British musical quartet and a global cynosure for the hopes and dreams of a generation that came of age in the 1960s. The principal members were Paul McCartney (in full Sir James Paul McCartney; b. June 18, 1942, Liverpool, Merseyside, England), John Winston Lennon (b. October 9, 1940, Liverpool—d. December 8, 1980, New York, New York, U.S.), George Harrison (b. February 25, 1943, Liverpool—d. November 29, 2001, Los Angeles, California, U.S.), and Ringo Starr (byname of Richard "Ringo Starr" Starkey; b. July 7, 1940, Liverpool). Other early members included Stuart Sutcliffe (b. June 23, 1940, Edinburgh, Scotland—d. April 10, 1962, Hamburg, West Germany) and Pete Best (b. November 24, 1941, Madras [now Chennai], India).
Formed around the nucleus of Lennon and McCartney, who first performed together in Liverpool in 1957, the group grew out of a shared enthusiasm for American rock and roll. Like most early rock-and-roll figures, Lennon, a guitarist and singer, and McCartney, a bassist and singer, were largely self-taught as musicians. Precocious composers, they gathered around themselves a changing cast of accompanists, adding by the end of 1957 Harrison, a lead guitarist, and then, in 1960 for several formative months, Sutcliffe, a promising young painter who brought into the band a brooding sense of bohemian style. After dabbling in skiffle, a jaunty sort of folk music popular in Britain in the late 1950s, and assuming several different names (the Quarrymen, the Silver Beetles, and, finally, the Beatles), the band added a drummer, Best, and joined a small but booming “beat music” scene, first in Liverpool and then, during several long visits between 1960 and 1962, in Hamburg—another seaport full of sailors thirsty for American rock and roll as a backdrop for their whiskey and womanizing style.
The Fab Four - and the instruments they played
John Lennon - Vocals,guitar,piano,harmonica,banjo,mellotron,6 string bass,percussion,and the recorder
Paul McCartney - Vocals,bass,guitar,piano,keyboards,,drums,ukelele,and manodolin
George Harrison - Guitar,vocals,bass,keyboards,ukelele,mandolin,sitar,tambura,sarod,swarmandil
Ringo Starr - Drums,percussion and vocals