Pop & Hiss

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Lucy in the MRI with diamonds

February 17, 2010 |  3:30 pm

Beatles The Big Money site tosses out an intriguing theory from Thomas Goetz's new book "The Decision Tree": that the Beatles, in a roundabout way, helped drive up the cost of healthcare in America.

It's a counter-intuitive vignette of pop music's mid-century largesse colliding with science and technology. In short, Goetz proposes that the electronics division of EMI (the parent company of the Beatles' label, Capitol Records) became so unexpectedly flush with cash after the Fab Four's ascent that it funded the personal project of an in-house engineer that, eventually, became the CT scanner -- a revolutionary machine that threw a major kink in the healthcare marketplace.

Go read the whole thing here, and the next time you break a toe and it sets you back a grand, thank George Martin.

-- August Brown

Photo: The Beatles, shown in 1964, in a photo from the "Past Masters" CD booklet. Credit: Apple Corps. Ltd.