Fun fact: I’ve had this post in draft form since 2008. Not sure why I never posted it.
Another fun fact: It’s now 2013 and George Martin is pushing 90 years old WOW.
Alright. Time to address the age-old question: Who is the real Fifth Beatle? There are a lot of opinions, and here are just a few of mine…
Brian Epstein – Probably the biggest contender. In terms of elevating the Beatles to pop culture icon status and securing them a permanent place in music history, Brian Epstein is to thank. It’s hard to come across a band who has such a close relationship with their manager as the Beatles did, and I think his untimely death was a huge factor in their eventual rift. +1 for Brian.
Pete Best – Ok so he was there for the early rise of Beatlemania, and he was a member of the group for several years…but since he virtually disappeared after getting the boot, I don’t really associate him with the Beatles. Plus he charges 20 bucks for autographs. -1 for Pete.
Stuart Sutcliffe – Awwww Stu. I love Stu. But he wasn’t really that keen on being in the Beatles from the start, and had to learn how to play bass just to stay in. But he had a lot of artistic influence on John, and was also there when the Beatles started to get popular (and their crazy Hamburg days), so he definitely deserves some credit. It would’ve been interesting to see where he ended up. +0.5 for Stu.
Yoko Ono – …no.
George Martin – In my humble opinion, Sir George deserves the most props and is my personal vote for 5th Beatle, although he has publicly denounced the title. I have so much respect for this man. He took the Beatles through their entire recording career, produced all their albums (except Let It Be…that’s another story), and was very much involved in their creative and musical progress. Many of the orchestral pieces were scored/conducted by him (think Eleanor Rigby), and you can hear him playing the keyboard solo in “In My Life.” What a bamf. +100 for Sir George.