The Beatles were undoubtedly the most influential band of the century. In a course of 8 years, they changed not only rock and roll, but also the face of all music forever.
On July 6, 1957, John Lennon, the leader of a band called the Quarry Men, was introduced to Paul McCartney, through a mutual friend, Ivan Vaughan, at Woolton Parish Church, where the Quarry Men were scheduled to perform. Impressed by McCartney’s ability to play and tune a guitar, Lennon soon asked McCartney to join the Quarry Men. McCartney accepted. Shortly after McCartney joined the group, he began to recommend an old school friend to Lennon. Lennon refused to even audition this friend because he was only 14. However Lennon finally relented, and on February 6, 1958 (19 days short of his 15th birthday) he auditioned George Harrison. After playing Raunchy Harrison became the newest member of the group.
The group went through several names. They adopted names such as the Johnny and the Moondogs, The Silver Beetles, The Beatals, The Silver Beatles, and eventually The Beatles. As well as several names, the band went through several members, the more noteworthy of these would be John Lennon’s closest friend Stuart (Stu) Sutcliffe – born June 23, 1940, Edinburgh, Scotland, dead April 10, 1962, Hamburg, Germany – (on bass guitar) and Pete Best – born 1941, Liverpool, England – (the drummer before Ringo).
In 1960, the Beatles went to Hamburg, Germany to play. Thinking they would get rich and famous they instead they found dirty clubs, long hours, filthy living arrangements, and swarms of easy woman. They played through the night, and slept behind a movie screen in a theatre. Throughout their stay in Germany they gained a lot of knowledge of performing but that is all the gained. They never saw the money they were promised. Their stay in Germany ended abruptly when George (then 17) was deported for being under age.
Toward the end of 1961, Brian Epstein, whose family owned the furniture/record store NEMS, began to hear about the Beatles and their record My Bonnie, on which they performed as the backup group for another English performer Tony Sheridan. Brian checked into the record, and ordered some to sell. To Epstein’s surprise, the records sold as fast as he could put them on the shelves.