They were two totally unrelated entities on the verge of becoming two of the greatest pop culture icons ever in their respective fields. But the meeting that was never supposed to happen almost never did. Instead, the last minute photo shoot bringing the lads from Liverpool together with the Louisville Lip produced some of the most memorable, off the wall photos ever taken of this collective bunch of soon to be world renown superstars. But as I stated previously, this historic meeting wasn’t supposed to happen. The Beatles were just wrapping up their first trip across pond, a nine day whirlwind tour that had them performing in front of a record television audience on the Ed Sullivan Show. In addition, they played live concerts at the Washington, D.C. Coliseum and at New York’s Carnegie Hall. They had then headed for Miami to make another appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. Beatlemania was beginning to explode worldwide as their music was dominating the U.S. charts and airwaves. At the same time, young Cassius Clay was putting the finishing touches on his training as he prepared to take on heavyweight champ Sonny Liston. After their second appearance on Ed Sullivan, the Fab Four were enjoying a few extra days in the South Florida sunshine before heading back to England. With the big title fight a week away, both fighters were putting the final touches on their preparation. However, it was champ Liston, not upstart Clay, whom the lads wanted to meet. Remember, at the time, the loudmouth from Louisville was a 7 to 1 underdog. Most, including the Beatles, expected him to lose. As John Lennon allegedly said, “We have no interest in meeting that bigmouth who is going to get beat. But it seems that champ Liston had no desire to meet with them. In fact, it was said that he’d been in the audience for their latest performance and said he had not been impressed. So, at the last moment, one of the band’s handlers hastily arranged a last minute meeting and photo shoot with the upstart challenger instead. Even then, it still almost didn’t happen. When Clay was late to arrive, the angry lads threatened to walk. But their handlers were able to keep them there until the Louisville Lip arrived. “Hey Beatles, we should go on the road together and make some money,” Clay supposedly shouted upon his arrival. The rest is pop culture history, and produced some fantastic photos that are still memorable for capturing the improvisational collaboration of two all-time greats, each in the infancy of their rise to super-stardom. One experience that the two would later mutually but separately share is that both would take hits to their popularity at its early heights for their religious choices. Ali for embracing Islam and the Beatles for their submergence into Eastern philosophy. And though they ended up hitting it off and enjoying each others company during the photo shoot, Ringo later claimed that he still lost his money by betting on Liston to win.