How did the Beatles choose their name?
John Lennon started a band in the late fifties, called the
Quarry Men after his high school. Different members came and
Lennon met Paul McCartney, was impressed with his talent, and
asked him to join. Paul brought in George Harrison, and later they
replaced drummer Pete Best with Ringo Starr. They changed names a
few times, calling themselves Johnny and the Moondogs, and the
Lennon and McCartney referred to themselves as the Nurk Twins,
but won a talent contest as the "British Everly Brothers".
It has never been tied down exactly where the Beatles name came
from, but the most common story is that John Lennon liked the name
The Crickets (from Buddy Holly's band) because of the double
meaning - the insect and the sport. Stuart Sutcliffe, who was
Lennon's friend and played bass early in the band's career,
suggested Beetles - and for some time the band was known as The
Silver Beatles or, occasionally, Long John and the Silver
Beatles before becoming The Beatles. This is where it
gets a bit hazy, usually Lennon is credited with changing the
spelling to Beatles; however Paul has recently said that he
suggested the change. It was nearly 50 years ago so memories have
faded as well as, alas, most of the participants being dead.
John said a man on a flaming pie came to him in a vision and
said,"From this day forward you are Beatles with an "A". Yeah
Right!! It is thought it was a play on words of the Crickets, Buddy
Holly's back up band.
The main inspiration was Buddy Holly's band, The Crickets. ("The
Beetles" were the rival gang in Marlon Brando's movie The Wild
One; this may also have been an influence.) Original group
bassist Stuart Sutcliffe suggested the name; John Lennon was
responsible for the B-E-A-T spelling, from beat music and the Beat
And there's also the suggestion that the name of Bootle (part of
Liverpool) might have something to do with it.
Another reason is that a Group of beetles is called a band,
along with the B-E-A-T theory.
The Beatles gave themselves the name. It has nothing to do with the
bug but more of the BEAT of a song, which gave them the idea of the
The exact truth is a little lost to history as the two people
involved (John Lennon and Stuart Sutcliffe) are both dead -
Sutcliffe died in 1962 and Lennon was never completely explicit
about how the name came about.
However, Lennon particularly liked the double meaning to
"Crickets" - he was a big Buddy Holly fan. Cricket means a singing
insect, but also was the ball game. Sutcliffe is thought to have
come up with Beetles and Lennon changed the spelling to
Ironically, the surviving Crickets said that when they were
trying to think of a name for their band, they considered
Partly inspired by Buddy Holly's band The Crickets, the Fab Four
wanted a name with an insect theme which also had a double meaning.
They combined the insect the beetle with the musical term
John Lennon formed the Quarrymen with some school friends in
March,1957. Paul McCartney joined in July and George Harrison
joined in February, 1958. In 1960, the name varied from the
Beatals, the Silver Beetles and the Silver Beats, the name
focussing on the word "Beat". Later in 1960, a slip of the tongue
announced the band as the Beetles, which soon became the