I know he died a couple days ago, but I still feel like I need to say how shocked I was to hear of Neil Aspinall's death. A lot of people have claims to be the coveted Fifth Beatle, but Aspinall might have had the best argument. Along with Mal Evans, he served as one of the Beatles most trusted friends and assistants. Then, after the break-up of the band in 1970, he ran Apple Corps. until April 10, 2007 (37 years to the day after The Beatles publicly disbanded).
Mostly only Beatle fanatics understand his importance, but it's unbelievable when you really think about it. He kept integrity to
The Beatle name and never tarnished their legacy. He held out the release of Beatle CDs until after most bands already were on the format. When the CDs were finally released in the late 80s, it generated an incredible amount of sales. He also refused to let the Beatles songs ever be included on compilation CDs. Aspinall also was executive producer how on the critically acclaimed Beatles Anthology.
I always found it funny that Aspinall and Peter Brown (Brian Epstein's assistant and later a member of the Apple staff) averaged a liquor bill of about 600 pounds a week back in the late 60s and they ate four course lunches. No wonder The Beatles Apple Corps. lost a ton of money and was a financial disaster.
Neil Aspinall was 66.