The Quarrymen

The Quarrymen

Infobox Musical artist
Name = The Quarrymen

Img_capt = The Quarrymen playing their first full performance in Rosebery Street, Liverpool. From left to right: Hanton, Griffiths, Lennon, Garry, Shotton, and Davis
Img_size =
Landscape =
Background = group_or_band
Birth_name =
Alias = The Quarry Men
Born =
Died =
Origin = Liverpool, England
Instrument =
Voice_type =
Genre = Skiffle Rock and roll
Occupation =
Years_active = 1956–1959
Label =
Associated_acts = The Beatles
URL = []
Current_members = Rod Davis (banjo/guitar)
Len Garry (tea chest bass)
Colin Hanton (drums)
John Duff Lowe (piano)
Past_members = John Lennon (vocals/guitar)
Eric Griffiths (guitar)
Pete Shotton (washboard)
Bill Smith (washtub bass)
Paul McCartney (vocals/guitar)
George Harrison (vocals/guitar)
Notable_instruments =

The Quarrymen (circa late 1956—October 1959/1997—present) are an English Skiffle band that was formed in Liverpool in the latter part of 1956, by John Lennon and several school friends. The band's name was inspired by the name of the Quarry Bank High school, which Lennon and other band members attended. Lennon's mother, Julia Lennon, taught Lennon and Eric Griffiths how to tune their guitars the same way as a banjo, taught them simple chords, and songs.

After starting a band called The Blackjacks, Pete Shotton suggested renaming themselves The Quarrymen, after a line in the Quarry Bank school's song. The Quarrymen played at parties, school dances, a cinema, and amateur skiffle contests before Paul McCartney joined the band. George Harrison only joined the band at McCartney's insistence, as Lennon thought Harrison to be far too young. Their first recording on disc was "That'll Be the Day" (by Buddy Holly) and "In Spite of All the Danger" (by McCartney and Harrison).

After Stuart Sutcliffe joined he suggested renaming them The Beatals, but they changed the name to The Silver Beetles, and then The Silver Beats, before finally changing it to The Beatles in 1960. At the 40th anniversary of the first meeting of Lennon and McCartney, five of the original Quarrymen, (Griffiths, Shotton, Rod Davis, Len Garry, John Duff Lowe, and Colin Hanton) reunited to play together at the St. Peter's Church garden fête, which was where Lennon and McCartney first met. The Original Quarrymen still continue to tour internationally with occasional guest performers.

Early years

In the mid-1950s, British teenagers became attracted to a musical form peculiar to Britain known as skiffle music. Its primary attraction was that it did not require great musical skills or expensive instruments to be played. Early British skiffle was played by Trad jazz musicians, but the most successful British proponent of skiffle in the 1950s was Lonnie Donegan.cite web |first= |last= |url= |title='Skiffle king' Donegan dies |publisher=BBC |date=2002-11-04 |accessdate=2008-06-29] The Quarrymen's repertoire included many songs that Donegan had released. Spitz (2005) p52] When Lennon wanted to try making music himself, he and fellow Quarry Bank school friend, Griffiths, took guitar lessons in Hunt's Cross, Liverpool, although Lennon gave up the lessons soon after, as they were based on theory and not actual playing. Spitz (2005) p48] As Griffiths already knew how to play the banjo, Lennon's mother showed them how to tune the top four strings of their guitars to the same notes as a banjo, taught them the chords of D, C, and D7, and the song, "Ain't That a Shame". ”The Beatles Anthology” DVD (2003) (Episode 1 - 0:14:29) Lennon talking about his mother teaching him "Ain't That a Shame".] They practiced at Lennon's aunt's house (called "Mendips") at 251 Menlove Avenue, or at Griffiths' house in Halewood Drive. Spitz (2005) p49] They learned how to play Rock Island Line, "Pick a Bale of Cotton", "Alabamy Bound", and Cumberland Gap, and later learned how to play "That's All Right (Mama)", and "Mean Woman Blues". ”The Beatles Anthology” DVD (2003) (Episode 1 - 0:12:39) Harrison talking about Lonnie Donegan and the influence of “Rock Island Line”.]

Lennon started his own skiffle band with Griffiths in late 1956, and recruited his best friend, Shotton, even though Shotton could not play any instrument. [ [ AMG biography] Retrieved: 29 January 2007 ] cite web |first= |last= |url= |title=Pete Shotton – Washboard |publisher=Original Quarrymen |accessdate=2008-05-30] Shotton elected to play the washboard, as it was the easiest instrument to learn, so his mother supplied a washboard she found in the shed, and two thimbles from her sewing box. Spitz (2005) p50] A week later Shotton recruited another school friend, Bill Smith, to play washtub bass, and Griffiths invited banjo-player Davis to join the band. Spitz (2005) p50] cite web |first= |last= |url= |title=Rod Davis (Banjo – now Guitar) |publisher=Original Quarrymen |accessdate=2008-05-30] cite web |first= |last= |url= |title=Eric Griffiths - Guitar |publisher=Original Quarrymen |accessdate=2008-05-30] Two weeks later they heard that another skiffle band already had the same name, so during a "mini-brainstorming" at "Mendips", Shotton laughingly suggested naming themselves The Quarrymen after a line in their school's song: "Quarrymen, old before our birth / Straining each muscle and sinew", as they had never done much work at school. Spitz (2005) p51]

The Quarrymen

The band first rehearsed in Shotton's house on Vale Road, but because of the noise his mother told them to use the corrugated air-raid shelter in the back garden. Smith rarely turned up for rehearsals and decided to leave the band, and was replaced by Garry, but not before Lennon and Shotton had broken into Smith's parents' garage and "liberated" the washtub bass. Garry later used a tea chest bass for performances, and Lennon's friend, Ivan Vaughan, sometimes played at rehearsals when Garry was not available. Spitz (2005) p53] cite web |first= |last= |url= |title= Len Garry - Tea-chest bass - now guitar |publisher=Original Quarrymen |accessdate=2008-05-30] Hanton was an apprentice at Guy Rogers' upholstery company in Speke, and travelled to work on the same bus as Griffiths used to get to school.cite web |first= |last= |url= |title=John Lennon’s Original Quarrymen |publisher=Scorpweb |date=2008-04-12 |accessdate=2008-07-02] Hanton revealed that he had a set of drums, but admitted he was only an amateur, so Griffiths went to his house to watch him play.cite web |first=Dr. Bruce L. |last=Thiessen |url= |title=Before they Were the Beatles |publisher=The Phantom Tollbooth |accessdate=2008-06-29] Griffiths invited Hanton to join The Quarrymen, as finding a drummer was an advantage for any band in Liverpool at the time, and because the band could then play rock 'n roll songs. Rehearsals were moved from the cold air-raid shelter to Hanton's or Griffiths' house—as Griffiths' father had died in WWII, and his mother worked all day. The band also often visited Lennon's mother at 1 Blomfield Road, listening to her collection of rock 'n roll records by Elvis, Shirly and Lee's "Let the Good Times Roll", and Gene Vincent's "Be-Bop-A-Lula" which they added to their repertoire. Spitz (2005) p55] Another school friend, Nigel Whalley, also had a tea-chest bass, but lost it when he left it at a bus stop, so he decided to become their manager.cite web |first= |last= |url= |title=The Quarrymen Q & A |publisher=BBC |accessdate=2008-06-29] Although never securing the band many engagements, he sent numerous flyers to local theatres and ballrooms, and put up posters designed by Lennon: "Country-and-western, rock n' roll, skiffle band — The Quarrymen — Open for Engagements — Please Call Nigel Whalley, Tel.Gateacre 1715". Spitz (2005) p54] Whalley did manage to secure two intermission concerts at the Gaumont cinema (near Penny Lane) on Saturday afternoons, and The Quarrymen performed at parties and skiffle contests in the Liverpool area. Spitz (2005) p56] cite web |first= |last= |url= |title=Colin Hanton - Drummer |publisher=Original Quarrymen |accessdate=2008-05-30] Canadian impresario Carroll Levis organised a skiffle contest, but ordered all eight acts to only play for three minutes each. The Quarrymen played "Worried Man Blues", and were loudly applauded, but a group from Wales called The Sunnyside Skiffle Group "jumped all over the stage" and outshone the static Quarrymen, and were asked by Levis to fill in the last few minutes of the contest with a second song. Spitz (2005) p57] Lennon argued heatedly with Levis backstage, saying The Sunnyside Skiffle Group had brought a bus full of supporters with them, and were given "the upper hand" advantage by Levis. After the competition, Levis used a Clap-o-Meter (a machine to measure the decibels of the audience's reaction to the groups) as they were asked to walk back out onto the stage. The Quarrymen and The Sunnyside skiffle Group both tied by reaching ninety on the meter, but after a second test, The Quarrymen lost by a small margin. Spitz (2005) p58]

Whilst playing golf with Dr. Joseph Sytner, Whalley—who had left school at 15 to become an apprentice golf professional at the Lee Park Golf Club—asked Dr. Sytner if his son, Alan, could book The Quarrymen at The Cavern, in Mathew Street, which was one of three jazz clubs he managed. Sytner suggested that the band should play at the golf club first, so as to assess their talent. Spitz (2005) p59] The band set up in the downstairs lounge of the golf club, and were surprised when nearly one hundred people filed in to listen. Just before the performance the zip on Davis' trousers broke, and he had to cover his crotch with his banjo. The performance was a success, and a hat was later passed around that held almost 15 pounds, which was much more than any other bands were paid. Spitz (2005) p60] Alan Sytner phoned Whalley a week later and offered the band an interlude spot playing skiffle between the performances of two jazz bands at The Cavern. Spitz (2005) p61] Before The Cavern performance, The Quarrymen played (gratis) for St. Peter's Youth Club, in St. Barnabas Church hall, and were the main act at a Quarry Bank school dance.During this time Lennon heard Little Richard singing "Long Tall Sally" for the first time at classmate Michael Hill's house near Penny Lane, and thought Richard a better singer than Elvis. Spitz (2005) p62] Even so, the band learned how to play numerous Elvis songs such as, "Don't Be Cruel, "All Shook Up", and "Heartbreak Hotel", as well as songs by Eddie Cochran, and Jerry Lee Lewis. Spitz (2005) p63]

Before The Cavern club performance the band argued amongst themselves about the set list, as rock 'n roll songs were definitely not allowed at the club, but skiffle was tolerated. After starting with a skiffle song, Lennon called for the others to start playing "Don't Be Cruel", but Davis warned Lennon that the audience would "eat you alive", which Lennon ignored and started playing it himself, forcing the others to join in. Halfway through, Sytner pushed his way through the audience and handed Lennon a note which read, "Cut out the bloody rock 'n roll". Spitz (2005) p65] After playing at an outdoor birthday party at Hanton's aunt's house, Shotton decided to leave the band, saying "I hate this John, it's not for me". Lennon promptly picked up the washboard and smashed it over Shotton's head, leaving only the wooden frame hanging on Shotton's shoulders, and then said, "Well, that solves "that" then, doesn't it?" At Lennon's insistence, Shotton agreed to play a few more engagements (with his repaired washboard) before finally leaving. Spitz (2005) p66] On 22 June 1957, The Quarrymen played two sets on a stationary flatbed truck at an outdoor party in Rosebery Street, Liverpool, to celebrate the 750th anniversary of the granting of Liverpool’s charter by King John, which was their first full performance.cite web |url= |title=An Interview With Julia Baird |publisher=Liverpool Lennons |accessdate=2007-12-27] cite web |first= |last= |url= |title=The Beatles Timeline 1957 - 1960 |publisher=The BeatlesTimeline |accessdate=2008-06-29]


On Saturday 6 July 1957, The Quarrymen played at St. Peter's Church "Rose Queen" garden fête, first playing at two o'clock on the back of a moving flatbed truck, in a procession of other floats driving around Woolton that carried the Rose Queen (Sally Wright, and Susan Dixon, whose reign was ending) Morris dancers, Boy Scouts, Brownies, Girl Guides and Cubs, with the Band of the Cheshire Yeomanry leading the procession. Miles (1997) p25] At 4:15 The Quarrymen played onstage in a field behind the church, before a display by the City of Liverpool Police Dogs. Miles (1997) p26] Spitz (2005) pp93-94] The Quarrymen were playing "Come Go with Me" when McCartney arrived, and in the Scout hut after the set, Vaughan introduced McCartney to Lennon, who chatted for a few minutes before the band set up in the church hall for the second set. Spitz (2005) p95] ”The Beatles Anthology” DVD (2003) (Episode 1 - 0:21:56) Lennon talking about meeting McCartney.] McCartney demonstrated how he tuned his guitar and sang Eddie Cochran's "Twenty Flight Rock" and Gene Vincent's "Be-Bop-A-Lula", and a medley of Little Richard songs. Miles (1997) p26] Spitz (2005) p96] Vaughan and McCartney left before the evening show, which started at 8 o'clock, but was without Hanton. Spitz (2005) p97] During the performance there was an unexpected thunderstorm, which made the lights go out.cite web |first=Jim |last=O'Donnell |url= |title=The Day John Met Paul |publisher=Beatles News Wire |accessdate=2008-06-29] Bob Molyneux, a young member of the audience, recorded part of the performance on his Grundig TK8 portable reel-to-reel tape recorder. In 1963, Molyneux offered the tape to Lennon via Ringo Starr, but Lennon never responded, so Molyneux put the tape in a vault.cite web |first=Malcolm |last=Atkinson |url= |title=The Quarry Men's First Recordings |publisher=Abbeyrd’s Beatle Page |accessdate=2008-06-29] cite web |first=Allan |last=Kozinn |url= |title=John Lennon's First Known Recording Is for Sale |publisher=New York Times |date=1994-07-21 |accessdate=2008-06-29]

As they were walking home after the evening performance, Lennon and Shotton discussed the afternoon encounter with McCartney, and Lennon said that maybe they should invite McCartney to join the band. Two weeks later Shotton encountered McCartney cycling through Woolton, and conveyed Lennon's casual invitation for McCartney to join The Quarrymen, and Vaughan also invited McCartney to join. Miles (1997) p26] McCartney said he would join after Scout camp in Hathersage, and a holiday with his family at Butlins holiday camp in Filey, Yorkshire. Miles (1997) p29] Spitz (2005) p99] In the summer, Davis went on holiday to Annecy, France, and when he returned he indirectly found that he had been replaced by McCartney; although whilst later studying at Cambridge University, Davis recorded the song "Running Shoes" with The Trad Grads in 1960, for Decca Records (Decca, 45-F 11403) which he mentioned to an envious Lennon.

McCartney returned from holiday and started rehearsing with The Quarrymen, playing songs like, "Bye Bye Love" (The Everly Brothers) and "All Shook Up", which Lennon and the band had been trying to learn, without success. Spitz (2005) p102] McCartney made his debut at a Conservative Club social: The New Clubmoor Hall, Back Broadway, Norris Green, Liverpool, on Friday, 18 October 1957. Spitz (2005) p108] Miles (1997) p29] Lennon and McCartney wore cream-coloured sports jackets, which were paid for by the whole band—Whalley collected half a crown per week from each member until they were paid for—and the others wore white shirts with tassels and black bootlace ties. To the irritation of the other band members, McCartney endlessly practiced the lead guitar intro to "Raunchy" (by saxophonist Bill Justis) for days before the engagement, and a solo in "Guitar Boogie Shuffle", but on the night (after being specially introduced by Lennon as a new member of the band) he missed his cue on "Raunchy", played all the wrong notes, and stepped back in embarrassment between Hanton and Garry. Everyone expected Lennon to say something sarcastic, but the sight of the always over-confident McCartney looking so crestfallen made Lennon laugh out loud so much that he "almost pissed [urinated] himself". Spitz (2005) p109] On Thursday, 7 November, Charlie McBain booked The Quarrymen to appear at the Wilson Hall Garston, Merseyside. [Ray O'Brien, "There are Places I'll Remember: Volume 1", 2001]


The Quarrymen played The New Clubmoor Hall on 10 January 1958 and at The Cavern on 24 January. McCartney's school friend, Harrison (from a year below at the Liverpool Institute, which they both attended) first saw the band perform on 6 February at Wilson Hall. Spitz (2005) p125] Harrison then auditioned for The Quarry Men in Rory Storm's "Morgue Skiffle Club", playing "Guitar Boogie Shuffle" (by Bert Weedon) in March 1958. Spitz (2005) p126] cite web |first=Bill |last=Harry |url= |title=While My Guitar Gently Weeps: The Tragic Story of Rory Storm & the Hurricanes (page 2) |publisher=Bill Harry|accessdate=2008-02-27] Lennon thought Harrison to be far too young to join the band, so McCartney engineered another meeting on the upper deck of a Liverpool bus, where Harrison played "Raunchy" for Lennon. Miles (1997) p47] Spitz (2005) p127] After McCartney's constant insistence Lennon allowed the recently turned fifteen-year-old Harrison to join The Quarrymen as lead guitarist. Miles (1997) p47] Spitz (2005) pp126–127] ”The Beatles Anthology” DVD (2003) (Episode 1 - 0:21:56) McCartney talking about Harrison being in the band.] The band then rehearsed at McCartney's house, but Griffiths was not told. When he coincidentally telephoned the McCartney house, Lennon, Harrison and McCartney sat in the back room, forcing Hanton to explain the situation. Griffiths left The Quarrymen soon after. Spitz (2005) p128]

In March, Garry contracted meningitis, and spent seven months in Fazakerley hospital, but never played with the band again. Sometime later McCartney played his first song, "I've Lost My Little Girl", to Lennon, who was shocked and impressed, according to Shotton's account. Spitz (2005) p130] The Quarrymen learned many of The Everly Brothers songs which helped to refine Lennon and McCartney's own harmony singing, such as, "Cathy's Clown, "All I Have to Do Is Dream", "Wake Up Little Susie", and even B-sides of the records. Spitz (2005) p131]

Griffiths joined the Merchant Marine after leaving the band—visiting ports in South America and Canada—and upon his return to Liverpool he would either sell or swap records by Buddy Holly or Chuck Berry with Lennon or McCartney. Spitz (2005) pp131-132] According to McCartney it was Holly who inspired Lennon and himself to write more songs, as Holly wrote his own, instead of relying on a team of songwriters. Spitz (2005) p132] ”The Beatles Anthology” DVD (2003) (Episode 1 - 0:09:49) McCartney talking about Buddy Holly and writing of songs.] Only two of the songs Lennon and McCartney wrote at that time were later recorded: "One After 909" (on "Let It Be") and "Like Dreamers Do", which was a hit for The Applejacks in 1964. Spitz (2005) p133] Duff Lowe (another schoolmate of McCartney's) then joined the band, playing piano with them through the summer of 1958, whenever a piano was available at a venue.cite web |first= |last= |url= |title=John Duff Lowe joins theQuarrymen - again! |publisher=Original Quarrymen |accessdate=2008-05-30]


Percy Phillips' operated a studio called Phillips' Sound Recording Services between the kitchen and a front room that served as an electrical goods shop at 38 Kensington, Liverpool. Spitz (2005) p141] Actors from the Liverpool Playhouse often stayed in the room above the studio, and were asked by Phillips to record monologues and poems. Phillips had just turned 60-years-old when Harrison heard about the studio from Storm's guitarist, Johnny Byrne, who had recorded a version of "Butterfly" there on 22 June 1957.

The Quarrymen booked the studio, but when Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, Lowe and Hanton arrived they were surprised to see how small and technically basic it was, with one solitary microphone in the centre of the room. Spitz (2005) p142] Phillips demanded that they pay for the recording before they set up the equipment, so each member paid 3 shillings and 6 pence, but Phillips then asked for an extra surcharge to cover the cost of transferring the tape recording to disc. As this was too expensive, Phillips said that for a cut-rate price they would not be taped first, but record directly to vinyl. "That'll Be the Day", was selected to be recorded, but Lennon and McCartney could not decide on a song for the B-side of the disc. After recording "That'll Be the Day" (Lennon suggested that Hanton put a scarf over the snare drum to lower the volume) Phillips wanted them to immediately record the next song. They asked for some time to rehearse, but Phillips refused, saying, "For seventeen and six 17/6d] you're not here all day". Spitz (2005) p143] McCartney suggested "In Spite of All the Danger" (by McCartney and Harrison) even though Lowe and Hanton had never heard it before. Lowe and Hanton busked through the song, and Phillips then handed the band a fragile 78rpm record, which was passed around the band for one week each, or lent out to friends. It was later lost until Lowe rediscovered it in 1981, and sold it to McCartney for an undisclosed amount.

The Quarrymen to The Beatles

Lennon's mother, Julia, was killed in a road accident on 15 June 1958, and Lennon lost interest in the band for months. Miles (1997) p50] Lowe eventually gave up playing for the band as he lived too far away from where they rehearsed, and having to travel by bus meant he could only rehearse at weekends. The band continued to play, such as at the wedding reception of Harrison's brother, Harry, in Speke, on 20 December 1958, and at Art School dances every other Friday, where they were billed as "The College Band" (although the first two performances were without Hanton). After just two more performances (on 1 January, at a Speke Bus Depot social club party at Wilson Hall organised by Harrison’s father, and on 24 January, at a party at Woolton Village Club) they played at the Pavilion Theatre in Lodge Lane, where the management was looking for a regular band to play 30-minute sets between the bingo sessions. Spitz (2005) pp149-150] The first set went well, but in the interval Lennon, McCartney and Hanton drank beer supplied by the management, and then moved onto "Poor Man's Black Velvets": a mix of two half-pints of Guinness and cider together. As Lennon, McCartney and Hanton were obviously drunk the second set was a shambles, and on the bus ride home a drunken McCartney fiercely criticised Hanton for not being good enough. Shotton (who had been at the theatre to watch) stepped between them to stop Hanton physically attacking McCartney, and helped Hanton off the bus with his drums. Hanton was never contacted again; only hearing something on TV three years later, when they were called The Beatles. Spitz (2005) p150] Lennon and McCartney continued to write songs together, but as no engagements were forthcoming, Harrison asked to join Storm's Tornados, but Storm's mother refused, saying Harrison was far too young. Harrison then joined The Les Stewart Quartet with Les Stewart, guitarist Ken Brown, and a young man known only as Skinner. Spitz (2005) p152] Mona Best opened The Casbah Coffee Club on 29 August 1959, and Brown arranged for the quartet to be its resident band. When Brown missed rehearsals to help decorate The Casbah, Stewart refused to play. Spitz 2005 p161] Brown and Harrison recruited Lennon and McCartney at short notice to help them fill the residency, and used the old name of The Quarrymen. They played a series of seven Saturday night engagements in The Casbah for 15 shillings each per night, starting on 29 August to October 1959, featuring Brown, Lennon, McCartney and Harrison, but without a drummer, and only one microphone connected to the club's small PA system.Miles (1997), p51.] cite web |first=David |last=Hughs |url= |title=Casbah photos |publisher=The Source |accessdate=2007-12-20] The opening night performance was attended by about 300 local teenagers, but as the cellar had no air-conditioning and people were dancing, the temperature rose until it became hard to breathe.Lennon (2006), p44]

After the success of the first night, Mona gave The Quarrymen a residency, but as there was no amplification, Lennon persuaded Mona to hire a young amateur guitar player called Harry to play a short set before The Quarrymen, but this was only so they could use his 40-Watt amplifier.Spitz (2005) pp162-163] On 10 October, there was an argument between the band and Best over the group's fee for performing in The Casbah that night. Brown had showed up at the gig, but was too ill to perform, so Best told him to rest upstairs in the Best's living room. She later insisted that Brown deserved to be paid for showing up, but the rest of the band insisted on being paid his share of the group's fee. After an argument The Quarrymen walked out of The Casbah and ended their residency. Spitz 2005 p164] As the first prize was a TV appearance on Carrol Levis' "Discoveries" TV show, the band entered the "Star Search" competition as Johnny and The Moondogs, with only Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison. Miles (1997) p51] The first heat was held at the Liverpool Empire Theatre on 18 October 1959, and after they passed the audition they were asked to play at the Manchester Hippodrome for the local finals, on Sunday 15 November 1959. Spitz 2005 p170] This date has been disputed as being Monday 24 November, as UK theatres were closed on Sundays in those days.cite web |first= |last= |url= |title=Johhny and the Moondogs |publisher=Fletcher, Tim |date=2002-04-06 |accessdate=2008-06-27] According to Ray Ennis of The Swinging Bluegenes (later called The Swinging Blue Jeans) the registration process in Manchester took all day, as there was a queue of musicians carrying amplifiers and instruments that stretched all the way around the building. Lennon (without a guitar), McCartney, and Harrison played Buddy Holly's "Think It Over", but the last train or bus left for Liverpool at 9:47, and at 9:20 there were still 12 acts still to perform. As the trio only had £1 between them, it was impossible to stay any longer. As they were leaving, Lennon saw a cutaway electric guitar by the stage door, picked it up and walked off with it, later saying that the trip "wasn't a total loss." Spitz 2005 pp170-171] ”The Beatles Anthology” DVD (2003) (Episode 1 - 0:27:11) McCartney talking about Lennon stealing a guitar.] During the school holidays of 1960, Lennon and McCartney performed together twice as The Nerk Twins, after hitchhiking to The Fox and Hounds pub in Caversham, Reading, which was managed by Mike Robbins and his wife Elizabeth (McCartney's cousin). Robbins had previously been in a group called The Jones Boys, and told stories to Lennon and McCartney about show business. Miles (1997) p51] Lennon and McCartney worked in the bar for the whole week for £5 each, performing on Saturday 23 April 1960, and again on Sunday, before returning to Liverpool. Miles (1997) p52]


After talking to Sutcliffe one night at The Casbah Coffee Club, Lennon and McCartney persuaded him to buy a Höfner 500/5 bass—known in Europe as a "President" bass—with the money he had won in the John Moore art exhibition. ”The Beatles Anthology” DVD 2003 (Episode 1 - 0:28:02) Harrison and McCartney talking about Sutcliffe’s first bass guitar. ] [ [ Sutcliffe's President Bass] - Retrieved: 9 May 2007 ] [ [ Sutcliffe's cheque book -] - Retrieved: 13 May 2007 ] By May 1960, Lennon, McCartney and Harrison were joined by Sutcliffe, who suggested changing their name to The Beatals. Spitz (2005) p175] cite web |first= |last= |url= |title=The Beatles story, Liverpool: The Quarrymen and Skiffle - the UK Years |publisher=PR Newswire Europe Limited |accessdate=2008-07-02] As the band always had to rely on the P.A. system in the places they played, they realised they had to buy their own. Sutcliffe and fellow art college student, Bill Harry, were on the Student Union committee, and put forward the idea that the college should buy its own P.A. system for the college dances (which The Quarrymen played at) although the equipment would later be appropriated by the band. Spitz (2005) p176] Brian Cass, of Cass and The Casanovas, heard The Beatals rehearsing one night in the Jacaranda club (managed by Allan Williams) and promised Lennon that if they changed their name to Long John and The Silver Beetles (after Buddy Holly and The Crickets) he would help them find a drummer. Lennon wasn't convinced, as he thought it made him sound like the pirate Long John Silver, but agreed to change the name to The Silver Beetles. The name was changed again to The Silver Beats, before finally becoming The Beatles. Spitz (2005) p180]


Lowe and Davis reformed as a band for a short time in the 1990s, and an album, entitled "Open for Engagements", was self-released in 1994; the album title was a reference to the posters that were used to advertise The Quarrymen in their early years.cite web |first= |last= |url= |title=John Duff Lowe's CD "Open for Engagements" |publisher=The Quarrymen |accessdate=2008-06-29] That same year Molyneux (then a retired policeman) rediscovered the tape reel recordings he had made of The Quarrymen's performance in 1957, although only two of the songs from the performance had survived, the others having been recorded over at some point. The two songs were The Quarrymen performing Donegan's "Puttin' On the Style" and Elvis' "Baby, Let's Play House". Though the quality of the original recording is very poor, Lennon's voice is clearly identifiable. Molyneux put the tape up for auction (with the original Grundig TK8 machine) at Sotheby's, which was held on 15 September 1994, and the tape was sold to EMI Records for £78,500 ($122,000). The tape has not been released commercially, although it was purchased for inclusion on "The Beatles Anthology" project, but the quality was judged irredeemable and is now in the EMI archives.

40th anniversary of the first meeting of Lennon & McCartney

The 40th anniversary event was initiated and primarily organized by Jean Catharell, the head of Liverpool Beatlescene fan club.cite web |first= |last= |url= |title=Jean Catharell |publisher=Pipl |accessdate=2008-06-29] She helped organize a re-creation of the original garden fete and evening concert; both headlined by The Quarrymen. The event was held to raise funds for the St. Peter's Church Hall Restoration Fund. The original garden fête and evening concert had taken place on 6 July 1957; a Saturday. For the 40th anniversary celebrations it was decided to hold events over the weekend closest to the original date: the weekend of Saturday 5 July and Sunday 6 July.cite web |first= |last= |url= |title=The Day John met Paul |publisher=The Quarrymen |accessdate=2008-06-29] cite web |first=Stacey |last=Koks |url= |title=When John met Paul |publisher=Liverpool com |accessdate=2008-06-29]

Griffiths, Shotton, Davis, Garry, and Hanton reunited for the occasion and undertook rehearsals in Liverpool in early June. The re-creation of the events from 1957 included a midday procession through the village with the band playing on the back of a flatbed lorry, which was driven by the same driver who had performed this task in 1957. A faithful re-creation of the afternoon concert behind the church featured The Quarrymen performing many of the same songs they had performed in 1957.cite web |first= |last= |url= |title=The Cavern’s 40th Birthday Party Jan ‘97 |publisher=The Quarrymen |accessdate=2008-06-29] At the re-creation of the evening concert in the Church Hall the group's set included "Puttin' on the Style" which Molyneux had recorded 40 years earlier. They also played "Twenty Flight Rock"; the Eddie Cochran song that McCartney had performed to impress Lennon when they first met. The concert ended with a performance of Lennon's "Imagine" sung by Shotton, who had stayed friends with Lennon till the latter's death in 1980. The anniversary was saluted with a series of personal messages and congratulatory messages from McCartney, Yoko Ono, US President Bill Clinton, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and Her Majesty The Queen.cite web |first= |last= |url= |title=The Magical Marty Tour |publisher=Martin Lewis |accessdate=2008-06-29] There was also an anniversary event celebrating 50 years in 2007.cite web |first= |last= |url= |title=Quarrymen world exclusive |publisher=BBC |accessdate=2008-07-02]

ubsequent career

Following the success of the event, all five original surviving Quarrymen (Shotton, Griffiths, Davis, Garry and Hanton) recorded an album "Get Back - Together", which was released in September 1997.cite web |first= |last= |url= |title=Yeah, yeah, yeah! |publisher=The Quarrymen |accessdate=2008-06-29] Between 1998 and 2003 The five Quarrymen performed and spoke at festivals and Beatles' fan conventions. The band performed throughout Europe, USA, Canada, Japan, and in Cuba they were seen by Hunter Davies; the author who had written the only official biography of The Beatles in 1968. Davies was intrigued to see the performance and decided to write a book about the band in 2001.cite web |first= |last= |url= |title=Hunter Davies – The Quarrymen |publisher=The Quarrymen |accessdate=2008-06-29] cite web |first= |last= |url= |title=The "Quarrymen" (Paperback) |publisher=Omnibus Press |accessdate=2008-07-02] In 2003, the band recorded "Songs We Remember" - released initially in Japan (2003) and subsequently in the UK (2005). The lineup was depleted in 2005; by the death of Griffiths, and the retirement of Shotton, so the three active surviving members recruited Lowe from the 1958 lineup. The band continues to tour internationally as a four-piece band with occasional guest performers: guitarist John Ozoroff, drummer Charles Hart and bassist Richie Gould.cite web |first= |last= |url= |title=Hot News |publisher=The Quarrymen |accessdate=2008-06-29] cite web |first= |last= |url= |title=The Quarry Men (continued from the home page) |publisher=John Ozoroff |accessdate=2008-07-02]

Griffiths died from cancer on 29 January 2005, after complaining about a back problem that turned out to be cancer of the pancreas. He died at his home in Edinburgh.cite web |first= |last= |url= |title=Eric Griffiths 1940 - 2005 |publisher=Original Quarrymen |accessdate=2008-09-08]


* "Open For Engagements" (1995)
* "Get Back - Together" (1997)
* "Songs We Remember" (2004)



*Coleman, Ray] | title=Lennon: the definitive biography | publisher= year=1989 | id=ISBN 0-330-48330-7
*Davies, Hunter "The Quarrymen", (London: Omnibus Press, 2001)
*Harry, Bill "The Ultimate Beatles Encyclopedia", (London: Virgin Publications, 1992)
*Miles, Barry
| title=Many Years From Now | publisher=Vintage-Random House | year=1997 | id=ISBN 0-7493-8658-4
*Shotton, Pete and Shaffner, Nicholas "John Lennon—In My Life", (New York: Stein and Day, 1983)
*Wheeler, Scott(2005), "Charlie Lennon: Uncle To A Beatle", (Boulder, Colorado: Outskirts Press, 2005)

External links

* [ Original Quarrymen]
* [ The Beatles Timeline]
* [ List of concerts]
* [ Catherine E. Doyle: "From Blackjacks to Beatles: How the Fab Four Evolved"]
* [ The Quarrymen's First Recordings]
* [ Ken Brown]
* [ Liverpool celebrates the musical legacy of Lennon & McCartney twice]

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