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Sunday, 13 May 2012

The Beatles

The Beatles were a quartet of musicians from Liverpool - John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. They sang songs written mainly by Lennon and McCartney. Their infectious music and witty lyrics made them two of the finest 20th-century songwriters.



The three guitarists in the group--John Lennon (October 9, 1940-December 8, 1980), Paul McCartney (born June 18, 1942), and George Harrison (born February 25, 1943)--first played together as schoolboys with the Quarrymen. They had been performing in small clubs in Liverpool and in Hamburg, West Germany, when the original drummer was replaced in 1962 by Ringo Starr (born Richard Starkey, July 7, 1940).

George Harrison was born on February 25, 1943 at 12 Arnold Grove,  a house near Picton Clock Tower in the Liverpool suburb of Wavertree.


On July 6, 1957 16-year-old John Lennon met 15-year-old Paul McCartney at a St Peter’s Parish Church FĂȘte in Woolton, Liverpool. Lennon's band, The Quarrymen were performing at the do whilst Paul, who was baptized a Roman Catholic but was being raised inter-denominationally attended the function. Impressed by Paul's ability to tune a guitar and by his knowledge of song lyrics, John asked him to join his band as lead guitarist.

Originally calling themselves the Quarrymen, in the late 1950s the group was renamed Johnny and the Moondogs, the Moonshiners, then the Silver Beatles (a wordplay on the musical term beat that also paid tribute to rocker Buddy Holly's Crickets).

The Beatles played their first proper evening gig at Liverpool’s Cavern Club on March 21, 1961. They played there 292 times between 1961 and 1963, sharing just £5 a gig between them.


A customer asked London record store owner Brian Epstein for "My Bonnie" by the The Silver Beatles. Epstein didn’t have it, but he went to a lunchtime gig at the Cavern Club to check out the group and signed them a few days later. The date The Beatles first met their future manager was November 9, 1961.

The Beatles appeared on the BBC for the first time on March 7, 1962, recording for the radio show Here We Go. This also marked the group's first full live performance caught on tape, and the first performance in what would become their trademark collarless suits designed by Beno Dorn.

The Beatles' first record "Love Me Do", written by Lennon and McCartney in 1958, was released in the United Kingdom on October 5, 1962.

The Beatles began their first British tour in Bradford, England on February 2, 1963 supporting Helen Shapiro.


On February 8 1963, The Beatles were asked to leave the Carlisle Golf Club dance because they were wearing leather jackets.

Please Please Me,  The Beatles' debut studio album was released on March 22, 1963. Parlophone rush-released the LP in the United Kingdom to capitalize on the success of the singles "Please Please Me" and "Love Me Do."

Wikipedia Commons

The term 'Beatlemania' was used by the Daily Mirror in the aftermath of a successful appearance by The Beatles on Sunday Night At The London Palladium on October 13, 1963, which was seen by an estimated 15 million television viewers in the UK.

The Beatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and "I Saw Her Standing There" were released in the United States on December 26, 1963, marking the beginning of Beatlemania on an international level.
"I Want to Hold Your Hand." became their first US number one hit on February 1, 1964.


By the time they led the so-called British invasion of the United States in 1964, the Beatles held the top five spots on the singles recording charts. On March 14, 1964 Billboard Magazine reported that Beatles records made up 60% of all singles sold.

Their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964 drew what was at the time the largest audience in the history of American television of 73 million viewers. Crime in America dropped noticeably that night, especially juvenile offenses.


It was The Beatles that popularized longer hair for the first time in many decades with their bowl haircuts.

The Beatles began their first full concert tour of North America on August 19, 1964 at a sold-out arena in San Francisco. Their opening song at 9pm was "Twist and Shout."

The Beatles and Elvis only crossed paths once on August 27, 1965 at Presley 's home in Bel Air, California. The NME reported that Elvis, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison jammed together, but without The Beatles' drummer. "Too bad we left the drums in Memphis," Elvis told Ringo.


When John Lennon commented in an interview with a London newspaper, “I don't know what will go first, rock 'n' roll or Christianity. We're more popular than Jesus now. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me," it barely caused a ripple. However, when five months later a magazine got hold of it in the United States and in the Bible Belt area many Christians started protesting, burning Beatles records and even causing concerts to be cancelled. The Vatican also made a public denunciation of Lennon's comments.
In 2008 a Vatican newspaper belatedly forgave Lennon for his comments explaining that he had simply been “showing off.”

At one point, the Revolver album was going to be called After Geography, Ringo Starr's terrible pun on the Rolling Stones' Aftermath,

The Beatles almost had roles in a Disney movie. They were meant to be the voices of the vultures in The Jungle Book.

For several years in the late 60s the four Beatles had an interest in Eastern religion and for a period they were students of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s Transcendental Meditation movement. Their attraction towards this belief has helped make adoption of an Eastern religion a trendy thing among the young.

Under the Soviet Union, the distribution of Beatles albums was forbidden by the government, so some medical students would burn Beatles songs onto old X-rays.

The last concert appearance of the Beatles before paying fans was at Candlestick Park in San Francisco on August 29, 1966. It wasn't a runaway success, as only 25,000 of the 42,500 tickets available were sold.

The Beatles - Nowhere Man [Live In Candlestick Park, San Francisco, 1966]

Their last public performance was on the roof of Apple Records in London on January 30, 1969.  During the 42-minute set, the Beatles were heard playing nine takes of five songs before the Metropolitan Police Service asked them to reduce the volume. The concert came to an end with the conclusion of "Get Back", with John Lennon saying, "I'd like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves and I hope we've passed the audition." Amid public quarrels and lawsuits, The Beatles officially broke up the following year.

"The Beatles rooftop concert" by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia - 

"Come Together" was the last song all four of The Beatles made together.

"The Long and Winding Road" became The Beatles' last U.S. #1 song on June 13, 1970.

The last Beatles song was recorded in 1995. The three surviving members (at the time) reunited to complete an unfinished John Lennon single, "Real Love" and the finished product was credited to the Beatles.

The Beatles used the word “love” 613 times in their songs.

Despite their huge international success, the Beatles never learnt to read or write music using traditional notation.

McCartney's first wife, Linda, and Lennon's second, Yoko, both went to Sarah Lawrence College.

The Beatles are the best-selling group of all time, estimated to have sold over one billion records worldwide. They have had more #1 singles and albums than any other musical group and are the only band with 6 diamond albums, meaning sales of 10 million each: Sgt. Pepper, Abbey Road, The Beatles 1962-1966, The Beatles 1967-1970, The White Album, The Beatles 1

Sources Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia © 1998 The Learning Company, Inc, Artistfacts

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