Get Back Part 3

Mannnn, I don’t know where to start. We watched Part 3 last night but I was so overwhelmed by the end that I couldn’t sit down and knock out a post like a did with the other two parts. It’s been so long since I’ve felt this way: giddy at the thought of Brand New Beatles Content and literally unable to think about anything else. I’m sad that it’s already over, but really hope that Peter Jackson eventually ends up releasing an even longer version, which sounds very possible.

Part 3 thoughts:

  • The first 10 minutes are so joyous it’s almost unreal. George helping Ringo with “Octopus’s Garden” and everyone else gathering around and joining in is just SO WHOLESOME. And then Heather (Linda’s daughter) shows up and they just start jamming and letting her play along and it’s wonderful.
  • Also, Heather observing Yoko’s *ahem* vocal stylings and then doing a spot-on impression while the Beatles jammed was a real kick. I loved John’s incredulous “Yoko!”
  • George coming in with “Old Brown Shoe” and Ringo, Paul, and Billy proceeding to rock out with it was great. The look on George’s face when he realizes his mates are enjoying playing his song…made me so happy.
  • Wow, I wish November 27 me could go back and tell November 26 me how much more George Martin content was yet to come!! GM playing the shaker on “Dig It”…GM troubleshooting the PA setup (“I’ll fix ya lads, I’ll fix ya” ūü•į )…GM helping them come up with the track list for the album. What a treat.

Sidebar: I know this is super uninteresting to most people, but I have a theory on George Martin’s presence in these sessions. When I hear demos and outtakes from the other albums, I always think of him as the man in the box‚ÄĒI know he would come down and work with the band, and play piano and other bits on their songs, but he always seemed like more of a schoolteacher presence, keeping the Beatles in line and calmly directing their chaos into focused recordings. That’s why it’s super cool to see him just chilling with the Beatles in the studio while Glyn Johns focuses on recording and mixing. Without his name attached to the album, it seems like he’s able to let loose a little and just hang out (obviously while still helping a lot with the equipment and production). I just think it’s neat to see him spending so much time with them and, having had so much history with them already, knowing best how to help when they need it.

The king has spoken.
  • I’m not gonna talk about Allen Klein. In fact, we’re not gonna talk about Allen Klein at all.
A Rocky appearance!
  • There’s a part where Paul leaves for an appointment and John runs rehearsal, and it’s really cool to see him saddle up and get serious about practicing, where in the first two parts he was much more passive/disinterested. I liked hearing him sing Paul’s parts for “I’ve Got A Feeling” and giving more time to George’s song. You get a glimpse of what it was probably like in early days when John was the undisputed leader of the band.
  • I would pay to listen to 8 hours of “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” jams, holy buckets.
  • I can’t lie, even though George will always be my fave and I think a lot of his pissy attitude was justified, it must be said that he was a big buzzkill during most of the Let It Be sessions. There were several parts where the band was close to agreeing on a show venue or some other decision only for George to shut it down or make some passive aggressive comment about it being a dumb idea. :(
  • But, George seems very self-aware and generally in better spirits in Part 3. It was cool to hear him talking to John about wanting to make his own album. John and Yoko were so supportive!
  • When Ringo spoke up that he wanted to play on the roof, they should’ve just called it then and there. Ringo has an opinion on it?? DO IT, BOYS!

Rooftop concert day:

  • I didn’t know there were so many cameras! I also lol’ed at George Martin immediately spotting the “hidden” camera in the reception area.
  • The way Peter Jackson used the multiple camera angles was really neat. I feel like that’s the best thing he could’ve done, knowing that each camera had something worth seeing. Rather than cut back and forth between them all, why not just show three at once? (I think the Woodstock documentary did this too, maybe he was influenced by that.)
  • Shout-out to everyone in the Beatles’ extended circle who tried to distract and/or delay the cops when they showed up. Debbie at the front desk pretending like she didn’t know what was going on, and Mal buying time by saying he’d go up and cut the PA (but not doing it?)‚ÄĒboth were clutch. Unsung heroes.
  • When film crew on the street started doing impromptu interviews with the people who had gathered around, they were asking the same questions reporters would ask in 1964 (“Who’s your favorite Beatle?” “Do you buy their records?”), but obviously the fans had grown up just like the Beatles. They weren’t screaming and ogling, they were just like “Yeah, I think what they’re doing is pretty cool.” I also really liked this gentleman’s comments.
  • Poor Paul wanted to get arrested so bad. He kept talking about it in the earlier parts, and then when he sees the cops show up on the roof he’s positively giddy. Too bad the cops just stood in the back looking grumpy instead of doing anything.
  • And POOR MAL was put in an impossible situation; you could tell he was trying everything in his power to stall before being forced to unplug George and John’s amps.
  • I couldn’t suss out whether George was annoyed or actually enjoyed playing on the roof. But I enjoyed the Defiant Teenager Energy from him when he flipped his amp back on to keep playing. He knew the cops weren’t actually going to do anything, lol.
When the annoying cops tell you to turn down your guitar on the rooftop
  • I LOVED the footage of the band and crew and wives listening to the live recordings in the control room afterward. Mo’s energy is infectious!
  • I felt a bit like Peter Jackson rushed the ending by not giving us full takes of the slow jams (“Let It Be”, “The Long and Winding Road”, “Two of Us”) on Day 22, but I guess that’s because those already exist on the original film? It certainly wasn’t because he was worried about the dang thing being too long. Maybe they’ll make it into the extended Director’s Cut, who knows.
  • I did really love the “Let It Be” outtakes at the very end, and the little banter before “Two of Us” that melts my heart every time.

Would I recommend Get Back to non-Beatles fans? Part of me is convinced that Part 3 could be an accessible way to get to know them, and if you like that, then bring out the additional hours of footage. But I also know it’s not for everyone. Peter Jackson made this film for the fans, obviously. Sometimes even I got tired of hearing them start yet another take of “Get Back.” But seeing everything come together and all the happy joyous bits in between was more than I ever could have asked for. I still can’t quite believe we have this much footage of the Beatles working together in the studio, and in such incredible quality (sorry for not mentioning it until just now, but one million kudos to Peter Jackson and his team for restoring the film and audio!!!). It truly is a gift.


The Complete Get Back Drinking Game (revisions probable)

Take a drink when:

  • Someone plays a song that ends up on a solo album
  • The camera does a closeup of Mal Evans smiling ūü§ď
  • John is late
  • Yoko starts a new hobby
  • Paul’s beard is mentioned
  • The anvil makes an appearance
  • Someone makes fun of Glyn Johns
  • A Beatle drinks tea or eats toast
  • Ringo plays that drum fill
  • “And now, your host for this evening…”
  • George Martin fixes a problem
  • Glyn Johns looks like a fashionista
  • The Beatles play a version of a song that ends up on the final Let It Be album
  • Someone on the street thinks the rooftop concert is annoying

Take two drinks when:

  • Someone gets electrocuted
  • George and Paul have a row
  • Paul does parkour
  • Ringo introduces a Starkey original
  • Yoko sings

Chug it:

  • George leaves the band
  • Paul calls Glyn Johns a f*ckface
  • “Thanks, Mo.”

Get Back Part Deux

Whoof! Lots to unpack here.

  • Not gonna lie, the first 45 minutes of this part was hard to watch. Not just for the lack of George, but because it managed to be both tedious and stressful at the same time (we know George will come back, but WHEN?!).
  • The long shot of Paul after he says “and then there were two” looking like he’s about to cry was a bit too on the nose. ūüė≠ At least we got some nice Paul and Ringo moments out of that day.
  • John really comes in strong with the droll Lennon humor on Day 9. It even makes Peter Sellers (who, by the way, just shows up) seem uncomfortable!
  • The so-called “flowerpot conversation” was super enlightening. First off, it’s pretty sketchy that the film crew secretly recorded John and Paul’s convo in the cafeteria. But I’m conflicted, because now we have this amazing insight into one of the most fraught moments of the band’s career. I didn’t realize real humans were capable of having a difficult, honest conversation like this while not blowing up at each other. Apparently this was cut down from like 30 minutes and had to be heavily edited to fix the background noise, but man, the whole thing would be amazing to hear.
  • The first day they moved to Apple Studios (the day they didn’t let the film crew record them) must’ve been crazy productive. Starting the next day, “Get Back” and “Two of Us” were so much more fully formed. And George seems so much happier. ūüėĆ
  • BILLY HAS ARRIVED. I don’t think it’s an understatement to say that he saved the day/album. His presence immediately pulls the group together and gives the songs so much LIIIIFE.
  • The “by John Lennon” credits on the India footage gives me It’s Alive vibes.
  • The India footage is really cool! But you can tell Paul and John joking about some of their experiences was rubbing George the wrong way. Treading on thin ice, boys!
  • John is such a spazz.
  • The second half of Part 2 in general is just so happy and silly. I could watch the Beatles goof off in the studio in HD all day.
  • I am so pleasantly surprised by how much George Martin footage there is, considering he wasn’t actually producing this album. HE IS A LOVELY MAN and you can’t convince me otherwise. Like, what would they have done with their unusable studio if he hadn’t been there to pull in all the recording equipment from EMI?
  • The short convo between the two Georges at the end of Day 15 is so heartwarming. I love how GM makes a point to tell GH how well they’ve all been working together. “You’re looking at each other, you’re seeing each other.” Extremely wholesome Beatles content.
A screenshot of GM being lovely, with an unfortunate caption to accompany it
Here he is on the floor reading the paper while a millionth take of “Let It Be” dissolves into chaos.

Ok I need to stop before this becomes a George Martin fangirl post.

Additions to the drinking game:

  • Someone makes fun of Glyn Johns
  • Paul does parkour
  • The appearance of tea
  • Ringo plays that drum fill
  • “And now, your host for this evening…”

Chug:

  • Paul calls Glyn Johns a f*ckface

Get Back Part I

This day…….

I’ve been waiting for this day for a long time.

I half-jokingly told some people that I would live tweet my Get Back-watching experience, but of course I’m too chicken to broadcast all my rambling Beatlethoughts to Twitter. So here in the safety of my own echo chamber, I’ll throw all the tweet-sized thoughts that ran through my head (and occasionally out of my mouth) while watching the first part of the series with my husband, cat, and a bottle of wine.

  • I wasn’t expecting the rapid-fire history at the very beginning, but it was pretty nicely done. (And I’ll never complain about seeing Beatles footage in high quality.) Also, it conveniently provided context for quips later on: “Who’s that little old man?” “You could go back to Manila,” etc. etc.
  • Framing this as a literal day-by-day documentary worked better than I thought it would. In the Anthology book‚ÄĒwhich I definitely pulled out to cross-reference‚ÄĒJohn talks about the band being like a 9 to 5 job at that point, and it does kind of seem like that. But it’s cool to see how much the new songs progress day by day.
  • Watching the Beatles rehearsing “All Things Must Pass” was magical. And John misreading “wind” as “mind” and then George keeping it for when he eventually recorded the song…I was just a PUDDLE of feels.
  • “We’ve been grumpy for the past 18 months” – Ringo, 1969 (also: all of us, 2021)
  • MLH trying so hard to get the Beatles to do a show in Libya was a bit painful. I can’t imagine them doing that at all…but it would’ve been pretty wild if they’d pulled it off.
heavy Live at Pompeii vibes
  • It was hilarious how adamantly George didn’t want to travel by boat to a venue (“expensive and insane,” in his words).
  • Watching “Get Back” materialize out of nothing really was something to behold. So was Ringo and George’s reaction.
  • The sheer AMOUNT of music these guys blasted through in the first week of filming alone…is that normal? Like, there’s just an endless well of Lennon/McCartney songs to pull from, not to mention all the covers they run through, plus stuff that would end up on future albums…and then George and Ringo occasionally just walk in like, “Here’s a song I wrote last night”…it’s all very impressive to me, as a person who used to spend 6+ months learning 3 pieces of pre-arranged music.
  • Also, I know this is probably just normal band stuff, and of course the Beatles would refer back to their own catalog, but I still found it fascinating which songs they’d pull out of past albums and just start playing. “Every Little Thing”? I’m SO pleased George thought that was a nice song!!
  • LOL at Dick James trying to talk music biz with the guys and their extreme disinterest every time.
  • What do we think Yoko and Linda were talking about??
  • This version of “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window” is hott.
  • The “No Pakistanis” version of “Get Back”, even though it’s satire could easily get the Beatles cancelled in modern times. For that reason, I’m pretty glad they went a different direction with it.
  • Honestly, I can relate to Paul’s work ethic. I get that everyone felt he was being bossy, but at the same time, if Paul wasn’t there to steer them in some direction, I’m pretty sure the album (and film) would’ve just dissolved into nothing. And I’m so glad it became something.
  • It’s easy to see John’s antics as comedic relief, but I guess what it really was was a general sense of apathy…and heroin abuse. He didn’t really want to be there but his go-to way of handling it was just being a goof. They showed a lot less of the antics in the original Let It Be film, which always led me to believe he was just completely over the Beatles at this point in their career. It’s nice to see it wasn’t always like that, though.
  • Watching George trying to speak up while Paul and John just keep talking to each other about how a song should go…that sucks. Plus, George came in with some straight up bangers and I feel like he got a lukewarm reception to all of them.
  • Also George prefacing all of his songs with “It’s really short/easy,” “It’s ok if you don’t want it” – TAKE MORE CREDIT JOJ YOU DESERVE IT!!
  • That ^ Twitter account btw is VERY VERY GOOD.
  • Ringo just really stays out of the drama, good for him.
  • The violent jamming to Yoko’s screaming (and Paul swinging from the scaffolding) after George leaves was…unexpected.
  • How exciting to have a reason for a new drinking game! I’ll be adding to this as the next 2 parts get released…

Take a drink when:

  • Someone plays a song that ends up on a solo album
  • The camera does a closeup of Mal Evans smiling ūü§ď
  • John is late
  • Yoko starts a new hobby
  • Paul’s beard is mentioned

Take two drinks when:

  • Someone gets electrocuted
  • Ringo introduces a Starkey original
  • George and Paul have a row

Chug it:

  • George leaves the band

#Thankful for the long weekend / giddy for part 2,

n.

In which I aggressively screencap another Beatles video

Oh, hi. Nothing like new Beatles footage to bring me scrambling back to the blog. LOOK:

I’ve been waiting impatiently for any news of this documentary since its premiere was delayed earlier this year, so I nearly burst with excitement when I saw this update tweeted out this morning (it was literally the reason for getting out of bed: I had to go into another room to watch it without waking Alex up). August 2021 is so far away, but these few minutes of footage reassure me that it’s going to be 1000% worth. Thank heavens New Zealand has its act together and the crew can resume editing work.

If this indeed is an accurate picture of the film, then I am giddily looking forward to…

Coming up with a new drinking game, this time with tea.

More of George and Ringo’s frilly shirts.

Billy Preston! George Martin! Mal Evans!

Yoko and Linda just hanging out??

John antics (honestly, these two seconds are very relatable).

PAULBEARD.

All the vintage recording equipment (and the boys dunking on Glyn Johns).

And just generally seeing a happier side of this chapter. <3


So stoked to see the Beatles get the Peter Jackson treatment.

Important Beatle People: Astrid Kirchherr

Astrid!

Photographer and lifelong friend to my favorite boys from Liverpool. I was so sad to hear of her passing yesterday, but grateful to see such an outpouring of love for her work. I’ve wanted to do a tribute to Astrid for a while now. Along with Klaus Voormann, she played such a huge role in shaping the Beatles’ image, and captured them beautifully in pictures.


Astrid was introduced to the Beatles by Klaus when they were playing their residency at the Kaiserkeller in Hamburg. She asked if they wouldn’t mind her taking some photos of them, to which they agreed. The result was their very first photoshoot, which is, to say the least, ICONIC:

She fell in love with Stuart Sutcliffe (John’s BFF from art school and then-bassist in the band) and Stuart eventually left the band to live with her. They got engaged, but he tragically died of a brain hemorrhage at age 21. Astrid captured some beautiful photos of Stuart, and also of John and George in his studio after his death:

After Ringo joined the band and the Beatles became worldwide pop stars, they all remained close and Astrid took some wonderful portraits of them, when most others were either overly posed or just plain awkward. I also love the candids she shot. I’m sure they were more at ease with her than any other photographers, and it shows.

She hung out with them during their newfound fame, took behind the scenes photos during the filming of A Hard Day’s Night, and stayed friends with them long after the band broke up. (I love the photos of George and Paul on holiday with Astrid – and Paul’s derpy face, haha. She was so pretty!)

Astrid eventually traded photography for interior design and lived a relatively quiet life in Hamburg, although she did a few photography retrospectives in recent years, I think. She passed away yesterday, aged 81. If you want to read more about her, this is a nice article.

Danke schön, Astrid. JPGR were so lucky to have met you.

A few personal thoughts on George Martin

george martin 7

Listen, I know Sir George was 90 years old and I know 2016 has already proved to be a year of crushing losses, but this still hit me right in the gut. I literally gasped when I saw the news on Tuesday night.

Ever since watching the Beatles Anthology as a teenager and listening to George Martin explain the studio techniques of my favorite band, I’ve had mad respect for the man behind the Beatles’ sound. In everything I’ve seen/heard, he always seemed so professional, humble, and kind. Not only did he give the Beatles their first recording contract and produce nearly their entire catalog, he contributed some key piano solos (“In My Life,” “Lovely Rita”) and arranged the orchestral parts for some of their most brilliant songs (“Eleanor Rigby,” “All You Need is Love,” “Strawberry Fields Forever”). He was the perfect bridge between the classical music world and the Beatles’ revolutionary experimentalism.

I can remember the¬†first time I heard “A Day in the Life”: I was 12 years old, sitting at my parents’ dinky¬†old computer with headphones on,¬†listening with the eagerness¬†of a budding music nerd¬†who’d just spent 45 minutes downloading a queue¬†of Beatles songs¬†on Kazaa*. I had¬†no knowledge of music production and couldn’t have explained why, when I heard John’s echo¬†of a¬†voice¬†dissolve into that insane 24-bar orchestral buildup, I very¬†nearly lost my sh!t. At the end of the song, after that colossal¬†last¬†chord, I might’ve actually flung the headphones off and rolled backwards in my swively chair in shock¬†(I know for sure that I immediately ran to my spiral notebook journal and scribbled in it furiously about how FREAKY it was¬†and¬†IS THIS WHAT DOING DRUGS FEELS LIKE?).¬†It was unlike anything I’d ever heard before.

That musical experience‚ÄĒa song on a pop album creating a profound physical reaction¬†that I still remember 15 years later‚ÄĒthat is George Martin’s legacy. He was the man responsible for¬†channeling the Beatles’ increasingly ambitious¬†musical visions, and¬†he did it more effectively than any other producer ever could.

Thank you, sir. Because of you I’ll always listen to music with a keener ear.

george martin 3

Recommended listening: 
The progression of “Strawberry Fields Forever”¬†with commentary by GM. His brass and strings arrangement for this song (2:25-4:55) is killer.
George + Brian Wilson in the studio.¬†Too much genius for one room! Cool¬†breakdown of “God Only Knows.”
Love – the album. (Pretty sure this will be taken down soon…honestly, just do yourself a favor and buy it.) A collaboration between George Martin and his son, Giles. Originally conceived by George Harrison.¬†Listening to this makes me fall in love with the Beatles all over again.
A Day in the Life.” Relive the¬†madness.


*In case you had any doubt, I’ve abandoned my pirating days and have since purchased all of the Beatles albums on CD and record.

The man who made music history

I generally would not use a word like “cool” to describe a legal document, but hey, look at this cool document!

The Beatles’ original management contract with Brian Epstein. “hereunto”!

“Why had I not signed it? I believe it was because even though I knew I would keep the contract in every clause, I had not 100 percent faith in myself to help the Beatles adequately. In other words, I wanted to free the Beatles of their obligations if I felt they would be better off.”
-Brian Epstein, A Cellarful of Noise, 1964

Oh Brian, I think it’s safe to say that you helped the Beatles more than adequately. And you sure did the rest of us a solid by¬†making sure their music was heard.

This is long overdue, but in my next installment of Important Beatles People, I present to you: Mr. Brian Epstein.

Firstly, let’s acknowledge the fact that Brian was absolutely responsible for the Beatles’ rise to fame. He took a huge chance on them,¬†having¬†never managed a group before and after being told by friends and colleagues that¬†the Beatles were “absolutely awful” (Alistair Taylor’s words, not mine). Regardless, he was enchanted by them and¬†was determined to get them a record deal. Every single major label said no,¬†but Brian kept going until he finally got a¬†deal with lil’ old Parlophone¬†(thanks to George Martin, also a huge part of the Beatles #dreamteam). Then,¬†he steadily booked shows, tours, and TV¬†appearances¬†so¬†that the band got more and more exposure. He¬†stood by their side from the dingy Cavern Club all the way to Shea Stadium and beyond. He was the Beatles’ biggest fan. <3

Epstein2
Brian introducing the Beatles at the Majestic Ballroom, 1962….

bir4
….3 years later, at Shea Stadium

The Beatles adored him. Yes, they poked fun at him (like they did at each other, and pretty much everyone), but they had complete faith and trust in Brian, in both business and personal matters.¬†He was best man for both Ringo & Maureen and¬†John & Cynthia¬†(who also¬†asked him to be Julian’s godfather, awww). Looking at photos and video footage, the Beatles + Brian were pretty inseparable those first few years.

Brian with Ringo and Mo on their wedding day. So happy!

And¬†most importantly: when¬†things got rough, he was always right there in the thick of it with them. He literally took punches¬†for them on the¬†Philippines tour, and had the fun job of answering to the press¬†after John’s infamous Jesus quote. Brian managed several¬†other successful artists once the Beatles hit it big, but it’s obvious¬†that they were his pride and joy.¬†When the Beatles stopped touring and went on to focus on studio work, he more or less stayed out of their way in the studio, but did arrange the famous global broadcast of “All You Need is Love” and held a smashing album release party for¬†Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. His story ends sadly and abruptly after that, with an overdose at age 32.

I have a lot of feelings about Brian Epstein. I think he and the Beatles were an unlikely but perfect match, a balance between his natural business smarts and their raw Liverpudlian energy. I think it is wretchedly unfair that he had to live in a certain amount of fear, being gay during a time when it was illegal in England (homosexuality in the country was decriminalized literally one month after his death). I think he was courageous for fighting so hard for the Beatles, and for devoting his entire career to their success. And I think he was a humble, dignified, and beautiful soul.


To finish, three lovely¬†Brian pics (btw, the man was incapable of taking a bad picture. You know how there are so many awkward, dorky pictures of the Beatles?¬†Not so with Brian. Even when he’s totally¬†in the¬†background of a photo, he looks positively dashing):

brian-epstein-photo-courtesy-of-katie-hickox
<3

16th January 1964:  Band manager Brian Epstein (1935 - 1967) relaxing in Paris with Beatles members John Lennon (1940 - 1980) and Ringo Starr.  (Photo by Harry Benson/Express/Getty Images)
adorable.

bri2
The most important manager in music history.

PS –¬†This post inspired by¬†The Fifth Beatle, a beautiful graphic novel about Brian Epstein which made me all¬†weepy. Go read it.

Martha My Dear

For some light Saturday viewing, here is a pictorial tribute to Martha, Paul’s sheepdog a.k.a. The Real Fifth Beatle:

Why that last picture never made it as an album cover is a mystery to me.

And also, because Post-Beatles Martha must not be forgotten, here are some McCartney family photos that also happen to showcase how cool of a dad 70s Paul was:

AAAAND because I’ve already gone too far with this post, might as well share¬†this video featuring more Martha and Cool Dad Paul. Can I also just take this opportunity to profess my unabashed love for Linda McCartney, and how unfair it was that she had to die¬†and Paul subsequently got involved¬†with this hot mess? I like to keep things chill¬†on this blog, but for the record, Heather Mills is the absolute worst.

tumblr_li2olvl5K71qhjwuao1_400

But back to Martha.

She lived a long life (15 years!) and saw Paul through¬†the end of the Beatles and the start of his family. It’s obvious from the pictures and video that they were meant for each other. <3

Stuart Sutcliffe: Not for the Faint of Heart

I won’t even pretend that this is anything other than a Stu Sutcliffe picspam. But first, for non-Beatle fans, Stu’s tragic story in a nutshell: joined the Beatles because he was John Lennon’s best friend, learned how to play bass and got¬†harassed¬†on the daily by Paul, fell in love with a German photographer and left the band to pursue art, suffered a brian hemorrhage and died at 21.

.Sometimes I wonder what would’ve happened if he hadn’t died so young and might’ve remained good friends with the band. Would he have reunited with them eventually? Or would he have ended up one of those guys who appeared at Beatles conventions, charging $20 for autographs (like Pete Best)? Doubtful…I think he would’ve kept to himself, continuing to¬†paint and not capitalizing on the Beatles’ success.
.
One thing’s for sure: if Stu had stayed in the band, there would’ve been no question who the Sexiest Beatle would’ve been (no wonder Paul was so defensive around Stu). The other guys wouldn’t have stood a chance. I mean, seriously:
.
.
.
.
You’re welcome.*
.
*Real credit: Astrid Kirchherr is to thank for most of the hott Stu pictures in existence. Her photos of the Beatles in their early days are some of my absolute favorites, definitely worth checking out. 

The Beatles weren’t the Beatles without….

Fun fact:¬†I’ve had this post in draft form since 2008. Not sure why I never posted it.

Another fun fact: It’s now 2013 and George Martin is pushing 90 years old WOW.¬†

Alright. Time to address the age-old question: Who is the real Fifth Beatle? There are a lot of opinions, and here are just a few of mine…

Brian Epstein – Probably the biggest contender. In terms of elevating the Beatles to pop culture icon status and securing them a permanent place in music history, Brian Epstein is to thank. It’s hard to come across a band who has such a close relationship with their manager as the Beatles did, and I think his untimely death was a huge factor in their eventual rift. +1 for Brian.

Lovin the popped collar, Brian. The man had style (tumblr agrees).
.

Pete Best – Ok so he was there for the early rise of Beatlemania, and he was a member of the group for several years…but since he virtually disappeared after getting the boot, I don’t really associate him with the Beatles. Plus he charges 20 bucks for autographs. -1 for Pete.

About to get pwned by Ringo!
.

Stuart Sutcliffe – Awwww Stu. I love Stu. But he wasn’t really that keen on being in the Beatles from the start, and had to learn how to play bass just to stay in. But he had a lot of artistic influence on John, and was also there when the Beatles started to get popular (and their crazy Hamburg days), so he definitely deserves some credit. It would’ve been interesting to see where he ended up. +0.5 for Stu.

Hipster Stu: was in the Beatles before it was cool.
.

Yoko Ono – …no.

George Martin – In my humble opinion, Sir George deserves the most props and is my personal vote for 5th Beatle, although he has publicly denounced the title. I have so much respect for this man. He took the Beatles through their entire recording career, produced all their albums (except Let It Be…that’s another story), and was very much involved in their creative and musical progress. Many of the orchestral pieces were scored/conducted by him (think Eleanor Rigby), and you can hear him playing the keyboard¬†solo in “In My Life.” What a bamf. +100 for Sir George.

Demonstrating proper guitar technique, undoubtedly.
.
Sgt. Pepper Era = GM going along with everyone’s crazy ideas.
.
Judging Paul’s engineering skills.
.
Aww, cute.
.