Johnny crashed their car, sending a flying guitar into the head of their drummer, Tommy Moore. He was concussed and taken to the hospital, but John and the manager of the club they played in that night literally dragged him onto the stage. While worse for the wear, the group gained valuable experience.
Next came Hamburg, Germany. The Beatles and their new drummer, Pete Best, went to the Reeperbahn, the city's rough area, for four-and-a-half months. It was here they met another Liverpool drummer, Ringo Starr.
They played in a former strip club, often for eight hours straight. They relied on stimulant pills to stay awake. They continued to gain a fan base and experience.
However, in 1960, George was deported when the German police found out he was only 17. Paul and Pete were deported for lighting a fire in their hotel room. John, who surprisingly stayed out of trouble with the police, returned to Liverpool alone.
Stu fell in love with photographer Astrid Kirchherr and stayed behind. He died of a brain hemorrhage in 1962 at age 21, with Astrid by his side.
Becoming The Beatles
Brian Epstein, who managed a local music store, became The Beatles' manager in 1961. He convinced them to clean up their act, switching their leather for suits. This, he told them, would make them more popular with parents.
In 1962, their first record audition, with Decca Records, did not go well; they were told guitar groups were on the way out. Next, they auditioned with EMI, who liked the group and signed them but did not think Pete fit in and asked the band to replace him.
The Beatles called their old friend Ringo and asked him to join the group. Now with their iconic lineup in place, The Beatles recorded their first single, "Love Me Do." It peaked at No. 17 on the charts, probably due to the large number of records Epstein's store bought.
Beatlemania and beyond
Over the next year, Beatlemania hit Britain. "Please Please Me" in 1963 is widely considered the band's first No. 1 hit. It was followed by three more. The Beatles played numerous shows, and their popularity grew. At the end of 1963, Beatlemania slowly began spreading to America.
The Beatles had a long, successful career until their breakup in 1970, and all the members had solo careers after. John and George have died, but Paul and Ringo continue to make music; they even played together at the Grammy Awards on Jan. 26, performing "Queenie Eye," from Paul's latest album, "New."
In November, "The Beatles' Live at the BBC: Volume Two" was released to critical acclaim. Fifty years may have passed since Beatlemania came to America, but The Beatles remain as relevant and popular as ever.