The Beatles Facts: Do You Really Know The Iconic Band?

The Beatles are one of the biggest bands in the world, and whether you’re young or old, you’ve probably heard multiple songs of theirs such as Hey Jude. We’re going to test your knowledge and tell you some of The Beatles facts… do you really know the iconic band? 

They Were Rejected By Several Record Labels 

December 3, 2011 – A reconstruction of the music shop front window where The Beatles bought their first instruments in Liverpool. Image source: Ronald Saunders from Warrington, UK, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

When you think of The Beatles, you don’t think of failure or rejection, but they had quite a bit of that in the early days. In particular, Decca Records, a British label, had rejected them in 1962 saying that the guitars that they were using weren’t going to be popular for much longer. Decca passed on them and chose to sign Brian Poole featuring the Tremeloes instead.

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The Beatles Doubted American Success

February 1964 – The Beatles with Ed Sullivan from their first appearance on his variety television program. Image source: CBS Television, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

An interesting fact about The Beatles is that even they were surprised at just how popular they were in America, even though pop music from America is what influenced them to begin with. Not only did the band sell out venues across the country, but they had incredible ratings when they appeared on Ed Sullivan. However, they initially doubted that Americans would enjoy them because they were foreign. 

Their Last Live Concert Was In San Francisco 

January 29, 2021 – The Beatles’ last live performance plaque. Image source: Megalit, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Candlestick Park is a famous venue in San Francisco, California, and this was the last place that The Beatles performed live in concert, which happened in 1966. 

Please Please Me Was Recorded In 12 Hours 

Please Please Me (Remastered 2009)

Please Please Me was the debut record from The Beatles, and this album had been recorded in about 12 hours. John Lennon had a cold during this recording session in February 1963, but that didn’t deter him or the rest of the members from putting this record together in an insanely quick amount of time. 

The Oldest Beatle When They Broke Up Was 29 

You might think that The Beatles broke up when they got old, but an interesting little factoid about them was that they were all 29 or younger when they broke up. Ringo Starr was 29 at the time and the oldest member of the band when this happened. Paul McCartney decided to no longer be a part of the group, and John Lennon had discussed leaving as well, and what really happened behind the scenes is anyone’s guess.  

In A 1965 Performance, The Beatles Made Nearly $100,000 in Less Than 40 Minutes 

August 21, 1965 – The Beatles arrived at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport. Image source: Minnesota Historical Society, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you want to know how famous The Beatles were, the amount of money they earned in minutes is mind-boggling. In 1965, they performed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and earned around $90,000 for a little over 30 minutes of playing! 

John Lennon And Paul McCartney Had Dual Songwriting Credit 

1964 – John Lennon and Paul McCartney at Kennedy Airport. Image source: United Press International, photographer unknown, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Whether it was Paul McCartney writing the track or John Lennon, they had managed to agree to put one another in the songwriting credits regardless of which one of them wrote that particular song. Yesterday was written by McCartney, but both he and John appear as songwriters, and that was the type of agreement they made with one another since they were both essentially the frontmen for the band. 

Yesterday Is Their Most Covered Song 

Yesterday (With Spoken Word Intro / Live From Studio 50, New York City / 1965)

Everyone has a soft spot for Yesterday, and that’s evident in the fact that over 2,000 covers of this track exist. This song spawned multiple covers by artists in varying genres of music, and no other The Beatles track even comes close in terms of the number of covers compared to this song

Strawberry Field Was Where John Lennon Used To Play 

August 11, 2010 – Strawberry Fields Forever, Beaconsfield Road, Woolton, Liverpool 25. Image source: Lipinski, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Strawberry Fields Forever is one of the most famous The Beatles songs out there, but did you know this was a real place in Liverpool, and that John Lennon used to play there? When he was a child, he would head over to a nearby garden and play, which was on the property of the children’s home run by the Salvation Army. The name of this property was called Strawberry Field, and fans from all over the world soon would go there to pay homage to the band and see the inspiration behind the music.

The Beatles Were Photographed More Than Anything Else In The 60s

The Beatles were everywhere in the 60s, and everyone wanted a piece of them, so it should not be surprising that they were photographed more than anything else during that decade. 

They Smoked Weed Thanks To A Bob Dylan Encounter 

June 23, 1978 – Bob Dylan performing in Rotterdam. Image source: Chris Hakkens, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Bob Dylan and The Beatles hung out when they came to the US in 1964, and he offered them some weed. They liked smoking it so much that all of the members would begin to partake in smoking weed regularly. 

Cornflake Advertisements Inspired Good Morning, Good Morning 

Good Morning Good Morning (Remastered 2009)

Who knew that advertisements for cornflakes would inspire John Lennon to write Good Morning, Good Morning? 

The Beatles Had Multiple Songs Banned By The BBC 

The Beatles - A Day In The Life

The BBC was not a fan of some of the tracks that The Beatles released through the years, including songs such as A Day In The Life, Come Together, I Am The Walrus, and Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds. Whether it was questionable lyrics about drugs, sexual innuendos, or language, or there was mention of drugs or products, there were certain topics the BBC did not like being talked about on their channel. 

Their Manager Told Them To Wear Nicer Clothes 

When The Beatles were first performing in Hamburg and other locations, they used to wear leather jackets, blue jeans, and even boots. They didn’t look like the clean-cut guys we’ve come to remember and were very scruffy looking. Brian Epstein, their manager, told them they’d have a higher chance of becoming famous if they cleaned up their look, so that’s what they did. 

The Beatles Had Many Songs Hit Number One In The UK But Not In America 

Let It Be (Remastered 2009)

While Beatlemania was certainly real in the US, the group had a lot of tracks that made it to number one on the charts in the UK but failed to do so in America including songs such as: 

  • Let It Be
  • Yesterday
  • Eight Days A Week
  • From Me To You 
  • Penny Lane 
  • Come Together
  • Yellow Submarine 
  • Love Me Do 

Pete Best Was The Initial Drummer

2006 – Pete Best, The original drummer for The Beatles, performing in Maryland. Image source: Urbankayaker at English Wikipedia, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Pete Best was the initial drummer for The Beatles, but he was fired from the band in 1962 and is often forgotten about as being a member of the group. The rest of the members felt his drumming abilities were not good enough for the long haul. Obviously, it would be Ringo Starr to replace him and become the drummer for The Beatles until they broke up. 

Street Signs Containing Names Of The Beatles Songs Were Often Stolen 

The Beatles - Penny Lane

The Beatles have a lot of tracks that could be street names, including Blue Jay Way and Penny Lane, and these street signs were often the target of theft. For example, there was such constant theft of the Penny Lane sign to the point that the street signs had to be painted onto the walls. Fans would flock to any locations that were mentioned by The Beatles, which meant Blue Jay Way and Penny Lane were often visited by fans. 

Paul McCartney Cusses In Hey Jude 

Hey Jude (Remastered 2015)

If you listen closely to Hey Jude, you can hear Paul McCartney cursing after he messes up on the piano. You’ll hear him say “F***ing hell” if you put the song on the 2-minute 58-second mark, and it was left in the final recording because the guys thought it was funny. 

Billy Preston Was The Only Outside Person To Have Prominent Credit On a Song 

1971 – Billy Preston performing. Image source: Heinrich Klaffs, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The song Get Back was released in 1969 and if you look at the label for this single, you will see that it lists Billy Preston alongside The Beatles. He would be the only outsider to receive this prominent placement alongside the foursome

Get Back (Remastered 2009)

Preston was a keyboard player living in Houston, Texas, who the band met during a tour with Little Richard. When George Harrison got a hold of him years later, he asked that he join the group for Get Back. This was in 1969, and The Beatles were on the verge of breaking up, so having an outsider appear on this single helped relieve some tensions that were building among the band. 

The First Lady Of The Philippines Felt Rejected By The Band 

September 30, 1966 – Imelda Marcos. Image source: National Library of the Philippines (distributed by Philippine Presidential Museum and Library), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The Beatles were incredibly popular all over the world, and one fan of the group was Imelda Marcos, the former first lady of the Philippines. They were in the country touring, and she wanted to meet them, but they ignored her offer and did not go to meet up with her. She was not happy about being rejected and took it personally, even though the band didn’t diss her intentionally. 

The Beatles Have A Total Of 7 Grammy Awards

The Beatles were incredibly successful and racked up several awards over the years, including seven Grammy Awards and 23 total nominations. However, three of those Grammy Award wins happened after the band broke up, so they’ve only one four awards while together.

The Beatles - A Hard Day's Night

Their first two Grammy wins were in 1964 for Best New Artist and Best Performance By a Vocal Group for the song A Hard Day’s Night. They would win two more in 1967 for Album Of The Year and Best Contemporary Album for their album Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. 

They Didn’t Know How To Read Music 

An interesting fact about The Beatles is that they didn’t know how to read music and never learned, even after they became a sensation. The guys were excellent at writing the music, playing drums, piano, guitar, and singing but never did figure out how to read any of the music. 

They Had Seven Albums That Went To Number One Consecutively 

It’s not easy as a musician to have one number-one album, let alone seven. It’s even rarer to have seven albums make it to number one back-to-back. The popularity of The Beatles helped them achieve this rare feat in music. Only two other bands would have more number-one albums consecutively, which were Led Zeppelin and ABBA at eight. 

A Pine Tree Honoring George Harrison Died of a Beetle Infestation 


We’re gonna make you laugh a little bit with this fact, which is that after George Harrison died, a pine tree had been planted to honor him in a park in Los Angeles, California. However, in 2013, just 9 years after this pine tree was planted, it died because it became infested with beetles

Help! Was Their First Number One Album 

Help! - DVD Trailer 2007

The first album the band would release to make it to number one on the charts would be the 1965 album Help! This was their fifth album release and out of the 14 songs on it, seven of them were a part of their film of the same name. Not only did this album top the charts in America and the UK, but it also went to number one in Germany and Australia. 

Yesterday’s Melody At First Was Scrambled Eggs 

June 2, 2014 – Scrambled eggs with grated cheese. Image source: Takeaway, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

When Paul McCartney woke up from a dream with a melody in his head, which would later become Yesterday, he decided to use “scrambled eggs” as the placeholder so he wouldn’t forget what he was just dreaming about. He used these words in the made-up lyrics so that he would remember how he phrased the song and the melody. This melody in his dream and scrambled eggs turning into Yesterday would eventually be one of their biggest hits. 

The Beatles’ Producer Wasn’t Into Rock And Roll 

Mid-1960s – Publicity photo of The Beatles (without Ringo Starr) with George Martin in a studio at Abbey Road. Image source: Capitol Records, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

While we know the Beatles were heavily into and influenced by American pop music as well as rock and roll, their producer wasn’t really a fan of rock and roll music. George Martin was a very successful producer, but he loved playing piano and was into classical music instead. 

Paul McCartney Used A Pick-Up Technique, Which Inspired Michelle 

Paul McCartney used a specific pick-up technique back in the day when he would be out partying with George Harrison and John Lennon. This pick-up technique included singing in fake French while strumming a guitar and wearing black in a corner of a room.

Michelle (Remastered 2009)

One day Lennon said that he should turn that French fake singing technique into a song, and Michelle was born. It should be noted that McCartney said his pick-up technique never did work out. 

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds Was Falsely Thought To Be About LSD 

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds (Remastered 2009)

A lot of people thought that Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds was about the drug LSD, which is not what the song is really about at all. It was John Lennon who wrote the track, and he said that it was not true and it was inspired by Julian, his son, and a drawing he had made when he was just 3 years old. In the drawing, his son drew a picture of his schoolmate, Lucy. 

Only Two People Were In The Studio While Recording The Ballad of John and Yoko

The Beatles - The Ballad Of John And Yoko

The Ballad Of John And Yoko was a song that featured only Paul McCartney and John Lennon, and no one else was in the studio at the time of this recording. The two did not want to sit there and wait for George Harrison and Ringo Starr to become available to finish the track, and Lennon specifically felt it needed to be recorded as soon as possible. Funny enough, the pair would pretend to be Starr and Harrison while recording and would be the ones to play all of the instruments for the song. 

Pete Best and Paul McCartney Were Once Arrested In Germany 

Both Pete Best and Paul McCartney were arrested as teenagers in Germany because they had been suspected of starting a fire, and they were both deported from the country. This was in 1960 while both of them were in Germany, and they had decided to set their stuff on fire inside a movie theater. While the building wasn’t damaged during this stunt, they were arrested, thrown in jail for a night, and then deported. 

The Screaming Fans Led To The Beatles To Stop Live Shows

January 25, 1972 – The Beatles fans. Image source: Anefo, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

Beatlemania was so big that the fans and their screams were part of the reason why they stopped doing live shows. When they would get on stage and the fans would scream, they couldn’t hear themselves performing, which was a problem. However, other issues also led to them stopping live shows, including security threats, lack of adequate sound quality, and even exhaustion. 

The Carnegie Hall Gig Made Them Anxious

February 12, 1964 – Polaroid photo of The Beatles with Paul White and George Martin at the Plaza Hotel, New York City, around the date of The Beatles’ Carnegie Hall concerts. Image source: Piers A. Hemmingsen, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Playing Carnegie Hall is a huge honor in the music business, and even The Beatles were nervous and anxious about this performance. The prestige of this type of concert had them worried because they thought audience members would be snobby rich people who wouldn’t understand or like the rock and roll genre. However, most of the audience that would attend the New York City Carnegie Hall concert turned out to be your everyday teenager. 

The Beatles Won Several Ivor Novello Awards

Ivor Novello award ceremonies happen in London every year and are given out by the BSCA, which is the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers, and Authors. The Beatles won this award 14 times total throughout their career, which is incredible. They won those awards between the years 1964 and 1971. 

John Lennon Received Backlash For Saying Their Band Was “More Popular than Jesus” 

Archives: A KTTV reporter asks John Lennon about his “more popular than Jesus” comment

John Lennon received a lot of criticism and backlash in 1966 when he proclaimed that the band was “more popular than Jesus,” which led to boycotts, being banned on some radio stations, and other issues. He said this infamous remark when he was talking about the younger fans and was simply saying they were more into The Beatles than being religious and Christian. 

Some people thought this was arrogance while other people understood he was talking about how big Beatlemania was at the time. The Vatican even forgave him after he apologized for his comments and then went on to praise the emotional elements of their lyrics and song melodies. 

John Lennon Met Elvis And Felt Disappointment 

Do you know that saying about how you shouldn’t meet your heroes because they will let you down and disappoint you? That’s exactly what happened with John Lennon when he met The King himself, Elvis Presley. It was Elvis who was the inspiration for Lennon to get into the music business, and he would even try to do his hair like the King of Rock N’ Roll as a teenager. 

March 9, 2013 – The Beatles Experience, Liverpool. Image source: Ank Kumar, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

He got his chance to meet Elvis when The Beatles made it big thanks to Brian Epstein, the manager of the band. However, after he met him and even got in a jam session with him, he felt that Elvis wasn’t engaged and didn’t like The Beatles that much. 

Their First Number-One Song In America Happened in 1963

The Beatles - I Want To Hold Your Hand - Performed Live On The Ed Sullivan Show 2/9/64

The band had their first number-one song in the US in 1963 when they released the track I Want To Hold Your Hand. This song made it to number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and it was only a few months after the track had been released that this song would captivate American audiences. Once this track was released, it seemed that that’s what led to Beatlemania as they quickly became popular icons in American culture. 

Yellow Submarine Was Not Voiced By Any Of The Band Members 

Yellow Submarine Original Trailer - 1968 (Beatles Official)

While you might have thought that the voices in Yellow Submarine were The Beatles, that’s actually false as no member of the band did their voices for the movie, which was released in 1968. It was unfortunate that none of them were available to do these voices, and the issue was that they simply were too busy to voice their own film. However, they were the ones singing all of their songs in the movie and even filmed some of the action parts featured in the movie. 

The Beatles Held All Five Positions On The Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart 

A record that has yet to be broken that The Beatles managed was that they held all of the top five positions on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart. This happened only for one week and it occurred April 4, 1964, but the fact no one has broken this record shows how difficult that feat really was.

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