Fifty years ago Friday, the Beatles released their first single, “Love Me Do,” in the United Kingdom, touching off the global phenomenon known as Beatlemania. Here are some major milestones from the Fab Four’s legendary career:

  • Dec. 11, 1945: Only 5 years old, John Lennon writes his first original song, titled “Daddy Daddy,” and it’s fucking terrible
  • Oct. 28, 1961: Future Beatles manager Brian Epstein hears the band for the first time in a Liverpool record shop and instantly recognizes how awesome it would be to have sex with them
  • Sept. 15, 1962: Pete Best stops by real quick to pick up his snare
  • Feb. 4, 1964: An internal dispute over whose top is moppiest nearly tears the band apart
  • Mar. 11, 1967: Paul McCartney’s absentminded humming of the Bonanza theme song shoots straight to the top of the Billboard Hot 100
  • Nov. 22, 1967: A fully awake Paul McCartney is forced to deny rumors he is sleeping
  • Feb. 2, 1968: The Beatles visit Moscow, where they are heavily influenced by the teachings of the Russian Orthodox Church and incorporate more balalaika into their recordings
  • Jan. 30, 1969: From the rooftop of their record label’s headquarters, the Beatles perform together for the last time in front of dozens of passersby who watch in horror as band members topple off the building one by one
  • Aug. 8, 1969: After several dozen attempts, the photographer finally gets a shot of the Beatles crossing Abbey Road without Ringo looking directly into the camera