Stuart Sutcliffe

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Stuart Fergusson Victor Sutcliffe (23 June 1940 – 10 April 1962) was the original bass player of The Beatles. He left to pursue a career as an artist. He earned praise for his paintings, which mostly explored a style related to abstract expressionism. As a member of the group when it was a five-piece band, Sutcliffe is one of several people sometimes referred to as "the fifth Beatle".

Sutcliffe and John Lennon are credited with coming up with the name for the Beatles, as they both liked Buddy Holly's band, The Crickets. Sutcliffe played with the Beatles in Hamburg, where he met photographer Astrid Kirchherr, to whom he was later engaged. He enrolled in the Hamburg College of Art after leaving The Beatles, and studied under future pop artist Eduardo Paolozzi.


Early years

Sutcliffe's father, Charles Sutcliffe (1905 – 18 March 1966), was a naval officer who was often at sea during his son's early years. His mother, Millie, was a schoolteacher. Sutcliffe had two sisters, Pauline and Joyce.[1]

Sutcliffe was born at the Simpson Memorial Maternity Pavilion Hospital in Edinburgh, Scotland. After his family moved to England in 1943,[2] he was brought up at 37 Aigburth Drive in Liverpool. He attended Park View Primary School, Huyton (1946–1950), and Prescot Grammar School (1950–1956).[3][4] When Sutcliffe's father did return home on leave, he invited his son and art college classmate Rod Murray (Sutcliffe's roommate and best friend) for a "real good booze-up" and slipped £10 into Sutcliffe's pocket before disappearing for another six months.[3] During his first year at the Liverpool College of Art, Sutcliffe worked as a bin man on the Liverpool Corporation waste collection trucks.[5] Lennon was introduced to Sutcliffe by Bill Harry, a mutual friend, when they were all studying at Liverpool College of Art, and according to Lennon, Sutcliffe had a "marvellous art portfolio" and was a seriously talented painter who was one of the "stars" of the school.[3][6] Paul McCartney said that he was jealous of Sutcliffe's relationship with Lennon, as he had to take a "back seat" to Sutcliffe.[7]

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