Fifth Beatle

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The Fifth Beatle is an informal title that various commentators in the press and entertainment industry have applied to persons who were at one point a member of The Beatles, or who had a strong association with the "Fab Four" (John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr) during the group's existence. The "Fifth Beatle" claims started appearing in the press immediately upon the band's sensational rise to global fame in 1963–1964 as the most famous quartet in pop culture.

At The Beatles' 1988 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, George Harrison at one point stated that there were only two "fifth Beatles": Derek Taylor and Neil Aspinall (referring to the Beatles' public relations manager and road manager-turned-business-executive, respectively). In a 1997 BBC interview, Paul McCartney stated: "If anyone was the fifth Beatle, it was [Beatles' first manager] Brian Epstein".[1]

The term is not used to indicate the chronology of band members joining the group. Pete Best joined Lennon, McCartney, Stuart Sutcliffe and Harrison on the eve of their Hamburg sojourn, the five using the monikers, "The Silver Beetles" and "The Silver Beatles" (they would experiment with "The Beat Brothers" and ultimately "The Beatles" while in Hamburg with Best).

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