Stu Sutcliffe - John Lennon
There are at least a couple of different theories as to which
Beatle, John Lennon or Stuart Sutcliffe, first thought of the
name "the Beetles". The band members were big fans
of Buddy Holly and the Crickets, so either John or Stuart came
up with the name "Beetles" because it was similar in
vein to "the Crickets", as they both are bugs. John,
who often played with puns, decided to change it from "Beetles" to "Beatles" so
as to suggest the "beat" or "beat music".
As John said in a 1964 interview, "It was beat and beetles,
and when you said it people thought of crawly things, and when
you read it, it was beat music."
In interviews that the Beatles gave in their early
days of fame, the credit seems to go all to John. Take
for instance this excerpt from a CBS News interview held on
February 10, 1964 (the day after their historic first appearance
on the Ed Sullivan Show)...
Q: "Who came up with the name Beatles,
and what does it really mean?"
RINGO: "John thought of the name Beatles, and he'll tell
you about it NOW."
JOHN: "It means Beatles, doesn't it. But that's just a
name, you know, like shoe."
PAUL: The Shoes, you see? We could have been called The Shoes
for all you know."
it was just easier for them to say that it was all
John's idea, instead of having to explain something
like "Another guy named Stuart, who used to be
in the band, but quit the band and has since passed
on, came up with Beetles, and then John changed the
spelling..., etc." Judging by what I've heard
and read over the years, I tend to believe that the
real story is that Stuart actually came up with the
name "Beetles" and John turned it into "Beatles" with
five original Beatles (circa early sixties)
To confuse things a bit more, John had a jokey answer
to the question about the name, as printed in the July
1961 issue of Bill Harry's paper, "Mersey Beat." He
said "Many people ask what are Beatles? Why Beatles?
Ugh, Beatles, how did the name arrive? So we will tell
you. It came in a vision--a man appeared in a flaming
pie and said unto them "From this day on you are
Beatles with an A." "Thank you, Mister Man," they
said, thanking him." Oddly enough, Yoko insists
that John actually had that vision of the man on the
flaming pie and that's how he, alone, came up with