Beatles History

If you want to know the key events in Beatles History, then this is the page for you. This will help you navigate the website, to find the Beatles history you need to know. Each link will take you to a different page on the site, where a post, article or interview is located. I will be constantly updating the site, so check back for the latest in Beatles history, discussing Beatles names, Beatles members, Beatles drummers and who the original Beatles were.

The information is from my three books: “Liddypool: Birthplace of The Beatles”, “The Fab one hundred and Four: The Evolution of The Beatles” and “Finding the Fourth Beatle”.

To make it easier to find, there is a separate page for each year. Select the page year to find out what happened in Beatles history that year.

1956 – The Quarrymen are formed

1957 – John and Paul meet, and George joins The Quarrymen

1958 – The Quarry Men make a record, and John’s mother is killed

1959 – The Quarrymen open The Casbah Coffee Club

1960 – The year that made The Beatles. Many Beatles drummers, lots of different Beatles names, Allan Williams is the Beatles manager and they go to Hamburg

1961 – The Beatles are the best group; Brian Epstein discovers The Beatles at The Cavern Club

1962 – Decca audition, George Martin signs The Beatles, Pete Best is sacked/ dismissed from The Beatles (the truth is revealed) and Ringo Starr joins. The Fab Four is born and “Love Me Do”, their first single, is released.

David's Social Media
David’s Social Media

Please follow and like us:
error

FAB Q

FAB (Frequently Asked Beatles) Questions

These are just some of the questions that I have been asked, or others have asked, about The Beatles, and I hope that I can answer them for you.

Beatles Songs with Liverpool Links? Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields Forever, In my life and many more

Who were/ are The Beatles Members? The Evolution of The Beatles

What are The Beatles Names, or names used by The Beatles?

Were they ever called The Beetles? Or The Beatals? (Not the Bestles or Beatless!)

What is The Beatles History? When does it start from?

Who was the First or Original Beatles Drummer?

Who was The Beatles Manager or Managers?

When did The Beatles start? 1960? Or before?

Where are The Beatles from?

Please follow and like us:
error

The Man on the Flaming Pie? Beatals, Nerk Twins, Beetles, Silver Beatles and The Beatles Names

How did The Beatles get their name? And how many Beatles names have there been?

When John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison decided they had had enough of the name “Quarrymen”, it was their latest recruit, Stuart Sutcliffe, who suggested a new name. In tribute to their hero Buddy Holly, whose group was called The Crickets, Stuart suggested “Beetles”. But how would it be spelled? In 1960, the group used many spellings, and variations, of the name Beetles. Interestingly, before calling themselves The Crickets, Holly’s group considered the name “Beetles” too. (Fab one hundred and Four)

the Beetles Myth

One often quoted myth can be debunked, which was quoted by George Harrison. The name was not inspired by the 1953 Marlon Brando film The Wild One, which refers to the rival gang led by Lee Marvin as “The Beetles”. The film was banned in England by the British Board of Film Censors until 1968.

27th March 1960: The Beatals

The first recorded use of the Beatles name was “Beatals”, in a letter written by Stuart Sutcliffe on 27th March 1960, calling himself The Beatals’ “manager”.

Letter from Stuart Sutcliffe mentioning Beatals
Stu has crossed out Quarrymen and used the name BEATALS

23rd April 1960: The Nerk Twins

The Fox and Hounds pub where John Lennon and Paul McCartney appeared as The Nerk Twins

The Fox and Hounds pub in Caversham, Berkshire was the venue for an unlikely pairing of two of The Beatles. John and Paul played on consecutive nights at this little village pub as The Nerk Twins, to only a handful of people. So how did they end up in the south of England in a tiny village pub?

They were in the Fox and Hounds because it was run by Paul’s cousin Bett and her husband Mike. The couple had both worked as Butlin’s Redcoats before taking on the pub and the teenage Lennon and McCartney were keen to get their advice. The Nerk Twins perched themselves on bar stools and, with their acoustic guitars and no microphones, played a set of songs together.

“It was the Easter school holidays and John and I had hitchhiked down from Liverpool to help out in the pub,” Paul recalled. “We generally dossed around for a week and worked behind the bar. Then Mike said that me and John should play there on the Saturday night. So we made our own posters and put them up in the pub: ‘Saturday Night – Live Appearance – The Nerk Twins’. It was the smallest gig I’ve ever done. We were only playing to a small roomful.” (Fab one hundred and Four)

10th May 1960: The Silver Beetles/ Silver Beatles

The Silver Beatles or Silver Beetles at the Wyvern Club. Stuart Sutcliffe, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Johnny Hutch Hutchinson and George Harrison
The Silver Beatles with Johnny Hutchinson drumming

After the concert on 5th May 1960 featuring Gene Vincent alongside Liverpool groups, John, Paul, George and Stuart approached Allan Williams to be their manager. He agreed, and his first job was to find them a drummer; he achieved that. Tommy Moore joined the group, now known as The Silver Beetles – or The Silver Beatles. Nobody is exactly sure which spelling was used and when over the next couple of months. The first time it was used was on 10th May 1960, when music promoter Larry Parnes came to Liverpool seeking a backing band for his latest star; Liverpool-born Billy Fury (born Ronnie Wycherly in the Dingle).

Tommy Moore was late for his first appearance, so Johnny Hutchinson sat in until Moore turned up. (Full story and biographies in Finding the Fourth Beatle)

14th May 1960: The Silver Beats

As well as being known as Silver Beetles or Silver Beatles, they were advertised as The Silver Beats
The Silver Beats

Appearing as The Silver Beats – the only time they used this name – the group played at Lathom Hall, in the north of Liverpool, on 14 May 1960. Their drummer Tommy Moore was with them, but because he did not have his kit, they asked Cliff Roberts to fill in. In many reference books, there is confusion over which Cliff Roberts played that night, and most of them refer to Cliff Roberts and The Rockers. However, the Rockers’ Cliff Roberts was a singer and guitarist, not a drummer. The Cliff Roberts who played with The Silver Beats was the drummer with The Dominoes.

Johnny Gentle and His Group/ The Beatals

Advertised as Johnny Gentle and His group, they were calling themselves Beatals, Silver Beetles and Silver Beatles too

Although they didn’t pass the audition to back Billy Fury, The Silver Beatles did enough to persuade Larry Parnes to hire them to back another Liverpool-born artist, Johnny Gentle. They spent two weeks travelling around Scotland, billed only as “His Group”. However, the first set of autographs to show a variation on the Beatles name was signed on this tour, as The Beatals, using their stage names; Paul Ramon, Carl Harrison, Stuart de Stael. John Lennon always swore he never used a pseudonym, though it has been suggested he called himself Johnny Silver, or Johnny Lennon, or a variation on that. Tommy Moore was simply Thomas Moore.

Evidence that they used the name The Beatals in autographs; Johnny Lennon, Carl Harrison, Paul Ramon, Stuart de Stael and Thomas Moore, with Johnny Gentle
The Beatals autographs

The Silver Beatles / Silver Beetles

On their return from Scotland, Tommy Moore decided he had had enough of John Lennon, and quit the group. With temporary drummers Jackie Lomax and Ronnie the “Ted”, as well as Paul McCartney, they soon recruited Norman Chapman, who only lasted a few weeks.

The Beatles

The Beatles in Neston, the first time the group had use The Beatles name in print
Reference to The Beatles in Neston

One of the places the group played in June 1960 was the Neston Civic Hall, and the local newspaper published a review, referring to them as The Beatles, the first time it had appeared in print.

The Man on the Flaming Pie?

So what about the “Man on the Flaming Pie”? Although Paul McCartney had an album titled Flaming Pie, and had a song; “I’m the Man on the Flaming Pie”, he wasn’t. On Page 2 of the first issue of Bill Harry’s Mersey Beat, John Lennon wrote his biography of the origins of the group, which Bill Harry titled “Being a Short Diversion on the Origins of Beatles (Translated from The John Lennon).”

In it, Lennon wrote:

Many people ask what are Beatles? Why Beatles? Ugh, Beatles, how did the name arrive? So we will tell you. It came in a vision – a man appeared on a flaming pie and said unto them ‘From this day on you are Beatles with an ‘A’. Thank you, mister man, they said, thanking him.

For years, many have scoffed at this as a bit of fun. However, there is a true story behind the “man on the flaming pie”, as detailed in The Fab one hundred and Four. His name is Royston Ellis, and he was a Beat Poet who visited Liverpool, and was backed by a group, known as The Beetles, at Liverpool University. I interviewed him for the book, and he told me the story of what happened in Gambier Terrace, looking every bit like a Beatnik paradise. He sat there with John, Paul, George and Stu, and discussed the possibility of them coming back down to London to back him as a beat group.

While there, they had an experience with a drug, of sorts, remembered by John later:

Beat Poet Royston Ellis, whom The Beetles, not Beatles, supported in Liverpool. Ellis was the man on the flaming pie
Royston Ellis

‘By the way, the first dope, from a Benzedrine inhaler, was given to The Beatles (John, George, Paul and Stuart) by an (in retrospect) obviously ‘English cover version of Allen – one Royston Ellis, known as beat-poet (he read poetry whilst we played 12-bar blues at the local in-place!).
So give the saint his due.
Love,
John Lennon

Record Mirror where Royston Ellis refers to the Beatles, but showing the spelling of The Beetles, and how they could come down to London
Record Mirror mentioning The Beetles

Whether it was under the influence of “Vicks” or not, Royston Ellis and John Lennon had a discussion about their group’s name. In a newspaper report, Ellise refers to the group The Beetles, and how he is hoping to bring them down to London as his backing group. “John and George liked the idea, though Paul and Stu were less keen.”

Beetles with an “A”

“I suggested that since they liked the beat scene and they were coming to London to back me, a beat poet, why not spell it with an ‘A’? I had bought a chicken pie and mushrooms for dinner. I might have had the money but I did not know much about cooking, and the result was that I overcooked the mushrooms and burnt the chicken pie. I have always assumed that gave rise to John’s reference to ‘a man on a flaming pie’ suggesting they call themselves Beatles with an A.” (Fab one hundred and Four)

And very soon afterwards, they settled on Beatles with an “A”, never to be changed.

For the full story of the Beatles names in 1960, and the interviews, see The Fab one hundred and Four: The Evolution of The Beatles.

David Bedford

Please follow and like us:
error

Home – Liddypool Dave

David Bedford, Beatles author and researcher
David Bedford

David Bedford is the author of “Liddypool” (2009) and “The Fab one hundred and Four: The Evolution of The Beatles” (2013). He has also published his latest book, with Garry Popper, “Finding the Fourth Beatle” (2018).

He collaborated with the Beatles’ only official biographer Hunter Davies on “The Beatles Book” (2016), and is working on a number of new projects.

Beatles History

Liddypool Birthplace of The Beatles by David Bedford
Liddypool by David Bedford

David’s website aims to chart Beatles History through his interviews and research that have contributed to his books. Simply select Beatles History and either look at the main page, or select the appropriate year in Beatles History. This will be added to regularly to build a unique insight into Early Beatles and Quarrymen history.

Beatles Detective

The Beatles Detective looking at The Beatles History
The Beatles Detective

In a branch off The Beatles trail, David has published his first crime detective novel, Inspector Rocke, which is set in Liverpool, 1960, and features The Beatles too! Because of his forensic way of analysing Beatles history, in 2019, he launched a new Blog called “The Beatles Detective”, where he examines aspects of Beatles history, and searches for the evidence to solve the mysteries, like The Beatles names, Beatles members and other Beatles history. You can follow that at Thebeatlesdetective.com

He was Associate Producer and Historian on the documentary “Looking for Lennon” (2018), which was nominated for a National Film Award.

David is a Beatles historian, author and researcher, and a guest at Beatles events in the US, UK and Europe. He makes regular appearances on Radio, TV and Beatles Podcasts.

“David is defining and refining Beatles history” – Edd Raineri, Beatledd Fab Four Hour

Beatles Historian and Researcher: Discoveries

As well as many interviews with people connected with The Beatles, David’s original research has uncovered people, stories and events that no other author/historian has discovered:

Fab one hundred and Four: The Evolution of The Beatles, Beatles members and Beetles names
The Fab one hundred and Four

The only book on The Beatles and Liverpool (Liddypool)

The real meaning behind the Beatles song “Penny Lane(Liddypool)

Discovered Geoff Lee, who suggested to John Lennon that he should start a skiffle group; The Quarry Men (Fab104)

Has the only biography and photographs of Beatles drummer Norman Chapman; (Fab104)

The most complete biography of Silver Beatles drummer Tommy Moore; (Finding the Fourth Beatle)

Established that George Harrison joined The Quarrymen in December 1957, not 1958; (Fab104)

Established when the first colour photograph of John, Paul and George was taken; (Fab104)

Discovered who the “man on the flaming pie” was (Fab104)

Drummer Alan Leyland drummed with The Beatles in 1961; (Finding the Fourth Beatle)

That John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Pete Best signed a legal partnership agreement in 1961; (Finding the Fourth Beatle)

That Pete Best WAS NOT sacked and what really happened; (Finding the Fourth Beatle)

That The Beatles were not under contract at EMI in June 1962. (Finding the Fourth Beatle)

The between 1956 and 1970, 23 different drummers played with The Beatles at different times. (Finding the Fourth Beatle)

And much, much more, with many interviews being unique to him too.

Purchase David’s books in the Beatles Bookstore

David's Social Media
David’s Social Media

FACEBOOK FEED

David Bedford
David Bedford
Liddypod 7 is here, and we have a fascinating chat with Laura Lian, sculptor of this incredible John Lennon sculpture, on display in Liverpool.
David Bedford
David Bedford
What to do in Liverpool this weekend for International Beatleweek: lots of Beatle places, exhibits and must-sees for Beatles fans.
David Bedford
David Bedford
The Beatles are dead, long live the Fab Four? What does this mean? Find out by reading my latest Beatles History blog post
David Bedford
David Bedford
It Don't Come Easy! Discover how Ringo Starr became the Fourth Beatle, when he made his debut at Hulme Hall, Port Sunlight on 18th August 1962; the Fab Four were born.
#ringo #ringostarr #beatles
David Bedford
David Bedford
A puzzle! Why, the day after Ringo was offered the job, on the day Pete Best was told he was being replaced in The Beatles, did Brian Epstein offer Johnny Hutchinson the job?
David Bedford
David Bedford
Beatles biggest mystery solved. Find out why Pete Best was not fired/sacked by Brian or the Beatles, with an exclusive interview with Epstein's lawyer by David Bedford
Please follow and like us:
error