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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Thank You Mr. Postman! Pt. 2

 

The latest edition to my Beatle-y merchandise collection!

The latest edition to my Beatle-y merchandise collection!

 

Rubber Soul – John, Paul, George and Ringo’s sixth album, released in Britain on the 3rd of December, 1965; what does it mean to you? To me, it means a few things – a) it was the first Beatles studio album I purchased, b) I remember listening to it on a plane flight from Melbourne to Adelaide (where it snowed, yesterday – not in my part (where it stayed just about 8 degrees all day), but it still snowed!) just under a year ago, and c) to me, it marks when the later years of The Beatles’ career start. But now, it means something more – ‘cos look what came in the mail at about 11 o’clock (AM – obviously…) today! The above book is a Rubber Soul ‘song album’ – a magazine that contains eight ‘already standard songs’ off the album, plus three pages of ‘fabulous photos’! I ordered it off Ebay on Monday (Ringo’s birthday!), and (since it only had to come down from Queensland – the state at the very top of Australia, if you’re not familiar with the geography of my country) it has arrived surprisingly quickly! I had a flip through the pages, and it looks as though most of the songs are in the correct key signature, so I shouldn’t have to do too much transposing to bring them up/down to the way The Fab Four played them! The songs noted in the book are – in case you can’t read the listing on the picture (it would appear quite small on, say, an iPhone) – ‘Michelle’, ‘Norwegian Wood’, ‘Nowhere Man’, ‘Girl’, ‘Wait’, ‘If I Needed Someone’, ‘Drive My Car’ and ‘Think For Yourself’, and are printed in that order. In the middle of the booklet is a double-page spread of pictures of The Beatles taken at various points in 1965, and just over 3/4ths of the way through, there is a image-page dedicated to the Shea Stadium gig. So as you can see, I’m quite pleased with my latest purchase!

Just one more thing before I show you some pictures of the book – the mystery of when the book was published, as this is not apparent at first view. When I purchased the book, I was under the impression that it was printed in 1965, but as I will show a little further down, the book was being sold at a price of 80 cents. In Australia in 1965, our currency was the Australian pound/penny – it continued to be so until the 14th of February, 1966 (when it was all decimalised, and we ended up with the Australian dollar/cent). Interestingly, until the release of Revolver, Australian Beatles releases were always a couple of months behind the UK. Because of this, Rubber Soul (the last record to have a delayed release date here) was put on shelves on the 17th of February, 1966 – only three days after decimalisation. I’d assume that my book was released around the same time as the album, so my guess is that it was released some time between February (the date of both decimalisation – hence the price of 80 cents – and the Australian release of Rubber Soul) and August (the world release-date of Revolver – involving Australia for the first time…), 1966. I don’t think it could have been any later, ‘cos – as far as I can see – these ‘song albums’ were released with every LP (making the previous one out-of-print), the price would be too little for something even released in 1970s, and the pages look too old to be something much later. But now, I’ll stop writing, and show you my pictures; enjoy!

The '80 cents' thing I was talking about (off the back cover - it was scribbled off the front, as you may have noted from my image at the top of the post).

The ’80 cents’ thing I was talking about (off the back cover – the price was scribbled off the front, as you may have noted from my image at the top of the post).

The publishing information - interesting from the point of view of an Australian Beatlemaniac...

The publishing information – interesting from the point of view of an Australian Beatlemaniac, but worth a look…

A page of music - 'Nowhere Man', to be exact. This image might be illegal (I don't know), so please look at my 'Disclaimers' post if you are thinking of suing me (though I doubt some Apple Corps. official would bother to read such blogs)...

A page of music – ‘Nowhere Man’, to be exact. This image might be illegal (I don’t know), so please look at my ‘Disclaimers’ post if you are thinking of suing me (though I doubt some Apple Corps. official would bother to read this)…

A double-spread of pictures (yay!)! Oh, and just look at that picture of John in the right corner of the left-hand page - oh my, was he attractive :-) !

A double-spread of pictures (yay!)! Oh, and just look at that picture of John in the right corner of the left-hand page – oh my, was he attractive 🙂 !

Another page of music - 'Girl', this time. I love this song - it will definitely make my next 'Favourite Beatles Songs' post, and I can't believe it didn't feature on the first one!

Another page of music – ‘Girl’, this time. I love this song – it will definitely make my next ‘Favourite Beatles Songs’ post, and I can’t believe it didn’t feature on the first one!

The Shea Stadium pictures I was talking about, plus the last page of 'Drive My Car'.

The Shea Stadium pictures I was talking about, plus the last page of ‘Drive My Car’.

The last page - 'Think For Yourself', the song that turned me on to how good a songwriter George was! Note the different title font - it appears to have been used on both the first and last pages of music.

The last pages – ‘Think For Yourself’, the song that turned me on to how good a songwriter George was! Note the different title font – it appears to have been used on both the first and last pages of music.

So there you have it – an insider’s view of my latest Beatle-y thing! And now for a couple of other things…

A Hard Day’s Night might just make its way onto Australian big screens! I was giving The Beatles’ official website one of my weekly looks the other day, and I came across a page titled ‘A Hard Day’s Night Screenings Info’. I clicked on it – for no apparent reason (a glimmer of hope, perhaps?!) – and proceeded to read it. And, guess what? The article said (quote), “In celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of its world premiere in London, The Beatles’ epoch-making music movie will have an extended run of screenings across the USA and the UK from 4 July 2014, with more global dates to be announced soon.” So this means that it might – just might – make its way Down Under, and, good gracious, would I be the happiest girl on Earth if it did! If you (like me) have an account on the website, make sure you ‘Favourite’ the page and keep your eyes peeled. If you don’t, however, I’ve posted the link here. But if you’re reading this in the US/UK, I’d assume you’ve already seen it – I’d love to hear what it was like!

(And finally…)

Today is a special day for me, because it marks exactly one year since I purchased my first Beatles album! About six months earlier (after becoming a casual fan three years before – this being revived again in 2012), my then-best-friend turned me on to The Beatles’ music (after a playing of ‘All You Need Is Love’ one school assembly), and we spent our lunch-breaks singing tunes such as ‘Eleanor Rigby’ (her favourite Beatles song) and ‘Hello Goodbye’ (my then-fave – it’s the first Beatles song I have exact memory of listening to, so it’s a little special to me), and talking about our favourite Beatles (hers was Paul, and – as you will have gathered – mine is John). There was only one problem, though – I thought my parents didn’t like The Fab Four (I was very, very wrong), so I was too afraid to tell them about my new-found passion. So – about six months later – I found myself making up elaborate plots that would allow me to purchase a Beatles album without my mother and father cluing on too much. I remember scouring iTunes – which, at the time, was selling 1 and Help! at discounted prices – to try and find an album that I could start out with. I decided up on 1 – at this time, of course, I had no knowledge of their studio albums (would you believe it – I though Abbey Road was a Rolling Stones album!), so I unwittingly ended up with their best-selling, 2000-released compilation (not that I care!). But anyway, I plotted for about two weeks, and finally, my ‘B-day’ had rolled along. I’d purchased an iTunes card a few days earlier (as part of my plot), and bought a few other songs to make myself appear a little less ‘suspicious’ (as I thought myself at the time). But my plan fell apart (thankfully!), when Mum ended up going through a newly-purchased flute music book to try and find some music to recommend (all a part of my plot), she also ended up discovering I was a rookie Beatlemaniac – and I discovered that she also liked their music! Since then, my love has only blossomed, so I reckon the decision I made that day was one of the best (if not the best) decision I have made in my life! It’s funny to think that, a year ago, I didn’t even know what The Beatles really looked like (that was unfortunate for me 🙂 ) or that George sang (I soon discovered he wrote, as ‘Something’ is on 1) some Beatles songs, but now (a year later), I can recite their entire discography off in a matter of seconds, and I could tell you really obscure facts, such as the month and year that John got his drivers’ licence in, and how old he was (he got it in February 1965, and he was 24-turning-25)! I reckon I’ll love The Beatles for the rest of my life – and to think it’s all down to an album I bought exactly one year ago, today! So (to conclude this last paragraph), I’ve posted 1 – that life-changing album, for me – below. If you’re already a Beatlemaniac (like I assume most people reading this are), have a listen – who would pass up an opportunity to listen to a certain band that changed the course of the world?!?! But if you’re a casual fan, or haven’t discovered The Fabs all that much, yet, why don’t you listen to this album, too? Once you have, I guarantee you that your life will never be the same – all down to four talented musicians/singers/songwriters that changed so many other lives, too. I salute you, John, Paul, George and Ringo! So here is that album that changed my life, and I’d like to think that it’ll help change many others, too:

 

So now, on this sunny afternoon (to quote The Kinks) that is also an extremely valid candidate for the coldest day in our long-cold-lonely Winter (to quote The Beatles), good day sunshine! 🙂