The Beatles

The Beatles

Born in

The Beatles' Main TV Roles

Show Character(s)
The Beatles TV Show
The Beatles
The Morecambe & Wise Show (UK) TV Show
The Morecambe & Wise Show (UK)
Thank Your Lucky Stars (UK) TV Show
Thank Your Lucky Stars (UK)

Main Movie Roles

Guest TV Roles

[none found]


The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960 and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music.[1] The group's best-known lineup consisted of John Lennon (rhythm guitar, vocals), Paul McCartney (bass guitar, vocals), George Harrison (lead guitar, vocals) and Ringo Starr (drums, vocals). Rooted in skiffle and 1950s rock and roll, the group later worked in many genres ranging from pop ballads to psychedelic rock, often incorporating classical and other elements in innovative ways. Their enormous popularity first emerged as "Beatlemania"; as their songwriting grew in sophistication, by the late 1960s they came to be perceived by many fans and cultural observers as an embodiment of the ideals shared by the era's sociocultural revolutions.
As a five-piece line-up of Lennon, McCartney and Harrison on guitar and vocals, with Stuart Sutcliffe (bass) and Pete Best (drums), the band built their reputation playing clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg over a three-year period from 1960. Sutcliffe left the group in 1961, and Best was replaced by Starr the following year. Moulded into a professional act by manager Brian Epstein, their musical potential was enhanced by the creativity of producer George Martin. They gained popularity in the United Kingdom after their first single, "Love Me Do", became a modest hit in late 1962, and they acquired the nickname the "Fab Four" as Beatlemania grew in Britain over the following year. By early 1964 they had become international stars, leading the "British Invasion" of the United States pop market. The band toured extensively around the world until August 1966, when they performed their final commercial concert. From 1966 they produced what many critics consider to be some of their finest material, including the innovative and widely influential albums Revolver (1966), Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967), The Beatles (1968) and Abbey Road (1969). After their break-up in 1970, the ex-Beatles each found success in individual musical careers. Lennon was murdered in 1980, and Harrison died of cancer in 2001. McCartney and Starr remain active.

  • The Beatles resolved not to visit America to perform until they had a #1 hit single there. They had seen many popular British stars, like 'Tommy Steele' (qv) and 'Cliff Richard' (qv), have little success in the American market, and did not want to follow suit. After "I Want To Hold Your Hand" topped the American charts, the band gave the nod to appearing in the States.
  • Their initial 1962 recording contract with Parlophone Records in England (a division of EMI) was for a series of singles, at a minimal royalty rate. After "Please Please Me" became a hit, EMI gave them a full five-year contract for singles and albums, and better royalties. 'Brian Epstein (I)' (qv) negotiated a new contract for them in 1967 just before he died; with its basic terms fulfilled by late 1969, 'Allen Klein' (qv) was able to renegotiate with EMI, and got the band the highest royalty rate ever paid to a recording artist or group up to that time - a whopping 69 per album. 'John Lennon (I)' (qv) had already effectively quit the Beatles, but agreed to keep mum about it until the deal was complete; 'Paul McCartney' (qv) announced the debut of his first solo album a few months later. The official dissolution of The Beatles was final in 1975.
  • Both 'Ringo Starr' (qv) and 'George Harrison (I)' (qv) were singled out for praise for their performances in the first Beatles movie, _A Hard Day's Night (1964)_ (qv); manager (and former drama student) 'Brian Epstein (I)' (qv) predicted that Starr would turn out to have considerable acting ability. He did indeed begin a second career in movies as the Beatles broke up, while bandmate Harrison first befriended the Monty Python comedy troupe, then became a movie producer after he financed the Pythons' _Life of Brian (1979)_ (qv). ('John Lennon (I)' (qv) and 'Paul McCartney' (qv) had briefer movie careers, with Lennon appearing in _How I Won the War (1967)_ (qv) and McCartney making _Give My Regards to Broad Street (1984)_ (qv).)
  • 'Geoff Emerick' (qv), a principal recording engineer on 'The Beatles' (qv)' classic "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" (1967), estimates that the entire album took 700 hours to complete over a period of 129 days. First track to be recorded was "When I'm Sixty-Four" (December 6, 1966 at Abbey Road studio two).
  • 'George Harrison (I)' (qv) nearly missed their first 'Ed Sullivan (I)' (qv) show, because he'd come down with the flu. He spent much of their rehearsal time sick in bed at the hotel, and only made the show after a doctor came to their suite with enough medications to get him through the performance. He was substituted by Beatles road manager 'Neil Aspinall' (qv) during rehearsals. 'Ed Sullivan (I)' (qv) jokingly threatened to put on a Beatle wig himself and appear with the band, if Harrison wasn't able to perform.
  • One of the reasons their 1968 "White Album" (whose formal title was simply "The Beatles") was a double album with thirty-three songs was because the band had misinterpreted their 1967 contract renewal. Since the deal with EMI was for a minimum of seventy recorded songs within nine years (either as a group or as solo artists), they sought to deliver those seventy recordings as early as possible, then look for another deal. 'Allen Klein' (qv), their manager, pointed out to the band that however early those songs were delivered, each member was still under exclusive contract to EMI until 1976. The fact that they had submitted the required number of songs (between the "White Album", "Abbey Road", the in-progress "Let It Be", recent singles, and solo projects) by the fall of 1969, however, gave them a bargaining chip for renegotiations.
  • The band's performance of their 1965 number one hit song "Ticket to Ride" on _"Top of the Pops" (1964)_ (qv) was wiped by the BBC and the only footage of it that is known to still exist features in _"Doctor Who" (1963) {The Executioners (#2.30)}_ (qv).
  • _"Saturday Night Live" (1975)_ (qv) had a running joke in the 1970s, where producer 'Lorne Michaels' (qv) would appear on camera, and invite the Beatles to reunite for one more set on the show, for the handsome sum of $3200 (later upped to $3500). The joke spoofed both the grandiose offers made by 'Sid Bernstein' (qv) and other promoters to the Beatles to perform again through those years, and the relatively small budget SNL was given to bring on top musical acts. On one show night, John and Paul (who was visiting John in New York) happened to be watching, and joked about going down to the studio, just for a laugh. 'George Harrison (I)' (qv) did actually appear on another night; a mock argument happened on camera when he was told he couldn't collect the whole fee, since the offer was only for the whole band.

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