10 Things You Didn't Know About The Beatles

From FBI investigations to diss tracks...

the beatles

If you're reading this, it's a fair assumption that you've recently spent six (plus) hours watching Peter Jackson's Beatles doc, Get Back. Apart from giving us an insight into the creative process of some of the most celebrated songwriters in the business, it also revealed the nuances of their interpersonal relationships.

The long reining consensus was that Yoko Ono was the wedge that drove the Beatles apart. Lennon and McCartney were also supposed to be at each other's throats during this period, with their songwriting partnership in tatters.

But (spoiler alert) the documentary revealed the band still had an awful lot of love for one another. The sessions depicted in Get Back resulted in some of the bands most defining material. Sure, Harrison was down in the dumps at times, and Yoko sitting around seemed to add a strange dynamic... but we also saw moments of the Fab Four relishing in the joy of playing music together.

No doubt the documentary has caused you to flick through your Beatles records with a renewed enthusiasm. And, while you're marvelling at the wonder that is While My Guitar Gently Weeps, or joyfully singing along to Octopus's Garden, why not indulge in a bit more Beatles trivia...

10. The FBI Had An Extensive File On John Lennon

Yep, you read that right.

President Richard Nixon was so concerned about John Lennon's political sway, he ordered the FBI to open a file and start a surveillance operation on him.

During 1969, Lennon and Yoko Ono were peacefully lounging around, growing their hair and inviting journalists into their bedroom. Their famous bed-ins were a protest against war and a campaign for peace. During the early '70s the couple became more outspoken with Lennon's songs becoming more politically charged.

Around this time, Nixon had pledged to resolve the issues in Vietnam. But public opinion polls and the rising number of political protests left the President concerned about his re-election chances. FBI files, released years after the fact, revealed Nixon was paranoid that Lennon's music contained messages of revolution, and that his presence at a number of leftist rallies was indication he was some sort of commie sympathiser. The FBI actually sent people to monitor his concerts and study his lyrics for hidden meanings.

The files also revealed the Whitehouse had genuine concerns that a couple of hairy hippies could topple the Nixon administration. The US government attempted to deport Lennon several times, on trumped-up drug charges in order to silence him. Nixon was ultimately chucked out of office before Lennon was deported, however.


Before engrossing myself in the written word, I spent several years in the TV and film industry. During this time I became proficient at picking things up, moving things and putting things down again.