The band – yet to be the definitive John, Paul, George and Ringo – are John, Paul, George and Stuart Sutcliffe. Mid year, Pete Best is recruited as drummer; the group start the year as The Quarry Men, ‘morph’ to The Beatals, then to The Silver Beetles. Eventually in August 1960 they become The Beatles. Large parts of the year are spent in Hamburg first at the Indra Club then at the KaiserKeller where total immersion develops their skills. At one stage they play along side Rory Storm and the Hurricanes whose drummer is one Ringo Starr.
“It was Hamburg that did it. That’s where we really developed. To get the Germans going and keep it up for twelve hours at a time we really had to hammer. We would never have developed so much if we had stayed at home. We had to try anything that came into our heads.” John Lennon, Anthology.
“Hamburg totally wrecked us. I remember getting home to England and my dad thought I was half-dead. I looked like a skeleton. I hadn’t noticed the change, I’d been having such a ball.” Paul McCartney, Anthology
Meanwhile: February: discovery of Dead Sea Scrolls; September: Kennedy and Nixon in TV debate; November Lady Chatterley’s lover book cleared of obscenity.
On 27 December 1960, the first real turning point occurred. John, Paul, George, Pete and Chas (Newby on Bass), turned up at Litherland town hall in North Liverpool to do a gig. In leathers and cowboy boots and with a no-nonsense, hardened, totally engaging and loud post-Hamburg style they totally amazed the predominately creped and drain-piped audience who were drawn to the front to absorb the captivating experience. A thing called Beatlemania was born.
That’s another reason we love The Beatles.
24: Simply Different
25: A Time to Think
27: Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
28: The B Side
29: The Philosophy