The Beatles: Top 50

In celebration of the release of The Beatles' remastered albums, as well as the launch of Rock Band: The Beatles, here's a list of 50 things you might not have known (or always wanted to know) about the Fab Four:

1. John Lennon's "poor orphan rocker PR" was shattered when his estranged dad Alfred Lennon (whom he'd last seen when he was five) turned up while he was shooting A Hard Day's Night. The reunion lasted barely 20 minutes before the scandalized rocker–who'd been an orphan on PR sheets–all but kicked his daddy out of Brian Epstein's office. When Alfred died in 1976, John's offer to pay for the funeral was rejected.

2. Julian Lennon got zilch from his father's estate. Well, aside from $40 million, all he had were old photos of his dad. In all fairness, John wanted to leave his diaries from 1975 onwards to his first born, but (of course) Yoko Ono said no. Jules had to buy Paul McCartney's "Hey Jude" recording notes and other Lennon memorabilia to own a piece of his father's legacy.


3. So how did Michael Jackson end up semi-owning The Beatles? Well, Brian's business partner Dick James owned half of Northern Songs and Maclen Music, the band's music publishing company. The other half's divided equally among Brian, John and Paul. In 1969, Dickhead (behind Maclen's back) and eventually, the two Beatles (under really bad advice), sold their shares to ATV. In 1982, ATV was offered to Paul and Yoko, but they balked at the asking price. So an Aussie dude called Robert Holmes a Court snapped up ATV, and then sold it to Jacko, who would then sell half of his shares to Sony Music. Whew!

4. We almost lost Ringo to a plane crash in the Yucatan jungle in the '70s. His overloaded chartered plane was skimming the treetops; his possé already contemplating death. But the laidback rocker calmly and matter-of-factly assured 'em: "Don't worry, it's not my time to go, so we'll be fine."

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5. If you wanna nick The Beatles' original master tapes–Apple Corps' very own precious–just go down the lower level of Abbey Road Studios and look for a massive steel door marked only with a sign that says: "Danger: High Voltage!"

Read the rest of The Beatles: Top 50 at wants to know: What's your favorite Beatles song?

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