In March 1957, Lennon formed a skiffle group called The Quarrymen. McCartney met Lennon on 6 July 1957, and agreed to join the group a few days later. On 6 February 1958, Harrison was invited to watch the group by McCartney and he joined The Quarrymen as lead guitarist after a rehearsal in March 1958. Drummer Colin Hanton left the group in 1959, after which they had a high turnover of drummers. Lennon's art college friend, Stuart Sutcliffe, joined on bass in January 1960.
From The Quarrymen, the group went through a progression of names, including "Johnny and the Moondogs" and "Long John and The Beetles". Sutcliffe had suggested the name "The Beetles" as a tribute to Buddy Holly and The Crickets, and the group changed their name to "The Beatles" in 1960. The band's lack of a drummer posed a serious problem, as the group's unofficial manager/concert promoter, Allan Williams, had arranged for them to perform at a club in Hamburg, West Germany.