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The Beatles

How did the Beatles choose their name?

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2013-01-14 22:38:15

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


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