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Beatlemania! Fun Facts on the Fab Four

Beatlemania was the fan frenzy in the UK and US in the 1960s as a result of the Beatles iconic music. John, Paul, George, and Ringo had the world at their fingertips, but did you know some of these facts about them and their music?

1. Fake French

The song “Michelle” was inspired by Paul’s technique for picking up girls at parties. He would sit in the corner, dressed in his typical all black, play his guitar, and sing songs in fake French.

2. Ringo the Cowboy

Ringo Starr’s real name is actually Richard Starkey. In some recordings of studio takes you can hear Paul asking “Ready Richard?”. Starkey changed his name to Ringo to sound more cowboy-ish.

3. Diamond Lucy

The song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” may have been inspired by a far more innocent source than many give credit for. Far from the dazed LSD evenings most expect, the song may have been inspired by a drawing of 4-year-old Julian Lennon that he showed his father. The picture was a drawing of a girl called Lucy, who sat with him at school and was gravely ill with Lupus.

4. H E L P!

The semaphore letters on the front of the Help! album, disappointingly, don’t actually say HELP. Instead it says N U J V. This combination of letters was more visually appealing for an album cover.

5. Lucy…but lower?

The mono mix of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds is a semitone lower than the stereo version, and slightly slower.

6. Food for thought

Plenty of food and drink is mentioned in Beatles songs, including eggs, onion, cornflakes, honey, coffee, marshmallows, cherry, truffles, ginger, pineapple, octopus, turkey, marmalade, coconut, fudge, tangerine, strawberries, mustard, and pies.

7. Chart toppers

The Beatles are the only band to twice knock itself off the top of the chart.

8. Incredible talent

John Lennon was dyslexic and legally blind, but he never let this get in the way of making the highest quality songs.

9. Musical genius

None of the Beatles could read music. Between them they could play guitar, drums, and write lyrics, but they never learned to read music notation.

10. Music and autism

Some researchers state that some songs by the Beatles (including Here Comes the Sun, Yellow Submarine, and Blackbird) may help some children with autism and other disabilities. This is because reading and singing lyrics, identifying certain rhythms, and thinking abstractly through imagery are helpful.

Head to RNS Beatlemania on Saturday 30 March to enjoy a symphonic celebration of the Fab Four, performed live by Royal Northern Sinfonia and stars of the West End Stage.