In 1957, John Lennon formed the Quarrymen, a skiffle band. Skiffle is a type of folk music with influences of jazz, blues and country usually using homemade or improvised musical instruments.
A few months later, Paul McCartney was invited and later joined by George Harrison as the lead guitarist a year after. Colin Hanton, the original drummer, was replaced by Pete Best in August, 1960 to be the official drummer.
Two years later, Richard Starkey replaced Pete Best in the drums and used the stage name Ringo Starr. Brian Epstein, the new business manager of The Beatles, dismissed Best for not adopting the distinctive mophead hairstyle.
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The Beatles first played in Indra Club in Hamburg, West Germany, in May 1960. Paul McCartney’s father was reluctant to let him go overseas because of the meager pay equivalent to £2 per night.
Owing to the mischief of setting fire to their sleeping quarters in Bambi Kino in Hamburg, Paul McCartney and Pete Best were jailed for 3 hours before being deported.
George Harrison was likewise deported for faking his age (he was actually underaged).
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When Swan Records released She Loves You, it failed to get airplay in the US. On Dick Clark’s tv show, American teenagers couldn’t help but laugh upon seeing for the first time The Beatles with their unique hairstyle.
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Outside of Europe and North America, Australia was the first country that The Beatles toured in mid-1964. Jimmy Nicol played the drums in lieu of Ringo who was suffering from a bad case of tonsillitis. Ringo rejoined the group for their gig in New Zealand on June 21 of the same year.
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When The Beatles met Elvis Presley at a Bel-Air mansion for the first time (and last time by Paul McCartney) on August 27, 1965, Elvis was quoted to have said, “Quite frankly, if you guys are going to stare at me all night, I’m going to bed.” And after some stories and jokes, the five of them had an impromptu jam session. Unfortunately, there was no available tape recorder. Many years after, Elvis Presley asked President Richard Nixon to ban The Beatles from entering the US. That action was Presley’s apparent disapproval of The Beatles’ anti-war activism and, ironically, open use of drugs.
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When The Beatles toured the Philippines in 1966, they failed to attend the breakfast reception organized by Imelda Marcos, the country’s First Lady, because their manager, Brian Epstein, politely refused the invitation. Soon, hospitality vanished and The Beatles had to make their way to the airport sans their free escorts. After boarding the plane, Epstein was ordered off and was forced to leave behind the money that the band had earned in the country.
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In an interview by the British reporter Maureen Cleave, John Lennon had remarked that The Beatles were more popular than Jesus now and that Christianity was already dying. This caused a rift with various religious groups in the US and in other Christian countries. At a press conference in Chicago on August 11, 1966, Lennon apologized for that scathing statement.
Due to the religious nature of the issue, Beatles records were burned as a form of protest. George Harrison issued a sweeping remark of his own, “They’ve got to buy them before they can burn them.”
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McCartney has achieved twenty-nine number-one singles in the U.S., twenty of them with The Beatles, the rest with Wings and as a solo artist
After a 3-year relationship, Paul was set to marry Dot Rhone until Rhone had a miscarriage. Later on, Paul had a 5-year relationship with actress Jane Asher in London.
Paul McCartney’s first marriage was to Linda Eastmann in 1969. Linda, a photographer by profession, died of breast cancer on April 17, 1998. Incidentally, Paul lost his mother also to breast cancer in 1956.
In 2003, Paul married Heather Mills, a former model and anti-land mine campaigner, who lost her left leg in 1993 when she was hit by a police motorbike in London.
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In August 23, 1962, John Lennon married Cynthia Powell. Their son Julian was to be a musician too. Julian is the inspiration of his father in composing the international hit song Hey Jude.
In 1968, John filed for divorce but the tables were turned when it was discovered that Yoko Ono was pregnant with John II (which was eventually lost due to miscarriage). An out-of-court settlement gave Cynthia £100,000, the Lennons’ house and an annual pension of £2,400 for the custody of Julian.
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George Harrison married Pattie Boyd on January 21, 1966. Pattie is a 19-year old model and actress whom George met during the filming of A Hard Day’s Night. When George and Pattie split up in 1974, Pattie moved in with Eric Clapton, the famed guitarist who was Harrison’s best friend.
George’s second marriage was to Olivia Trinidad Arias, the Mexican secretary of Dark Horse Records. In 1999, there was a stabbing incident in which Olivia single-handedly subdued the attacker.
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Ringo Starr has 3 children from his first marriage – Maureen Cox whom he divorced in 1975. Zak, their first son, is a highly-respected drummer of Oasis, a band greatly influenced by The Beatles.
Ringo married Barbara Bach in 1981. Barbara is the female lead in the James Bond movie The Spy Who Loved Me.
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Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are both left-handed and vegetarian. But Ringo is considered ambidextrous and, unlike Paul who is a vegetarian for ethical reasons, Ringo is a vegetarian due to his stomach problems.
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Ringo Starr is the only Beatle not inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his solo career. However, the minor planet 4150 Starr was named after him by BA Skiff who discovered it on August 31, 1984.
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Brian Epstein, considered the 5th Beatle who astutely handled all the businesses of The Beatles, is a compulsive gambler and a known homosexual. He was suspected of causing the rift between John Lennon and his first wife. Epstein died of drug overdose on August 27, 1967.
The first contract between The Beatles and Epstein was auctioned in London in 2008 and was sold for £240,000.
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