There were numerous crucial moments that played a significant role in shaping The Beatles’ history. These moments were so crucial that the course of the band would have been drastically different if any of them had not happened. However, this list excludes the instances when the band released their albums and achieved hits. Instead, it focuses on the moments that defined and influenced the group’s trajectory. Presented below are ten of the most pivotal moments in Beatledom.
1957: John Lennon and Paul McCartney First Crossed Paths and Became Acquainted With Each Other.
The Beatles began with the introduction of John Lennon and Paul McCartney in 1957, at a church event in Liverpool, when Lennon’s band The Quarry Men performed and impressed McCartney. After being introduced, McCartney played for Lennon, who was also impressed, and a week later, another bandmate asked McCartney to join. This event was crucial to the band’s formation.
1958: The Beatles First Song Ever Recorded
In 1958, The Beatles, consisting of John, Paul, George, drummer Colin Hanton, and piano player John “Duff” Lowe, recorded their first single, covering Buddy Holly’s “That’ll Be the Day” and their own song “In Spite of All the Danger.” The recording became a significant moment for the band, as it is now one of the most valuable records in history.
1961: Brian Epstein as the Manager
Brian Epstein, who would become The Beatles’ manager, saw them perform for the first time at The Cavern Club in 1961. Although he had previously seen their names in a magazine, it wasn’t until he heard a customer request their German single “My Bonnie” that he realized they were the same band he had seen perform. Epstein and his assistant Alistair Taylor immediately went to see them perform again and were eager to manage them.
1962: New Recruit, Ringo Starr
Ringo Starr joined The Beatles in the summer of 1962, completing the official lineup. Ringo had played at the same clubs in Hamburg, Germany as The Beatles with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. He eventually replaced the band’s original drummer, Pete Best.
1964: TV Appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show
In 1964, The Beatles made a memorable appearance on ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’, performing for a record-breaking 70 million viewers and a frenzied crowd of 700 fans. This event was a significant moment in the band’s history, and their performance on the show was considered a national phenomenon.
1965: The Historic Shea Stadium
The Beatles gave a historic performance at Shea Stadium in 1965, becoming the first rock ‘n’ roll group to perform at a sports arena. The stadium’s inadequate sound system was unable to compete with the deafening screams of the audience, but the concert is still remembered as a groundbreaking event.
1966: The Beatles Last Concert
The Beatles’ last concert was at Candlestick Park in 1966, a disastrous event due to the overwhelming crowds of screaming fans. The band had grown tired of the dangers of touring during the height of Beatlemania, leading them to decide to stop touring altogether. This decision was a turning point in their career, as it allowed them to focus on experimenting in the recording studio.
1967: The Visit in Maharishi Mahesh Yogi
In 1967, George’s wife Pattie Boyd saw an ad for lessons on Transcendental Meditation by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. She and George attended, and they later invited their bandmates to hear the guru speak in London. The experience had a profound impact on the band, particularly on Paul, who credited Maharishi with helping to center the group and influencing their lives in a significant way.
1967: The Passing of Brian Epstein
In 1967, Brian Epstein, the manager of The Beatles, passed away unexpectedly while the band was attending a meditation retreat with Maharishi in Bangor, Wales. The band was devastated by the loss of their mentor and father figure, and John once remarked that it felt like leaving the house without pants. Maharishi provided them with guidance on how to grieve, and the following year they sought further teachings from him at his ashram in Rishikesh, India.
1969: Apple Headquarters Rooftop Concert
During the production of their album Let It Be, The Beatles were going through a difficult time and decided to document their process for a film. While they initially considered closing the album with a grand performance in an exotic location, only Paul was enthusiastic about the idea. Instead, they settled on performing on the rooftop of their Apple Headquarters in London. The impromptu concert was ultimately shut down by the police, but not before they had the chance to play some of their iconic tunes, making it a highly memorable moment in the band’s history.