Paul McCartney speaks out on theory Marlon Brando inspired The Beatles band name | Music | Entertainment

They are the most successful band in music history but there are different theories about how The Beatles named themselves

One is that former bassist Stuart Sutcliffe (who died at just 21 in 1962) suggested they change their name from The Quarrymen to the Beatals, in tribute to Buddy Holly and the Crickets.

The group used this name until May 1960 when they became the Silver Beetles before the Silver Beatles and then just The Beatles.

Now Sir Paul McCartney himself has spoken out on the theories of the name’s origin.

Speaking on the podcast McCartney: A Life in Lyrics about the song Love Me Do, the 81-year-old addressed a theory regarding Marlon Brando.

He said: “My memory of it was that we went striving to find something with a dual meaning because of The Crickets. This was the idea. Now the actual origin of it is clouded in mystery. There are all sorts of theories about this. There’s The Wild One with Marlon Brando and at one point Lee Marvin says ‘Hey, Johnny…The Beatles love you’. 

“It turns out the girls in the motorcycle gang were called Beetles…And I know John and Stuart [Sutcliffe] his art school friend, loved that film, as we all did. I think they’d seen it. We just loved it… Anyway, so that’s one of the theories.”

Talking of Buddy Holly, who also died young at just 22 in 1959, McCartney shared how the singer helped John Lennon get over his embarrassment of wearing glasses.

Macca added: “[Buddy] wore these big horn-rimmed glasses as did John and if ever there would be a girl, John would whip his glasses off and put them in his pocket and squint as she went by. And I would say you look pretty good, the glasses look good. But when Buddy came along, the glasses stayed on. He was like Harry Potter…”

McCartney: A Life in Lyrics is co-produced by iHeartPodcasts and Pushkin and can be listened to here.

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