The Beatles

  • July 1957

    John Lennon met 15 year old Paul McCartney at a church fete where his band was playing a set of music. He invited McCartney to join his group, a skiffle band the 'Quarrymen'.
  • February 1958

    February 1958
    George Harrison, then 14, becomes the lead guitarist for the Quarrymen.
  • January 1960

    Lennon’s friend Stuart Sutcliffe joins the band on bass and suggests the name Beatals as a tribute to Buddy Holly and the Crickets. They briefly use that name, then the Silver Beetles, before becoming the Beatles in August of that year.
  • Period: to

    The Beatles

    Years active
  • August 1962

    August 1962
    The Beatles replace drummer Pete Best with Richard Starkey, better known as Ringo Starr.
  • January 1963

    January 1963
    The Beatles get their first No. 1 single with “Please Please Me.” The band’s debut LP, “Please Please Me,” is released that March.
  • February 1964

    February 1964
    The Beatles' first appearance on the Ed Sullivan show (and simultaneously, their first performance on American soil). Per the Ed Sullivan show, "73m people gathered in front their TV sets to see The Beatles’ first live performance on U.S. soil. The television rating was a record-setting 45.3, meaning that 45.3% of households with televisions were watching. That figure reflected a total of 23,240,000 American homes."
  • December 1965

    December 1965
    The Beatles release “Rubber Soul,” featuring more experimentation, like Harrison’s a sitar on “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown).”
  • June 1966

    June 1966
    Capitol Records releases the compilation “Yesterday and Today,” featuring the Beatles dressed as butchers, surrounded by raw meat and baby dolls. The cover was quickly repealed and a new cover was painted over the original. Copies of the original version have sold for more than $10,000.
  • June 1967

    June 1967
    “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” is released. The album took hundreds of hours to record and incorporated a 40-piece orchestra for “A Day in the Life.”
  • November 1968

    November 1968
    The Beatles release the double LP “The Beatles,” which comes to be known as the White Album because of its cover. The recording process was troubled and Starr briefly quit during the process. Relations between McCartney and Lennon were strained as Lennon’s girlfriend, Yoko Ono, began attending recording sessions.
  • July 1969

    July 1969
    The band begins work on “Abbey Road.” That same month Lennon released his first solo song, “Give Peace a Chance.”
  • September 1969

    Lennon tells the rest of the band he’s leaving the group, but agrees not to publicly announce it until after “Abbey Road” is released later in the month.
  • September 1969

    September 1969
    Abbey Road is released in the UK.
  • May 1970

    May 1970
    “Let It Be” is released, with the documentary following a month later.
  • April 1970

    April 1970
    Unhappy with Spector’s work, McCartney announces his departure from the band the same month his “McCartney” solo album is released.
  • December 1970

    McCartney files to have the Beatles’ contractual partnership dissolved.
  • December 1980

    John Lennon is assassinated in New York City.
  • November 2001

    George Harrison passes away.
  • December 2013

    December 2013
    The Beatles release 59 recordings on iTunes, “The Beatles Bootleg Recordings 1963,” featuring material that was about to fall into the public domain without an official release.