The History of the Beatles

Topics: The Beatles, George Harrison, Paul McCartney Pages: 5 (2002 words) Published: March 1, 2008
The History Of The Beatles

Imagine four teenagers who were determined to create a successful band regardless of the cost and work necessary to be successful. George Harrison, the lead guitarist, described this determination, "We're going to do it. I don't know why … we were just cocky" (Spitz 120). These four teenagers who were determined to be successful, never even dreamed of how successful they were going to be. Six years after starting their band, they were not only successful, but they were loved by both England and the United States. Today, many people continue to love the Beatles and have fond memories of these creative four young people. The Beatles affected both England and the United States with their songs and albums beginning in 1957 and continuing until the 1970s.

John Lennon had become enthused with rock 'n' roll music first through Bill Haley & The Comets, Rock Around The Clock (1955) and then Elvis Presley's hit Heartbreak Hotel (1956). British teenagers in the mid-1950s who wished to try creating such music but who had no experience or training became attracted to a musical form known as "skiffle" music. "It was a hybrid of American folk, blues and hillbilly with strains of primitive rock 'n' roll. Its primary attraction was that it did not require great musical skills or expensive instruments" (Wikipedia). John once said, "Nothing really affected me until I heard Elvis. If there hadn't been an Elvis, there wouldn't have been a Beetles" (Wikipedia). At the age of 17 in the year 1957, John Lennon wanted to start his first band, but the first members of his band did not succeed. "Inspired by the ‘skiffle boom,' and student at Quarry Bank School in Liverpool, he decided to form a group in 1957 which laid the foundation to what was to become the most famous rock band of all time" (Spitz 47). The original name of his group was the Black Jacks, but after a week the group changed it to "The Quarry Men." The original Quarry Men consisted of John, Colin Hanton, Eric Griffiths, Pete Shotton, Rod David, and Bill Smith (Wikipedia).

On July 6, 1957, "The Quarry Men" played at an annual garden festival at St. Peter's Parish Church in Liverpool. Friend of John, Ivan Vaughan invited Paul McCartney to listen to the members of Lennon's band that day. After the concert, Paul impressed John with his rendition of "Twenty Flight Rock" and was now part of the band. "The fifteen-year-old McCartney was introduced to sixteen-year-old Lennon and a unique song writing partnership began" (Spitz 96-7). The following year, on February 6, 1958, fourteen-year old friend of Paul, George Harrison joined the group. He was always known to Paul as a wonderful guitar player as he proved this to the rest of the band in a rendition of "Raunchy", where he played it perfectly (What's In A Name).

The Quarry Men went through a progression of names including "Johnny and the Moondogs," "Long John and the Beatles," and "The Silver Beatles" before settling on "The Beatles" in August 1960. The final name was a combination word-play on the insect, beetles and the word, beat (Wikipedia). Being a drummerless band, the group invited back Pete Best to become their drummer. They originally knew of him during the times he played with John back in the day with The Black Jacks. Now that they were complete, they attempted to get a contract from Parlophone, a record label in June 1962. The head producer at Parlophone, George Martin, loved the band and thought they were good enough to be given a contract, with the exception of Pete Best who he thought was just mediocre. Best was fired by the Beatles new manager, Brian Epstein and replaced with Richard Starkey a.k.a. Ringo Starr.

The band of John, Paul, George, and Ringo was going to become successful beginning in England and then later to the United States. "In the beginning, there was John, the scruffy rebel who dazzled the good burghers of Liverpool with song and story" (McNamee). John Lennon was...
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