Sydney Recording Studios: McCartney introduced George Harrison to Lennon the next year, and Harrison and art college buddy Stuart also joined Lennon’s band. Always in need of a drummer, the group finally settled on Pete Best.
The first recording they made was Buddy Holly‘s “That’ll Be the Day” in 1958. In fact, it was Holly’s group, that inspired the band to change its name. Lennon would later joke that he had a vision when he was 12 years old — a man appeared on a flaming pie and said unto them, “From this day on, you are Beatles with an ‘A.'”
The Beatles were discovered by Brian Epstein in 1961 at the Cavern Clup in Liverpool, where they were performing regularly. As their new manager, Epstein secured a record contract with EMI. With a new drummer, Ringo Starr (Richard Starkey), and George Martin as the producer, the group released their first single, “Love Me Do,” in October 1962. It peaked on the British charts at No. 17.
Lennon wrote the group’s follow-up single, “Please Please Me,” inspired primarily by Roy Orbison, but also fed by Lennon’s infatuation with the pun in Bing Crosby’s famous lyrics, “Oh, please, lend your little ears to my pleas,” from the song “Please.” The Beatles’ “Please Please Me” topped the charts in Britain. The Beatles went on to become the most popular band in Britain with the release of such mega-hits as “She Loves You” and “I Want To Hold Your Hand.”
Lennon married Cynthia Powell in August 1962. The couple had one son together, Julian, who was named after Lennon’s mother. Cynthia was forced to keep a very low profile during Beatlemania. She and Lennon divorced in 1968. He remarried the following year, on March 20, 1969, to Japanese avant-garde artist Yoko Ono, whom he had met at the Indica Gallery in November 1966.
Sydney Recording Studios: Beatlemania
In 1964, the Beatles became the first British band to break out big in the United States, beginning with their appearance on television’s The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964. Beatlemania launched a “British Invasion” of rock bands in the United States that also included the Rolling Stones and the Kinks. Following their appearance on Sullivan, the Beatles returned to Britain to film their first film, A Hard Day’s Night (1964), and prepare for their first world tour.