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Who was the 'Fifth Beatle'?
6 December 2010
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CranberrySauce
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note: two threads were merged by meanmistermustard on the 27th July 2014, the first thread comprised of posts 1 -> 21, the second posts 22 -> 33.

 

Occasionally, when talking of those who helped John, Paul George and Ringo or were a significant part of their history as a band, someone will be called 'the Fifth Beatle'.

A lot of names are tossed around- among them Pete Best, George Martin, Brian Esptein, Billy Preston and even Yoko Ono- so I decided to ask for your opinion. Who truly deserves the title of fifth member of the Fab Four? And why?

I'd like to hear your opinions before I share my own.

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6 December 2010
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mr. Sun king coming together
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George Martin because without him they wouldn't have been the band they were.

I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
6 December 2010
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robert
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In my opinion, no one "deserves" the title The 5th Beatle. I think one thing all four of them made clear in interviews is that only they four knew what it was like in that Beatle bubble.

I am not minimizing the contributions of other important people in their career (Epstein, Martin, etc) but none of them comes even close to being an equal partner.

There's the four Beatles and then there's everyone else.

Just the way i see it.

"She looks more like him than I do."
6 December 2010
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Zig
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To me the term 5th Beatle is collective.

 brian-epsteingeorge-martinmal-evansneil-aspinall

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6 December 2010
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GniknuS
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Brian then George. Brian paved the way, he cleaned them up and got them to George, who then progressed their music to unbelievable levels. Brian also dealt with all of their other issues, albeit poorly, allowing them to just focus on music, but when he died they had to start taking care of themselves more and basically collapsed.

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6 December 2010
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Celebrated_Mr_K
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George Martin was more valuable to the Beatles' recording legacy than any other person (although he'd have never met them if it hadn't been for Brian Epstein).

Now that that's out of the way, I'd like to offer up another '5th Beatle' candidate, one that NEVER gets mentioned.

Jane Asher.

When you think about it, Paul's relationship with girlfriend Jane opened his eyes to a whole new world of culture and the arts.  Paul was a working-class bloke from Liverpool who'd not had much exposure to the arts.  Jane was from wealthy London family that moved in cultured circles.  After they became an item, Paul began absorbing classical music and the graphic arts.  Suddenly, we went from "She Loves You" to "Eleanor Rigby."

6 December 2010
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mr. Sun king coming together
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Not at all. Jane did nothing for their music and did not lead to the evolution from She Loves You to Eleanor Rigby

I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
6 December 2010
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The Walrus
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I'd have said Asher's main contribution was as a muse, which doesn't really count for much. You wouldn't call Julian "the fifth Beatle".

 

Best and Sutcliffe were Beatles, however briefly, so describing them as "the fifth and sixth Beatles" is fair enough. Martin and Epstein were more important for the real Beatles though (i.e. the band that recorded Please Please Me and The End).

And I neeeeeeeeed her all the time
6 December 2010
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Zig
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GniknuS said:

 Brian also dealt with all of their other issues, albeit poorly, allowing them to just focus on music, but when he died they had to start taking care of themselves more and basically collapsed.


Good point, Gnik. It's a good thing they were as good as they were because at first, they were successful because of him and stayed that way despite him.

To the fountain of perpetual mirth, Let it roll for all its worth.

Every Little Thing you buy from Amazon or iTunes will help the Beatles Bible if you use these links: Amazon | iTunes

6 December 2010
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MeanMrsMustard
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mr. Sun king coming together said:

Jane did nothing for their music and did not lead to the evolution from "She Loves You" to "Eleanor Rigby."


I wouldn't be that extreme, though I would have definitely not counted her as a "5th Beatle." I agree with The Walrus-- Jane was a muse, so that means she must have done something for their music. I also wouldn't say she didn't lead at all to the evolution- I'd say she wasn't a main factor.

If I seem to act unkind, it's only me, it's not my mind that is confusing things.

6 December 2010
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Celebrated_Mr_K
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MeanMrs.Mustard said:

mr. Sun king coming together said:

Jane did nothing for their music and did not lead to the evolution from "She Loves You" to "Eleanor Rigby."


I wouldn't be that extreme, though I would have definitely not counted her as a "5th Beatle." I agree with The Walrus-- Jane was a muse, so that means she must have done something for their music. I also wouldn't say she didn't lead at all to the evolution- I'd say she wasn't a main factor.
 

Yeah, I don't really think of her as a 5th Beatle.  She's not even a musician.  I just wanted people to recognize her influence.  She deserves credit for introducing Paul to new things and new music forms and being an inspiration to him.  Paul said as much after they broke up, in "Martha My Dear."  Martha of course was the name of his dog, but the song was a thank you to Jane for being his inspiration, and his plea to her..."don't forget me."  Like someone would forget having a Beatle for a boyfriend.
6 December 2010
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mr. Sun king coming together
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Celebrated_Mr_K said:  Like someone would forget having a Beatle for a boyfriend.

 

Perhaps don`t forget the good times


I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
7 December 2010
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CranberrySauce
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I would have to say that the closest thing to a fifth Beatles would have to be George Martin. He shaped their sound, and helped execute their more outlandish ideas. And the Beatles just didn't sound as polished without George M. producing- many agree Let it Be was their weakest album.

george-martin

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7 December 2010
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rockmusicnut
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14

george-martin

8 December 2010
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Squonk
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Billy Preston - the only man to be billed equally with the Beatles. He's always been my choice.

 

Jb

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8 December 2010
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skye
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Eric Clapton wasn't billed equally? a-hard-days-night-ringo-7(I'm honestly asking - no snark!)

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8 December 2010
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Squonk
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skye said:

Eric Clapton wasn't billed equally? a-hard-days-night-ringo-7(I'm honestly asking - no snark!)

Welcome to the BBF!


No - Clapton received no credit on the White Album, even though it is well known that he played on WMGGW. The appropriate singles were credited to "The Beatles with Billy Preston."

Thanks for the welcome.

Jb

8 December 2010
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PennyLane
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I have always said him george-martin

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9 December 2010
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mithveaen
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Mhhhh well I can't say Brian Epstein was the Fifth Beatle because he was their manager, so I'd go with George Martin, and then Neil and Mal.

 

BTW I was reading the Anthology and I was surprised to read how Paul talks about Jane Asher saying that how everybody sold their story with the Beatles but her, and that's why he found difficult to mention her in their story. To me it was like saying "Thanks Jane". That was ... I dunno very surprising to read.

 

17, you know what I mean!

Here comes the sun….. Scoobie-doobie…… Something in the way she moves…..attracts me like a cauliflower… Bop. Bop, cat bop. Go, Johnny, Go. Beware of Darkness…  I believe in SH...
9 December 2010
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Celebrated_Mr_K
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I guess Stu Sutcliffe was the 4th Beatle and Pete Best was the 5th, so Ringo would have been the 6th.

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