Beatles - Talented storytellers

Beatles band name history - John Lennon - Quarry Bank SchoolIt took a while before the most famous (and, according to many, the best) pop group in the world arrived at the name that drove entire nations wild.

It started with John Lennon, who played in a skiffle group that since March 1957 was called Quarrymen, after the Quarry Bank School Lennon took lessons from as much as he could. This name was changed into Johnny and the Moondogs in October 1959 (guess who Johnny was). Three months later it was changed again: Stuart Sutcliffe had joined the band and he proposed that they would call themselves The Beatals – getting warm! This idea in fact was given in by Buddy Holly who also had a band of insects (The Crickets).

Later Paul McCartney, a talented storyteller apparently, claimed that the name ‘Beatles' is owed to the film The Wild One (1953), in which two motor gangs, one lead by Johnny Strabler (Marlon Brando) and the other by Chino (Lee Marvin), are after each other's blood. Chino's gang goes through life as The Beetles. The improbability that members of Johnny and the Moondogs, or Stuart Sutcliffe as may be the case, have actually seen this movie themselves follows naturally from the simple fact that the film was not allowed to be shown in the United Kingdom until 1967.

John Lennon's remark that the name Beatles ‘was revealed in a vision' also qualifies as romantic rubbish. For the sake of completeness however, a small text fragment from music magazine Mersey Beat's edition in which Lennon divulges the details: ‘Many people ask what are the Beatles? Why Beatles? Ugh, Beatles how did the name arrive? So we will tell you. It came in a vision - a man appeared on a flaming pie and said unto them “From this day on you are Beatles with an A”. “Thank you, Mister Man,” they said, thanking him.'

In May 1960 the band name was changed once more, now into The Silver Beetles, and very soon after that it became The Silver Beatles (a proposal of Brian Casser of Cass and the Cassanovas to change it into Long John and the Silver Beatles did not make it).

In August 1960, about to leave for Hamburg and standing on the threshold of universal fame, the band members of the day turned to The Beatles, one of the strongest brand names our planet is blessed with.

Active: 1960-1970, GBR

See also: Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Klaatu, Ramones, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Ten Years After, Rutles

Do you know a different explanation? Were you there when it happened? Questions or suggestions? Post a comment!

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