Bio: Stuart Sutcliffe
The son of a naval officer and school teacher, Stuart Fergusson Victor Sutcliffe was a Scottish artist born in Edinburgh on June 23rd, 1940, at the Simpson Memorial Maternity Pavilion Hospital in Edinburgh, Scotland. Sutcliffe played bass with The Beatles from 1960 to 1961; being a very good friend of John Lennon's from Art College.
"I looked up to Stu. I depended on him to tell me the truth. Stu would tell me if something was good and I'd believe him. We were awful to him sometimes. Especially Paul, always picking on him. I used to explain afterwards that we didn't dislike him, really." - John Lennon
Both Lennon and Sutcliffe are credited with coming up with the name Beetles, which the band used for a time before Lennon changed it to The Beatles.
"It was John and Stuart who thought of the name. They were art students and while George's and my parents would make us go to bed, Stuart and John could live the little dream that we all dream: to stay up all night. And it was then they thought up the name." - Paul McCartney
After selling one of his paintings for £75, Sutcliffe was reluctantly talked into buying a Höfner bass guitar with the money and play with The Beatles, who had no bass player at the time. Sutcliffe's bass-playing skills were rudimentary at best, but it was decided that it was better to have a bass player who couldn't play well than none at all.
Sutcliffe left the band in 1961 to concentrate on his art, but died tragically at age 21 of a brain aneurysm, on April 10th, 1962. Some of his early recordings with The Beatles were later released on Anthology 1 in 1995.
"Stuart was John's friend mainly, from Art College. Stuart was a very good painter. We were all slightly jealous of John's friendship; John being a little bit older, certainly than me, certainly than George. You wanted to sit next to him on the bus; he was just the older fella, that's just the way it was. So when Stuart came in... he was sort of taking a little bit of that position away from us. We had to take a little bit of a back seat." - Paul McCartney
"Paul and I got to know Stuart Sutcliffe through going into the art college. Stuart was a thin, arty guy with glasses and a little Van Gogh beard; a good painter. John really liked Stuart as an artist. Stuart obviously liked John because he played the guitar and was a big Ted. Stuart was cool. He was great-looking and had a great vibe about him, and was a very friendly bloke. I liked Stuart a lot; he was always very gentle. John had a slight superiority complex at times, but Stuart didn't discriminate against Paul and me because we weren't from the art school. He started to come and watch us when we played at parties and he became a fan of ours. He actually got some parties for John, Paul and me to play at." - George Harrison