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R.I.P.

| Filed under: AnglophiliaMusic MinuteR.I.P.Paul McCartney

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Neil Aspinall, known to many as the 'fifth Beatle', has passed away in New York City.

He was 66.

Mr. Aspinall, who lived in England, was receiving treatment for lung cancer at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center when he died.

A school friend of the Beatles' Paul McCartney and George Harrison, Aspinall was the band's first road manager and would drive them to gigs in his van. He later became their personal assistant, and in 1968 was given a management role at Apple Records — The Beatles' own record label.

The BBC reports that despite no musical training, he sang in the chorus of the classic song, Yellow Submarine.

In a joint statement the surviving band members, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, proclaim:

"All his friends and loved ones will greatly miss him, but will always retain the fondest memories of a great man…As a loyal friend, confidant and chief executive, Neil's trusting stewardship and guidance has left a far-reaching legacy for generations to come."

[Image via Getty Images.]

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82 comments to “R.I.P.”

  1. Cin says – reply to this


    1

    Awh =(

  2. Chuck says – reply to this


    2

    Let me guess….He is a big Homo????
    2nd……..
    Fuck USA

  3. Cin says – reply to this


    3

    Re: Cin

    PS- FIRST!

  4. Cha CHa Walters says – reply to this


    4

    Never heard of him. So he's like one of about a hundred people who are supposedly the fifth Beatle…Pete Best, Billy Preston, Latoya Jackson…

  5. mama says – reply to this


    5

    hgjh0-[ompuop

  6. da truth says – reply to this


    6

    R.I.P, the world has lost a great man

  7. bathog says – reply to this


    7

    heather mills wants some of his money now.

  8. arianna says – reply to this


    8

    so sad :(

  9. she she says – reply to this


    9

    Sad…

  10. FUCK CHUCK says – reply to this


    10

    Re: Chuck – "chuck" your a fucking dumb ass shut the fuck up you stupid homo. IF YOU SAY FUCK USA GET OFF THIS WEBSITE YOU STUPID HIPOCRITEM

  11. xMercy says – reply to this


    11

    he was an amazing man.. brilliant.

  12. elyse says – reply to this


    12

    i met him once– he was a really kind and interesting man.

  13. Taejus says – reply to this


    13

    oh wow, another person dead.

    patheic.

    next?

  14. bnerd says – reply to this


    14

    Pete Best was the fifth Beatle.

  15. Chuck says – reply to this


    15

    Re: FUCK CHUCK – Fuck you, you big fat piece of shit….
    Let me guess, you work for McDonalds, and you rent a basement
    appartment….Get a Job, watch the news, can't you tell USA is going
    down the tubes……..Go Leafs Go!!!!
    and Fuck you!!!!

  16. Jojo says – reply to this


    16

    I thought George Martin was the fif beatles?

  17. Shannon says – reply to this


    17

    :-[ this is the worst news, Neil seemed like such a sweet guy. I'm pretty obsessed with the Beatles and I've watched tons and tons of documentaries on them, and they all seemed really tight with each other, Neil and everyone.

    :[ i'm sadddddddddddddddddddddddd

  18. KEVIN KONRAD FROM OLD BRIDGE NJ says – reply to this


    18

    AND IN THE END THE LOVE YOU TAKE IS EQUAL TO THE LOVE YOU MAKE

  19. Rammy says – reply to this


    19

    Soo sad

  20. ted says – reply to this


    20

    5th beatle? get that giant pumkin head out of your saggy ass.

    he wasn't the 5th anything.

  21. THEFIFTHBEATLE says – reply to this


    21

    WHATEVER PEREZ THE 5th BEATLE WAS BILLY PRESTON NOT THIS HASBEEN

    ANYONE WHO KNOWS ANYTHING ABOUT THE BEATLES KNOWS THAT YOUR FUCKING DELUSIONAL PEREZ

    LEARN YOUR FACTS

  22. eleanor* says – reply to this


    22

    fuck ringo star.
    hes not talented at all.

    rip neil. if only it was ringo. the REAL 5th beatle

  23. LuvPerez says – reply to this


    23

    So sad. He died of lung cancer…Paul and Ringo would probably be dead right now too if they hadn't stopped smoking. And if John hadn't been shot, he almost certainly would've developed cancer from smoking (if he didn't stop). People this disease is no joke. Stop smoking now! My father died almost nine months to the day after his lung cancer diagnosis. Neil was the fly on the wall in the Beatles dressing rooms, hotel rooms, concerts and recording studio sessions. I would've loved to have heard some of the stories he could tell. RIP Neil.

  24. I Hate Perez says – reply to this


    24

    Wow! He could sing the chorus to Yellow Submarine w. no musical training? Amazing.

  25. Eleanor says – reply to this


    25

    Few of you know how absolutely FUNNY this man was. RIP

  26. macca2000 says – reply to this


    26

    Perez,

    it contantly amazes me how in tune with the Beatles lives you are. The passing of Neil Aspinall is a huge blow to the last of Apple's core that remains. I can only assume that you are a huge Beatles fan and that is one of the things that keeps me coming back to your site.

    For everyone else: Neil Aspinall is one of the only two people in the world who you could call the "fifth" Beatle. It is sad that he is gone and with him the era of loyalty and friendship that no longer exists in the music business.

    Kudos Perez!!

  27. jojo says – reply to this


    27

    may he rest in peace

  28. CJ Parker says – reply to this


    28

    Fuck a black and get aids, Please do us a favor Perez!!!

  29. Clementine says – reply to this


    29

    I was coming on here to tell you that the 5th Beatle WAS BILLY PRESTON (I see others already called you on that)!!!
    Where was Billy's shout out when he died last summer?
    Dude, this Neil guy didn't even play with the band.
    Billy actually received recording credits.

  30. Jack Meoff says – reply to this


    30

    Perez

  31. slim says – reply to this


    31

    all of you are retarded… neill was a legend… billy preston played w/them on one session, neill was beside them their whole career, actually till 2007… show some respect…

  32. Heather says – reply to this


    32

    HEATHER MILLS IS A ONE LEGGED SLUT R.I.P NEIL ASPINALL

  33. hop on top says – reply to this


    33

    Re: Clementine – Billy Preston didn't die last summer. He died June 2006. So you're wasting your time looking for a shout out to him last summer sometime

  34. Whamo says – reply to this


    34

    I'm with Chuck….GO LEAFS GO!!!!!

  35. Ryan says – reply to this


    35

    Ally you ppl saying Billy Preston was the 5th beatle he wasnt. Even George Harrison said it was either Derek Taylor or Neil Aspinall. It just you Americans arent happy that the greatest rock band eva did not come from America so hve to claim them as yours! Well ha they come from my city Liverpool! RIP Neil

  36. MonoChromatic says – reply to this


    36

    Billy Preston was the fifth beatle…you fat nitwit…get yer shit straight! Pete Best was the ORIGINAL drummer, before Ringo. Preston played keyboards on just about all their albums.

  37. bathog=bathomo says – reply to this


    37

    So sad…
    he died and I never had the chance
    to do him

  38. OXA says – reply to this


    38

    HE AND PAUL WERE FRIENDS FROM WAY BACK IN THEIR SCHOOL DAYS, PAUL WAS IN NY VISITING HIM THIS WEEKEND.

  39. chimp says – reply to this


    39

    So sorry to hear about this.

  40. mspink says – reply to this


    40

    the 5th beatle was pete best

  41. KING OF MEAN says – reply to this


    41

    Another smoker, DEAD AT 66!!!!!!!!!!! Are you smoker's getting the message that maybe smoking isn't quite so cool? And I guarantee you the last ten years from 56 to 66 weren't even worth living… So enjoy your cancer sticks.

  42. TheDarkPassenger says – reply to this


    42

    Actually, Stuart Sutcliffe was the "Fifth Beatle" and the original bassist. During this time Paul McCartney played rhythm guitar. John Lennon met Stuart at the Liverpool College of Art. He left the band early on to pursue an art degree at the Hamburg College of Art. He also dated and later became engaged to Astrid Kirchherr, who was a photographer that had taken early pictures of The Beatles. Stuart collapsed in an art class in Hamburg and died on the way to the hospital of a brain hemorrhage at the age of 21. Get the facts straight.

  43. britchick says – reply to this


    43

    YOU STUPID DUMB FUCKERS, HOW DARE YOU SLATE THIS LOVELY BRILLIANT MAN, IF YOU HAD MORE THAN ONE BRAIN CELL OR HAD READ MORE THAN ONE BOOK OR LISTENED TO MORE THAN BRITNEYS GREATEST HITS YOU WOULD KNOW WHO HE IS AND WHAT HE HAS DONE FOR MUSIC HISTORY…..IT ALWAYS AMAZES ME HOW THICK YOU AMERICANS ARE….READ A FUCKING BOOK…AND GET A FUCKING LIFE…

  44. dmblauren says – reply to this


    44

    i thought stuart sutcliff was the 5th beatle . . . .

  45. hannah says – reply to this


    45

    actually, george martin was considered the "fifth beatle."

  46. rockinkiwi says – reply to this


    46

    Re: Cha CHa Walters – So what if YOU never heard of him. REAL Beatles fans know who he is. He never said he was the fifth Beatle, but he helped make him who they were, even back in the day when they were trying to get a record deal, he was responsible for helping them get from audition to audition. He was a great man, and a key part of the Beatles success. …and Latoya Jackson the 5th Beatle? Huh? Was that supposed to be funny?

  47. bluesman says – reply to this


    47

    u

  48. bluesman says – reply to this


    48

    uhh george martin is the fifth beatle.

  49. michele says – reply to this


    49

    im pretty sure the 5th beatles is pete best

  50. Vinnie says – reply to this


    50

    Although Neil wasn't involved with the Beatles musically, he was the only other person that was a part of their inner circle. A mate. The Beatles viewed George Martin and Brian Epstein as "suits" even though Martin, obviously, had a hand in their music. BillyPreston, though an absolutely fabulous musician, only played with the Beatles during the Let It Be sessions. However, there was talk about Billy joining the band. Stu and Pete were members of the band, but before fame. RIP Neil. I just hope he has a book hidden away somewhere that will someday be released, not for scandalous reasons, but for historical.

  51. Gazzer says – reply to this


    51

    Neil was an amazing man who gave us the best Super Group ever. God Bless your soul and have fun with John and George.

  52. FUCK CHUCK says – reply to this


    52

    Re: Chuck – OKAY DUMBASS CHUCK FIRST OF ALL UM YOU MUST BE THE DUMB SHIT WORKING AT MC DONALDS BECASUE YOU ARE CALLING ME FAT AND YOU HAVE NEVER SEEN ME IN YOUR LIFE DUMB SHIT HAHAH AND WHATEVER YOU THINK USA IS GOING DOWN THE TUBES DONT MAKE FUN OF A DEAD PERSON YOU HEARTLESS FOOL.

  53. jessica says – reply to this


    53

    So sad, thoughts are with his family and friends.

    AND FUCK ALL THE IDIOTS WHO POST NEGATIVE OPINIONS WHEN SOMEONE DIES. Tacky

  54. peggy says – reply to this


    54

    Thank you, Perez, for posting this about Neil Aspinall. He worked for and with the Beatles for over 40 years in one capacity or another. As for his being the 5th Beatle, everyone from Murry the K, Billy Preston, Mal Evans, etc. has been called that. Stu Sutcliffe was with the Silver Beatles before they changed to Beatles. Pete Best was the first drummer for the Beatles but was fired. There was no 5th Beatle, only 4. Neil was their roadie and then manager of Apple Corp. for almost 40 years. I don't think even he considered himself a 5th Beatle. Just a truly good and loyal friend and business partner. R.I.P. and thank you again, Perez. I don't see this story posted anywhere else.

  55. Ooba Gooba says – reply to this


    55

    Bnerd #14: Incorrect.

    Stewart Sutcliffe or Neil Aspinall was the 5th Beatle. Probably Aspinall, because Sutcliffe died before the Beatles hit it big. Aspinall was there for the whole ride.

  56. Jim Liu says – reply to this


    56

    Addios, ya prick.

  57. HRH Adam says – reply to this


    57

    OASIS - MADFERIT

  58. OXA says – reply to this


    58

    Click here: Neil Aspinall Beatles' Friend And Apple Mastermind Dies |Sky News|UK News

  59. OMG says – reply to this


    59

    WHY did you put this under Paul McCartney RIP?!?!?!?! I ABOUT SHIT MYSELF

  60. Jess says – reply to this


    60

    R.I.P. Neil. You will be missed.

  61. Truth Teller says – reply to this


    61

    Neil was a right proper chap… god bless 'im.

  62. Lauren says – reply to this


    62

    holy shit Perez don't EVER file ANYTHING under R.I.P > Paul McCartney again unless the unthinkable should actually happen..you nearly had me in tears.

  63. toby says – reply to this


    63

    Wow, Perez, both shocked and delighted you've covered Neil's death and respect the sadness it brings to millions. Thank you. This marks the 2nd or 3rd time that Paul McCartney showing up at a bedside means you're dead in less than 24 hours. He's like the public Grim Reaper ushering Beatles' "family" over to the other side. Horrible job, but bless his soul. And may Neil's soul rest peacefully.

  64. beatlesfan says – reply to this


    64

    thanks for covering this perez!
    neil was with the beatles for their whole career and managed Apple Corps.
    it's really sad that he died
    :(
    and he pretty much was the 5th beatle….he was one of few who were with the beatles the whole time
    rest in peace, neil

  65. :((( says – reply to this


    65

    OMG
    this is so sad!! you guys are so disrespectful. he helped them record they're stuff, and is arguably the reason they're music was so original.

    SHOW SOME LOVE.

  66. Alex says – reply to this


    66

    George Best was also known as the fifth Beatle.

  67. AngryWhiteGirl says – reply to this


    67

    FIFTH BEATLE? I've never heard of him before. Names like Pete Best, Stuart Sutcliffe, George Martin, Brian Epstein have been thrown around…but I've never heard of this bloke!

  68. THANKS FOR THE GREAT MUSIC, NEIL says – reply to this


    68

    WHAT A TRAGIC LOSS! THE BEATLES WOULD HAVE BEEN AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT BAND, AND APPLE CORPS A VERY DIFFERENT COMPANY - AND SUCCESS - WITHOUT THE INCOMPARABLE CONTRIBUTION OF CEO AND LONGTIME CONFIDENT AND CLOSE FRIEND, NEIL ASPINALL. WE SHOULD ALL BE GRATEFUL FOR NEIL ASPINALL. IT'S VERY SAD TO SEE SO MANY OF THE BEATLES FAMILY LEAVING US SO SOON.

    LOVE AND PRAYERS FOR ALL OF NEIL'S FAMILY AND FRIENDS.

    THANKS FOR THE GREAT MUSIC, NEIL - REST IN PEACE.

  69. DO THE RESEARCH says – reply to this


    69

    THE BEATLES THEMSELVES NAMED NEIL ASPINALL "THE 5TH BEATLE." GEORGE HARRISON STATED IT DURING THEIR 1988 INDUCTION CEREMONY INTO THE ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME. NEIL HAD BEEN WITH THE BAND/COMPANY SINCE THEIR (ASPINALL, MC CARTNEY & HARRISON'S) LIVERPOOL SCHOOL DAYS UNTIL JUST 11 MONTHS AGO. NEIL KNEW THE WHOLE INSIDE STORY AND NEVER BETRAYED A WORD.

  70. Anonymous says – reply to this


    70

    Perhaps everyone here might read Neil Aspinall's New York Times obituary (among countless others) to understand the magnitude of Neil's contribution to the Beatles.

  71. pucky says – reply to this


    71

    That's a fucking dumb thing to say. The 5th Beatle? That "title" went to Murry "The K" Kaufman, you dip. He was given that title by the Beatles, he didn't make it up like other people have.

    Murray the K was the main man responsible for getting the Beatles across the pond to the US.

  72. IM the fifth beatle says – reply to this


    72

    I would consider George Martin the "5th beatle" before anybody else. I understand why people say Preston is, but the people on this site sound like they are just regurgitating something somebody told them one time.

    I must admit, though his name sounds familiar, I can't recall a time when I heard what Aspinall's connection to the Beatles was.

    It seems like most people are under the impression that BIlly Preston is the one-and-only who can be called the 5th. I haven't a clue why. They're always so smug about it too. It's like there's a huge group of people who grew up in the 60s and 70s who heard that statement over and over until they knew nothing else. Preston was credited with them once. There are many other logical 5ths. George Martin, Epstein (though he'd never let you say that), Pete Best, Stu Sutcliff, this guy apparently.

  73. gared says – reply to this


    73

    What the hell do you expect? The Beatles are ancient old farts. I can't wait until they are all 6ft under. BEATLES SUCK ASS!!!!

  74. Reality in this Biyah says – reply to this


    74

    The Beatles fucking suck!! I have never heard so much trash in my life. There's so much better shit form that time that it is laughable that a yellow submarine song is considered skill.

  75. Hold it says – reply to this


    75

    Is his name pronounced "Kneel Ass Penal"

  76. Pmacfanatic says – reply to this


    76

    How sad for both Paul and Ringo. They have lost so many trusted friends and confidants. I just hope Sir George Martin is with us for many years to come. God bless you Neil, and thanks Perez for nice words about him.

  77. betty wiggens says – reply to this


    77

    Thought drummer Pete Best was the fifth Beatle…not to speak ill of the dead, but when does a manager get that kind of title anyways?

  78. Shag says – reply to this


    78

    Dammit! This is starting to be like "the no. 2 Al Qaeda was captured today." There are so many of them, ya just don't know. Billy Preston, the great organist, was also know as the "5th Beatle." What gives.

  79. lil~nunu says – reply to this


    79

    i dont even know who he is but that is sad

  80. Steve says – reply to this


    80

    To #29. I know more than a few blacks who would "fuck you up".
    STUPID MUTHAFUCKA!

  81. moni says – reply to this


    81

    Actually, the "fifth Beatle" was George Martin. He was sometimes called that because of his increasingly essential role in the recording studio in the later 1960s as the Beatles came to attempt more and more sophisticated arrangements and electronic engineering effects on their recordings… Read up on your popular culture people :)

  82. fyvgpuwrq gefbsawpx says – reply to this


    82

    tkgn gnpwhksar dkmrgs reqsc gmjl jwacptlu wofiht