Group active in Liverpool as The Quarrymen which was formed by John Lennon as a skiffle group in 1957. They performed under the names Johnny and The Moondogs, Long John and The Silver Men (a name suggested by Johnny Hutchison of The Big Three) and The Silver Beetles before settling on the name The Beatles in 1960. The name is usually credited to John Lennon, who said that it was a play on the insects “beetles” as a compliment to Buddy Holly’s band, The Crickets and the word “beat”. He also later said that it was a joke, meaning a pun on “Beat-less”.
Their first tour was of North-East Scotland with Johnny Gentle before they played with Tony Sheridan in Hamburg where they were known originally as The Beat Brothers on his recordings. The first Beatles record known to be played in the US was “Please Please Me” in February 1963 on WLS in Chicago. During the week of April 4th 1964, they held the top 5 spaces in the Billboard Top 100, which has never been repeated. They were honoured with the MBE in 1965.
Brian Epstein managed them from 1962 until his death from a drug overdose on 27th August 1967. It was proposed that Lee Eastman, Linda’s father, manage the band after the death of Brian Epstein, but the position went to Allan Klein in 1969, who was discovered later to have stolen 5 million pounds from them. It is known that Paul McCartney never signed the contract with Klein.
They appeared in several films including Help!, A Hard Day’s Night and an animated feature Yellow Submarine, which did not use the members’ voices to provide their characters, as well as making numerous television appearances.
Most of the song publishing rights were jointly owned by Michael Jackson and Sony Records. The band officially broke up in April 1970 and has been cited as being “one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed popular bands in history” with them defining music and culture in the 1960s.
- John Lennon (guitar/vocals)
- Paul McCartney (1958-1970) (drums/guitar/bass/vocals).
- George Harrison (1958-1970) (guitar/vocals).
- Ringo Starr (August 1962-1970) (drums/vocals)
- Stuart Sutcliffe (1958-1961) (bass)
- Pete Best (1959, August 1960-16th August 1962) (drums)
- Andy White (drums) (1962)
- Tommy Moore (1960) (drums)
- Norman Chapman (July 1960) (drums)
- Johnny Hutchison (occasional drummer 1960-1961)
- Jimmy Nichol (temporary replacement for Ringo in 1964)
- And I Love Her (John Lennon/Paul McCartney)
- Got to Get You into My Life (John Lennon/Paul McCartney)
- Helter Skelter (John Lennon/Paul McCartney)
- If I Fell (John Lennon/Paul McCartney)