The Beatles' Main TV Roles
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. 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.
- 'Ringo Starr' (qv) (the eldest Beatle) and 'Paul McCartney' (qv) are the only former Beatles to make it to their 64th birthdays.
- Three of the Beatles married their wives because they became pregnant: John (to 'Cynthia Lennon' (qv), mother of 'Julian Lennon' (qv)) in 1962, Ringo (to 'Maureen Starkey' (qv), mother of 'Zak Starkey' (qv)) in 1965, and Paul (to 'Linda McCartney' (qv), mother of 'Mary McCartney' (qv)) in 1969. George Harrison was the only Beatle who had a child born out of wedlock, his son, Dhani Harrison, was born one month before he married second wife, Olivia Trinidad Arias, who became 'Olivia Harrison' (qv). George was previously married to 'Pattie Boyd' (qv) from 1966 - 1969; they did not have children.
- 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.
- 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.
- 'John Lennon (I)' (qv) was asked by a news reporter in 1964 "How long do you think the Beatles will last?" Lennon answered "About five years." The Beatles began to break up in 1969.
- 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.
- Even though their 1966 "Revolver" album came out while they were on tour, the Beatles performed no songs from it onstage, and mostly stuck to their 1965 set list. Not all the big shows were sold out, partly from the remaining controversy over 'John Lennon (I)' (qv)'s "more popular than Jesus" remarks. The band played their last show on August 29, 1966 in Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California. The band had already decided not to tour again.
- '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).