The Beatles are one of the most famous bands of all time, but they have their fair share of secrets.
The group influenced generations of music to come with their innovative sounds. But we’ve found some interesting facts only the most diehard fans know.
Join us as we dig behind the scenes of our favorite Brits and uncover some lesser-known details about their tenure.
Who Were The Beatles?
It’s hard to imagine just how successful The Beatles were in the 60s. From the time they released their first single in 1963 to their break up in 1970, the group released 12 studio albums that transformed the musical landscape. They were instantly recognizable wherever they went.
But before all that, they were John Lennon and Paul McCartney. The two met as teens in Liverpool, and McCartney joined up with Lennon’s band, the Quarrymen. By 1959, George Harrison joined in, and the trio played shows as Johnny and the Moondogs. They booked rock gigs whenever they could find a drummer.
They scored a big break with a residency in Hamburg, Germany. By then, they were going as The Beatles, but they had to keep George’s age a secret to keep the gig. The group also needed a full lineup to take the stage. So they hired Pete Best for the drums. Shortly after, their bass player Stuart Sutcliff left, and Paul took it up instead.
Their time in Hamburg earned them plenty of attention, and they scored a recording session with Brian Epstein. He filled the role of manager. Unfortunately, Producer George Martin didn’t like the drummer, so they fired Best and hired Ringo Starr to replace him.
With their full lineup ready to go, they found near-instant success with their first string of singles. The Beatles’ first full studio album brought a lot of attention, and the band’s rebellious attitude made them a great hit with the youth. In 1964, the Fab Four made their US debut and took the world by storm. Beatlemania was here to stay.
Have You Heard These Unbelievable Secrets About The Beatles?
You can find countless articles, documentaries, books, and magazines devoted to this band. Despite all that, plenty of secrets remain left to uncover about The Beatles.
#1 They Worked 90 Hours A Week
It’s hard to deny the pure talent of The Beatles, but the secret to their great success was nonstop practice. During their three months in Hamburg, the band worked to exhaustion. They spent ten hours on weekdays, 12 on Saturdays, and another eight on Sundays rehearsing.
According to Lennon, they relied on amphetamines from the servers at the club. But despite the terrible side effects on their health, it worked. The constant practice gave them the skills they needed to create timeless masterpieces later in their career.
#2 The Beatles Adored Elvis Presley, But the Feelings Weren’t Mutual
Elvis Presley paved the way for rock and roll’s mainstream success. Of course, The Beatles looked up to the King. But he wasn’t exactly happy that they dethroned him.
Presley eventually agreed to meet the band at Lennon’s insistence. But the evening was awkward. John mocked the King for his Lyndon B. Johnson table lamps because he hated the Vietnam war. Lennon also made fun of Elvis’s controlling manager. But the Fab Four got a chance to jam with Presley before the evening went south.
Still, Elvis wasted no time asking Nixon to ban John Lennon from the United States. Whatever respect The Beatles had for him, it didn’t go both ways. No doubt, there was a hint of jealousy behind the hate.
#3 Ed Sullivan Was Not the American TV Debut
The Beatles were a huge hit in the UK almost instantly, but it wasn’t until the following year that they made their way to the States. But even before their arrival, American media took notice of the British craze.
Variety, Life, and The New York Times Magazine featured stories about Beatlemania. And in November of 1963, NBC featured taped coverage of the band. This was four months before their live performance on the Ed Sullivan show.
These reports mocked the band’s popularity. If only they knew how big they’d be as soon as Americans got their first taste.
#4 The Beatles Were Mad with Muhammad Ali
When The Beatles first arrived in the US for their Ed Sullivan spot, they wanted to drum up more publicity. So they contacted heavyweight champion Sonny Liston for a photoshoot. But he had no interest.
The band recruited his opponent, a then-unknown Cassius Clay. The Fab Four hung around waiting for him a little longer than they’d like, so they tried to jump ship. But Clay’s guys locked them in the dressing room, where they furiously pounded on the door.
Eventually, Clay came around to meet them, and they had a good time for the most part. Clay went on to defeat Liston and, shortly after, changed his name to Muhammad Ali. While Ringo and Paul remembered the incident fondly, Lennon felt like he’d made fools of them.
#5 The Concerts Smelled Like Urine
If you’ve seen or heard recordings of The Beatles in concert, you know the fans were excited to see them. But there are multiple reports of their shows smelling like urine. The standard explanation is that the teenage girls were so excited they wet themselves.
This is a little hard to believe, especially when you read some of the more outrageous accounts. But it’s possible that people who shelled out cash for a sold-out show didn’t want to miss anything.
Many first-generation fans deny these rumors. Of course, if it was true, would they even admit it?
Where Can You Learn More About The Beatles and Their Secrets?
When The Beatles skyrocketed to fame, reporters and fans wanted to know everything about them, including their secrets. You can find many stories about them in books, movies, and TV interviews. But their official website is chock full of information about their work, as well as updates about new releases and shows.
The Beatles Bible is another good source. It has deep dives into all their songs and articles, exploring many details and anecdotes about their antics.
But so many myths are mixed in with facts about this iconic duo. At the height of their fame, fans gave Taylor Swiftian-level readings of their lyrics. There was even a whole subset of people convinced that Paul was dead.
Fact or fiction, the stories are sure to entertain.
Secrets of The Beatles Unveiled
Numerous bands over the years lasted longer than The Beatles. But their seven years in the spotlight were defined by innovation. They forged new ways for musicians to write, perform, and record music, and their sound continues to influence contemporary artists. Of course, there was a lot more happening behind the scenes.
Are there other hidden secrets about The Beatles we missed? Let us know in the comments.