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.
- '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).
- 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.
- '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.
- 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.
- _"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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Their infamous "butcher cover" for the "Yesterday and Today" album came about from the Beatles' disdain for photo sessions, and also the way Capitol Records in America tended to "butcher" their British LPs in repackaging. (Capitol's producers used to skim tracks off two or three albums, add a stereo mix of their newest single, and issue the results as their "latest album", ignoring the work the Beatles and producer 'George Martin (I)' (qv) had put into crafting the earlier ones.) Protests from fans, parents, and radio DJs over the cover design forced Capitol to change the photo - and soon after, they changed their issuing and packaging policies.