Skip to main content

The Beatles and James Bond are the two greatest British icons of the 1960s. At the time, both were seen as part of that decade’s counter culture; the Beatles popularized the use of LSD while James Bond embodied the sexual revolution. The connections between the Fab Four and 007 run even deeper than that. Here are four strange connections between the Beatles and James Bond.

The Goldfinger soundtrack next to the soundtrack to A Hard Day’s Night | Anthony Correia/Getty Images

4. James Bond isn’t a Beatles fan

While the youth of the 1960s embraced Beatlemania, older generations often did not. James Bond was apparently a little too old to appreciate the musical stylings of John, Paul, George, and Ringo. In the film Goldfinger, Sean Connery’s James Bond proudly proclaims that he would never listen to the Beatles without wearing ear muffs to drown out the noise.

The title character of Goldfinger traps 007 | United Artists/Courtesy of Getty Images

This throwaway line makes Bond seem a little less hip than usual, but it becomes especially funny when one realizes how close the ties between the Bond franchise and the Beatles would become.

3. Paul McCartney performed a Bond theme

Although it has become mandatory in recent years for Bond themes to be performed by prominent artists, that wasn’t the case in the early 1970s. One of the first major acts to perform a Bond theme was Paul McCartney alongside his band, Wings. The title song from Live and Let Die is considered one of the best James Bond themes and one of the best songs Paul McCartney wrote after the Beatles disbanded. Apparently, Paul didn’t hold a grudge over Bond’s earlier dismissal of the Beatles.

2. Ringo Starr married a Bond girl

Ringo Starr with his wife Barbara Bach
Ringo Starr with his wife Barbara Bach | Getty Images

Actress Barbara Bach is mostly remembered for her role as Anya Amasova in The Spy Who Loved Me. Her character was more empowered than some previous Bond girls and was often interpreted as the filmmakers’ response to the women’s liberation movement. But Bach wasn’t just loved by a spy, she was also loved by Ringo Starr.

A few years after The Spy Who Loved me was released, Bach starred alongside Starr in the notorious prehistoric comedy, Caveman. The film might not be remembered as anything worthwhile, but it introduced Ringo to the woman of his dreams. The two married in 1981 and have been together ever since.

1. ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’

One of the most acclaimed and beloved songs in the Beatles’ catalogue is “Strawberry Fields Forever.” The classic track has retained a potent influence over avant-garde music over the course of the last fifty years. “Strawberry Fields Forever” doesn’t seem like a natural fit for James Bond; the Bond movies – even the best of them – are fairly formulaic and lack the experimentation of the Beatles’ weirdest work.

Despite this, the James Bond franchise has paid homage to “Strawberry Fields Forever.” In the film Quantum of Solace, Bond has a one-night stand with a red-headed woman named Strawberry Fields. Perhaps the name of the character was the writers’ way of burying the hatchet after James Bond dismissed the Beatles back in the 1960s, or maybe it was just a cute pun.