Thursday, June 08, 2006

Fifth Beatle Dies, But Forty More Live On

The death of keyboard player, singer, and songwriter Billy Preston garnered the inevitable "Fifth Beatle" headlines. Which got me wondering: Exactly how many people have been described as "the Fifth Beatle"? This is the kind of question that the Internet was created to answer, and it only took five seconds on Google to uncover this list of Fifth Beatles from Wikipedia:

Muhammad Ali [oh, come on!]
Neil Aspinall
George Best [popular British soccer player]
Pete Best
Alf Bicknell
Wilfred Brambell [very clean]
William Campbell [a non-existent person as far as I can tell]
Eric Clapton
Rod Davis
Brian Epstein
Mal Evans
Len Garry
Albert Goldman
Eric Griffiths
Colin Hanton
Dave Hill
Larry Kane
Jeff Lynne
Murray the K
Charles Manson [yes, that Charles Manson]
George Martin
Linda McCartney
Tommy Moore
Eddie Murphy
Apu Nahasapeemapetilon [convenience-store owner from The Simpsons]
Jimmy Nicol
Yoko Ono
Billy Preston
Ed Rudy
Tony Sheridan
Pete Shotton
Phil Spector
Stuart Sutcliffe
Klaus Voormann

But this list merely scratches the surface. Those eager to plumb these depths of absurdity still further should check out this list, which includes Freddie Mercury, William Shatner, and J. R. "Bob" Dobbs (the cult figure around whom the Church of the Sub-Genius is centered).

There are probably other lists to be found, but the number of extra Beatles is already well into the forties, which I guess is comforting--John Lennon and George Harrison may be dead, but we are in no danger of running out of Beatles for a long, long time.

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