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Fifth Beatle

Fifth Beatle

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The Fifth Beatle is an informal title that various commentators in the press and entertainment industry have applied to persons who were at one point a member of The Beatles
The Beatles
The Beatles were an English rock band, active throughout the 1960s and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Formed in Liverpool, by 1962 the group consisted of John Lennon , Paul McCartney , George Harrison and Ringo Starr...

, or who had a strong association with the "Fab Four" (John Lennon
John Lennon
John Winston Lennon, MBE was an English musician and singer-songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as one of the founding members of The Beatles, one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music...

, Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney
Sir James Paul McCartney, MBE, Hon RAM, FRCM is an English musician, singer-songwriter and composer. Formerly of The Beatles and Wings , McCartney is listed in Guinness World Records as the "most successful musician and composer in popular music history", with 60 gold discs and sales of 100...

, George Harrison
George Harrison
George Harrison, MBE was an English musician, guitarist, singer-songwriter, actor and film producer who achieved international fame as lead guitarist of The Beatles. Often referred to as "the quiet Beatle", Harrison became over time an admirer of Indian mysticism, and introduced it to the other...

, and Ringo Starr
Ringo Starr
Richard Starkey, MBE better known by his stage name Ringo Starr, is an English musician and actor who gained worldwide fame as the drummer for The Beatles. When the band formed in 1960, Starr was a member of another Liverpool band, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. He became The Beatles' drummer in...

) during the group's existence. The "Fifth Beatle" claims started appearing in the press immediately upon the band's sensational rise to global fame in 1963–1964 as the most famous quartet in pop culture.

At The Beatles' 1988 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is a museum located on the shore of Lake Erie in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, United States. It is dedicated to archiving the history of some of the best-known and most influential artists, producers, engineers and others who have, in some major way,...

, George Harrison at one point stated that there were only two "fifth Beatles": Derek Taylor
Derek Taylor
Derek Taylor was an English journalist, writer and publicist, best known for his work as press officer for The Beatles...

 and Neil Aspinall
Neil Aspinall
Neil Stanley Aspinall was a British music industry executive. A school friend of Paul McCartney and George Harrison, he went on to head The Beatles' company Apple Corps....

 (referring to the Beatles' public relations manager and road manager-turned-business-executive, respectively). In a 1997 BBC interview, Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney
Sir James Paul McCartney, MBE, Hon RAM, FRCM is an English musician, singer-songwriter and composer. Formerly of The Beatles and Wings , McCartney is listed in Guinness World Records as the "most successful musician and composer in popular music history", with 60 gold discs and sales of 100...

 stated: "If anyone was the fifth Beatle, it was [Beatles' manager] Brian Epstein."

The term is not used to indicate the chronology of band members joining the group. Pete Best
Pete Best
Pete Best is a British musician, best known as the original drummer in The Beatles. He was born in the city of Madras, British India...

 joined Lennon, McCartney, Stuart Sutcliffe
Stuart Sutcliffe
Stuart Fergusson Victor Sutcliffe was a Scottish artist and musician, best known as the original bass player of The Beatles. Sutcliffe left the band to pursue a career as an artist, having previously attended the Liverpool College of Art...

 and Harrison on the eve of their Hamburg sojourn, the five using the monikers, "The Silver Beetles" and "The Silver Beatles" (they would experiment with "The Beat Brothers" and ultimately "The Beatles" while in Hamburg with Best).

Early group members


Before they became famous, The Beatles actually did sometimes have five members, so the following people could all be called "the Fifth Beatle":

Stuart Sutcliffe



Stuart Sutcliffe
Stuart Sutcliffe
Stuart Fergusson Victor Sutcliffe was a Scottish artist and musician, best known as the original bass player of The Beatles. Sutcliffe left the band to pursue a career as an artist, having previously attended the Liverpool College of Art...

 was the original bassist of the five-member Beatles. He played with the band primarily during their days as a club act in Hamburg, Germany. When the band returned to Liverpool in 1961, Sutcliffe remained behind in Hamburg. He died of a brain hemorrhage shortly thereafter. Instead of replacing him with a new member, Paul McCartney changed from rhythm guitar (with John Lennon) to bass and the band continued as a four-piece.

Sutcliffe was an accomplished painter, but when compared to the other Beatles, his musical skills were described as "inadequate", and his involvement in the band was mainly a consequence of his friendship with Lennon. Sutcliffe's input was, however, an important early influence on the development of the band's image; Sutcliffe was the first to wear what would later become famous as The Beatles' moptop hairstyle, asking his girlfriend Astrid Kirchherr
Astrid Kirchherr
Astrid Kirchherr is a German photographer and artist and is well known for her association with The Beatles and her photographs of The Beatles during their Hamburg days....

 to cut his hair in emulation of the hairdo worn by friend Klaus Voormann
Klaus Voormann
Klaus Voormann is a German Grammy Award-winning artist, noted musician, and record producer. He designed artwork for many bands including The Beatles, The Bee Gees, Wet Wet Wet and Turbonegro. His most notable work as a producer was his work with the band Trio, including their worldwide hit "Da Da...

.

Pete Best



Pete Best
Pete Best
Pete Best is a British musician, best known as the original drummer in The Beatles. He was born in the city of Madras, British India...

 was the original drummer of The Beatles. He played with the band during their time as a club act, in both Liverpool
Liverpool
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880...

 and Hamburg, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. The band during this time period consisted of Best, bassist Stuart Sutcliffe (see above), and guitarists Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and John Lennon. While Sutcliffe left the band in 1961, and died shortly thereafter, Best continued to perform with the band until 1962 when he was let go and replaced by Ringo Starr
Ringo Starr
Richard Starkey, MBE better known by his stage name Ringo Starr, is an English musician and actor who gained worldwide fame as the drummer for The Beatles. When the band formed in 1960, Starr was a member of another Liverpool band, Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. He became The Beatles' drummer in...

.

Other individuals


In addition, members of precursor bands (such as The Quarrymen
The Quarrymen
The Quarrymen are a British skiffle and rock and roll group, initially formed in Liverpool in 1956, that eventually evolved into The Beatles in 1960...

) like Pete Shotton, Colin Hanton
Colin Hanton
Colin Leo Hanton was a drummer for The Quarrymen—the band which would later evolve into The Beatles....

, Len Garry, Eric Griffiths
Eric Griffiths
Eric Ronald Griffiths was the guitarist in the original lineup of The Quarrymen until he left the group in the summer of 1958....

, and Rod Davis, or any one of a number of temporary Beatles drummers, most notably Jimmie Nicol (see below), Andy White
Andy White (drummer)
Andrew "Andy" White is a Scottish drummer, best known for replacing Ringo Starr on drums on The Beatles' first single, "Love Me Do". White featured on the American 7" single release of the song, which also appeared on the band's debut British album, Please Please Me. He also played drums on the...

 (the session drummer for the commonly-heard version of "Love Me Do
Love Me Do
"Love Me Do" is The Beatles' first single, backed by "P.S. I Love You" and released on 5 October 1962. When the single was originally released in the United Kingdom, it peaked at number seventeen; in 1982 it was re-issued and reached number four...

" and "P.S. I Love You
P.S. I Love You (The Beatles song)
"P.S. I Love You" is a song composed principally by Paul McCartney and recorded by The Beatles. It was released on 5 October 1962 as the B-side of their debut single "Love Me Do" and is also included on their 1963 album Please Please Me...

"), Norman Chapman, and Tommy Moore have been discussed in this context, albeit less often. Bassist Chas Newby
Chas Newby
Charles 'Chas' Newby , was temporarily the bassist for The Beatles in December 1960, following the departure of Stuart Sutcliffe. When The Beatles returned from Germany for the first time, they were short of a bass guitarist. Pete Best suggested Chas Newby...

 also performed three gigs with the band after Sutcliffe's departure.

Brian Epstein




Brian Epstein
Brian Epstein
Brian Samuel Epstein , was an English music entrepreneur, and is best known for being the manager of The Beatles up until his death. He also managed several other musical artists such as Gerry & the Pacemakers, Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, Cilla Black, The Remo Four & The Cyrkle...

, the band's manager from 1961 until his death in 1967, was instrumental in The Beatles' rise to global fame. Epstein "discovered" the band in Liverpool, saw their potential, and never wavered in his faith and commitment to them. He purposefully restricted his oversight of the band, limiting himself to business matters and public image, and gave the band free creative reign in their music. Epstein also doggedly sought a recording contract for the band in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

 at a crucial moment in their career, fighting their perception as provincial "northern" musicians.

Epstein's death in essence marked the beginning of The Beatles' dissolution, as Lennon admitted later. Because he was not creatively involved with the band, Epstein was only infrequently called the "fifth Beatle", but over the years he and producer George Martin
George Martin
Sir George Henry Martin CBE is an English record producer, arranger, composer and musician. He is sometimes referred to as "the Fifth Beatle"— a title that he often describes as "nonsense," but the fact remains that he served as producer on all but one of The Beatles' original albums...

 have clearly been recognised as the inner circle members who most profoundly affected the band's career. In an interview in the 1990s describing Epstein's involvement in the band's rise to fame, Martin declared "He's the fifth Beatle, if there ever was one".

Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney
Sir James Paul McCartney, MBE, Hon RAM, FRCM is an English musician, singer-songwriter and composer. Formerly of The Beatles and Wings , McCartney is listed in Guinness World Records as the "most successful musician and composer in popular music history", with 60 gold discs and sales of 100...

 summarised the importance of Epstein to The Beatles when he was interviewed in 1997 for a BBC documentary about Epstein. He stated: "If anyone was the fifth Beatle, it was Brian."

George Martin



The label is often applied to George Martin
George Martin
Sir George Henry Martin CBE is an English record producer, arranger, composer and musician. He is sometimes referred to as "the Fifth Beatle"— a title that he often describes as "nonsense," but the fact remains that he served as producer on all but one of The Beatles' original albums...

, who produced nearly all of The Beatles' recordings (later songs "Real Love" and "Free as a Bird
Free as a Bird
"Free as a Bird" is a song originally composed and recorded in 1977 as a home demo by John Lennon. In 1995 a studio version of the recording incorporating contributions from Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr was released as a single by The Beatles.The single was released as part of...

" were produced by Jeff Lynne
Jeff Lynne
Jeffrey "Jeff" Lynne is an English songwriter, composer, arranger, singer, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer who gained fame as the leader and sole constant member of Electric Light Orchestra and was a co-founder and member of The Traveling Wilburys together with George Harrison, Bob...

) and wrote the instrumental score for the Yellow Submarine film and soundtrack album, and the string and horn (and even some vocal) arrangements for almost all of their songs (with the famous exception of the Phil Spector
Phil Spector
Phillip Harvey "Phil" Spector is an American record producer and songwriter, later known for his conviction in the murder of actress Lana Clarkson....

 re-production on the Let It Be album, and "She's Leaving Home
She's Leaving Home
"She's Leaving Home" is a song credited to Lennon–McCartney and released in 1967 on The Beatles album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. McCartney wrote and sang the verse and Lennon the chorus...

", which was arranged by Mike Leander). His arrangement of the string octet backing for "Eleanor Rigby
Eleanor Rigby
"Eleanor Rigby" is a song by The Beatles, simultaneously released on the 1966 album Revolver and on a 45 rpm single. The song was written primarily by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon–McCartney...

" was widely noted.

Martin's extensive musical training (which he received at the Guildhall School of Music) and sophisticated guidance in the studio are often credited as fundamental contributions to the work of The Beatles; he was without question a key part of the synergy responsible for transforming a good rock-and-roll group into the most celebrated popular music
Popular music
Popular music belongs to any of a number of musical genres "having wide appeal" and is typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. It stands in contrast to both art music and traditional music, which are typically disseminated academically or orally to smaller, local...

ians of their era. As writer Ian MacDonald
Ian MacDonald
Ian MacCormick was a British music critic and author, best known for Revolution in the Head, his forensic history of The Beatles which borrowed techniques from art historians, and The New Shostakovich, a controversial study of the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich...

 noted, Martin was one of the few record producers in the UK at the time who possessed the sensitivity The Beatles needed to develop their songwriting and recording talent. Martin's piano playing also appears on several of their tracks, including "Misery" and "In My Life
In My Life
"In My Life" is a song by The Beatles written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney . The song originated with Lennon, and while Paul McCartney contributed to the final version, the extent of his contribution is in dispute. George Martin contributed the instrumental bridge...

". Martin himself deflects claims of being the "fifth Beatle" to Beatles' manager Brian Epstein
Brian Epstein
Brian Samuel Epstein , was an English music entrepreneur, and is best known for being the manager of The Beatles up until his death. He also managed several other musical artists such as Gerry & the Pacemakers, Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, Cilla Black, The Remo Four & The Cyrkle...

. In 2006, Martin inadvertently strengthened his image as the "fifth Beatle" by contributing the only piece of new music on the LOVE
Love (The Beatles album)
Love is a Grammy Award-winning soundtrack remix album of music recorded by The Beatles, released in November 2006. It features music compiled and remixed as a mashup for the Cirque du Soleil show of the same name...

soundtrack: a string arrangement on top of George Harrison
George Harrison
George Harrison, MBE was an English musician, guitarist, singer-songwriter, actor and film producer who achieved international fame as lead guitarist of The Beatles. Often referred to as "the quiet Beatle", Harrison became over time an admirer of Indian mysticism, and introduced it to the other...

's solo acoustic demo of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
"While My Guitar Gently Weeps" is a song by George Harrison, first recorded by The Beatles in 1968 for their eponymous double album...

" from Anthology 3
Anthology 3
Anthology 3 is a compilation album by The Beatles released in October 1996 by Apple Records as part of The Beatles Anthology series. The album includes rarities and alternative tracks from the final two years of the band's career, ranging from the initial sessions for The Beatles to the last...

.

Neil Aspinall



A close personal friend of Pete Best (he actually lived in Best's house and fathered his youngest brother, Roag), Neil Aspinall
Neil Aspinall
Neil Stanley Aspinall was a British music industry executive. A school friend of Paul McCartney and George Harrison, he went on to head The Beatles' company Apple Corps....

 would join The Beatles as their road manager
Road manager
In music industry, a Road Manager is a person who works with small to mid-sized tours...

, which included driving his old Commer van to and from shows, both day and night. After Mal Evans
Mal Evans
Malcolm Frederick 'Mal' Evans was best known as the road manager, assistant, and a friend of The Beatles: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr....

 started work for The Beatles, Aspinall was promoted to become their personal assistant
Personal assistant
A personal assistant or personal aide is someone who assists in daily business or personal tasks. It is common in design to have a PDA, or personal design assistant....

, and eventually ascended to the position of CEO
Corporate title
Publicly and privately held for-profit corporations confer corporate titles or business titles on company officials as a means of identifying their function in the organization...

 for Apple Corps
Apple Corps
Apple Corps Ltd. is a multi-armed multimedia corporation founded in January 1968 by the members of The Beatles to replace their earlier company and to form a conglomerate. Its name is a pun. Its chief division is Apple Records, which was launched in the same year...

 (a position he held until April 10, 2007).

Aspinall was involved in court cases on behalf of Apple over the years (including cases against The Beatles' then-manager Allen Klein
Allen Klein
Allen Klein was an American businessman, talent agent and record label executive. His clients included The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.- The accountant :...

, their label EMI
EMI
The EMI Group, also known as EMI Music or simply EMI, is a multinational music company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is the fourth-largest business group and family of record labels in the recording industry and one of the "big four" record companies. EMI Group also has a major...

, and the case against
Apple Corps v. Apple Computer
Between 1978 and 2006 there were a number of legal disputes between Apple Corps and the computer manufacturer Apple Computer over competing trademark rights...

 Apple Computer). He supervised the marketing of music, videos
Videotape
A videotape is a recording of images and sounds on to magnetic tape as opposed to film stock or random access digital media. Videotapes are also used for storing scientific or medical data, such as the data produced by an electrocardiogram...

, and merchandising
Merchandising
Merchandising is the methods, practices, and operations used to promote and sustain certain categories of commercial activity. In the broadest sense, merchandising is any practice which contributes to the sale of products to a retail consumer...

 for the group. Aspinall also temporarily served as the group's manager following Epstein's death.

Although not a musician, Aspinall also made minor contributions to a handful of The Beatles' recordings. He played a tambura
Tambura
The tambura, tanpura, or tambora is a long-necked plucked lute . The body shape of the tambura somewhat resembles that of the sitar, but it has no frets – only the open strings are played to accompany other musicians...

 on "Within You Without You
Within You Without You
"Within You Without You" is a song written by George Harrison, released on The Beatles' 1967 album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.-Composition:...

", harmonica on "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!
Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!
"Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!" is a song from the 1967 album by The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. It was composed by John Lennon...

", some percussion on "Magical Mystery Tour
Magical Mystery Tour (song)
"Magical Mystery Tour" is a song by The Beatles, the opening track and theme song for the album, double EP and TV film of the same name. Unlike the theme songs for their other film projects, it was not released as a single.-Composition:...

", and was among the many participants singing on the chorus of "Yellow Submarine
Yellow Submarine (song)
"Yellow Submarine" is a 1966 song by The Beatles, written by Paul McCartney , with lead vocals by Ringo Starr. It was included on the Revolver album and issued as a single, coupled with "Eleanor Rigby". The single went to number 1 on every major British chart, remained at number 1 for four weeks...

". As mentioned below, Harrison once claimed he, alongside Derek Taylor, was the fifth member.

Derek Taylor



British journalist Derek Taylor
Derek Taylor
Derek Taylor was an English journalist, writer and publicist, best known for his work as press officer for The Beatles...

 first met the band after reviewing their stage performance. Instead of the anticipated negative review of a rock-n-roll group, Taylor gave their act the highest praises. Invited to become acquainted with The Beatles' camp, he soon became a confidante, and gained his share of exclusives on them.

Eventually, he was hired away from his newspaper job by Epstein, who put him in charge of Beatles press releases, and playing media liaison to himself and the band. He also became Epstein's personal assistant.

By 1968, he became press officer for Apple Corps
Apple Corps
Apple Corps Ltd. is a multi-armed multimedia corporation founded in January 1968 by the members of The Beatles to replace their earlier company and to form a conglomerate. Its name is a pun. Its chief division is Apple Records, which was launched in the same year...

. As a VIP at Apple, Taylor had a major role in the company's ups and downs, making or enforcing many crucial business and personal decisions, for The Beatles and Apple's staff, and witnessing many key moments in the latter days of both. As mentioned above, Harrison once claimed he, alongside Aspinall, was the fifth member.

Jeff Lynne



Years after The Beatles had broken up, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr each worked with music producer Jeff Lynne
Jeff Lynne
Jeffrey "Jeff" Lynne is an English songwriter, composer, arranger, singer, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer who gained fame as the leader and sole constant member of Electric Light Orchestra and was a co-founder and member of The Traveling Wilburys together with George Harrison, Bob...

 on various solo projects, while Harrison and Lynne also worked together as members of the Traveling Wilburys
Traveling Wilburys
The Traveling Wilburys were an English–American supergroup consisting of Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty, accompanied by drummer Jim Keltner...

. Lynne eventually became heavily involved with the Beatles Anthology, and produced the two Beatles reunion singles that resulted from that project, "Free as a Bird
Free as a Bird
"Free as a Bird" is a song originally composed and recorded in 1977 as a home demo by John Lennon. In 1995 a studio version of the recording incorporating contributions from Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr was released as a single by The Beatles.The single was released as part of...

" and "Real Love."

Musical contributors


During The Beatles' existence (specifically, 1960–70 and the Anthology
The Beatles Anthology
The Beatles Anthology is the name of a documentary series, a set of three double albums and a book focusing on the history of The Beatles. Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr all participated in the making and approval of the works, which are sometimes referred to collectively as the...

 project), several musicians recorded with The Beatles in a more limited capacity, either on a Beatles' album, or on another artist's album with two or more Beatles members appearing. Hence, such artists could be dubbed "the Fifth Beatle" for a single track or two. Notable artists include:

Tony Sheridan



While performing in Hamburg between 1960 and 1963, musician Tony Sheridan
Tony Sheridan
Tony Sheridan , is an English rock and roll singer-songwriter and guitarist...

 employed various backup bands. In 1961 The Beatles (comprising Lennon
John Lennon
John Winston Lennon, MBE was an English musician and singer-songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as one of the founding members of The Beatles, one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music...

, McCartney
Paul McCartney
Sir James Paul McCartney, MBE, Hon RAM, FRCM is an English musician, singer-songwriter and composer. Formerly of The Beatles and Wings , McCartney is listed in Guinness World Records as the "most successful musician and composer in popular music history", with 60 gold discs and sales of 100...

, Harrison
George Harrison
George Harrison, MBE was an English musician, guitarist, singer-songwriter, actor and film producer who achieved international fame as lead guitarist of The Beatles. Often referred to as "the quiet Beatle", Harrison became over time an admirer of Indian mysticism, and introduced it to the other...

, and Pete Best
Pete Best
Pete Best is a British musician, best known as the original drummer in The Beatles. He was born in the city of Madras, British India...

), who had met Sheridan during their first visit to Hamburg in 1960, worked with him on their second. When German Polydor agent Bert Kaempfert
Bert Kaempfert
Bert Kaempfert was a German orchestra leader and songwriter. He made easy listening and jazz-oriented records, and wrote the music for a number of well-known songs, such as "Strangers in the Night" and "Spanish Eyes".-Biography:He was born in Hamburg, Germany - where he received his lifelong...

 saw the pairing on stage, he suggested that they make some recordings together. (At that period in time, Sheridan was the bigger name, with The Beatles as his backing band.) In 1962, after a series of singles (the first of which, "My Bonnie
My Bonnie
My Bonnie is the name of a 1961 single, a 1962 album and a 1963 EP by Tony Sheridan and The Beat Brothers, better known as The Beatles.-History:...

"/"The Saints
When the Saints Go Marching In
"When the Saints Go Marching In", often referred to as "The Saints", is an American gospel hymn that has taken on certain aspects of folk music. The precise origins of the song are not known. Though it originated as a spiritual, today people are more likely to hear it played by a jazz band...

" made it to #5 in the Hit Parade), Polydor released the album My Bonnie
My Bonnie
My Bonnie is the name of a 1961 single, a 1962 album and a 1963 EP by Tony Sheridan and The Beat Brothers, better known as The Beatles.-History:...

across Germany. The word "Beatles" was judged to sound too similar to the German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

 "Pidels" (pronounce peedles), the plural of a slang term for penis
Penis
The penis is a biological feature of male animals including both vertebrates and invertebrates...

, so the album was credited to "Tony Sheridan and The Beat Brothers". After The Beatles had gained fame, the album was re-released in Britain
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, with the credit altered to "Tony Sheridan and The Beatles".

Billy Preston



Apart from Sheridan, American pianist Billy Preston
Billy Preston
William Everett "Billy" Preston was a musician who gained notoriety and fame, first as a session musician for the likes of Sam Cooke, Ray Charles and The Beatles, and later finding fame as a solo artist with hits such as "Space Race", "Will It Go Round in Circles" and "Nothing from...

 was the only artist to receive joint credit on a Beatles single, on "Get Back
Get Back
"Get Back" is a song by The Beatles, composed by Paul McCartney and frequently attributed to Lennon–McCartney. The song was originally released as a single on 11 April 1969, and credited to "The Beatles with Billy Preston." A different mix of the song later became the closing track of Let It Be ,...

". Preston also played the organ on "Let It Be
Let It Be (song)
"Let It Be" is a song by The Beatles, released in March 1970 as a single, and as the title track of their album Let It Be. It was written by Paul McCartney, but credited to Lennon–McCartney. It was their final single before McCartney announced his departure from the band...

" and "I Want You (She's So Heavy)
I Want You (She's So Heavy)
"I Want You " is a song by The Beatles, from their album Abbey Road. It was written by John Lennon, although credited to Lennon–McCartney....

" and the Fender Rhodes electric piano
Electric piano
An electric piano is an electric musical instrument.Electric pianos produce sounds mechanically and the sounds are turned into electrical signals by pickups. Unlike a synthesizer, the electric piano is not an electronic instrument, but electro-mechanical. The earliest electric pianos were invented...

 on "Don't Let Me Down
Don't Let Me Down (The Beatles song)
"Don't Let Me Down" is a song by The Beatles , recorded in 1969 during the Get Back sessions.-Composition:...

" and "Get Back
Get Back
"Get Back" is a song by The Beatles, composed by Paul McCartney and frequently attributed to Lennon–McCartney. The song was originally released as a single on 11 April 1969, and credited to "The Beatles with Billy Preston." A different mix of the song later became the closing track of Let It Be ,...

". Preston had been introduced to The Beatles during the early 1960s, but did not work with them until 1969, when Harrison invited him to join them for recording sessions in order to defuse tensions in the band. Lennon once suggested that Preston join The Beatles, even using the term "Fifth Beatle", but the idea was dismissed by the others.
On the Let it Be album where Preston's performances are used the song credits list "with Billy Preston", clearly identifying him as separate from the main group, yet also giving him a level of individuality that separated him from studio session players.
To distinguish him from the common level of controversy over who is the Fifth Beatle, he is sometimes given the unique title of the "Black Beatle".

Jimmie Nicol



During the band's 1964 tour, Ringo became ill and the Dutch and Danish legs of the tour were almost cancelled. Instead of cancelling, however, the band hired another drummer, Jimmie Nicol, to stand in until Ringo recovered. The photographer following the band for the 1964 tour, Harry Benson, recalls in his book The Beatles in the Beginning, that "John was pleasant to Nicol, Paul was ambivalent, and George downright didn't like him and thought he was too pushy." George and Ringo were close and Ringo felt threatened that he was being replaced, even if it were for just a small portion of the tour.

Nicol made the most of his time in the most famous band. He signed autographs and gave interviews. Eventually there were rumours that Ringo would be replaced, but Jimmy eventually was not accepted as a member of the group, and many fans reacted with disappointment, through letters and telegrams, that Ringo might be replaced. Eventually Ringo rejoined the band on June 14, in Melbourne
Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...

, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

. The next day Nicol, after playing a number of concerts in Sydney
Sydney
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people...

 and Adelaide
Adelaide
Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia and the fifth-largest city in Australia. Adelaide has an estimated population of more than 1.2 million...

, giving interviews and signing autographs was escorted to the airport by Brian Epstein
Brian Epstein
Brian Samuel Epstein , was an English music entrepreneur, and is best known for being the manager of The Beatles up until his death. He also managed several other musical artists such as Gerry & the Pacemakers, Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, Cilla Black, The Remo Four & The Cyrkle...

 and flew home to Britain. It was later reported that Nicol was paid £
Pound sterling
The pound sterling , commonly called the pound, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, its Crown Dependencies and the British Overseas Territories of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, British Antarctic Territory and Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence...

500 for the gigs and was given a gold watch as a memento.

It is suggested, perhaps apocryphally, that the phrase "It's getting better" in the track "Getting Better
Getting Better
"Getting Better" is a song written mainly by Paul McCartney, with lyrical contributions from John Lennon . It was recorded by The Beatles for the 1967 album Sgt...

" (on the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is the eighth studio album by the English rock band The Beatles, released on 1 June 1967 on the Parlophone label and produced by George Martin...

album) was inspired by Nicol's stock response to repeated solicitous inquiries during his time with the band as to how he was coping.

Eric Clapton



Originally "While My Guitar Gently Weeps
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
"While My Guitar Gently Weeps" is a song by George Harrison, first recorded by The Beatles in 1968 for their eponymous double album...

" had only the first guitar solo in the song off of the album. However Harrison thought that it sounded weak, and was lacking something. They called in Eric Clapton to perform the lead guitar on the song and it was decided to cut one verse entirely and add another guitar solo towards the end of the song.

Spurious/joke claims

  • Murray the K
    Murray the K
    Murray Kaufman , professionally known as Murray the K, was an influential rock and roll impresario and disc jockey of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s...

    , a New York disc-jockey who was jokingly dubbed the "fifth Beatle" by George Harrison. Murray was one of the few who actually promoted himself with the title of Fifth Beatle. He is credited with coining the term "Fifth Beatle" when he referred to himself on air as such in 1964.
  • In 1962 radio announcer and disc-jockey Bob Rogers
    Bob Rogers (disc jockey)
    Bob Rogers OAM is an Australian disc jockey and radio broadcaster. He currently presents the Bob Rogers Show, Monday to Friday between 9am-12 noon and the 6-hour Saturday evening Reminiscing program on Sydney radio station 2CH....

     joined Australian radio station 2SM
    2SM
    2SM is an Australian radio station, licensed to and serving Sydney, New South Wales, broadcasting on 1269 kilohertz on the AM band. It is owned and operated by Broadcast Operations Group...

     which jumped to number 1. In 1964 Rogers was chosen to represent 2SM on the Beatles' legendary tour through Europe, Asia and Australia. Consequently Rogers became known as "the fifth Beatle".
  • John Melendez
    John Melendez
    John Edward Melendez , commonly known as "Stuttering John," is an American television writer and former radio personality. Prior to his work on television as a writer and announcer, Melendez was a regular on-air personality on The Howard Stern Show...

    , better known as "Stuttering John" from The Howard Stern Show, was sent to a press conference held for the announcement of a Ringo Starr tour, following the release of Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band
    Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band
    This article is about the album. For the band, go to Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band.Ringo Starr and His All-Starr Band is Ringo Starr's first official live album, recorded in 1989 during his successful comeback tour and released in 1990...

    in 1990, and asked him: "Now that Murray the K is gone, who is the fifth Beatle?" to which Ringo replied "You are".
  • George Best
    George Best
    George Best was a professional footballer from Northern Ireland, who played for Manchester United and the Northern Ireland national team. He was a winger whose game combined pace, acceleration, balance, two-footedness, goalscoring and the ability to beat defenders...

    , star footballer
    Football (soccer)
    Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball...

     of the 1960s, shared last name with Pete Best and celebrity lifestyle. Best was dubbed "The Fifth Beatle" and "O Quinto Beatle" by the Portuguese
    Portugal
    Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

     press after scoring twice for Manchester United
    Manchester United F.C.
    Manchester United Football Club is an English professional football club, based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, that plays in the Premier League. Founded as Newton Heath LYR Football Club in 1878, the club changed its name to Manchester United in 1902 and moved to Old Trafford in 1910.The 1958...

     in a 5–1 victory at Estádio da Luz against Benfica in the 1965–66 European Cup quarter-finals, mainly due to his Beatles-style "mop" haircut.http://www.nationalfootballmuseum.com/Hall%20of%20Fame/georgebest.htmhttp://www.manutd.com/bio/bio.sps?iBiographyID=2305http://sport.independent.co.uk/football/man_united/article331570.ece
  • William Stuart Campbell, Paul McCartney's replacement according to the "Paul is dead
    Paul Is Dead
    "Paul is dead" is an urban legend suggesting that Paul McCartney of the English rock band The Beatles died in 1966 and was secretly replaced by a look-alike....

    " theory.
  • Tatsuya Ishida, comic artist, creator of the Sinfest
    Sinfest
    Sinfest is a webcomic written and drawn by Japanese-American comic strip artist Tatsuya Ishida. The first strip as a webcomic appeared on January 17, 2000, although the very first strip appeared in print on October 16, 1991 in the UCLA newspaper, Daily Bruin, while Ishida attended UCLA. A new strip...

    comic strip, jokingly called himself "fifth Beatle" in the epigraph of his strip "Conscious Again"http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=96 in 2000.
  • Little Richard
    Little Richard
    Richard Wayne Penniman , known by the stage name Little Richard, is an American singer, songwriter, musician, recording artist, and actor, considered key in the transition from rhythm and blues to rock and roll in the 1950s. He was also the first artist to put the funk in the rock and roll beat and...

    , whose gift for flamboyant self-promotion is legendary, good-naturedly claims to have "taught The Beatles everything they knew" and at times has laid claim to the title. Indeed, Richard's songs and style influenced the early Beatles, and Paul McCartney's powerful vocal covers of his songs such as "Long Tall Sally" were important in The Beatles' early career. In reality, Richard's personal interaction with The Beatles occurred over a few days in early 1963, when The Beatles were second bill to Richard at several UK performances.
  • Broadcaster Brian Matthew
    Brian Matthew
    Brian Matthew is a veteran English broadcaster, who became well known in the 1960s. He is still broadcasting on radio for the BBC, having presented Sounds of the 60s since 1990, often employing the same vocabulary and the same measured delivery he used in previous decades.-Early life and...

    , who introduced Saturday Club on the BBC Light Programme
    BBC Light Programme
    The Light Programme was a BBC radio station which broadcast mainstream light entertainment and music from 1945 until 1967, when it was rebranded as BBC Radio 2...

     during the 1960s, remarked on a 2006 edition of BBC Radio 2
    BBC Radio 2
    BBC Radio 2 is one of the BBC's national radio stations and the most popular station in the United Kingdom. Much of its daytime playlist-based programming is best described as Adult Contemporary or AOR, although the station is also noted for its specialist broadcasting of other musical genres...

    's Sounds of the 60s
    Sounds of the 60s
    Sounds of the 60s is a long-running Saturday morning programme on BBC Radio 2 that features recordings of popular music made in the 1960s. It was first broadcast on 12 February 1983 and introduced by Keith Fordyce who had been the first presenter of the TV show Ready Steady Go! in 1963...

    (15 July 2006) that, not only had Best been accorded the "fifth Beatle" eponym, but that he himself had, on one occasion, been referred to as such.
  • Ed Rudy, the only American news reporter to travel with The Beatles on their entire first U.S. visit http://www.edrudy.com/bio.htm.
  • New York–based DJ Roby Yonge
    Roby Yonge
    Roby Yonge was an American radio DJ, most notable in the 1960s. He was best known for being fired from New York station WABC-AM in 1969, after he reported over the air that the singer Paul McCartney of The Beatles might be dead....

    , whose high profile at WABC-AM
    WABC (AM)
    WABC , known as "NewsTalkRadio 77 WABC" is a radio station in New York City. Owned by the broadcasting division of Cumulus Media, the station broadcasts on a clear channel and is the flagship station of Cumulus Media Networks...

     helped perpetuate the "Paul is dead" theory.http://www.interealm.com/robyyonge/
  • Stephen Colbert
    Stephen Colbert
    Stephen Tyrone Colbert is an American political satirist, writer, comedian, television host, and actor. He is the host of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, a satirical news show in which Colbert portrays a caricatured version of conservative political pundits.Colbert originally studied to be an...

    , who, on the January 28, 2009 episode of The Colbert Report, asked ex-Beatle Paul McCartney if he could be the fifth Beatle, to which Paul replied no.

Fictional Fifth Beatles

  • The Rutles
    The Rutles
    The Rutles are a band that are known for their visual and aural pastiches and parodies of The Beatles. Originally created by Eric Idle and Neil Innes as a fictional band to be featured as part of various 1970s television programming, the group recorded, toured, and released two UK chart hits in...

    's All You Need Is Cash
    All You Need Is Cash
    All You Need Is Cash is a 1978 television film that traces the career of a fictitious British rock group called The Rutles...

    , a parody of the Beatles, refers to a "fifth Rutle", "Leppo", who "disappeared [in Hamburg] after stepping into a small chest with a small German fraulein". This is apparently a reference to Sutcliffe, who died in Hamburg, while "Leppo" rhymes with "Zeppo". Zeppo Marx
    Zeppo Marx
    Herbert Manfred "Zeppo" Marx was an American film star, musician, engineer, theatrical agent and businessman. He was the youngest of the five Marx Brothers. He appeared in the first five Marx Brothers feature films, from 1929 to 1933, but then left the act to start his second career as an...

     was the "fifth" Marx Brother.
  • In the episode "Lisa the Vegetarian
    Lisa the Vegetarian
    "Lisa the Vegetarian" is the fifth episode of The Simpsons seventh season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on October 15, 1995. In the episode, Lisa decides to stop eating meat after bonding with a lamb at a petting zoo...

    " of The Simpsons
    The Simpsons
    The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical parody of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its family of the same name, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie...

    animated television show featuring Paul and Linda McCartney
    Linda McCartney
    Linda Louise McCartney, Lady McCartney was an American photographer, musician and animal rights activist. Her father and mother were Lee Eastman and Louise Sara Lindner Eastman....

     included a scene in which Apu Nahasapeemapetilon
    Apu Nahasapeemapetilon
    Apu Nahasapeemapetilon is a character in the animated television series The Simpsons. He is voiced by Hank Azaria and first appeared in the episode "The Telltale Head". Apu is the proprietor of the Kwik-E-Mart, a popular convenience store in Springfield, and a friend of Homer Simpson. He is also...

     claimed to be the fifth "Bee-at-el"; Paul rolls his eyes and says "Sure you were, Apu."
  • Eddie Murphy
    Eddie Murphy
    Edward Regan "Eddie" Murphy is an American stand-up comedian, actor, writer, singer, director, and musician....

     starred in a 1983 Saturday Night Live
    Saturday Night Live
    Saturday Night Live is a live American late-night television sketch comedy and variety show developed by Lorne Michaels and Dick Ebersol. The show premiered on NBC on October 11, 1975, under the original title of NBC's Saturday Night.The show's sketches often parody contemporary American culture...

    sketch, playing the role of Clarence Walker, a man who claimed to be the fifth Beatle, as saxophonist, who was kicked out by Lennon and McCartney because they wanted to steal the glory. The sketch featured Clarence's "proof" of his claims: Some out-of-tune saxophone and backing vocal parts clumsily overdubbed on a few Beatles songs, and an obviously phony picture of Clarence standing in the middle of the four Beatles. When the clearly unbelieving TV show host (portrayed by Joe Piscopo
    Joe Piscopo
    Joseph Charles John "Joe" Piscopo is an American comedian and actor best known for his work on Saturday Night Live.-Early life:...

    ) demands further proof of his claims, Clarence offers up a recording of a Beatles song played 'backwards', which reveals two Liverpudlian accented males declaring 'Hey Paul, let's get rid of Clarence and steal all of his good ideas!' http://snltranscripts.jt.org/83/83lrocknroll.phtml
  • Another Saturday Night Live sketch in 1988 portrayed controversial John Lennon biographer Albert Goldman
    Albert Goldman
    Albert Harry Goldman was an American professor and author.Born in Dormont, Pennsylvania, Albert Goldman wrote about the culture and personalities of the American music industry both in books and as a contributor to magazines...

     as the fifth Beatle. In the sketch, Goldman was the group's former tuba
    Tuba
    The tuba is the largest and lowest-pitched brass instrument. Sound is produced by vibrating or "buzzing" the lips into a large cupped mouthpiece. It is one of the most recent additions to the modern symphony orchestra, first appearing in the mid-19th century, when it largely replaced the...

     player who wrote the Lennon biography in revenge for being fired from the group.http://snltranscripts.jt.org/88/88bgoldman.phtml
  • In one episode of Roseanne
    Roseanne (TV series)
    Roseanne is an American sitcom broadcast on ABC from October 18, 1988 to May 20, 1997. Starring Roseanne Barr, the show revolved around the Conners, an Illinois working class family...

    , John Goodman's
    John Goodman
    John Stephen Goodman is an American film, television, and stage actor. He is best known for his role as Dan Conner on the television series Roseanne for which he won a Best Actor Golden Globe Award in 1993, and for appearances in the films of the Coen brothers, with prominent roles in Raising...

     character Dan Conner jokingly referred to himself as the fifth Beatle when Roseanne mentions a crush on Paul McCartney.
  • In 2001, Dan Bern
    Dan Bern
    Dan Bern is an American guitarist, singer, songwriter, novelist and painter. His music is often compared to that of Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, Bruce Springsteen, Phil Ochs and Elvis Costello....

     wrote a humorous song/story entitled "The Fifth Beatles". Bern imagines a world in which Bob Dylan
    Bob Dylan
    Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, musician, poet, film director and painter. He has been a major and profoundly influential figure in popular music and culture for five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly...

    , Bruce Springsteen
    Bruce Springsteen
    Bruce Frederick Joseph Springsteen , nicknamed "The Boss," is an American singer-songwriter who records and tours with the E Street Band...

    , Jimi Hendrix
    Jimi Hendrix
    James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix was an American guitarist and singer-songwriter...

    , Kurt Cobain
    Kurt Cobain
    Kurt Donald Cobain was an American singer-songwriter, musician and artist, best known as the lead singer and guitarist of the grunge band Nirvana...

     and various other well-known musicians do stints as members of the band.http://www.DanBernDigitalArchive.net/FifthBeatles.mp3
  • An edition of BBC
    BBC
    The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

     comedy Fist of Fun
    Fist of Fun
    Fist of Fun was a popular British comedy television and radio programme, written by and starring Lee and Herring . A lot of the show's comic material was adapted from Lee and Herring's radio programme Lionel Nimrod's Inexplicable World.Each episode of Fist of Fun featured several disparate sketches...

    featured a "special guest" (played by Kevin Eldon) who claimed to be the tenth Beatle, on the basis that there were only five people with better claim to be the fifth Beatle than him. The fact that he was born in 1971 did not appear to be a problem to the man; he remarks, with some wonder, "If I had been born twenty years earlier, I could have been the fifth Beatle!"
  • In the Blizzard RTS PC game Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne
    Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne
    Warcraft III: The Frozen Throne is a real-time strategy computer game developed for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS and Mac OS X by Blizzard Entertainment. It is the official expansion pack to Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, requiring Reign of Chaos to play...

    , the Crypt Lord Anub'arak says "I'm the fifth beetle" after being repeatedly clicked on.
  • In the film The Million Dollar Hotel
    The Million Dollar Hotel
    The Million Dollar Hotel is a 2000 American drama film based on a concept story by Bono and Nicholas Klein; directed by Wim Wenders; and starring Jeremy Davies, Milla Jovovich, and Mel Gibson...

    , the character Dixie (played by Peter Stormare
    Peter Stormare
    is a Swedish film, stage, voice and television actor as well as a theatrical director, playwright and musician.- Early life :...

    ) believes himself to be the fifth Beatle.
  • Terry Fator
    Terry Fator
    Terry Wayne Fator is a ventriloquist, impressionist, comedian, and singer from Dallas, Texas. Fator is capable of doing over 100 ventriloquial impersonations, and uses 16 different puppets in his act. He was the winner of Season 2 of America's Got Talent, and received the million dollar prize...

    , a ventriloquist, who won the 2007 America's Got Talent
    America's Got Talent (Season 2)
    The second season of America's Got Talent, an American television reality show talent competition, premiered on the NBC network on June 5, 2007 with a two-hour episode. Tabloid talk show host Jerry Springer succeeded Regis Philbin as host. Piers Morgan and David Hasselhoff returned as judges,...

     introduced "Hyphen", a ventriloquist puppet who claims to have been the 5th Beatle, having been kicked out for breaking their bong. He (Hyphen) even points out that he is listed in credits as co-writer of most of the songs as they are all listed as written by Lennon Hyphen McCartney, and emphasizes that he is Hyphen. In addition, Hyphen sings similarly to The Beatles, and uses tunes of various famous Beatles' songs for his social commentary songs, such as "I wanna hold your hand" becoming "I wanna shoot your head" in reference to the Pirates in Somalia, and "Yesterday" being rewritten as the tale of how Hyphen used to be the 5th Beatle only just "Yesterday".
  • In a 1964 episode of Jackie Gleason and His American Scene Magazine, Harvey Stone performed a novelty song as the fifth Beatle entitled "I'm the Beatle They Left Behind."

External links