WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS: The People Behind The Beatles
Hundreds of people played a part in The Beatles story - some big, some small; some positive, some negative. Here's a look at some of those people and the roles they played.
Jane Asher - Former fiancé of Paul McCartney who he began dating after she interviewed the band in 1963. She accompanied the Beatles to India in 1968 on a meditation study. She ended their engagement after finding Paul in bed with Francie Schwartz. She is the inspiration behind several of Paul's songs, including "Here, There and Everywhere," "I'm Looking Through You," "For No One," and "We Can Work It Out".
Tony Barrow - The Beatles' press officer from 1962-1968. Barrow created the phrase "Fab Four" for an early press release. He conceived of the Christmas fan club singles.
Mona Best - The mother of former drummer Pete Best, Mona acted as manager of the group after Pete joined. Even after the band signed with Brian Epstein, Mona still exerted control over the group and harassed Epstein over the quality of their gigs. She had a long affair with Beatles assistant Neil Aspenall and they had a child together.
Peter Blake - The artist commissioned to create and execute the cover photo concepts for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
Dave Dexter, Jr. - The Capitol Records executive in charge of the Beatles' North American releases. Dexter had rejected the Beatles releases for North American release on multiple occasions until their success in Britain forced him to re-evaluate. His practice of compressing and adding additional reverb to the masters received from Parlophone ("Dexterization" or "Dexterized") resulted in unique mixes heard on those albums.
Mal Evans - Beatles road manager and assistant who got his start as a bouncer at the Cavern Club after being recommended to the owner by George. After the Beatles stopped touring Evans remained with the band as an assistant. Evans was fired by Allen Klein during his Apple shakeup, who noted that Evans and Neil Aspinall were "living like kings; like f**king emperors." He was reinstated after complaints by the four Beatles. Evans contributed to many recordings, see Songs Featuring Beatles Assistant Mal Evans for a list.
Richard Hamilton - Pop artist who designed the cover for The Beatles ("The White Album").
Bert Kaempfert - Accomplished songwriter who hired the Beatles to back Tony Sheridan on My Bonnie - the Beatles' first commercially released recordings.
Freda Kelly - The Beatles secretary for 11 years from 1962. She also ran the band's fan club.
Jay Livingstone - Capitol Records senior executive who refused to release the Please Please Me single in America upon receiving it form George Martin, insisting that the Beatles wouldn't "do anything" in the US. The single was subsequently picked up by Vee Jay in Chicago.
Don McCullin - War photographer who took several of the photos in the famous "A Mad Day Out" photoshoot.
Brown Meggs - Capitol Records' Director of Eastern Operations who finally agreed to release a Beatles album in North America upon receiving the single I Want To Hold Your Hand from Brian Epstein.
Jimmy Nicol - A drummer who filled in for Ringo Starr for five concerts in 1964 after Ringo had undergone a tonsillectomy. He was paid £2,500 for each of the five shows and a £2,500 signing bonus, but was bankrupt by 1965.
Ron Richards - Producer for the recording sessions of the Andy White version of "Love Me Do." George Martin was unable to attend the recording session and asked Richards to book a studio drummer to replace Pete Best (not knowing Best had been replaced with Ringo). White was hired by Richards having worked with him in the past.
Dick Rowe - Decca Records executive most frequently credited with the quote, "Guitar groups are on the way out" when declining to sign the Beatles.
Francie Schwartz - Former girlfriend of Paul McCartney during the recording of The Beatles ("The White Album"). She was responsible for picking locations during the band's famous "A Mad Day Out" photoshoot in July, 1968. She contributed backing vocals to "Revolution 1."
Klaus Voormann - Artist who created the cover art for Revolver and Anthology. Voorman was also the bassist for Manfred Mann and produced albums for the group Trio.
Robert Whitaker - Photographer who spent several years with the Beatles, shooting photo of them on tour, in the studio, and in casual settings. He conceived of the "Butcher Cover" photo and also shot its replacement "Trunk Cover" photo as well as the rear photo used on Revolver.
Allan Williams - The Beatles original manager and booking agent between 1960 and 1961. After falling out with the band over commission payments, he was notified by Stuart Sutcliffe that he was fired. He told Brian Epstein, "Don't touch them with a f**king bargepole, they will let you down."