There have been many 5th Beatles over the years, from actual short lived band members to producers or managers. I havn't seen one of these kind of threads yet, so I made one. Here is some info of people in the "club"
Brian Epstein -
The band's manager from 1961 until his death in 1967, was instrumental in the Beatles' rise to global fame. Epstein "discovered" the band in Liverpool, saw their potential, and never wavered in his faith and commitment to them. He purposefully restricted his oversight of the band to business matters and public image, and wisely gave them free creative reign in their music. Epstein also doggedly sought a recording contract for the band in London at a crucial moment in their career, fighting their perception as provincial "northern" musicians.
George Martin -
The band's producer from the start to the end of their career. Martin's extensive musical training (which he received at the Guildhall School of Music) and sophisticated guidance in the studio are often credited as fundamental contributions to the work of the Beatles; he was without question a key part of the synergy responsible for transforming a good rock-and-roll group into the most celebrated popular musicians of their era. As writer Ian MacDonald noted, Martin was one of the few record producers in the UK at the time who possessed the sensitivity the Beatles needed to develop their songwriting and recording talent. Martin's piano playing also appears on several of their tracks, including "Misery" and "In My Life". More recently, George Martin has inadvertently strengthened his image as the "fifth Beatle" by contributing the only piece of new music on the LOVE soundtrack: a string arrangement on top of George Harrison's solo acoustic demo of While My Guitar Gently Weeps from Anthology 3.
Neil Aspinall -
A close personal friend of the group, Neil Aspinall would join The Beatles as their road manager, which included driving his old Commer van to and from shows, both day and night. After Mal Evans started work for The Beatles, Aspinall was promoted to become their personal assistant, and eventually ascended to the position of CEO for Apple Corps (a position he held until April 10, 2007).Aspinall also made minor contributions to a handful of the Beatles' recordings. He played a tamboura on "Within You Without You", harmonica on "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!", some percussion on "Magical Mystery Tour", and was among the many participants singing on the chorus of "Yellow Submarine".
Stuart Sutcliffe -
The original bassist of the five-member Beatles. He played with the band primarily during their days as a club act in Hamburg, Germany. When the band returned to Liverpool in 1961, Sutcliffe remained behind in Hamburg. He died of a brain haemorrhage shortly thereafter. Instead of replacing him with a new member, Paul McCartney changed from rhythm guitar (with John Lennon) to bass and the band continued as a four-piece.
Pete Best -
Pete Best was the original drummer of the Beatles. He played with the band during their time as a club act, in both Liverpool and Hamburg, Germany. The band during this time period consisted of Best, bassist Stuart Sutcliffe (see above), and guitarists Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and John Lennon. While Sutcliffe left the band in 1961, and died shortly thereafter, Best continued to perform with the band until 1962 when he was let go and replaced by Ringo Starr.
Billy Preston -
Apart from Tony Sheridan, pianist Billy Preston was the only artist to receive joint credit on a Beatles single, on "Get Back". Preston also played the organ on "Let It Be" and the Fender Rhodes electric piano on "Don't Let Me Down" and "Get Back". Preston had been introduced to the Beatles during the early 1960s, but did not work with them until 1969, when Harrison invited him to join them for recording sessions in order to defuse tensions in the band. Lennon once suggested that Preston join the Beatles, even using the term "Fifth Beatle," but the idea was dismissed by the others. On the Let it Be album where Preston's performances are used the song credits list "with Billy Preston," clearly identifying him as separate from the main group, yet also giving him a level of individuality that separated him from studio session players. To distinguish him from the common level of controversy over who is the Fifth Beatle, he is sometimes given the unique title of the "Black Beatle".
I feel those 6 are really the top people to be called the "Fifth Beatle"
Please vote, and voice your opinion!