Crazy Facts You Didn’t Know About The Beatles
John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Pete Best formed The Beatles in Liverpool, England in 1960. In 1962, Pete Best was replaced by Ringo Starr and soon afterward, the guys became the biggest band in the world, a distinction they still hold today.
What many fans of the group’s music might not realize is that not everything the guys did was as celebrated as their music. Fueled by alcohol and drugs, the bandmates had affairs with their fellow musicians’ spouses, beat their wives, and indulged in some other crazy antics that are still unacceptable even by today’s standards. The Beatles ended their collaboration in 1975 but were incredibly prolific from 1960 to 1974. 600 million album sales later, the legacy of The Beatles continues.
You might think you already know everything about John, Paul, Ringo, and George, but prepare yourself to learn some little-known and unbelievable facts about the Fab Four!
The Beatles Bought An Island To Create A Utopian Society
In 1967, the Beatles bought a Greek island named “Leslo” for 95,000 euros. The island was surrounded by four smaller islands and they planned for each island to belong to different band members. A few months later they grew bored with the idea and sold the property. The goal, at first, was to start a utopian community that would include only the band’s family and closest friends. John Lennon was the ringleader for the island plan but he couldn’t gain full band support and the idea died. Years later, Paul McCartney explained why the utopian paradise plan was eventually abandoned for altruistic reasons.“It’s a good job we didn’t do it because anyone who tried those ideas realized eventually there would always be arguments, there would always be someone who has to do the washing-up and whose turn it is to clean out the latrines.”
John Lennon Was Incredibly Violent
“All You Need Is Love” was not something John Lennon was known for in his personal relationships. Lennon attacked his first wife Cynthia, his second wife Yoko Ono, and several other women. His temper was often fueled by heavy drinking, but later in life, he did admit to having issues with violence while offering an indirect apology. When rumors circulated that Lennon was involved in a bisexual relationship with Brian Epstein he flew into a furry when Bob Wooler, a friend of The Beatles, asked about the relationship, Lennon kicked him in the face and then nearly beat him to death. John later admitted, “I was so high I didn’t realize what I was doing.”
The Beatles Watched George Harrison Lose His Virginity
In the book Tune In, a research anthology on the Beatles, it was revealed that George, Paul, John, and Pete Best were all sleeping in bunk beds when George lost his virginity in the room they were sharing. He claims they couldn’t really see the intimate act being performed but after George finished they all cheered and applauded. After this fun yet disturbing fact was revealed to the world, Harrison explained that the guys didn’t make a sound when he was losing his virginity but enthusiastically congratulated him when he finished. In case you’re curious, the life-changing event went down when the band was touring in Hamburg.
This wasn’t even close to the craziest fact we found about The Beatles. Stay tuned.
John Lennon And Paul McCartney Helped Out The Rolling Stones Without Trying
The Rolling Stones were in desperate need of a hit single and turned to their friends, Lennon and McCartney, to write a big hit, the result was “I Wanna Be Your Man.” Afterward, Lennon sarcastically claimed that “It was a throwaway. The only two versions of the song were Ringo and the Rolling Stones. That shows how much importance we put on it: We weren’t going to give them anything great, right?” The Stones released the song as a single but never included it on a studio album. The song peaked for The Rolling Stones at #12 on the UK charts. The Beatles went on to release the song on their own album, “With The Beatles.” Paul McCartney and John Lennon have regularly topped industry lists of the best songwriters on the planet, so this really isn’t a huge surprise. The question now is, who sung it better?
The Beatles Broke Up At The ‘Happiest Place On Earth’
John Lennon’s previous girlfriend May Pang wrote in her book, “Instamatic Karma,” that after a quick phone call in his hotel room, Lennon made the decision to end the biggest rock band in history. Lennon was staying at the Polynesian Village Hotel at Disney World when he officially signed his name at the bottom of a single page. The world’s greatest and most popular band officially came to an end but their legacy has never died, even more than five decades after a single page contract dissolved their creative partnership.
All four men would go on to release their own solo albums but wait until you find out which bandmate had the best-selling single album among them!
Lennon’s “Intense Relationship” With Band Manager Brian Epstein
Yoko Ono has claimed that Lennon told her he liked her because she looked like a man in drag. It was widely believed Lennon went on a “gay romp” with manager Brian Epstein during a vacation in Spain. Yoko Ono has attempted to explain that relationship over the years. “I think he had a desire to [sleep with men], but I think he was too inhibited,” Ono once claimed. Epstein and Lennon vacationed in Barcelona together in 1963 and The Beatle’s singer later claimed that their time together involved a “pretty intense relationship.”
The Beatles’ Dentist Secretly Dosed Their Coffee With LSD
George Harrison claimed that the first time he and John Lennon took LSD was an accident. Harrison said their “wicked dentist,” John Riley, was responsible for their foray into hallucinogenics. The guys met Riley for dinner and he allegedly slipped LSD into their coffees. LSD was unknowingly consumed by Harrison, Harrison’s wife Patti Boyd, John Lennon, and Cynthia Lennon. Cynthia later explained that the drug gave George the impression that he was ” falling in love” with everyone he met. Harrison soon drove everyone in the group to the Pickwick Club and Ad Lib, near Leicester Square. The experience spawned the massive hit “Help!” which shot to #1 in 1965.
Paul McCartney Had An “Ebony And Ivory” Sexual Marathon
In 1968, McCartney allegedly checked into the Beverly Hills Hotel and placed a white Hollywood starlet in one bedroom of his bungalow and a black escort in another bedroom. According to record executive Ron Kass, who witnessed the entire affair, McCartney went from one room to the other all night, only taking breaks to accept room service deliveries. In Philip Norman’s unauthorized book, “PAUL McCARTNEY: The Biography,” he made the claim that pre-paid hookers were waiting for all of the band members in each city they visited. It’s still not clear who arranged for those meetings.
George Slept With Ringo’s Wife After Publicly Declaring His Love
In the middle of visiting Ringo Starr and his wife Maureen, Harrison unexpectedly blurted out that he had fallen in love with Maureen. Harrison’s wife Pattie was also present. Shortly after this occurred, Harrison and Maureen engaged in a passionate affair that Lennon later called “virtual incest.” The affair started in 1972 but Ringo and Maureen remained married until 1975. The couple stayed together until it was revealed that Ringo was having an affair with American model Nancy Andrews.
Soviet Russians Listened To The Beatles On Covert X-Ray Scans
Most Western-style music was banned in the Soviet Union at the time of The Beatles uprising. Despite threats from the Soviet government, music from the West was still being procured on the black market — and for a high price. A clever solution was soon invented in which music could be imprinted onto X-ray scans that had already been used and discarded. The bootlegging practice began in 1950 but it was Beatlemania that led to the X-ray prints becoming a huge sensation. The records would be imprinted on old x-rays and then the buyer would cut a “crude circle” with manicure scissors and use a cigarette to burn a hole. The hidden music was known hilariously as “bone records” by Soviet music fans.
Lennon And McCartney Wrote A Play Together
Well, they almost wrote a play together… Lennon and McCartney started writing a live show titled “Pilchard” about a man who believed he was God, but apparently they lost interest in the project and never finished writing it. Given their imaginative take on songwriting that often crossed the line of the fantastical, this probably would have been a live show worth watching. While the men never finished their journey, you can see their music put to use with great effect in Las Vegas, where “Beatles: Love” is performed daily and nightly by Cirque Du Soleil.
The Beatles Were The First To Use The Devil Horns Rock Hand On An Album Cover
The Beatles had a lot of “firsts” during their record-shattering world tours. Did you know they were the first band to hold a stadium concert and the first band to create music videos? The Beatles were also the group that first used the “devil horns” rock hand on an album cover. The rock symbol is easily spotted in the top middle part of the cover for “Yellow Submarine.” The band was never afraid to push the envelope which explains why so many songs from The Beatles are vastly different than the music that preceded them.
John Lennon Hated The Sound Of His Own Voice
Not only did Lennon hate the sound of his voice, he wanted to sound more like Elvis. While recording the groups hit songs, he begged producer George Martin to change the way he sounded on the band’s albums. Lennon asked Martin to “smother it with tomato ketchup or something.” Despite his own issues with the way he sounded, millions of aspiring musicians have since tried to emulate the sound of the singer’s voice. If he was still alive today Lennon may very well have embraced the trend of auto-tuning, if for no other reason than making it sound like his voice was finally smothered in ketchup — whatever that means!
When Lennon Met McCartney, He Was Drunk
John Lennon and Paul McCartney met each other at a Quarrymen show and Lennon had been heavily day drinking and was practically falling all over himself when they first chatted. McCartney was only 15-years-old at the time and Lennon was only one year older. Despite the drunken frenzy of their first meeting, the two teenagers sat down after the show and started playing music together. John Lennon would continue to battle through alcohol abuse his entire life, oftentimes getting in trouble for his violent attacks against girlfriends, wives, and even his closest friends. Apparently, it was peace, love, and booze for The Beatles singer.
George Harrison Was Pelted With Jelly Beans During Concerts
In one of his early interviews, Harrison revealed that he loved “jelly babies,” it was a mistake he would come to regret. After the interview was published, fans took to pelting Harrison with the candy during each of his shows. In America, the alternative to jelly babies was jelly beans, which are much harder than the European equivalent. George Harrison later admitted that he experienced some pain while playing shows in America because of the unintended assault caused by his fans. The unfortunate experience no doubt taught him to be much more careful about what he should reveal during interviews.
Lennon’s Trippy Vision Inspired The Name ‘The Beatles’
The Beatles may have started taking drugs after their careers skyrocketed but John Lennon was allegedly already having visions before the group became a reality. “The Beatles” as a group name might sound a little bit bland and even strange and that’s likely the result of a “vision” Lennon had when trying to name the group. Lennon was asked about the strange name choice and he said it came to him when a “man appeared on top of a flaming pie” and said, “you will be Beatles with an ‘a.'” And to think, that’s not even the strangest thing that happened with his group over the years.
Ringo Wanted To Be A Hairdresser
Ringo Starr is one of the most well-known and wealthy musicians on the planet but his original goal in life was much less exciting. Ringo didn’t want to be an astronaut, a policeman, or anything of that nature. Growing up, the now famous drummer had aspirations of becoming a professional hairdresser! That dream never had a chance to come to fruition because Starr left his band, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, to replace Pete Best in 1962. We’re pretty sure Best would have liked it very much if Ringo would have followed his original dream instead of stealing his incredibly lucrative job.
Paul McCartney Was An Electrician
It’s a good thing Paul McCartney was a horrible electrician or The Beatles may have never become the biggest rock band on the planet. The famous singer revealed that he was living life as an electrician before his hugely popular rock band shot to fame. McCartney says the company he was working for had him “winding coils” and despite giving it his best efforts, he was “hopeless” at the job and had to find another way to make a living. We can’t picture Paul McCartney wiring a home, but he is incredibly gifted with an electric guitar in his hands.
Lucy In The Sky With LSD?
When Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds was released The Beatles adamantly defended their hit tune. The guys all claimed that the song was not inspired by or written while on LSD. The band continued to defend the songs trippy sound and lyrics until McCartney finally came clear about the original origins of the hit song. Not surprisingly, McCartney confessed that the song was written during a drug-fueled period in the band’s history. The drug of choice while writing the hit? LSD. McCartney even admitted that it was “pretty obvious” the song came out of an LSD trip they all enjoyed together.
George Harrison Had The Best-Selling ‘Post-Beatles’ Album
While Paul McCartney and John Lennon have by far received the most press and admiration for their work with The Beatles, they were not the two men who had the most post-Beatles sales success. George Harrison released All Things Must Pass and it was quickly heralded as the best post-Beatles album. From the melodic sounds of “My Sweet Lord” to the Phil Spector wall of sound production on “What Is Life,” the album thrilled fans and sold more than six million units. The release was offered as a three-disc vinyl box set that also included a disc of just instrumental jams performed with help from the likes of Eric Clapton, Jim Gordon, and Billy Preston. Harrison often took a back seat to his bands leading men but this discography proved his true genius.