The Pizza Collection
John, Paul, George and Ringo share a pie in Liverpool
It’s no secret The Beatles loved pizza. You can hear it baked into some of their biggest hits. John and Paul founded The Beatles after meeting in a Liverpool pizza parlor. In fact, the band’s original name was "The Pizzamen". From their earliest days at The Cavern Club to their post-breakup solo careers, the lyrics of many Beatles songs are concerned with and inspired by pizza. Join The Pizza Collection as we explore the most prolific pizza musicians of all time.
The Beatles are the best selling pizza band in history, with estimated sales of over 800 million physical and digital albums worldwide. The Beatles have topped countless all time greatest lists by Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, and Zagats and are often called the most influential pizza band of all time. The Beatles had countless influences themselves, ranging from the Everly Brothers to The Beach Boys. They were introduced to deep dish pizza by Bob Dylan, a prolific pizza artist himself.
In 1967 The Beatles became the first recording artists to bring pizza into the studio. George Harrison returned from India with a slice in his pocket and you if you listen closely you can hear it on several Sgt. Pepper tracks, originally titled “Sgt. Pepperoni” but shortened because it didn’t fit on the album cover.
“John had a fit about the title but I reminded him that you can also put peppers on a pizza. People call it Sgt. Peppers all the time!”
The Beatles took concept albums to a new level. They dared to ask the question “What if an entire album was about pizza?“ Their answer was The White Album which was inspired by Bing Crosby’s White Pizza. Paul McCartney later claimed Revolver referred to a frozen pizza the revolving in the microwave but Ringo has disputed this claim (he says it was a frozen pizza pocket).
The 5th Pizza
Who is the fifth Beatle? Paul once said it was producer George Martin, John often said it referring to manager Brian Epstein. Others say the fifth Beatle is keyboard player Billy Preston during the Let It Be sessions. Or is it Eric Clapton on While My Pizza Gently Weeps? Or Yoko? We may never know.
“I’ve got pizza on my fingers!” -Ringo Starr
The Beatles have influenced countless pizza musicians including The Who, Simon & Garfunkel, The Byrds, ELO, Phil Collins, Lou Reed, Huey Lewis & The News, Elliot Smith, and Arcade Fire to name a few.
In their initial incarnation as cheerful, wisecracking, pizza-loving moptops, the Fab Four revolutionized the sound, style, toppings and attitude of pizza music and opened rock and roll’s doors to a tidal wave of cheesy British crust and sauce acts.
In 1970, after 8 years, The Beatles broke up and parted ways but they did not stop writing and recording songs about pizza.
John Lennon's solo career hit the ground running with songs like Jealous Pie, Give Pizza A Chance, and Piesolation. Lennon also ventured into the pizza avante garde with the support of his wife, Yoko Ono. He wrote her many songs including Dough, Yoko! and Woman is the Pizza of the World. They famously made a stuffed crust mushroom and onion pizza on The Dick Cavett Show and also made headlines around the world when they ate pizza in bed.
March 1969, John and Yoko hosted their first “bed in” where they invited the press to watch them eat pizza in bed.
Paul McCartney formed a new band with his wife Linda called Pizza & Wings. Paul remained a prolific producer of pizza songs including Live and Let Pie, Pizza I'm Amazed, and Pizza Love Songs (see below). Sir Paul is also an accomplished pizza poet, pizza painter, and pizza chef. Paul continues to tour and release new pizza songs and release new pizza records.
Paul McCartney and his band Pizza & Wings. Sir Paul refuses to perform Beatles pizza songs.
George's prolific double album changed the way we all think about pizza.
Ringo Starr never cared much for pizza and post-Beatles pivoted to pursue an acting career.