The Beatles' Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles2013 - A Band Called Death
2002 - Naqoyqatsi
1970 - Let It Be
1965 - Help!
1964 - A Hard Day's Night
Guest TV Roles
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. 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.
- After the Beatles stopped giving live performances in 1966, instead of appearing live on TV to promote their latest singles, they made "promos" - a forerunner of music videos - and the promotional clips played in their place. Individual members of The Beatles sometimes appeared on TV to give interviews, but not to perform as a group.
- 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.
- When "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" was released in 1967, it was the first album to feature printed lyrics of all songs on its sleeve.
- Their first appearance on the 'Ed Sullivan (I)' (qv) show actually wasn't the first time the Beatles had been seen on American television. The CBS Evening News (hosted by 'Walter Cronkite' (qv)) ran a story about their popularity in England, and a film clip of them performing aired on _"The Jack Paar Program" (1962)_ (qv). Sullivan gave them their first live TV appearance in America, after personally contacting Cronkite to ask about them.
- At the time of writing (2008) they remain the only band to have won two Brit (British Phonographic Industry) Awards for their Outstanding Contribution to Music, in 1977 and in 1983. In addition, they are the only band which has had two members receive the Outstanding Contribution Award individually, 'John Lennon (I)' (qv) posthumously in 1982 and 'Paul McCartney' (qv) in 2008.
- Ranked #25 on VH1's 100 Sexiest Artists.
- One of the band's first recording engineers was 'Norman 'Hurricane' Smith' (qv), later 'Pink Floyd' (qv)'s first producer. 'Alan Parsons (I)' (qv) was the engineer at some of their last sessions in 1969.
- 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).)