Why The Beatles Wouldn’t Have Existed Without Buddy Holly’s Band

Buddy Holly has had a tremendous impact on music. The talented young man died in an infamous plane crash on February 3, 1959, alongside Ritchie Vallens and the Big Bopper, at the tender age of just 22. The musical world mourned. It continues to. These rock ‘n’ roll pioneers’ work will never be forgotten, though. They passed the torch on to generations of remarkable musicians that followed.

Take the Beatles, for instance. The legendary quartet of Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison (alongside other members, of course) needs no introduction. They rose to become one of the most successful and beloved bands of all time, but everybody has to start somewhere. Incredible as it may be, the Beatles as music lovers know them today would never have happened without the influence of Buddy Holly.

Holly’s band, The Crickets, was formed in 1957 by the rising young star and J.I. Allison. According to The Crickets, they introduced a wide range of practices that would become rock ‘n’ roll conventions in the years to come. They created the setup of guitar, bass, and drums that would form the skeleton of everything they did, and they wrote and recorded all of their own material. They enjoyed incredible success and continued to perform decades after Holly’s untimely death. Their February 6, 2016, performance in Clear Lake, Iowa (where Holly played his last show) as The Crickets & Buddies would be their last, Allison confirmed afterward (via Live About).

Beatals, Beetles, or Beatles?

The band inspired many up-and-coming musicians to follow in their footsteps, including a band that was then known as The Quarrymen. As Far Out Magazine tells it, Stuart Sutcliffe, a great fan of Holly, wanted an insect-related band name in his honor and experimented with the “Beatals.” John Lennon, too, was a huge admirer of Holly, stating in an interview (via Showbiz Cheatsheet) that the young singer was, in his eyes, “the first one that we were really aware of in England who could play and sing at the same time.” Paul McCartney certainly concurred, once stating that “John and I started to write because of Buddy Holly.”

An alternative possibility (via Far Out Magazine) suggests that the name actually came about after Sutcliffe watched “The Wild One,” a movie featuring a motorcycle gang that called themselves The Beetles. The truth may lie somewhere in between, but ultimately, it doesn’t really matter. A quick cheap pun later and the Beatles were born, with Buddy Holly being a huge influence on the soon-to-be-superstars.

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