The Beatles

overcoming the challenges they faced

The Beatles were a rock band made of four guys from Liverpool, England. The members included John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.

Childhood and Early Life

John Lennon

John Lennon was born on October 9, 1940. His parents were separated so his mom was very poor. After several disputes, John went to live with his aunt in the better part of Liverpool. He was always very interested in music and he played his guitar often. His aunt didn't care too much about his musical career though, and wanted him to focus more on school. Despite this, John continued to teach himself how to play guitar. Eventually, his mom died when she was hit by a car. John was never the same after her death.

Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney was born on June 18, 1942. He was from a very poor family so he couldn't afford many things. Even thought his family struggled with many things, he kept a positive attitude and worked hard in school. When he was only 14 years old, his mom died of breast cancer. Paul was also very upset about his loss.

George Harrison

George Harrison was born on February 23, 1943. He was always very very quiet and didn't socialize much. He was made fun of by some of the other kids because of his looks and haircut.

Ringo Starr

Ringo Starr was born on July 7, 1940. He was also quiet like George. But one day, Ringo started to feel very sick. It turns out that he had appendicitis, but he was too late in treating it. He was in the hospital for three years and fell way behind in school, so he turned to music instead. After he got out of the hospital, he got a job fitting pipes, even though he was financially stable.
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George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Ringo Star and John Lennon

Forming the Band

At the age of only 15, John Lennon decided to form his own band called the Quarrymen. At one small performance, Paul was there watching the band. After it was over, Paul approached John and played a song on the guitar. John was impressed and asked Paul to join the band. After a while, Paul introduced his friend George to John, who also loved to play music. He also joined the band. When they started to get more serious about their career, they boys decided to go to Hamburg, Germany for some gigs. The performances were messy and were full of drunk people looking for a fight. But Brian Epstein, a music entrepreneur saw the Beatles and wanted to be their manager. They accepted, but Brian said they would have to let in a drummer from another band, and his name was Ringo Starr. Now they had the four guys, but they needed a catchy name. They decided on the Beatles since they had such a nice beat.

Struggles they faced

Even in their heyday, the Beatles also faced many challenges along the way. Since they were self-taught musicians, they made many mistakes during performances. For this reason, different record companies such as Decca Records told the Beatles that they were just a fad and would soon be replaced by another better band. Also, other than struggles created by other people, they sometimes created their own struggles. John once told a reporter that they were "more popular than Jesus right now," which insulted many people.
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The Beatles when they arrived in America at the Kennedy Airport


After some of their beginning struggles of rejection from Decca Records, the boys really started to work harder. Obviously, they proved Decca wrong. By never giving up on their dreams of becoming musicians, the Beatles became the biggest band of their time. They decided to come to America to continue playing gigs and widen their fan base. Eventually, they had fans everywhere. They were becoming so popular that people were even starting to copy their patented mop top hair style!


"Of course I'm ambitious. What's wrong with that? Otherwise you sleep all day." -Ringo Starr. Ringo was trying to say that he and the band were always wanting to be better musicians.

"When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down happy. They told me I didn't understand the assignment. I told them they didn't understand life." -John Lennon. John said that whatever he was going to do later in life, he wanted it to make him happy.


  • The Beatles were on the Ed Sullivan show for the first time in 1964, and about 73 million fans watched.
  • They went on to play at sold out stadiums all over the world.
  • Their first album, Please Please Me, topped the British trending music charts for over 30 weeks.
  • They won 10 Grammy awards.
  • They were considered the most popular band in the 1960's 1970's.
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The Beatles performing on the Ed Sullivan show in 1964

I Want To Hold Your Hand at Ed Sullivan Show

Interesting facts

  • Paul was left handed and guitars were only made for right handed people, so he restrung his guitar for himself
  • John Lennon was married to Cynthia Lennon then divorced and married Yoko Ono
  • The band was called the Fab Four
  • John Lennon was murdered on December 8, 1980
  • George Harrison died on November 27, 2001 from oral cancer because of smoking
  • Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are still living today


Works Cited

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Billboard, ed. “The Beatles-Biography.” The Beatles-Biography. Billboard, 2016. Web. 15 Mar. 2016. <>.

Edgers, Geoff. Who Were the Beatles. N.p.: n.p., 2006. Print.

Group Members, ed. “The Beatles.” The Beatles. N.p., 2008. Web. 14 Mar. 2016. <>.

Hergest Genealogy. “Ringo Starr.” Photograph. Hergest Genealogy.

9 Sept. 2012. Web. 16 Mar. 2016.

M., Rebecca. “John Lennon.” Photograph. Playbuzz

26 June 2015. Web. 16 Mar. 2016.

Mitsuk, Veronica. “George Harrison.” Photograph. Pinterest.

2015. Web. 16 Mar. 2016.

Steinmann, Jennifer. “Paul McCartney.” Photograph. Pinterest

2013. Web. 16 Mar. 2016.

Stoogypedia. “The Beatles.” Photograph. Geeks of Doom.

7 Feb. 2014. Web. 16 Mar. 2016.

The Beatles. “I Want to Hold Your Hand at Ed Sullivan Show.” Online Video Clip.

Youtube. Youtube, 18 Oct. 2011. Web. 16 Mar. 2016.

The Oral Cancer Foundation, ed. “George Harrison The Spiritual Beatle.” The Oral Cancer Foundation. The Oral Cancer Foundation, Mar. 2014. Web. 14 Mar. 2016. <>.

By Lauren Valentine