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In celebration of the release of The Beatles' remastered albums, as well as the launch of Rock Band: The Beatles, we present the Top 50 trivia bits you may have been too intoxicated to notice. Here's the first 20 for starters: [firstpara]

1. There’s nobody left to tell the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, about The Beatles. When the band’s childhood friend-turned-chief roadie-turned-Apple Corps boss Neil Aspinall keeled over last year, he took the Ultimate Bud Brother Loyalty Award and the darkest, juiciest Beatles secrets with him to the grave. Damn.

2. Ringo Starr, not Paul McCartney, was the first moptop to perform in The Beatles-hating Russia in August 1998 with his All Starr band. But unlike his Beatle mate, the drummer didn’t get a personal tour of the Kremlin from top-ranking ex-KGBs, who wouldn’t confirm if they had listened to “Back In The USSR” as teen commies.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. Two days after Sgt. Pepper came out, a relatively unknown Jimi Hendrix performed the title track in a private, members-only club. Lucky for him, Paul and another Beatle were there to get blown away by his literally teeth-cutting rendition. Not only did he end up living at Ringo Starr’s house after getting kicked out of his hotel, he was also invited to play at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival due to (fest board member) Paul’s insistence.

6. So how did Michael Jackson end up semi-owning The Beatles? Well, Brian’s business partner Dick James owned half of Northern Songs, 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!


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WORDS: IRENE CURTIS
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