Until today, they are still a legend.
The Stones could be more audacious. They were the pioneer of the Dunedin sound. The Who could be far louder. Still, The Beatles ruled it all. From their debut song in 1962 until their disbandment eight years later, these rock deities were kings. That’s an undeniable truth.
Love or hate, everyone knew them, or thought they did.
My memories of The Beatles were closely tied with my dad. The band drifted apart decades before I was born, but seeing how much he enjoyed their music, the 11-year-old me was intrigued. Also, dad played The Beatles whenever he was driving the car. He would tell me about stories behind each piece and ask me about the deeper meanings of the lyrics. If I ever have children, I’d love to listen to The Beatles with them, tell them the backstories, and hear their opinion.
So much time has passed since the height of The Beatles’ career and since my childhood. As the holiday season is approaching, and John Lennon’s ‘Happy Christmas (War Is Over)’ is back to the top streamed songs, there is no better time to recall the past and pay homage to the greatest band of all time.
So, which Beatles are still alive, and what are some facts behind the cultural revolution they inspired?
Table of Contents
A Wishful Look At The Beatles’ Old Glory
Before forming the Beatles, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr were just four reckless adolescents who wanted to pursue music. The Liverpool boys didn’t know that they were going to make one of the most successful bands in modern history.
We couldn’t blame them. During the late ’50s and early ’60s, the idea that an outsider music band from the relatively poor northwest city could break into the thriving London music scene was unimaginable. But that was exactly what happened. The Beatles didn’t only shake the whole country, but they also bring the Rock ‘n’ Roll phenomenon to the world.
John Lennon and Paul McCartney First Met In A Skiffle Band
John Lennon and Paul McCartney – Source: People
All of this began with a fateful encounter between two teenagers in 1957.
16-year-old rhythm guitarist John Lennon, the son of a merchant mariner, was performing with the Quarrymen – a local skiffle band – at a church fair in Woolton, Liverpool. While setting up their instruments for the evening performance, the bassist introduced Lennon to his friend, 15-year-old Paul McCartney. McCartney joined them on stage several times before earning a permanent spot as the Quarrymen’s member.
On his first official event with the band in October, however, things didn’t turn out well for McCartney. “For my first gig, I was given a guitar solo on ‘Guitar Boogie.’ I could play it easily in rehearsal so they elected that I should do it as my solo,” he recalled in the Anthology documentary, “Things were going fine, but when the moment came in the performance I got sticky fingers; I thought, ‘What am I doing here?’ I was just too frightened; it was too big a moment with everyone looking at the guitar player. I couldn’t do it.”
And so George Harrison was called in to help. The 15-year-old guitarist had been a fan of rockabilly for a long time, and it was his style that shaped the group’s early sound. While still performing as the Quarrymen, the trio went on to form the core that would eventually become The Beatles.
Their Band Name Was A Combination Of ‘Beetles” And ‘Beat’
During their early days, the band’s name was constantly changing. Some of the monikers they used include Johnny And The Moon Dogs, The Silver Beetles, and The Silver Beats.
Stuart Sutcliffe, an art school student and Lennon’s buddy, was invited into the band as a bass player. He and Lennon were said to come up with the name “The Beatles”, but there are many stories regarding the actual origin. One thing we know for sure, though: The name that would become iconic in contemporary music was a mix of ‘beetles’ and ‘beat’, hence ‘The Beatles’.
Their First Music Contract Was Signed In January 1962
From 1960 to 1962, The Beatles were gigging around Hamburg with occasional shows back in Liverpool. During a performance at the Cavern Club – a hometown venue – the band caught Brian Epsteins’s attention. This is also where Steven Van Zandt hosted his shows as he is a big fan of the Beatles.
After hearing about them at his family’s record business and in Mersey Beat magazine, Epstein was interested. Having returned to see the band a couple more times, he contacted The Beatles on December 10, 1961, and a five-year contract was inked a month later, marking Epstein their manager.
1962 was a milestone for our guys. On April 10, Sutcliffe passed away after suffering a cerebral hemorrhage. June 6 marked the band’s first record, which was done at EMI Studios. They recorded four songs, “Love Me Do”, “Besame Mucho”, “Ask Me Why”, and “P.S. I Love You”, all were produced by George Martin.
Although The Beatles managed to impress Martin, he still believed that Pete Best – the current drummer, was not qualified. Two months later, Best was fired and 21-year-old Ringo Starr was brought to his place.
The Beatles’ Debut Single, ‘Please Please Me’, Was Ranked No.1 In the U.K.
Epstein recognized the band’s potential, not national but globally, particularly now that the four core members had come together. He started working on their public image and laying out a plan to promote them.
He didn’t waste a second. “Please Please Me”, the band’s debut single, was recorded in November and released in January 1963. The track quickly found its way to the top of the U.K. charts, followed by a string of No.1 albums.
At some point, Epstein traveled to the United States and secured a performance slot for the band on The Ed Sullivan Show. That was the first time the band exposed themselves to the spotlight, as over 70 million people witnessed the show.
Which Beatles Are Still Alive?
Throughout their career, The Beatles have achieved worldwide fame, appeared on countless shows, and are still well-known decades later. Getting back to the present, though, which Beatles are still alive?
Which Beatles are still alive? – Source: Biography
John Lennon died after being shot – Source: BBC
John Lennon, the most famous Beatles member, died from a tragic murder in 1980. The one responsible for his death was Mark David Chapman. Despite being a fan of the Liverpool singer, Chapman was offended by his view on God, specifically a famous Lennon remark about the Beatles being “more popular than Jesus” and the lyrics of subsequent songs “Imagine” and “God.” That said, religion and belief were the motives behind the murder.
Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, had just arrived home from the recording studio. Chapman had shot him multiple times before he got inside his apartment. Despite efforts by first responders to resuscitate Lennon, the singer was fatally wounded and passed away before reaching the hospital. According to reports, two bullets entered the left side of Lennon’s back, passing through his left chest and lung, ultimately killing him.
As soon as words spread, fans gathered in front of his apartment building to pay their respects. By the time, the star was only 40 years old.
Want to know more about controversies? Read more about Ray Boltz, his holly and songs, and the shocking confessions.
He spent his last few years fighting cancers – Source: McCartney Times
Georgie Harrison passed away in 2001 due to lung cancer.
During the band’s heyday, George Harrison was seen as the more reserved member. Though not as well-known as Lennon or McCartney, Harrison was indispensable. After the band disbanded in 1970, Harrison embarked on a solo career that proved to be extremely successful. All Things Must Pass, his debut album, was a critical and commercial success. Notably, “My Sweet Lord”, a single off the album, became his biggest hit.
Unfortunately, luck wasn’t on his side. In his 50s, Harrison was diagnosed with multiple types of cancer. In 1998, he was treated for throat cancer, followed by a brain tumor and lung cancer shortly after. The star passed away in Los Angeles at the age of 58.
The Beatles’ drummer is living in the U.K. with his wife – which Beatles are still alive. Source: Grunge
‘Which Beatles are still alive?’, you ask? Well, the band’s drummer, Ringo Starr, is still alive in the U.K. During their golden period, Starr wasn’t as famous as his fellow members, Lennon and McCartney. Still, he was a piece of The Beatles, and everyone recognized his name.
Starr penned several songs for the band, notably “With a Little Help From My Friends” and “Yellow Submarine.” The Beatles’ fame has made Ringo Starr one of the world’s richest drummers.
Paul McCartney is the wealthiest Beatle today – which Beatles are still alive. Source: TCM
It’s safe to say that Paul McCartney is the most well-known member of the Beatles today. Along with Starr, McCartney is still alive. Compared to the 1960s, his prominence surely has faded, but he still makes frequent appearances on television and radio.
After his departure from the band, the former Beatle has ventured into new musical genres. In 2016, he collaborated with Rihanna and Kanye West on their song “4:05 Seconds.” McCartney is now 76 years old and continues to travel all over the world. He has an estimated net worth of $1.2 billion, making him the richest member of The Beatles.
Do you want to know how much the Beatles’ net worth compares to modern days rappers? Check out one of the greatest rappers Tory Lanez’s net worth!
How Tall Were The Beatles?
While some sources claimed that all the band’s members were over 6ft tall, their official biography said otherwise. Accordingly, The Beatles’ heights are as follow:
- John Lennon: 5’10
- Paul McCartney: 5’10
- Geoge Harrison: 5’10”
- Ringo Starr: 5’8″
Such a simple question as ‘How tall were The Beatles?’ is surprisingly controversial. Some internet users seem to be skeptical of these measurements, mainly Paul’s. According to them, in the old photos, he looked at least an inch shorter than 5’10.
These controversies even lead to a bizarre conspiracy theory that the real Paul McCartney had died in a car crash many years ago, and the one we thought to be Paul was a taller imposter. The fact that this rumor has doggedly persisted for over half a century is even more confusing than the Fab Four’s heights.
Who Was The Oldest Beatles?
Ringo Starr, who was born on July 7th, 1940, is the eldest member of the Beatles. John Lennon was born on October 9th, 1940, while Paul McCartney was born on the 18th of June, 1942. George Harrison was born on the 25th of February, 1943, making him the youngest among the four.
And In The End…
In December 2016, when The Beatles’ albums were made available on multiple music-streaming services, many of us were eager to see if there was anybody who still wanted the old songs at all. How would the young audience in 2016 react to music that was already half a century old? Well, millions had streamed The Beatles’ songs, with many of them apparently under thirty-five.
What does that mean? More than just a boyband, these four men had become a part of the pop culture, revolutionizing the way contemporary music was conceived and presented. It has been over 50 years since their disbandment, but the deep impact The Beatles have on successive generations will forever keep their names alive.