The Beatles Were Vicious to People They Disliked: ‘All the Fangs Were In You at Once’

The Beatles had a public reputation for their charm, but they could be incredibly unpleasant to those they disliked. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr were a close-knit group who were quick to defend one another. The band’s combined disdain could be incredibly unpleasant to its target.

The Beatles quickly turned on people they disliked
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Beatles manager Brian Epstein began working with the band early in their career. He liked them and even went on vacation with Lennon. Still, he was slightly afraid of them.

“There was a famous early story; one of those legends that may or may not have been true,” press officer Derek Taylor said in The Beatles Anthology. “I think it was at the EMI studios when Brian said, ‘I think one of you is flat,’ and John said, ‘We’ll do the songs, you keep on counting the percentages.’ Brian told me that they’d said that, and it could have been said. But it would only happen once; he was quite nervous of them as well.”

Epstein was nervous around them because experiencing their irritation was reportedly unpleasant.
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“Nobody liked to be rounded upon by the four of them — in however jokey a way,” Taylor said, adding, “It was not pleasant for those four buggers to be at you. It was ‘whoosh’ —and all the fangs were in you at once. It didn’t last, but it was very painful. Crawl away quietly and lick your wounds.”

John Lennon said The Beatles disliked many of the people they met
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Unfortunately, the band did not like many of the people they met, especially in their early years of fame. .

“We have met some new people since we’ve become famous, but we’ve never been able to stand them for more than two days. Some hang on a bit longer, perhaps a few weeks, but that’s all. Most people don’t get across to us,” Lennon said, adding, “We can’t go around with anybody for a long time unless they are a friend, because we’re so closely knit. We talk in code to each other. We always did when we had strangers around us…”
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They were a tight-knit group
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The Beatles were incredibly close in their early years as a band, which made it difficult for outsiders. Epstein was nervous around them, as were potential romantic partners. McCartney admitted that their bond made it difficult for romance.

“A lot of what we, The Beatles, did was very much in an enclosed scene,” McCartney explained. “Other people found it difficult — even John’s wife, Cynthia, found it very difficult — to penetrate the screen that we had around us. As a kind of safety barrier we had a lot of ‘in’ jokes, little signs, references to music; we had a common bond in that and it was very difficult for any ‘outsider’ to penetrate. That possibly wasn’t good for relationships back then.”
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As the years passed, the bonds between them began to loosen.

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