Some awesomely random little-known Beatles factoids…

Filming the music clip for 'Penny Lane'... I love this picture!

Filming the music clip for ‘Penny Lane’… I love this picture!

I’ve had this idea for a while, but I decided to type it up this week! Ever since I first got into The Beatles, I’ve been really interested in interesting bits of trivia concerning them, and today, I will be writing about a few of my favourites. Many of my sources will be from my Beatle-y book library, or from various websites. And if you have any interesting facts of your own, please send me a postcard/drop me a line in the comments below! But for now, here is my list…

  • The Beatles, at one point, were asked to do the voices for the vultures in the film adaption of The Jungle Book. John’s reaction when asked? “There is no way The Beatles are going to sing for Mickey [expletive] Mouse!” Apparently the vultures are still Beatles-inspired, though (I haven’t actually seen The Jungle Book…)
  • John, however, actually came up with a Beatles film idea! He wanted The Beatles to make an adaption of The Lord of The Rings! Apparently J R R Tolkien vetoed it, as he didn’t like the idea of The Beatles playing the characters in his books.
  • By now, it is well documented that none of The Beatles could read a note of sheet music. But Paul (always proud of this fact) was, in fact, the only Beatle who ever tried. He took a few music lessons from Jane Asher’s mother in the mid-60s, though gave up after a very short while due to lack of patience.
  • One of John’s dreams in life was to write a children’s book much like Alice In Wonderland (one of his favourite books!) when he was old and retired. Sadly, he never got the chance. 😦
  • It is rumoured that each verse in ‘Come Together’ is about a Beatle. The theory says that verse one is most likely about Ringo, verse two about George (though some say verse one is George and verse two is Ringo), verse three about John and verse four about Paul. Though no-one really knows if this is true.
  • The first time John wore his iconic granny glasses (excepting the times he was forced to wear them as a child, before he got his Buddy Holly frames) was in the scene in Help! where The Beatles are in the airport, about to head off to The Bahamas. It’s kind of funny how all four Beatles in that scene look the spitting image of what they would look like later on in their lives…
  • Whenever The Beatles played in America, one of their contractual obligations (requested by them, I might add) was that they were never to play to a segregated audience! How cool is that?
  • Both John and Paul had cats named Jesus.
  • In 1964, a song called ‘Ringo, I Love You’ was released by someone named Bonnie Jo Mason. Bonnie Jo went on to become Cher… And who produced that song, you ask? Phil Spector. Who of course has many Beatley connections himself.
  • There are two people who do the voice of “George” in Yellow Submarine. A guy named Peter Batten was the original voice, but he was arrested during the making of the film, and was replaced by another guy by the name of Paul Angelis (the voice of “Ringo” and the Chief Blue Meanie).
  • Ringo and his wife, Barbara Bach, have been together the longest out of any serious relationship involving a Beatle. Though Olivia and George were together 20 years, and Paul and Linda were together 29 (and they would probably all still be together)…
  • David Gilmour (of Pink Floyd) owns the drawing that inspired ‘Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds’.
  • You know that infamous John quote — “Ringo isn’t the best drummer in the world. He isn’t even the best drummer in The Beatles!”? John didn’t even say that. It was actually said by a comedian called Jasper Carrott in 1983.
  • George was the first person to use the word ‘grotty’! The ‘grotty shirts’ scene in A Hard Day’s Night was, in fact, the first time the word was used. For all you Americans, ‘grotty’ has remained a popular Briticism (and Australianism!) since.
  • Apparently Nico (of The Velvet Underground and Nico fame) was at Brian Epstein’s Sgt Pepper party. She listened to ‘A Day In The Life’, and thought that the first bit and the orchestral climax were beautiful, but that the “stupid little pop song” in the middle ruined it. She told this to Paul — whoops…
  • It’s rumoured that Jim Morrison was at the session for ‘Happiness Is A Warm Gun’, and that he sang on various parts of it. Though this has never been proven.
  • Brian Jones played on numerous Beatles songs! He sang on both ‘Yellow Submarine’ and ‘All You Need Is Love’, played oboe on ‘Baby, You’re A Rich Man’ and saxophone on ‘You Know My Name’. In turn, John and Paul sang on The Stones’ song ‘We Love You’.
  • Paul played bass on Donovan’s 1967 song ‘Mellow Yellow’.
  • Before John and Yoko bought Tittenhurst Park, John rented a flat in Montagu Square from Ringo. When John and Yoko moved to New York, Ringo bought Tittenhurst Park!
  • In 1979, The Guinness Book of World Records  gave Paul a rhodium-plated disc for being the bestselling artist of all time. Due to his immense sales, platinum was insufficient enough!
  • John was the last Beatle to learn to drive. He passed his driving test on February 15th, 1965, at the age of 24.
  • On ‘All You Need Is Love’, George and Paul experiment a bit, instrument-wise — Paul plays a double bass and George plays a violin!
  • And unsurprisingly, The Beatles are the best-selling artists of all time, with at least 2,303,500,000 certified units sold!

And there we go! Some interesting Beatles facts for you all! Have you got a favourite Beatles factoid, or did I leave something off my list? Please drop me a line in the comments below!

Hope you’ve all had a great week! Today is a public holiday in Adelaide, and I’m off to the third and final day of WOMADelaide in a few hours. I’ve seen some really great acts, like Swedish indie-folk act First Aid Kit, Welsh musician Gruff Rhys (who was in Super Furry Animals), blues virtuoso C W Stoneking and a really cool Adelaide band called Max Savage and the False Idols… Oh, and I’ve been changing the appearance of ‘AYNITB’ a bit! I’m still messing around with backgrounds and headers, but please tell me what you think… Good day sunshine ’till next week! 🙂

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16 thoughts on “Some awesomely random little-known Beatles factoids…

  1. As well as a big Beatles fan (my #1) I’m also a big Doors fan (my #2) and I don’t think there is any truth in the Happiness rumour. It would have been cool though-bringing them both together for nerds like me 🙂
    I will always throw that piece of info in now whenever the kids have The Jungle Book on, and yes I can see that! Great, typical Lennin response too.
    Oh-and I like First Aid Kit. Interesting post.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah, I don’t think the rumour is true, either. 😦 I am getting into The Doors, now — some of my earliest memories are of listening to LA Woman! The Jungle Book fact is funny! Glad you liked it. and First Aid Kit were amazing live! Thanks for commenting.

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  3. I think you could argue that John’s books (In his own write and A Spaniard in the works) were predecessors to actually writing a children’s book – The underlying humor might go unnoticed by children, but I doubt that a John Lennon children’s book would be suitable for children anyways 😉

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  4. Apparently, In The Jungle Book, there’s a particularly nasty vulture who is said to based off George! I haven’t seen it either, so….
    Also, when Brian Epstein approached The Beatles about the project, John told Epstein to tell Disney to hire Elvis Presley to play the Vultures instead. Ouch!

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  5. Mean Disney! Now I have even more of a reason to dislike them — they think George was permanently mean! (Apart from the cliche storylines…)
    Ooh! John! They met Elvis, once, and it didn’t end so well, so…

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  6. Great post! I am a huge Beatles geek and love learning cool facts about my favorite band! I once heard that Elvis didn’t like the Beatles for some reason, and I thought that was funny. Also, “Blue Jay Way” was written about George waiting for his friends to visit him in a house in LA. And lastly, another one of my favorite facts is that John wrote the lyrics “I Am The Walrus” to purely confuse people who were trying to find meanings in his songs. Silly John. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks! You’ll definitely love it here if you’re a Beatles geek 🙂 ! I heard that thing about Elvis, too — apparently he thought they were ‘un-American’, and plotted with Richard Nixon to have them banned from the US… ‘Blue Jay Way’ is my favourite song (and scene!) in Magical Mystery Tour! And yeah — I love that fact too! It’s kind of ironic, as people always try to find the “great meaning” of ‘IATW’ now… Thanks for commenting! 🙂

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  8. Even though Tolkien did not approve of a Beatles adaptation of the “Lord of the Rings” as both a Tolkien and Beatles nerd I would have loved to see it anyways (even if it turned out to be terrible). Also, I love the “When I’m Sixty-Four” quote above the comment text box! I think that just made my day.

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  9. Pingback: Some more awesomely random little-known Beatles factoids… | All You Need Is The Beatles

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