Sunday, May 27, 2012

A fixed natural order to the cosmos: The Beatles

In March 1957 John Lennon, then aged sixteen, formed a group with several friends from Quarry Bank school. They called themselves the Blackjacks, before changing their name to The Quarrymen. Fifteen-year-old Paul McCartney joined as a guitarist shortly after he and Lennon met that July. In February 1958 McCartney invited his friend George Harrison to watch the group. The fourteen-year-old auditioned for Lennon, who was impressed by his playing but initially thought him too young for the band. After a month of persistence, Harrison joined as lead guitarist. By January 1959 Lennon's Quarry Bank friends had left the group. The three guitarists, billing themselves, sometimes, as "Johnny and the Moondogs", were playing rock and roll whenever they could find a drummer.
Lennon's art school friend Stu Sutcliffe, who had recently sold one of his paintings and purchased a bass guitar, joined in January 1960, and it was he who suggested changing the band's name to "Beatals" as a tribute to Buddy Holly and The Crickets. According to band historian Mark Lewisohn, they used the name through May, when they became "the Silver Beetles", before undertaking a brief tour of Scotland as the backing group for pop singer and fellow Liverpudlian Johnny Gentle. By early July they changed their name to "the Silver Beatles", and by the middle of August to "the Beatles"

L-R John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney and Pete Best

L-R George Harrison, Stuart Sutcliffe, John Lennon

L-R Pete Best,  George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Stuart Sutcliffe

On The Beatles' first visit to Hamburg, Germany in 1960, they met rock and roller Tony Sheridan, and became friends with him. The Beatles backed Sheridan in a series of stage performances. German Polydor agent Bert Kaempfert personally saw Sheridan with The Beatles, others report a friend of Kaempfert's suggested that he bring them in to put down some recordings. Either way, he produced the material with Karl Hinze engineering. While they recorded a number of songs together (as well as alone), few of them actually made it on to the album, with Sheridan re-recording many of them. The Beatles are known to appear on "My Bonnie" and "The Saints".

Legend says, in 1961, Raymond Jones, a young man from Liverpool, made a request for a copy of the "My Bonnie" single, which brought The Beatles to the attention of then-record store manager Brian Epstein, and set in motion the events that would lead him to become their manager. After The Beatles became successful, the eight tracks The Beatles worked on and some other Beat Brothers material were issued on an album in 1964 titled The Beatles' First.

On 7th March 1962, one month after Brian Epstein became their manager, The Beatles recorded their radio debut at the Playhouse Theatre in Hulme, Manchester. The recording was for the show "Teenager's Turn - Here We Go".   Wearing suits for the very first time, The Beatles performed three cover versions: "Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream?)", "Memphis, Tennessee" and "Please Mister Postman". The show was broadcast on the BBC Light Programme the following day between 5 and 5.30pm.

On August 14 1962, Epstein asks drummer Ringo Starr to join the Beatles permanently, which he officially joins on the 18th.  On September 4 1962, The Beatles' have their first recording session at Abbey Road Studios. They record "Love Me Do" and a demo of "How Do You Do It." "Love Me Do" will also be recorded on September 11 with session drummer Andy White, but Martin will use one of the takes from the day's session with Ringo Starr on drums for the original UK single release. 

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