The Beatles Browser
Part Three
By Bill Harry  

The Beatles at the CavernWhen in Hamburg the impecunious Beatles used to snip the wires from club pianos for use as guitar strings.

The Ladders was the name that John, George and Ringo decided to call themselves when Paul caused the dissolution of the Beatles’ partnership. His replacement on bass was to be Klaus Voormann.

Ringo Starr was elected Vice President of Leeds University Students’ Union in 1964.

John was only the first of Julia Lennon’s four children.

The sleeve notes of the Italian release of ‘A Hard Days Night’ (‘Tutti Per Uno’) album, when translated into English, began: “Here they are also changed into actors, these four lads from Liverpool who upset England and the world’s music business, becoming almost as important and feared as the ‘Home fleet’ of Queen Victoria’s golden age and quoted in the Stock Exchange similar to the shares of the East India Company.”

The Beatles originally intended calling their seventh album ‘Abracadabra’, but the name had already been used by another band, so they settled on ‘Revolver.’

John drew his inspirations for his songs from many sources – people, places, incidents. Some were only the catalyst which led to a song; others were the entire theme of the number. Here are some of John’s sources of inspiration.

‘Sexy Sadie’: the Maharish Mahesh Yogi. John originally wanted to call the song ‘Maharishi’, but was advised against it. ‘Dear Prudence’: John’s observations about Prudence Farrow, sister of film actress Mia Farrow, who he thought took her meditation too seriously at the Rishikesh Ashram. ‘She Said, She Said’: Actor Peter Fonda made a strange remark to john whilst at a Hollywood party. John, who was on his second LSD trip, used the phrase to weave this song.

‘Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite.’ The entire title came from the text on an unusual poster which John bought in an antique shop in Kent. ‘Norwegian Wood’. About an affair John had while he was still married to Cynthia and written in an ambiguous way in order to keep the affair secret.’ ‘Nowhere Man:’ Actually arose because of a lack of inspiration. John’s mind literally went blank. He became depressed and thought of himself as a ‘nowhere man.’

‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ This referred to a Victorian house and grounds near to where John grew up, a place where he attended garden parties. ‘Lucy in The Sky With Diamonds had its origins in a painting by John’s son Julian. John asked him who the subject was and Julian replied, ‘It’s Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” ‘Good Morning, Good Morning’. The tune arose when John heard a cornflakes commercial on the radio. ‘Happiness is A Warm Gun’. John saw this entire phrase on the cover of a gun magazine. ‘Do You Want To Know A Secret?’ An early song of John’s, inspired by his memories of a Disney film, although, years later, he couldn’t remember whether it was ‘Cinderella’ or ‘Fantasia.’

The Beatles made their BBC Radio recording debut on 7 March 1962 and during the next three years performed no less than 88 different numbers on more than 50 radio appearances.

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