1962, when he was a member of Little Richard’s backing group.

100. In 1961, The Beatles began a three-month residency at The Top Ten Club, Hamburg, playing 92 straight nights. The group played for seven hours a night on weekdays and eight hours at weekends with a fifteen-minute break every hour.

Check out our Beatles – I Was There book available in print and digital formats.

Beatles I Was There

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