Oct 152010

You know his name...

I’ve been listening to a bunch of John Lennon interviews lately (4 hours with Jann Wenner in 1970, anyone?). They are quite fascinating when considered 40 years later. It did make me think of how many people there are who owe their fame to The Beatles or a Beatle. Hence this LMS.

Name a person who would be unknown were it not for the Beatles. What counts and what doesn’t? There are some fine lines here (in my head) but I’ll try and make some distinctions by example.

It doesn’t count if the person is a big part of the Beatles story. Brian Epstein, for instance, would be unknown without the Beatles but he’s too big a part of the Beatles to count. Ditto Yoko. By extension, let’s exclude all family members.

I guess I’m thinking more in the nature of hangers-on. Like my initial entry, Dr. Arthur Janov.


  118 Responses to “Last Man Standing: People Who Would Be Unknown Were It Not For The Beatles”

  1. Alexmagic – mean Magic Alex!

  2. BigSteve

    Speaking of family members, did you see that Dhani Harrison has a new band with Joseph Arthur and Ben Harper?


    Oh yeah … the Maharishi.

  3. bostonhistorian

    The dudes in the Knickerbockers.

  4. misterioso

    Tony Sheridan.

  5. BigSteve

    Pete Best

  6. Al, can we toss out Pete Best and Stu Sutcliffe under the Band Member Exclusion? Similarly, according to the Brian Epstein Exclusion, shouldn’t we exclude all NEMS employees?

    Regardless, I’m probably going to be Last Man Standing in this tough battle with Prudence, Mia Farrow’s sister.

  7. BigSteve

    May Pang

  8. Damn, you’re good, BigSteve!

    By the way, I did recently hear about that band with Dhani Harrison. It came up in a recent episode of the tv show, Parenthood, but the only name I heard the excited character mention was Ben Harper, which caused me to make a rude comment about white people. During the episode I heard some of the music, which was not my cup of tea whatsoever: very CSN, lots of “rug” harmonies, etc.

    Oh, as for our current competition…Pete Shotten.

  9. meanstom

    Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way – Mark David Chapman. Bastard.

  10. I get this one out: Mal Evans.


  11. Al, we need another ruling: Chapman’s only known through solo Lennon, who is already excluded from this LMS. I don’t think solo hangers-on, assassins, and whatnot should count. I know we’re counting Janov, who’s therapy may have technically started after the band had officially dissolved, but he was helping John through a lot of heavy Beatles-induced shit.

  12. alexmagic

    Let’s hear it for (the fictional) Dennis O’Bell, without whom no one today would ever think of film producer Dennis O’Dell.

  13. sammymaudlin

    Pablo Fanque

  14. Astrid Kirchner (sp?).

  15. sammymaudlin

    I was holding the Astrid card. Fuck.

    Klaus Voorman

  16. jimmy nichol, the aussie fill-in drummer

  17. Just came across this post from another blog – not a person who would be unknown but, perhaps, some chords:


  18. Another side topic, if I may, which may elicit more entries here: It’s pretty easy to list friends of Lennon from various points in his life, but Eric Clapton and George Harrison excepted, can you name many friends of Paul, George, and Ringo let alone childhood friends? I’ve probably read a good 20 Beatles bios, and I can’t recall any names of their friends from the early days. Even during their solo years, beside obvious celebrity/music friends, I don’t think of many “associates” from other walks of life, the way Lennon is related to his revolutionary yippie friends et al. Does that ring true?

  19. Sorry to have been out when all these rulings have been needed.

    The instructions say known thru the Beatles or a Beatle. And once a Beatle always a Beatle, so people coming in after the breakup count.

    And it’s a family member exclusion, not a band member exclusion. Best and Sutcliffe count; they didn’t play any big role in “The Beatles Story”, not like Brian Epstein did. (I’m excluding family members so we don’t have to name all of Macca’s kids. )

  20. Does Allen Klein count?

  21. ladymisskirroyale

    Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

  22. Bruno Koschmider, the club owner in Hamburg who used to yell “Mach shau!” at the band.

  23. ladymisskirroyale

    Prudence Farrow, that Dear.

  24. sammymaudlin

    lmk: You are not reading the previous comments!

  25. ladymisskirroyale

    Mr. Kite?

  26. ladymisskirroyale

    Clarify, please?

  27. ladymisskirroyale

    Ooops, clarified.

  28. ladymisskirroyale

    So before I head off to hear Teenage Fanclub tonight, I leave you all with:
    The Iveys….who became Badfinger once they landed on Apple.

  29. BigSteve

    I assume George Martin is too much a part of the Beatles story, so I’ll say Norman Smith.

  30. BigSteve

    And Geoff Emerick.

  31. cherguevara

    George was friends with the Monty Python guys, wasn’t he? And also friends with the founder of Cirque Du Soliel, which is why they did that crappy “Love” thing.

    LMS entry… You may disagree, but I’ll say Peter Max.

  32. Al, your clarifications are much appreciated.

  33. I’d say no – he already made a name for himself in the music industry, getting a boatload of money for the Stones prior to working with the Beatles, right?

  34. You’re right, cher, about George and his Python buddies. That’s the kind friendship that wasn’t coming to mind.

  35. George Martin had already established himself in England working with the Goon Show, or whatever that radio show was called, right?

  36. Well, if band member connections are allowed, I’m sure he didn’t toil in obscurity as a member of the faceless Average White Band for all, but thanks to Paul McCartney I know who Hamish Stuart is and long to conduct an RTH interview with him.

  37. With Cameo-Parkway and the Stones already in his stable, Allen Klein is out. Ditto for George Martin.

    From my scant knowledge, I think Peter Max rode the coattails of the Pepper-inspired psychedelia but I’ve never really thought of him as connected to the Beatles. Is there some early career making connecting that I’m unaware of?

  38. BigSteve

    Elephant’s Memory.

  39. cherguevara

    Ah, I thought Max did the Yellow Submarine art, but I am quite wrong!

  40. sammymaudlin

    Heinz Edelmann did the art for the Yellow Submarine album and art directed the film. Some say Max was influenced by him while Max himself has said that he was commissioned to do it but when he couldn’t, recommended Edelmann. They were apparently friends at one time and later rivals.

    I like Edelamann better but Max certainly rode the wave of that movement and probably didn’t go out of his way to deny The Beatles connection.

  41. Even though he played with Little Richard, Mahalia Jackson, et.al., Billy Preson would have never been a household name (in rock nerd circles, anyway) without The Beatles.

  42. Oh, and Mr. Mod — here’s one of Lennon’s childhood friend names I can remember from a Lennon bio: Pete Shotton. From what I recall, he and John used to pal around and call themselves Shennon and Lotton and cause lots of mischief.

  43. That’s what I thought, but an interesting suggestion by cher, who may have been aware of this. It’s some other guy who did the Yellow Submarine cartoon, right?

  44. Yes, I think I suggested Shotten already. There are a couple of other Lennon cronies at the tip of my tongue. What I was getting at was that I never read quotes from childhood friends of McCartney, for instance. However, I bet Paul would tell you that he could have been friends with Pete Shotten first.

  45. Would any American rock ‘n roll fan so readily know the name Lonnie Donegan (sp?) if not for his name popping up as a homeland influence on The Beatles? I guess UK rock fans would know him from multiple musicians citing his influence. (He’s not the only English precursor to The Beatles I have in mind, but the rules of a Last Man Standing state that we can only supply one entry per post.)

    Last Man Standing!

  46. One of the childhood buddies: Ivan Vaughn, the guy who introduced Paul McCartney to John Lennon.


  47. Raymond Jones – who put The Beatles on Epstein’s radar. when he waltzed into NEM’S and asked for MY BONNIE, their first recording (cut with Tony Sheridan). And, in a moment of almost butterfly/tidal wave Chaos Theory purity got The Beatles ball rolling..

    Raymond Jones looks like this

  48. Thanks for the link Mr M – I’ve just added another name without whom, it’s unlikely we’d have ever heard of The Beatles..

  49. Rory Storm, the leader of Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, Ringo’s pre-Beatles band. (but I’m sure you already knew who he was, thanks, and only thanks, to his association to the Beatles).


  50. cherguevara


  51. alexmagic

    Any ManU supporters are welcome to disagree, but I am confident that, without the aid of the Beatles, not a single American today would be at all familiar with Sir Alexander Matthew Busby.

    Dig it. Dig it. Dig it dig it dig it.

  52. misterioso

    Dick James

  53. Mr. Wilson / Mr. Heath. At least for Americans with little interest in British political history.

  54. That’s the guy whose name was on the tip of my tongue!

  55. That may beat The Knickerbockers, in my opinion, for most creative entry to date!

  56. Now that British politicians that Americans may not have cared about otherwise have been mentioned, how about John (?) Profumo, whose scandal is lumped in with Kennedy’s assassination as one of the scene-setting moments in history that – as we’re told – nearly necessitated The Beatles’ emergence.


  57. Dr Robert, a/k/a Dr. Robert Freymann, a NY doctor who was know to be generous with the amphetamine prescriptions (or Dr. John Riley, the dentist who first dosed the Beatles, depending on which story you believe).

  58. cherguevara

    Leppo, from the Rutles.

  59. alexmagic

    The Profumo mention brought to mind Norman Pilcher, the infamous “Sgt. Pilcher” who busted half the Beatles for drugs in ’67. Later got a Primus song named after him, but more importantly, probably the inspiration for “semolina pilchard” in I Am The Walrus.

  60. BigSteve

    David Peel

  61. misterioso

    The ever-obsequious Elliot Mintz.

  62. BigSteve

    Neil Aspinall.

  63. misterioso

    Charles Manson.

  64. mockcarr

    Peter Tork

  65. misterioso

    Victor Spinetti

  66. alexmagic

    The late Lucy O’Donnell Vodden

  67. misterioso

    Ravi Shankar. (Sorry, but let’s be honest.)

  68. That is the best policy.

  69. BigSteve

    I was going to say Ravi earlier, but I looked it up and he had recorded with Yehudi Menuhin long before his association with the Beatles. Obviously there are different levels of unknownness, but I don’t believe Shankar qualifies as unknown without the Beatles connection.

  70. NOT one of these people, but in his heart of hearts I bet him might wish he were, Philly local news legend Larry Kane, who covered The Beatles’ first US tour as a fresh-faced kid reporter and has spent maybe more of his own time ruminating on that experience as he has on all of his major-market news experiences during Action News’ heyday of the ’70s and ’80s.

  71. Mark Lewisohn

  72. misterioso

    (Bill) Murray the K

  73. Good one, Frank – and welcome to the Hall!

  74. misterioso

    Mary Hopkin

  75. cherguevara

    If you want to continue to be honest, then George Martin.

  76. cherguevara

    Oh, I see he was spoken for. I don’t know if producing the Goon Squad makes you famous, though.

  77. The question is not “famous,” though, but known. Obviously there are degrees to what that means. Also, Martin is excluded owing to al’s “Big Part Exclusion.” I’m sure you’ve got a boatload of contestants left to play in this LMS, cher. I’ve got…

    Jackie Lomax.

    Last Man Standing!

  78. eleanor rigby

  79. BigSteve

    Mister Moonlight

  80. Pat Hodgett aka: Polythene Pam

  81. misterioso

    Derek Taylor

  82. alexmagic

    Wee Georgie Wood

  83. cherguevara

    Andy White, drummer on Love Me Do.

  84. ladymisskirroyale

    Noel and Liam Gallagher.

  85. Richard Lester

  86. ladymisskirroyale

    Peter Blake.

  87. jeangray

    Uhhhhhh… The Monkees???????

  88. misterioso

    Michael Lindsay-Hogg

  89. alexmagic

    French writer Alfred Jarry has another musical claim to his name – Pere Ubu got their name from his play Ubu Roi – but I’m willing to bet most have first encountered him by trying to find out what the hell pataphysical science is.

  90. Sid Bernstein

  91. Who’s that, al? It better not be the name of the critic who made the “aeolian harp” reference in a review of an early single. I’ve been trying to find the name of that guy!

  92. The promoter of the Shea Stadium concert.

    Lennon mentioned that reviewer in one of those interviews I’ve been listening to but I can’t recall the name.

    So, since neither you nor I can remember his name, he shouldn’t count in this LMS. The clear implication of the title “People Who Would Be Unknown…” is that they are known. This reviewer clearly isn’t!

    How many out there knew who Sid Bernstein was? Under my just promulgated rule am I LMS or not?

  93. Good one, al – and you’re right: the aeolian harp guy is not eligible for this thread, but I’m keeping the aeolian harp in my hip pocket the day we have the LMS: Instruments You Wouldn’t Have Heard About Were It Not For The Beatles.

  94. misterioso

    Sid Bernstein was the promoter who staged the Shea concerts, I think, and who throughout the 70s tried to stage a reunion concert.

    William Mann was the Aeolian cadences (not harps) guy. I think he was writing about the ending of Not a Second Time.

  95. Thanks for clearing all that up, misterioso. Now I can move onto trying to remember other useless things.

  96. misterioso

    That’s why I’m here, bro.

  97. Is no one going to come up with another entry? It would be bad form to declare myself the LMS winner in my own thread.

  98. Someone’s holding out, al. I think I have some more entries – I just have to make sure I don’t repeat an earlier one.

  99. John Dunbar.


  100. Dick Rowe – the Decca A&R man who bounced The Beatles.

  101. It’s time we close this out. Last entry before midnight Friday night. Don’t save those entries much longer!

  102. I think we agreed at our last LMS that we usually will not close out LMS competitions, leaving them open in case a newcomer joins 3 years from now and tops us all. Or did we agree to something else? Regardless…Allan Williams (Liverpool writer and Beatles’ first manager)!!!


  103. Well, then, rules are rules.

  104. jeangray

    Jane Asher

  105. meanstom

    Bill Harry. Hand over the belt!

  106. jeangray

    Interesting. Wikipedia says that Jane Asher is the only member of the Beatles inner circle that has not published her recollections, and has refused to publicly to discuss her time with McCartney & the band. Good for her!

    Ewwww. She was only 17 when she & Paul started dating. Can you imagine the scandal that would cause today???? A major PoP star dating a 17 year old?

  107. Back in those days – in some parts of America, at least – Asher was prime marrying age. But yes, that is creepy, when you think about it. When did Elvis start dating Priscilla, at 12 or something? Oh wait, didn’t Celine Dion’s manager begin courting her around that age?

  108. Sir Denis Eton-Hogg.

  109. Nice one, sonny – and nice avatar!

  110. Nicholas Schaffner

    Currently LMS

  111. Emitt Rhodes

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