For more than 50 years The Beatles have been the band all music acts have been compared to, with good reason. All four members have been given medals of the British Empire (John returned his as a protest) or knighted by the Queen and have all been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame...twice! The Beatles have more number one singles than any band ever in the US charts, twice knocked themselves out of the top spot on the charts in the UK and have been cited as a major influence by almost every musician over the past half century. Being that influential has elevated the band to mythological heights, which naturally have given way a great many myths. Let's test your knowledge of the lads and see which myths YOU believed!
Another popular myth surrounds the song “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”. With its initials and lyrically psychedelic images the song is believed to be John Lennon's homage to LSD. This myth continues to live on despite Lennon's admission that the song was inspired by a nursery school drawing by his young son Julian depicting his classmate Lucy O'Donnell. This is backed up Julian as well.
The Beatles appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964 has long been considered as the band's first appearance on US television. That's not entirely true. They were part of a CBS News segment that aired in December 1963. So while the Sullivan Show was their first performance, it wasn't the first time they appeared on US television
Myth also surrounds another band member who departed before
the group hit it big. Stuart Sutcliffe allegedly left the band because he was
so bad that Paul would unplug his bass. The truth is McCartney found Sutcliffe
a decent bassist, well, after a while, but in fact, Paul actually WAS a better bassist and the band was stronger when he took over that duty.
Other things called to Stuart: his interest in art had been rekindled by Astrid Kirchherr. As soon as he met her, his days as a Beatle were numbered.
The first US Beatles tour included shows at Carnegie Hall and in Washington DC believed to be booked at the last minute to defray tour costs. Actually both shows were scheduled months before the tour started. The Washington DC show was in preparation for the Carnegie Hall show, which was held on Lincoln's Birthday when kids would be off school.
The “Paul is dead” myth is one of the most popular. Legend is Paul McCartney was killed in a car accident in England on November 9, 1966 and was replaced by a lookalike, an actor named 'William Campbell' to keep his death a secret. Despite the proof he was traveling in France and Kenya with girlfriend Jane Asher, the myth continues to be debated.
Speaking of Ed Sullivan, the story has been told that he booked the band when his flight was delayed at Heathrow by Beatles fans. However, Beatlemania hit the airport on Halloween, 1963. Sullivan was there is September meaning he missed the frenzy by a few weeks. It was actually Sullivan's UK talent scout who tipped him off about The Beatles.
Since the Beatles rise to stardom, there has been a myth that John Lennon witnessed the death of his mother Julia. It is true that she was struck and killed by a car on July 15, 1958. However, Lennon was at the Blomfield Roadhouse when the accident occurred and couldn't even bring himself to look at her during the funeral.
Yep, fact! Back in the day (this would be the 60s, but it was an older practice than just that) pop stars would keep the fact they were married on the downlow, for fear that the fans wouldn't like it. Turns out it really didn't matter, then or now.
From drummer with a popular band on the rise, to sudden footnote can't be easy. Pete Best was a drummer for the Beatles for two years before being fired on nearly the eve of their first recording session for Parlaphone in 1962. It's believed that Pete Best was booted from the band because he was better looking than Paul. Various reasons led to his expulsion, but jealously was not one of them. Producer George Martin's unhappiness with Best's abilities (he wasn't the only record producer who questioned Pepe's competency) and the fact he never really fit in with the rest of the lads led to Best being fired from the group and Ringo joining.