I take a creative writing class once a week and our assignment this week was to write a fictional story about a real celebrity. Actually, I chose the Fab five. Now, I know my story is not all that great, but I decided to publish it here on Fab Mania anyway, because why not? It’s my website, after all.
A lot of people wonder why the Beatles are called the Beatles. It’s not generally considered a great name. I decided to answer that question in my own little way. I should reiterate: none of this is true.
When he was 10 years old, Paul McCartney lived in a single-family home in Liverpool. He loved to play in his backyard and unsurprisingly, usually made music there. He would gather whatever things he could find and turn them into instruments. He made instruments out of buckets, or just by beating sticks together, etc. He even made string instruments out of rubber bands and cardboard boxes.
He would often get his friends together and pretend to be in a band with their makeshift instruments. Their sound back in that day was not great. They wrote weird songs no one would ever sing at karaoke and their neighbors were always complaining and one of them in particular had a huge problem with Paul and his friends’ little band. He complained about it a lot at home and his son overheard.
The son was named John Maxwell. He was a few years older than Paul and his friends and also much larger, Naturally, he thought about just being the crap out of them to get them to stop playing their music. Instead, he eventually came up with a much more brilliant idea to get them to stop.
He had gotten the idea when watching a TV show where someone tried to shut down a restaurant by releasing rats. His idea was to do something similar. He couldn’t afford to buy rats a store and he was kind of scared of them himself, so that obviously wouldn’t work. But he could get insects. Specifically, he got beetles.
He purchased a couple hundred beetles and filled them into the instrument Paul usually played. It was one of his cardboard box string instruments. Then he wrote a note and attached it to the outside. The note said “stop playing your shitty music.” Not very innovative, to be sure, but he believed it would be effective.
The next morning when Paul and his friends picked up their instruments to play, Paul heard noises coming from the inside of his. It sounded like a whole bunch of little scratches. He opened it up and looked inside and abruptly dropped it to the ground. He was surprised and shocked, but beyond that he didn’t much care.
He opened the box completely and dumped the Beatles on the ground and then he and his friends watched them scurry away. Then they began their practice session.
When they started playing, the neighboring boy John heard and quickly rushed over. He said: “what you doing how can you play with this instrument? Didn’t you get any ideas about your playing from something that may have happened this morning?”
Paul McCartney thought for a moment and then replied: “Yes, we did actually get a great idea. There was some note about us playing out shitty music, but the bugs made me think. We’re not playing shitty music; we’re playing Beatles music. From now on, we’re going to to call ourselves the Beatles.”
They did call themselves the Beatles from that day forward and they went on to play twice as much as before.
Paul added: “You’ll see, someday we’ll become really good. So good that even you will love our shitty music. Perhaps your dad will, too.”
And 15 years later, both John Maxwell and his dad owned every vinyl recording Paul and his friends released. They were huge Beatles fans. As were the rest of us. And to this day, they are played everywhere and often still in very new and unusual ways, like at a DJ nightclub with violin music (seriously!).
For the real story on how the Beatles got their name, head here.