1. In ancient Egypt, much like in 16th century Europe, lipstick
Beatlemania hit the USA 50 years ago. Soon came scandal including arson, death threats, a suspicious guru, blasphemy, forbidden love, the Ku Klux Klan, sex, murder and drugs. With all this, the Fab Four truly shook up the establishment.
#1 Accused of Arson
Early in their careers when playing in Hamburg, McCartney and fellow Beatle Pete Best accidentally started a fire in the Bambi Kino Club. The owner accused them of trying to set fire to his cinema. They were arrested, spent a night in jail and were deported from Germany the next day.
#2 Drop the Drummer
When they signed their first contract, they dropped their old friend and drummer Pete Best. He was devastated after spending years playing music together. He was replaced by Ringo Starr. John Lennon later said although Pete was a good drummer, Ringo was a better Beatle.
#3 Bigger Than Jesus
In 1966 John Lennon said: ‘We’re more popular than Jesus now; I don’t know which will go first—rock n roll or Christianity.’ On their US tour their records were burned, they received death threats and their gigs were picketed by the Ku Klux Klan. Lennon was murdered in 1980 by Mark Chapman, a born again Christian angry about his blasphemy. In 2010 the Pope finally absolved the Fab Four.
#4 The Love That Had to Hide
The Beatles manager Brian Epstein was in love with John; and John knew it. Homosexuality was illegal at the time and John allegedly wrote the song You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away about Epstein’s situation.
#5 Drug Taking
Paul was arrested in Japan for drug trafficking, Harrison was a lifelong user of Cannabis, and all experimented with LSD. Beatles songs were often banned from radio play due to their alleged drug references such as in Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and A Day In The Life.
#6 Yoko breaks the Beatles
John met artist Yoko Ono and fell so madly in love that soon he would do nothing without her. She started coming to the recording studio. She made suggestions. She picked up instruments. The Beatles were fed up, John became defensive and eventually stopped going at all. Cue the end of the Fab Four.
#7 Maharishi Yogi
In February 1968 the Beatles went to India to train in transcendental meditation with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. John Lennon and George Harrison stayed for 6 weeks but left after allegations of financial corruption and inappropriate sexual behavior by the Maharishi began to circulate.
#8 Lennon’s Lost Weekend
A few years in to their marriage, Yoko could no longer cope and asked her secretary Mai Pang to take John away. After a year and a half apart, he returned to Yoko. This became known as his Lost Weekend.
#9 McCartneys Lost Decade
After the Beatles split, McCartney spent long periods of time at the isolated High Park Farm in Argyll, Scotland, becoming so reclusive that rumors spread that he’d died.
#10 Paul Is Dead
This bizarre urban legend took off in 1966 – it said that Paul had died and been replaced by a look alike, claiming there were clues to this on the Abbey Road cover and by playing Revolution Number 9 backwards.