The original blue no back

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You’re sometimes referred to as a group.  Sometimes as a band. Which is correct?

When we started in 1956, most musical ensembles in Britain that played skiffle described themselves as groups not bands.  “Band” was the word used to describe jazz ensembles and small dance orchestras.  When skiffle groups took up playing rock ‘n’ roll, rhythm & blues and what became called “beat music” in the UK they were still usually referred to as “groups.”  For example, one respected R&B combo called itself the “Spencer Davis Group” using the word “group” rather than “band” and the word had no derogatory connotation of being “lightweight” at that time.  In the later 1960s as the more sophisticated artists made the transition from making “pop” songs to creating “rock” music – the word “band” came into common parlance in the UK as a way of describing artists who made serious rock music (bands) as distinct from entertainers who made pop music (groups).  The artists who made that transition then tended to refer to their earlier incarnations (previously described as a “group”) by the newly popular word “band”. 

So during the Quarrymen years (1956–1960) John Lennon always referred to his ensemble as a group.  He, Paul and George also usually referred to the Beatles as a group up till about 1966.  From 1967 onwards they would refer to themselves as a band.  Moreover when talking about the past, they often retroactively referred to the Quarrymen and early Beatles as a “band” - though the term had been rarely used in those early years.

 So the simple answer is that we WERE a group in 1956-1960.