Do you know these 5 Beatles facts?

This is an article featuring 5 Beatle facts.

There has been a mountain of stuff written about the Beatles. So much so that, if you’re a fan, like me, there isn’t much you won’t know about them. Anyway, here are five Beatle facts the just might surprise you.

(Disclosure: I may be compensated through the links in the post below, but the opinions are my own.)

1: I want you, but not really

John Lennon formed The Beatles, so it seems fitting that the final song the Fabs recorded together was one of his. I want you (she’s so heavy), which, ironically, was also the first song the Beatles  worked on for Abby Road, is not your typical Lennon tune. For a start, considering his lyrical genius, it has just 14 separate words. I want you (she’s so heavy), which includes white noise towards the end, is nearly eight minutes long. And,  rather than a neatly crafted coda, the song ends abruptly. It’s as if  Ringo wanted an early night and switched off the power. Personally, I love the recording. For me, it represents a musical coming of age for the band — Lennon and Harrison’s multi-tracked lead guitars and McCartney’s bass are very cool.

2: With a little help from their friends

In the Beatles’ day, to achieve all the sounds they wanted meant calling ‘all hands to the pump.’ Recording software, where any idiot can create an 18-track ‘masterpiece’ in his mum’s basement, was decades away. So, out of necessity, the Beatles often enlisted friends, such as road manager Mal Evans, to lend a hand. Evans’ musical contributions include shaking a tambourine on Dear Prudence, stirring a bucket of gravel on You know my name (look up the number) and whacking an anvil on Maxwell’s Silver Hammer — apparently, poor old Ringo’s arms weren’t long enough to get the right tone.

3: Paul goes walkabout

Most Beatle fans know that Paul McCartney played on almost all  Beatles tracks. Of course, there are songs like Julia, which feature only John; however, did you know that Paul was absent from the recording of She said she said? Yes, it seems that sometime during the ‘Revolver’ sessions he had a bit of a tiff with his bandmates. Consequently, John, George and Ringo continued without him, with George handling both lead and bass guitars.

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4: What the F@#$ was that, George?

There is no doubt that George Harrison wrote some fantastic songs. In fact, Frank Sinatra rated Something as the greatest love song of all time. However, for the ‘Yellow Submarine’ album, George came up with Only a Northern Song, which, in my opinion, could possibly be the Beatles worst song. Apparently, George used the song as a vehicle to vent about his second-rate songwriter status at Northern Songs, the Beatles’ publishing company. Personally, I reckon he should have just hired a decent lawyer.

5: What’s that voodoo sound?

These days, guitar feedback is commonplace in rock music. However, when they recorded I feel fine, the Beatles became one of the first bands to use it on a record. According to legend, John’s Gibson J-160E was leaning on Paul’s amplifier. When Paul plucked the A-string on his bass, the Gibson began to feedback. The Beatles loved the ‘voodoo sound’ and asked George Martin to include the it on the song.

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Andrew Healey

Editor

Andrew is an Auckland-based writer and musician.

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