This month marks 50 years since the world learned that the Beatles were calling it a day.

And yet, they’ve really only grown more popular over time, haven’t they?

The music is still everywhere, and we’ve learned more and more about what it was like to make those records, the Beatle movies, the concerts, the whole phenomenon that was and is Beatlemania.

But even those of us that know the Beatle story pretty well might have been surprised by a story from the BBC this month about an impostor Fab Four that toured South America during the height of the Beatles craze.

This group was from Florida, not Liverpool, and instead of John, Paul, George and Ringo, it was Tom, Bill, Vic and Dave.

Previously they were a bar band called The Ardells, but their manager saw the actual Beatles and decided that if he could convince the world that they were really just the Beatles in England, his group could be just as big in other places.

Hope springs eternal, right? So the Ardells became the American Beetles – note the traditional spelling of “Beetles.”

They headed off to tour and do TV shows in Argentina and several other countries, only somehow it wasn’t made clear that the group that was coming wasn’t the genuine article.

Some music lovers thought they did fine. Others were furious and felt deceived.

In the end, The American Beetles did not end up being as big as the actual Beatles.

But they did leave an impression.

Some very influential rock musicians in South America say that after they saw the American Beetles on TV, they got interested in the original Beatles and ended up starting their own bands.

I mean, as the Beatles once put it, we all want to change the world.

And now that we’ve traveled through music history, here’s some futuristic musical invention.

An artist in Valencia, Spain called Bichopalo is making not only beautiful music, but building beautiful musical instruments.

These creations have sort of a retro vibe to them, but the music they make sounds futuristic, too.

There are electronics in there, but also mechanical parts, water features, all sorts of things.

The best part: his two closest collaborators are two parrots named Pico and Verdi!

How the fake Beatles conned South America (BBC)

Beautiful Musical Machines Perform Otherworldly Tunes (Geeks Are Sexy)

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