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'Fifth Beatle' Aspinall dies, aged 66

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The Beatles' close friend Neil Aspinall has died in hospital in New York, aged 66.

Aspinall had worked for the band for 40 years and was known in the industry as the "fifth Beatle".

He went to school with Sir Paul McCartney and George Harrison in Liverpool and worked as their roadie and accountant before becoming chief executive of Apple Corps, the label set up to manage the band's musical legacy.

He agreed to take the position in 1968 "only until they found someone else", but stayed on for 37 years until last April. He also played backing instruments on hits including 'Magical Mystery Tour'.

A statement from Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono and Olivia Harrison said: "All his friends and loved ones will greatly miss him but will always retain the fondest memories of a great man."



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Sad news again. So many people are dying these last few weeks. :( :( It is sad to see them go, even when I barely knew they existed.

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Sad news but i do dispute him being called the fifth Beatle, that title could also be applied to Stuart Sutcliffe :confused:

its just sad news but then again nobody survives for ever, regardless of how legendary you are!




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Very sad to hear that Neil died, I posted about it on DS. I would say he was one of the closest confidantes of the band, part of their tiny inner circle like Pete Shotton and Brian Epstein. The 'fifth' Beatle term is a bit of a red herring, as the best and truest version of the group was always a four piece.

He was certainly one of their most trusted friends though.




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mr. mustard wrote:Very sad to hear that Neil died, I posted about it on DS. I would say he was one of the closest confidantes of the band, part of their tiny inner circle like Pete Shotton and Brian Epstein. The 'fifth' Beatle term is a bit of a red herring, as the best and truest version of the group was always a four piece.

He was certainly one of their most trusted friends though.


Along with their engineer John Barrett (also deaceased)

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Mr & Mrs Tabbythecat wrote:Along with their engineer John Barrett (also deaceased)

When you think of how massive the fabs were, it's quite amazing how small their entourage was.

Brian Epstein as manager, Neil Aspinall and Mal Evans as roadies and George Martin as producer.

Although their were others as you say Tabby, The Beatles' career was sustained by a very small retinue.

Madonna has probably got more bodyguards than they had in their entire team.





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