Mystery Tour Background

A Magical Beatles Tour



Liverpool is the setting

The first member (John) of The Beatles was born in 1940. They all grew up in a city that had the distinction of being the second largest seaport in the United Kingdom near the time of their birth. But the ravages of World War II severely damaged Liverpool. On Liverpool's WEB page they quote that:

"... there were 509 air raid warnings and bombs dropped on 79 occasions. A total of 2,596 persons were killed, 2,548 seriously injured, of whom 154 subsequently died, and 1600 were slightly injured. Out of a total of 282,000 homes on Merseyside, 184,840 were damaged and 10,840 were destroyed"

Imagine if two-thirds of YOUR hometown was damaged or destroyed by bombs!!

During the few years just before becoming they Beatles, the boys were finding their way in the music world. (We'll focus on the youth of the boys individually later.) In 1955, a two-man band called the Quarry Men was formed by John Lennon. (He went to Quarry Bank High School). The other member was schoolmate, Pete Shotton. Many boys joined and left the Quarry Men. It wasn't until 1957 that Paul McCartney joined the group. George Harrison arrived in 1958. It was in 1960 that the quartet most of us have heard of called the Quarry Men consisted of John, Paul, George and Stuart Sutcliffe. There was no drummer in the group. They were constantly borrowing or hiring a new drummer.

The group was inspired by artists such as Elvis, Lonnie Donegan Bill Haley and His Comets, Gene Vincent, Buddy Holly, Little Richard Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry.

In 1960, Larry Parnes and Allan Williams auditioned bands to work with Billy Fury (a local boy who made it big.) It was at this audition that Lennon identified the band as the Silver Beetles. On June 2, the Silver Beetles appeared at the Neston Institute. A review in the Heswall and Neston News and Advertiser accidentally referred to them as the Beatles.

In August, the Silver Beatles (Lennon had a dream they were to be the Beatles with an 'a') were promised a gig in Hamburg, Germany. They had no drummer. Pete Best had played occasionally with the Quarry Men in 1959. Paul McCartney called Pete and auditioned him on August 15. He became a Beatle on the spot. (“Silver” had recently been dropped from the Beatles name.)

The boys departed Liverpool about 10:00 AM on August 16 to launch themselves as The Beatles.


The Early Beatles-Germany

Introduction | Pre-Beatles | The Early Beatles-Germany | John Lennon-The Early Years
Bibliography | Links and Links Needed

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