Klaatu: The Fake Beatles, History And Facts Of The Canadian Un-Fab Three

By Jacob Shelton
A sticker depicting Ringo Starr as the alien Klaatu that was released to promote his 1974 album 'Goodnight Vienna.' (Photo by Paul Chesne/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

In 1976, a faceless band named Klaatu (not The Beatles) accidentally stirred controversy with the release of their album 3:47 EST. Fans and journalists alike theorized that the groups jangly guitars and the vocal patterns ripped straight from Abbey Road weren't just coming from a Beatles soundalike group, but from The Beatles themselves.

Released half a decade after the very public end of The Beatles, Klaatu's music gave audiences something to hold onto. Was this mysterious band the return of the Fab Four? Columbia Records certainly wanted audiences to think that's what was happening even if the label was actually just as clueless as everyone else.

Beatlemaniacs scoured Klaatu's album art, their advertisements, and lyrics all for a hint that John, Paul, George, and Ringo were back together. Little did these listeners know that they were actually grooving on the sounds of John Woloschuk, Dee Long, and Terry Draper, three Canadians who just happened to sound -- a bit -- like the lads from Liverpool.

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