Aged sixteen, Lennon formed the group 'The Quarrymen' with some Liverpool school friends in March 1957. Fifteen-year-old McCartney joined as a guitarist after he and Lennon met that July. When McCartney in turn invited Harrison to watch the group the following February, the fourteen-year-old joined as lead guitarist.
Joining on bass in January, Lennon's fellow student Stuart Sutcliffe suggested changing the band name to "The Beatles" as a tribute to Buddy Holly and The Crickets, and they became "The Beatles" for the first few months of the year.
After trying other names including "Johnny and the Moon dogs", "Long John and The Beetles" and "The Silver Beatles", the band finally became "The Beatles" in August.
The lack of a permanent drummer posed a problem when the group's unofficial manager, Allan Williams, arranged a resident band booking for them in Hamburg, Germany.
Before the end of August they auditioned and hired drummer Pete Best, and the five-piece band left for Hamburg four days later, contracted to fairground showman Bruno Koschmider for a 48-night residency.
Bruno had the idea of bringing in rock groups to play in various clubs. They had this formula. It was a huge nonstop show, hour after hour, with a lot of people lurching in and the other lot lurching out. And the bands would play all the time to catch the passing traffic.
Many of the bands that played in Hamburg were from Liverpool . It was an accident. Bruno went to London to look for bands. But he happened to meet a Liverpool entrepreneur in Soho, who was down in London by pure chance. And he arranged to send some bands over.
During the next two years, the group was resident for further periods in Hamburg. They used Preludin both recreationally and to maintain their energy through all-night performances. The Beatles were also becoming more popular back home in Liverpool.
During one of the band's frequent appearances there at The Cavern Club, they encountered Epstein; a local record store owner and music columns. When the band appointed Epstein manager in January 1962, Kaempfert agreed to release them from the German record contract.
In Liverpool, the Mersey beat movement was gathering force. The band had its first recording session under Martin's direction at EMI Studios in London, in June 1962, but Martin complained to Epstein about Best's drumming and suggested the band use a session drummer in the studio.
sInstead of this, Best was replaced by Starr, from Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, although he had previously performed with them during Best's occasional absences. Martin still hired session drummer Andy White for one session. White played on the single "Love Me Do" and "P.S. I Love You". Released in October, "Love Me Do" was a top twenty UK hit, peaking at number seventeen on the chart.
The Beatles concluded their last Hamburg stint in December 1962.
Their first album, Please Please Me was released in the UK in March 1963. The singles, "Please Please Me" and "She Loves You" received scattered, limited airplay in the US. The teen audience on Dick Clark's American Bandstand reacted to "She Loves You" by laughing at the band's "mop top" haircuts.
After their second album, With The Beatles became only the second album ever to sell a million copies in the UK, Vee Jay Records, predominantly an R&B label, obtained the US rights to most of the songs from Please Please Me, and released them on an album titled Introducing ... The Beatles in January 1964.
By now it had become the pattern that all four members contributed vocals, although Starr's restricted range meant he sang lead only rarely.
Lennon and McCartney had established a songwriting partnership; as the band's success grew, their celebrated collaboration limited Harrison's opportunities as lead vocalist. Epstein, sensing the commercial potential, encouraged the group to adopt a professional attitude to performing.
Hence, This is the story of a high school band that woke up one day in the rarified air of international superstardom. The story of The Beatles is a story of friendships made and lost, musical barriers broken, and lives permanently altered.
It's a long way from Liverpool to legend. The journey has been the subject of thousands of books, articles, interviews, college courses, discussion groups, and late night bull sessions. And well it should be. When you add up all of the Beatles albums, singles, CDs and videos that have ever been sold, the total surpasses 1-billion.
Article about: History of Beatles music