Key Figures

Sir George Martin was the Beatles producer who worked for a small label under EMI called Parlophone. This label and George Martin usually made comedy records. However, he did allow Brian Epstein, Beatles manager, to show him a demo of the boys. Martin was not all that fond of what he heard, but he was intrigued, so he set up and audition. He heard John, Paul, George and Pete Best, their drummer at the time, and was a little more keen on signing them. However, when he actually met them, he was instantly charmed. He did have one problem and that was Pete's drumming. He told Brian to get another drummer for the studio sessions. He did NOT tell him to fire Pete, that was due to the Beatles request. On the next studio session, the boys brought a new drummer, Ringo, but Marin wouldn't let him play. He later felt sorry for him and let him shake the tambourine for their first single "Love Me Do".
In the beginning, George was teh one with the most musical knowledge and he would offer his ideas to the Beatles. He could write and play classical music as well as score music. His real breakthrouh come when he scored the string section to Paul's "Yesterday". There he, and Paul, composed some of the most beautiful music ever heard. Form there the Beatles would frequently want a new sound and George would be the one to provide it. He found that working with Paul was easier as Paul would show him what he wanted with his voice, whereas John would describe the type of sound he wanted and leave it up to George to figure it out.
The music he helped meake for the Beatles was unbelievable. Because he was not trained to produce music, he was much more liberal with different sounds to make. His vast knowledge of how to make sounds as well as his innovation allowed songs to be made with sounds never heard before. Some of his best work is one "Tomorrow Never Knows", from Revolver, the double A sided "Strawberry Fields/Penny Lane", as well as on "Yesterday" from Help. The entire Sgt. Pepper album is also Martin's masterpiece. Many of the songs needed to be scored and he also made up the music for some parts. Perhaps, "A Day In the Life" is his best work. On that song he did everything against previous musical example. Between John's verse and Paul's chorus, Martin had to fill the 24 bars with "a giant orgasm of sound. Rising from nothing to an incredible noise" as was described to him by John. He did so on both sides of the chorus and created a masterpiece.
George Martin was an integral part of the Beatlse. This year (99), he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for that work. The Beatles produced the ideas but George Martin made it happen.
George Martin
Brian Epstein

Brian was the Beatles manager from Feb. 1, 1962 until his death in August of 1967. Brian was the son of the owner of NEMS (North End Music Stores). After little work in many fields, Brian worked for his father selling records. He did this quite well and would vow to be able to get any record asked for. One day a kid came in and asked for a record by the Beatles made in Hamburg. Brian found out they worked at the Cavern and he went to see them. There he was instantly attracted to them, and was soon to be their manager. He got them to clean up their act and got them more gigs and they become the biggest band in Liverpool. Brian made a demo of them and tried and tried to get a recording contract, he was very diligent and loyal to the boys. finally he did get them signed to Parlophone with George Martin. Brian, after the Beatles became big, was loaded with stress. He was in charge of getting the Beatles gigs and keeping them up with public performances. Not only that, but he also had acquired a whole stable of artist that he had to attend to.
Brian's flaw was he was not very good at dealing with big money. To give him some credit, nobody had to deal with that much money or that size of a band's popularity. He did loose millions possibly with blunders of products sporting the Beatles names as well as on the Beatles contract for money made on their albums and their movie deals.
Brian was good intentions but inexperienced. During the Beatles fame, he wore them down by scheduling too many appearances. Also the Beatles began expanding and quit touring all together in 1966. This left Brian a very small role to play. To further complicate things, his contract was up for renewal in 1967 and he wasn't sure if it would be renewed. He had developed a drug addiction through the mania of the Beatles and in August of 1967, while the Beatles were with Maharashi, Brian died of an overdose. Many question his death as a suicide or murder, but the official story is that he accidentally overdosed.
Stuart Sutcliffe

Stu was the real fifth Beatle. He was John's best friend and therefore he was included in the band, despite the fact that he had NO musical knowledge. Stu was an artist, one of the best in Liverpool, and he bought a Hofner Bass and joined the band with money he had earned from a painting. He accompanied them on their trip to Hamburg where he fell in love with photographer Astrid Kirchherr. He continued to play with them, but was becoming very unethused about it. He'd much rather be with Astid and Paul's nagging was beginning to get on his nerves.
When the Beatles went back to Liverpool (the second time), he decided to stay and go to art college in Hamburg. The Beatles went on to get a recording contract, and Stu was doing very well in college. However, he was suffering from terrible headaches. On April 10, 1962 he was having his most severe attack of all. He was going to the hospital by ambulance when he died in Astrid's arms.
Stuart's biggest legacy to the Beatles was in style. He was the first to have the moptop haircut, wear leather suits, as well as the first to have collarless suits that would be the customary outfits the Beatles wore on stage. He also thought of the name for the group. Initially he thought, "Beetles", but John changed it to "Beatles".
Pete Best

Pete was the Beatles drummer from the time they first went to Hamburg until they signed with George Martin. He was often referred to as the best looking of the Beatles, and was the most popular. It was rumored that Paul was jealous of his looks and that is the reason behind his getting fired. Actually, it was Pete's personality as well as his lack of drumming skill that was the cause of his getting fired. He rarely spoke, and was often too serious to fit in with the rest of the band. George Martin refused to use him for studio drumming and he was fired by Brian Epstein.
Pete came to join the Beatles out of their desperation. They always had trouble getting a drummer. They were offered a job in Hamburg if they were a 5 piece band with a drummer. George remembered that Pete played drums for the days when the Beatles would play at Pete's club, the Casbah. They rang him up and he immediately agreed to go with them.
Pete in Hamburg, did not partake in the activities the Beatles did, which was probably wise. He refused to take uppers to get through the performance, never performed wild antics on stage and refused to get the Beatle haircut. One activity he was noted for was lighting the condom on fire with Paul, and winding up in jail. Another difficulty with Pete was that he would not show up at some gigs and either Paul would have to drum or Ringo Starr from Rory Storm and the Hurricanes would fill in. The Beatles felt something whenever Ringo played so when it came time to fire Pete they called Ringo to replace him.
Pete is sadly was treated with such disrespect, one wants to feel pity for him. He dropped everything to join a group going to Germany. Played with them there and at home for quite some time, only to be dropped just before they got famous.
Neil Aspinall
Neil, affectionatley called "Nell" by the Beatles was probably the closest person to them during their career. Neil was good friends with the crowd the Beatles hung around with before they were famous. He was introduced to the Beatles through Pete Best, and soon became their driver. he was making good money driving them to gigs and soon met his previous accountant salary. Just before they became famous, Pete was fired and Neil wondered whether to stay or quit. He stayed and played a bigger role later. When the Beatles set up Apple, Neil was appointed as their Managing Director. He carried the stress of managing such a haphazard company as Apple Corps. He also produced "Let It Be" and helped with the Anthology, both producing as well as providing his thoughts. It is said that Neil knows the most private details of their lives, and has considered writing a book, but he is very loyal, and he would not publish it until after his death.
Mal Evans
The second driver for the Beatles as Neil was overloaded. Mal was affectionately called "Big Mal" because of his immense size, but he was a very kind man. He became their equipment manager and he even made appearances in the Beatles movies. He played the swimmer in Help as well as appeared in Magical Mystery Tour and Let it Be. Mal also provided some musical input for the Beatles. He played Hammond organ on "You Won't See Me', bass harmonium on "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite, and played a piano on "A Day in The Life". On the Anthology of that song, he can be heard counting the bars between John's verse and Paul's chorus. He also produced a bit, and did some songs for Badfinger, an Apple group. Sadly, he was shot to death by police when they saw he had a gun in a hotel room and thought he held the woman there hostage.
Derek Taylor
Derek was hired as the publicist for the Beatles, before this he was a journalist. He ghost wrote Brian's autobiography, A Cellarful of Noise, and Brian decided to hire him as an assistant. He then wrote the introductions in the albums sleeves of "Beatles For Sale" and "Yellow Submarine" as well as the Anthology. Derek quit working for them after a dispute with Brian, but was later hired back as the press officer after Apple Corps was created. George seemed to be his favorite as he selected George to write an article for a newspaper, as well as helped George write his autobiography "I Me Mine". Derek would write many books about the Beatles and the sixties and he was a driving force for the Anthology. Sadly, he died shortly after it's release.
Astrid Kirchherr and Klaus Voorman
Both Astrid and Klaus were influential on the Beatles during their time in Hamburg. Astrid was to become Stuart's finance and she gave each Beatle (but Pete) the moptop haircut as well as photographed them first and these pictures would be used as an idea for their album cover "With the Beatles". Klaus designed the record covers for Revolver and the Anthology, as well as introduced them to Astrid. He was rumored to be the replacement for Paul after the group disbanded as he played on John, George and Ringo's solo albums.