Man Who Could Have Been 'The Fifth Beatle' Gave It All Up
John, Paul, George, and Ringo — those four names will forever be remembered, as the Fab Four will likely join the ranks of Mozart and Beethoven as immortal musical legends. The Beatles reached unimaginable heights, so it's ludicrous to think that anyone would ever want to quit such a band. But that's exactly what Stuart Sutcliffe did. Though many marveled at his talent, Stu's inner demons forced him away from the group right as they were about to break big.
Paul McCartney and George Harrison had been performing with John Lennon in The Quarrymen since they were in their early teens. But John was about to enter an exciting new chapter of his life, full of new opportunities and friendships — one of which shifted the focus of his band.
In 1957 John enrolled in art school, which sounded like another world to his younger bandmates. In contrast to his working-class upbringing, Lennon was immersed in exciting ideas and exotic personalities. It was there that he first bumped into Stuart Sutcliffe, a meeting that changed both their lives forever.
John, though talented at drawing, couldn't hold a candle to Stu in terms of visual art. Sutcliffe was a painting prodigy, and his abstract work proved that he was perhaps the most talented in his class. Lennon also felt drawn to him simply because he was so cool.
With slicked-back hair and sunglasses that he barely took off, Stu had the looks to match his impressive talent, though his signature shades weren't all about glamour. He suffered from debilitating migraines, and the glasses helped shield his light-sensitive eyes.