Beatles and Friends:

  1. Derek, some called me,
    Earlier in my life.
    I took Majnun's story,
    And my best friend's wife.

  2. I met them with Richard.
    In circles it goes.
    And twice near the end,
    My service they chose.

  3. Famous in my own right.
    They asked for my axe.
    But the "number" that night,
    I played on a sax.

  4. I was often above them,
    But I frequently played.
    I made the world love them.
    Thus my fame was made

  5. My story is tragic.
    But they were my boys.
    After I saw the magic,
    In a cellar of noise.

  6. My first true love was art,
    And Astrid my second.
    From my friends did I part,
    Before fame had beckoned.

  7. I once lived with my Best friend.
    And I gave him a brother.
    For me did the band send,
    So I left him and his mother.

  8. I swam in their second,
    Half servant, half pal.
    My fate no one reckoned,
    The police shot poor Mal.

Who are these eight people, and what does each line mean?

Basic Hint:

Some familiarity with the Beatles' associates, collaborators, and entourage is necessary to solve this one.

Advanced Hints:

These are pretty big hints, and probably give things away, so use them only as a last resort.


Also associated with: Nat King Cole, Sam Cooke, Sly & the Family Stone, King Curtis, the Rolling Stones, Ray Charles, George Harrison, Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band, and Eric Clapton, as well as being a solo artist.


Perhaps because of their alleged rivalry, when this man was asked to perform on a Beatles song, he chose to do so on an instrument he didn't know how to play. As a result, we have the worst instrumental performance ever made on a Beatles recording.


enter image description here


enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ Talk about a tough crowd... What's a guy gotta do to get some upvotes around here? :) $\endgroup$
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 10:16

1 Answer 1



Eric Clapton. First line refers to Derek and the Dominos. The line about Majnun refers to a legend that was part of the inspiration for "Layla". The best friend's wife was Pattie Boyd, who was married to his friend George Harrison


Billy Preston. Keyboard player. His most well known song is "Will It Go Round In Circles. He met them while touring with Little Richard, and he played with them on the albums Let It Be and Abbey Road just before they broke up.


Brian Jones. The Rolling Stones were thought of as huge rivals to the Beatles. He played sax on You Know My Name (Look Up the Number).


Sir George Martin. Producer and sounde engineer (above them, in the booth) often referred to as the 'Fifth Beatle'. Contributed to their commercial success and the formation of their sound. Did arranging work, and often performed on various recordings in different capacities.


Brian Epstein. He discovered the Beatles in the Cavern Club (Cellar Full of Noise, which was also the title of his autobiography), and managed them until his tragic, early death. Also somewhat tragic due to his homosexuality at a time when such was considered criminal in England.


Stuart Sutcliffe. Original bassist, but left to pursue art before the group became famous. Astrid Kirchnerr was his fiancee before his untimely death.


Neil Aspinall. Moved in with his friend Pete Best and his mother. Got involved with the mother and fathered a child (giving Pete a brother) and later became the Beatles' road manager.


Mal Evans. Drove the band around, helped set up equipment, acted as a gofer, etc. In their second film, Help!, he appeared as a swimmer emerging from under the ice after it had been cracked open by a bomb. Was shot by police at his house when his girlfriend told police he had a gun, and they mistook his air rifle for a real weapon.

  • $\begingroup$ And at this point, my google-fu fails me. Someone step in with #2! $\endgroup$
    – Irishpanda
    Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 4:06
  • $\begingroup$ I actually saw those, I was just giving someone else a chance to chime in. I noticed I kinda hogged this one :\ $\endgroup$
    – Irishpanda
    Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 4:35
  • $\begingroup$ True. It was fun as a group effort too though. $\endgroup$
    – Irishpanda
    Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 4:41
  • $\begingroup$ Excellent answer. I'm especially impressed that you figured out both of the tragic elements I had in mind regarding Epstein. $\endgroup$
    – Wad Cheber
    Commented Oct 24, 2015 at 4:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.