The Origin of The Beatles

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The Origin of The Beatles

The origin of the phenomenon that became the Beatles can be traced to 1957 when Paul McCartney (b. 18 June 1942, Liverpool, England) successfully auditioned at a church fête in Woolton, Liverpool, for the guitarist's position in the Quarrymen, a skiffle group led by John Lennon (b. 9 October 1940, Liverpool, England, d. 8 December 1980, New York, USA). Within a year, two more musicians had been brought in, the 15-year-old guitarist George Harrison (b. 25 February 1943, Liverpool, England) and an art school friend of Lennon's, Stuart Sutcliffe (b. 23 June 1940, Edinburgh, Scotland, d. 10 April 1962, Hamburg, Germany). After a brief spell as Johnny And The Moondogs, the band rechristened themselves the Silver Beetles, and, in April 1960, played before impresario Larry Parnes, winning the dubious distinction of a support slot on an arduous tour of Scotland with autumnal idol Johnny Gentle. By the summer of 1960 the group had a new name, the Beatles, dreamed up by Lennon who said 'a man in a flaming pie appeared and said you shall be Beetles with an a'. A full-time drummer, Pete Best (b. 1941, Liverpool, England), was recruited and they secured a residency at Bruno Koschminder's Indra Club in Hamburg. It was during this period that they honed their repertoire of R&B and rock 'n' roll favourites, and during exhausting six-hour sets performed virtually every song they could remember. Already, the musical/lyrical partnership of Lennon/McCartney was bearing fruit, anticipating a body of work unparalleled in modern popular music. The image of the group was changing, most noticeably with their fringed haircuts or, as they were later known, the 'mop-tops', the creation of Sutcliffe's German fiancée Astrid Kirchh...

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...ee younger writers offering some fresh views. David Quantick of the New Musical Express offered one of the best comments in recent years: 'The Beatles only made - they could only make - music that referred to the future. And that is the difference between them and every other pop group or singer ever since'. Anthology 3 could not improve upon the previous collection but there were gems to be found. The acoustic 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' from Harrison is stunning. 'Because', never an outstanding track when it appeared on Abbey Road, is given a stripped a cappella treatment. The McCartney demo of 'Come And Get It' for Badfinger begs the question of why the Beatles chose not to release this classic pop song themselves. In the course of history the Rolling Stones and countless other major groups are loved, but the Beatles are universally and unconditionally adored.

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