When did the Beatles become THE Beatles?

Another great post from Seth Godin, this time on the Beatles' rise to megastardom:

At the beginning, they were playing two or three clubs a day, dives, making a few pounds if they were lucky. Not for a month or two, but for years and years.

One of the most misunderstood and misused phrases in marketing (okay, in business) is Malcolm Gladwell's, "the tipping point." The Beatles didn't tip. Nothing magical happened. Instead, gradually, they shifted from being the chasers into being the chased.

This shouldn't be suprising to any of us. Look into the history of any artist with any real longevity. You'll usually find a back catalog of non-hit records, hundreds of shows played in hundreds of less-than-stellar venues, radio appearances at 7am when listeners are still in bed — all that grunt work in the trenches that few want to believe happened. It makes for a charming rags-to-riches story but it's not as sexy or desirable as the belief in instant stardom.