The “Beat”les

My informant is a 22 year old musician. He is a bass-playing vocalist who plays in a  band while running his own youth-oriented music school in Los Angeles.

“So the legend goes that Paul McCartney suggested after they had been had been Johnny and the Moondogs and The Silverbeatles for awhile, basically Paul McCartney suggested that they were, they call themselves just The Beetles as a play on Buddy Holly and the Crickets. But then John, uh, Lennon, apparently because he was just a funny guy and liked puns, he decided to, he suggested that they change the ‘e’ to an ‘a,’ being Beatles so that it would be a play on beat music.”

This informant learned this story from his uncle, who is also a musician. It would be performed during band practice or in conversation to prove knowledge of musical legends and to delineate himself from non-musicians.


The Beatles were and are one of the most popular bands to ever grace the face of this earth. They completely altered the course of main-stream music forever and the echoes of their influence can still be heard in today’s music. It makes sense that a musician who currently plays in a small, local band would discuss the legend of The Beatles whenever possible. It also shows the importance musicians place on naming their bands. The Beatles had two unsuccessful names before changing their name and making it big. Musicians often talk of changing their bands name in the hope that it will finally make them successful.