The Quarrymen (also written as "the Quarry Men") are a British skiffle/rock and roll group, formed by John Lennon in Liverpool in 1956, which evolved into the Beatles in 1960. Originally consisting of Lennon and several schoolfriends, the Quarrymen took their name from a line in the school song of their school, the Quarry Bank High School. Lennon's mother, Julia, taught her son to play the banjo, showed Lennon and Eric Griffiths how to tune their guitars in a similar way to the banjo, and taught them simple chords and songs.
Lennon founded a skiffle group that was briefly called the Blackjacks, but they changed the name before any public performances. Some accounts credit Lennon with choosing the new name; other accounts credit his close friend Pete Shotton with suggesting the name. The Quarrymen played at parties, school dances, cinemas and amateur skiffle contests before Paul McCartney joined in October 1957. George Harrison joined in early 1958 at McCartney's recommendation, though Lennon initially resisted because he felt Harrison (14 when he was introduced to Lennon) was too young. McCartney and Harrison attended the Liverpool Institute.
The group made an amateur recording in 1958, performing Buddy Holly's "That'll Be the Day" and "In Spite of All the Danger", a song written by McCartney and Harrison. The group moved towards rock and roll, causing several of the original members to leave. This left Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison, who performed under several other names, including Johnny and the Moondogs and Japage 3 before returning to the Quarrymen name in 1959. In 1960, the group changed their name to "The Beatles" (chosen for its double meaning). The name was conceived of late at night by Lennon and Stuart Sutcliffe, by then the group's fourth member, and introduced to the other two the next day. They were initially booked as "The Silver Beetles" by local clubs who saw it as a more sellable name than "The Beatles" and went on to be the best-selling music act of all time.
In 1997, the four surviving original members of the Quarrymen reunited to perform at the 40th anniversary celebrations of the garden fête performance at which Lennon and McCartney met for the first time. Since 1998, they have performed in countries outside the UK and released four albums. Three original members still perform as the Quarrymen.