10 Facts You (Probably) Didn't Know About the Beatles

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website or at Facebook.


1) Most people played to in one day by the Beatles.

On June 4, 1966, in Manila, Philippines, the Beatles played for the most people ever in one day. At the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in Manila, the band played two concerts. The early concert drew a crowd of 30,000. The later, evening crowd, drew an amazing 50,000 fans. The 80,000 fans the boys played to on that date were the most fans they ever performed for in one day.

2) Most "takes" on a Beatles song.

The Beatles were known as perfectionists in the studio, often recording dozens of takes on a specific song. The Beatle song with the most attempted takes was actually never released by the Beatles.

“Not Guilty,” a George Harrison song, took 102 takes, before it was ultimately rejected for the Beatles 1968 album The Beatles.

3) The Beatles had 12 number one hit records in a row, until Englebert Humperdinck came along.

On February 17, 1967, the Beatles released their single “Strawberry Fields/Penny Lane.” This single is regarded by many critics as the finest record in rock history. It sold 2.5 million copies, but did not make it to the number one spot in the charts.

Because of the curious mathematics of the pop charts, sales figures of the double-sided hit were counted separately, as two singles, so that one side canceled the other out, giving Englebert Humperdinck the #1 spot in the charts with his record “Release Me.”

The Beatles record outsold “Release Me" by a 2-to-1 ratio.

4) The biggest crowds to welcome the Beatles were in Australia.

The biggest crowds ever to welcome the Beatles were in Australia. But Ringo wasn't there.

When the Beatles arrived in Australia in June of 1964, they were welcomed by a frenzied crowd of 300,000 people, who lined the streets as the Beatles drove past them and waved. Ringo, however, was stuck in the hospital, sick with tonsillitis, and was replaced by a stand-in drummer named Jimmie Nicol.

5) Strange Beatles products sold.

After the Beatles landed in America in 1964, Beatle products (both licensed and unlicensed) flooded the markets. Beatle t-shirts, wigs, books, hats, guitars, wallpaper, notebooks, board games, were just a few of the successful Beatle-related products sold on the market. In one city, Beatle bedsheets were sold from slicing up the sheets the boys had slept on. Beatle pillowcases were sold in the same manner. Beatle razor stubble and Beatle bathwater were attempted too.

One enterprising salesman in New York supposedly made a profit selling bottles of “Beatle Breath.”

6) Drawing the line on Beatle-licensed products.

The Beatles and their manager, Brian Epstein, were delighted to be raking in the money from the sales of Beatle-related products. Epstein pretty much licensed anything and everything, but he did finally draw the line.

The offers to market “Beatles feminine sanitary napkins" were vetoed by the bemused Beatle manager.

7) The boys loved their marijuana.

After being introduced to marijuana by Bob Dylan in August of 1964, the boys became huge pot smokers.

Before going on tour, the band's two road managers, Neil and Mal, would empty out a full-sized carton of 200 regular cigarettes, then fill each pack with pre-rolled joints, re-sealing the cellophane outer wrapper with a warm iron so customs officials wouldn't suspect the carton had been opened.

8) Meeting "cripples.”

A routine ritual at almost any Beatle concert (sadly) would be special section of the audience filled with handicapped, blind, spastic, and otherwise handicapped people. They were referred to by the boys, in these pre-PC days, as "cripples" or "crips".

Before and after many concerts, the Beatles would be asked to meet these poor souls, in the hopes of "curing" them. According to John Lennon, they would often be asked to "touch a Beatle" or a Beatle would be asked to touch them, in hopes that the blind would see or a handicapped person might walk.

9) Their first record was recorded with a stolen harmonica.

The Beatles first record “Love Me Do" was released on October 5, 1962. On the record, John Lennon plays harmonica. The harmonica Lennon used on the record was one he had previously shoplifted from a store in Holland.

10) John and Paul once composed the score for a ballet.

In 1963, John Lennon and Paul McCartney actually composed the score for a ballet- for the first and only time in their careers. The ballet was called Mods and Rockers.

It opened on December 18, 1963 and ran through January 11, 1964 at the Prince Charles Theater in London. Even by this early point in their careers, the Sunday Times declared John and Paul "the greatest composers since Beethoven.”


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"Because of the curious mathematics of the pop charts ..." With digital music sales, it is easy to count how many time a song has been sold. Back in the day, those numbers were not so accurate and had more to do with the promotions department than actual sales.
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