Even Beatles Fans Will Be Surprised By These 15 Facts About The "White Album"
There's simply no questioning the influence The Beatles had on modern music. The Fab 4–John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr (in no particular order, if you can believe that)–redefined the music industry and their own sound as a band on a constant basis. The majority of these songs came during The Beatles' legendary visit to India for Transcendental Meditation.
The 1968 album features varying styles and is the beginning of the band's dissolve before breaking up in 1970.
McCartney wanted something that was as different as the busy art done for Sgt. Pepper's. This is what he came up with, although he originally wanted a coffee cup stain and a green apple smudge (the Beatles had just created Apple Corp. at the time). They stuck with this design instead.
His mother apparently came up with the line, ""What they need is a damn good whacking." It stuck, even after a misinterpretation by Charles Manson.
Scott had an illustrious career as a backing musician, working for Stevie Wonder on tour at one point. His actual line is, "OB-LA-DI, OB-LA-DA: life goes on, bra." McCartney loved it so much he used it as the track, and supposedly sent Scott a check of acknowledgement for doing so. Scott also played congas on the recorded track.
A gun magazine ran a headline "Happiness Is A Warm Gun" and got Lennon's creative juices flowing. He came up with the song with the same line.
John Lennon and George Harrison were the last two to leave the Transcendental Meditation teaching, only after Mia Farrow says that the Maharishi made sexual advances toward her. Maharishi apparently kicked them out for drug use. Either way, the song was made to show how Maharishi had made a fool of everyone.
George Harrison was set to fly to Los Angeles with the master tapes, and the Beatles were far from ready for that. So, working without stopping for 24 hours, Paul McCartney was found asleep at 4 AM attempting to get "Helter Skelter" ready.
John was raised by his mother's sister, Mimi, but he did get to know his mother, Julia, more just before she was fatally killed by a car crash when he was 17.
McCartney heard The Who had made a song that was loud and dirty, so he wanted to top them. Helter Skelter is a British amusement park ride, and the song details the rise and fall of the Roman empire.
Martha was an old English sheepdog who passed away in 1981. McCartney revealed she was the subject of the song, but not until 1997. She lived (on) in silent fame for nearly three decades when you think about it.
McCartney says the song actually was written with a black woman in mind. He said:
"Those were the days of the civil rights movement, which all of us cared passionately about, so this was really a song from me to a black woman, experiencing these problems in the States: 'Let me encourage you to keep trying, to keep your faith, there is hope.'"
Ringo never felt like more of an outsider than during these recording sessions, so he took a yacht and went on vacation. Paul played the drums on "Back In The USSR" and "Dear Prudence." After receiving a letter from the band stating they believed he was the best rock n' roll drummer in the world he returned.
The Prudence he's singing to? Prudence Farrow, Mia Farrow's sister. She was apparently trying to "find God quicker than anyone else," and locked herself in her hut for three weeks. This song was about Lennon trying to implore her to finally come out.
Lennon and Harrison can be heard whispering "There ain’t no rule for the company freaks," over the final chord from Sibelius’ Seventh Symphony.
He was said to have shot a tiger hiding in a tree platform, and afterwards felt so badly he told his mother he would never kill again. Lennon got the name Bungalow Bill from the bungalows in India and combining it with the name "Buffalo Bill."
George Harrison wrote the song, and Lennon and McCartney weren't taking the recording of it seriously enough. So, to get their attention, Harrison brought in his friend Eric Clapton to record the track. He was hesitant as no outsider had ever recorded on a Beatles' track. This move made Lennon and McCartney take the track more seriously afterwards.