Who Was the Fifth Beatle?

Sunday, September 24, 2023

The notion of a Fifth Beatle emerged when US radio DJ Murray the K joked about giving The Beatles so much airtime in America, that he should be considered the ‘Fifth Beatle’. From the early days of ‘Beatlemania’ the legend grew. However, the answer to the puzzle is clear: there wasn’t a Fifth Beatle. Instead, The Beatles’ immense success sparked the legend of an honorary ‘fifth’ member. Lennon, McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr were the undisputed Fab Four. Nevertheless, here are the candidates for the elusive fifth spot.

A serious contender for the role of ‘Fifth Beatle’ was Brian Epstein. Manager of the band from 1962, until his untimely death in 1967. Publicly The Beatles addressed him as ‘Mr Epstein’ or ‘Brian’, in private they affectionately referred to him as ‘Eppy’, or ‘Bri’. Epstein wasn’t involved in the music. But he was nonetheless the key architect of ‘Beatlemania’. He expertly engineered the ‘mob’ of screaming fans that met The Beatles at every public turn and profoundly influenced their public image from their early ‘clean cut’ appearance to the psychedelic military ideal of Sgt Pepper. In the words of Paul McCartney, ‘If anyone was a fifth Beatle, it was Brian’.

Source: Scott Mclaughlan/



Leave your comment
Beatles Radio Listener Poll
What Beatles Era do you like better?