In 1966, the Beatles were making so much money that they had to pay a 95% “supertax” on their earnings in the UK. After finding out how much money they were losing, Beatles guitarist George Harrison wrote the song “Taxman” out of anger.
Carl Sagan’s team wanted to include the Beatles song “Here Comes the Sun” on the Voyager Golden Records (discs containing greetings in 60 languages, music and sounds from Earth aboard both Voyager spacecraft launched in 1977), but the record company EMI, which held the copyrights, declined.
John Lennon’s comment ‘More popular than Jesus’ created a huge backlash in the US Bible belt, with one Texas radio station holding a large bonfire of Beatles albums only for a lightning bolt to strike its transmission tower the following day and sending the station temporarily off the air.
In 1969, The Beatles originally planned to have an album titled Everest. However, the band didn’t want to travel all the way to Mount Everest for the album cover photoshoot. This lead album title changing to Abbey Road, which was the street right outside their studio.
On August 13, 1966, in response to John Lennon’s “More popular than Jesus” comment, a radio station in Texas held a burning of Beatles merchandise. The next day, the broadcast tower was struck by lightning, damaging much of their equipment and sending the news director to the hospital.
The Beatles trip to India ended badly because the Maharishi wanted the band to deposit up to 25% of their next album’s profits in his Swiss bank account as a tithe, to which Lennon replied, “Over my dead body”.
The Beatles have sold more records than Bob Marley, Tupac Shakur, Nirvana, the Beach Boys AND Kanye West combined by over 30 million units.
John Lennon once called an ’emergency board meeting’ of the Beatles in order to inform his bandmates that he’d realized, while tripping on acid, that he was the second coming of Jesus.
The Beatles played a demo copy of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” before its release at full volume from an open apartment window at 6AM. Instead of complaining, the residents opened their windows and listened, aware they were hearing unreleased Beatles music.
In Soviet Russia, due to strict censorship of music, there was a black market for Beatles records that had been etched onto used x-ray film. Some would sell for an entire month’s salary. The records earned the name “music on the bones.”