The Cheeky Stage Names The Beatles Adopted Before Becoming The Fab Four

Friday, May 10, 2024

Although it’s hard to imagine anyone but Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr making up the Fab Four, for a brief moment in the early 1960s, the future Beatles adopted cheeky stage names while cutting their teeth in a cover band that was (unwillingly) playing for (mostly) free.

The three original members of the now iconic band, McCartney, Lennon, and Harrison, settled on several names before adopting the Beatles. The trio performed as the Quarrymen for a spell until an audition to be a backing band for a touring musician sent the artists back to the drawing board.

Lennon first floated the Crickets as a potential moniker, but McCartney shot it down, arguing that another band had already used that name. Eventually, the band settled on the Silver Beetles. But the Liverpool musicians didn’t stop there.  The Musicians Used Their Professional Digs To Adopt New Stage Names.

The audition that prompted the band’s name change was for London-based music promoter Larry Parnes, who was looking for backing bands who could play with various touring singers around the U.K. In a fortunate preview of the success that was to come, the Silver Beetles landed the gig and began performing on the road with a singer and fellow Liverpudlian named Johnny Gentle.

The former Beatle recalled the moment the Silver Beetles (who were never billed as such but rather as “Johnny Gentle and his group”) decided it was time for yet another stage name change in Anthology. “Now we were truly professional. We could do something we had been toying with for a long time, which was to change our names to real showbiz names.” Unsurprisingly, each band member had a different idea for what classified as a “real showbiz name.”

McCartney adopted the name Paul Ramon, which he later said was “suitably exotic.” He particularly liked the French feel of the name Ra-mon—yet another example of McCartney using pseudo-French to impress girls, just like when he wrote the party song-turned-love song “Michelle.”

Source: Melanie Davis/


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