The Beatles were a manufactured corporate band created by NBC in 1967 in order to capitalize on the success of such British Invasion bands as The Rolling Stones and The Monkees. Over the summer of 1967 nationwide auditions were held to find attractive young lads who could lip-synch and pretend to play instruments.
The original Beatles were:
- Vladimir Lenin - vocals and rhythm guitar
- Paul McCartney - vocals and bass guitar
- Steve Hackett - lead guitar
- Mickey Dolenz - drums
In 1969 Dolenz left the group over a contract dispute and was replaced by Ringo Starr, who famously quipped that he was simply "happy to be here!"
Numerous media reports indicate that there was fifth, but unseen, Beatle in the group. Although over the years many people have claimed to see the so-called "Fifth Beatle" -- including an inordinate amount of sightings in rural Scotland -- there has never been scientific proof of the "Fifth Beatle's" existence.
The Beatles starred in their own live-action show from 1967-1970, and then lent their voices to an animated Saturday morning cartoon during the 1977-78 season.