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! 🙂

Beatle Boys Videos

Hey (Jude/Bulldog) all,

It has been really cold in Adelaide of late (as in three shirts plus thick coat and woolly cardigan, two pairs of socks and a pair of fleecy stockings under your pants, yet somehow you’re still frozen kind of cold) – if you’re reading this in the Northern (Song??) Hemisphere, I’m envious; I like Winter more than Summer, though, ’cause in Adelaide, most of Summer is spent sweltering inside your boiling-hot house whilst outside, the amount of degrees amount to some ridiculous number above 40. Anyway, our long-cold-lonely Winter temperatures reminded me of the Salisbury Plains scene in Help!, in which The Beatles all seem practically frozen (I know how you feel, John, Paul, George and Ringo)! I posted a clip from such parts of the film below (the song is ‘I Need You’, in case you didn’t know, and it’s a George Harrison composition, for all you Harrison-Heads out there).

 

Anyway, back on topic…Sorry I didn’t post the videos from The Beatle Boys gig yesterday, like I promised I would. My parents were using the laptop/phone (not that I needed the phone) for most of the day, and I was too busy listening to Beatles LPs on our record player (they were Let It Be and Beatles For Sale, in case you’re interested) to be bothered. There’s also another problem – WordPress (the site on which this blog is produced) refuses to let me upload the videos onto this post because ‘the file is too large’. You would probably think this is a good thing and be thanking God there is a limit on the size of files, if you saw how bad my filming skills were that night (I was being a Beatlemaniac, if you know what I mean…), but it is a right pain-in-the-neck for me. Anyway, I managed to find some YouTube clips of the band, which are probably of a better standard, so enjoy! All these songs were performed on the night in the second half with the same outfits/graphics/etc., except ‘Get Back’ (which was also done) obviously wasn’t performed on top of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, and ‘She Loves You’ was in the first half with the imitation Beatles-in-Australia look.

 

‘Come Together’

 

‘Get Back’ (their version of the infamous rooftop concert The Beatles performed for unsuspecting – and lucky – bystanders on top of Apple Corps. HQ in January 1969)

 

‘She Loves You’

 

‘Hello, Goodbye’

 

‘Revolution’

 

‘I Feel Fine’

 

‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’ (yes – I successfully touch-typed that with zilch stuff-ups, for once!)

 

So, enjoy the videos, and hope it gives you a sense of how amazing it was to see The Beatle Boys live. Also, I believe my lovely mother Facebook-ed the band with a link to this very blog, so if a Beatle Boy is reading this, I’d just like to say how much I loved your performance, and how I’d love to go see you again if you come back to SA!

Anyway – if you’re reading this in Adelaide, keep warm, and if you’re reading this in the Northern Hemisphere, enjoy the lovely warm weather that any Australian would assume you have at this time of year. Good day sunshine, for now!