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PAUL´S FIRST MEETING WITH JOHN BEFORE THE BEATLES

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The world of music would forever change on July 6, 1957, when John Lennon first met Paul McCartney.

Lennon at the time was a 16-year-old up-and-coming musician who dreamed of becoming the next Elvis Presley. He was hoping to make that goal a reality by being the front man of a rock ‘n’ roll group he formed in Liverpool named The Quarry Men (also written as “The Quarrymen”).
A 15-year-old McCartney had shown up at one of the band’s performances to see them play at a Liverpool church hall.
“[It] was a rather unremarkable event,” Tony Bramwell, a friend of the band told Woman’s World Thursday. “You really didn’t say, ‘Wow! I was there!’ The Quarry Men were playing and not very well, and it was the day Paul said, ‘Hello.’ It actually wasn’t exciting at all.”
But Julia Baird, Lennon’s half-sister, quickly noticed a connection between the two aspiring artists.
“John was impressed with his looks, and probably slightly envious, as well as his ability to play the guitar and the fact that he knew a lot – note, not all – of the words to ‘Long Tall Sally,’ which sealed his fortune,” recalled Baird. “Obviously the songwriting came slightly later.”I called them the Dream Team because John was the wordsmith and Paul is the melodist; he has beautiful melodies. You put them both together and you’ve got almost perfection – as has been proven.”

Biographer Julius Fast, who studied the friendship between the two future Beatles, noted McCartney was eventually invited to join The Quarry Men.
“The two boys hit it off very quickly,” explained Fast. “There was something both of them had that just locked together. Perhaps it was a crazy kind of attitude towards life, a contemptuous mockery that later became the trademark of the four Beatles, or perhaps it was just a teenage friendship that stuck.
“As far as John was concerned, Paul was not only a good guitarist – as good as John himself – but he also resembled their mutual idol, Elvis.”

McCartney’s arrival would ultimately lead to the end of Lennon’s band, but also launch one of the most iconic acts in music history.
“There’s this whole legend about how great The Quarry Men were, but they barely played any gigs in their life,” said Bramwell. “As soon as Paul joined, most of the others left because they wanted to play skiffle jazz and didn’t want to play rock and roll. Then George Harrison joined and completely demolished the idea of The Quarry Men as a folk skiffle band.”

Baird admitted she initially had no idea how much of an impact Lennon and McCartney would have together in helping to create their very own sound.
“In Liverpool, and I’m sure it was the same in the States at that time, you wouldn’t say to any of your friends who had a brother, ‘Is your brother in a group?’ You’d say, ‘Is your brother the singer, the drummer, the guitarist or what?’” she explained. “Because everyone was in a group.
“If you took an aerial view, there were all these groups playing on porches and in kitchens and garden sheds, and all the roofs would be jangling about. This was all the groups practicing. The only difference with John’s group was that they succeeded.”

The Beatles would officially form in 1957 and lead to a massive creative partnership. In 2017 NPR reported it yielded nearly 200 songs valued at close to a billion dollars.
Despite the success of the Beatles, McCartney would announce the band’s breakup in 1970.
“Personal differences, business differences, musical differences, but most of all because I have a better time with my family,” he explained at the time. “Temporary or permanent? I don’t really know.”
Lennon was shot and killed 10 years later in 1980. McCartney told Rolling Stone in 2016 he could still vividly recall an encounter he shared with Lennon a few years after the band initially broke up.
“He hugged me,” said McCartney. “It was great because we didn’t normally do that. He said, ‘It’s good to touch.’ I always remembered that – it’s good to touch.”

JOHN MET PAUL FOR THE FIRST TIME ON THIS DAY 60 YEARS AGO

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Saturday 6 July 1957 was a pivotal day for the history of modern music: it was the day that John Lennon met Paul McCartney for the first time.
In the afternoon the Quarrymen skiffle group played at the garden fete of St Peter’s Church, Woolton, Liverpool. The performance took place on a stage in a field behind the church. In the band were Lennon (vocals, guitar), Eric Griffiths (guitar), Colin Hanton (drums), Rod Davies (banjo), Pete Shotton (washboard) and Len Garry (tea chest bass).

Julia Baird said: “The group arrived on the back of a lorry. As well as music, there were craft and cake stalls, games of hoop-la, police dog demonstrations and the traditional crowning of the Rose Queen. The fete was a highlight of the year for the residents of the sleepy Liverpool district. The entertainment began at two p.m. with the opening procession, which entailed one or two wonderfully festooned lorries crawling at a snail’s pace through the village on their ceremonious way to the Church field. The first lorry carried the Rose Queen, seated on her throne, surrounded by her retinue, all dressed in pink and white satin, sporting long ribbons and hand-made roses in their hair. These girls had been chosen from the Sunday school groups, on the basis of age and good behaviour.The following lorry carried various entertainers, including the Quarry Men. The boys were up there on the back of the moving lorry trying to stay upright and play their instruments at the same time. John gave up battling with balance and sat with his legs hanging over the edge, playing his guitar and singing. He continued all through the slow, slow journey as the lorry puttered its way along. Jackie and I leaped alongside the lorry, with our mother laughing and waving at John, making him laugh. He seemed to be the only one who was really trying to play and we were really trying to put him off!”

 

Rod Davis, still today a member of The Quarrymen that was John´s band on that day in 1957 — and he will perform again this week — said in an interview to BEATLES MAGAZINE he didn’t recall Paul McCartney. “I don’t remember seeing Paul at all that day. I remember seeing Ivan Vaughan, who was the lad who brought him, but I don’t remember seeing Paul.” READ THE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW … HERE.

That evening the group were due to play again, minus Colin Hanton, this time at the Grand Dance in the church hall on the other side of the road. They were due on stage at 8pm, and admission to the show, in which the Quarrymen alternated on stage with the George Edwards Band, was two shillings.
While setting up their equipment to play, the Quarrymen’s sometime tea-chest bass player, Ivan Vaughan, introduced the band to one of his classmates from Liverpool Institute, the 15-year-old Paul McCartney.
This historic occasion was the first time McCartney met John Lennon, a year his senior. McCartney wore a white jacket with silver flecks, and a pair of black drainpipe trousers.
The pair chatted for a few minutes, and McCartney showed Lennon how to tune a guitar – the instruments owned by Lennon and Griffiths were in G banjo tuning. McCartney then sang Eddie Cochran’s Twenty Flight Rock and Gene Vincent’s Be-Bop-A-Lula, along with a medley of songs by Little Richard.

 

Paul said:”I remember coming into the fete and seeing all the sideshows. And also hearing all this great music wafting in from this little Tannoy system. It was John and the band.I remember I was amazed and thought, ‘Oh great’, because I was obviously into the music. I remember John singing a song called Come Go With Me. He’d heard it on the radio. He didn’t really know the verses, but he knew the chorus. The rest he just made up himself.I just thought, ‘Well, he looks good, he’s singing well and he seems like a great lead singer to me.’ Of course, he had his glasses off, so he really looked suave. I remember John was good. He was really the only outstanding member, all the rest kind of slipped away.” (1995)
John was equally impressed with McCartney, who showed natural talent for singing songs that the Quarrymen worked hard to accomplish. McCartney also recalled performing on the church hall piano.
“I also knocked around on the backstage piano and that would have been A Whole Lot Of Shakin’ by Jerry Lee. That’s when I remember John leaning over, contributing a deft right hand in the upper octaves and surprising me with his beery breath. It’s not that I was shocked, it’s just that I remember this particular detail.” “At Woolton village fete I met him. I was a fat schoolboy and, as he leaned an arm on my shoulder, I realised he was drunk. We were twelve then, but, in spite of his sideboards, we went on to become teenage pals.”

Programme for the Woolton Parish Church garden fete, Liverpool, 6 July 1957 The Quarrymen’s set, remarkably, was recorded by an audience member, Bob Molyneux, on his portable Grundig reel-to-reel tape recorder. In 1994 Molyneux, then a retired policeman, rediscovered the tape, which contained scratchy recordings of the band performing Lonnie Donegan’s Puttin’ On The Style and Elvis Presley’s Baby, Let’s Play House.

 

The tape was sold on 15 September 1994 at Sotheby’s for £78,500. At the time it was the most expensive recording ever sold at auction. The winning bidder was EMI Records, who considered if for release as part of the Anthology project, but chose not to as the sound quality was substandard.
After the Quarrymen’s show the group, along with Ivan Vaughan and Paul,went to a Woolton pub where they lied about their ages to get served.
Later on, John and Pete Shotton discussed the young McCartney, and whether to invite him to join their group. They decided Paul would be an asset, and roughly two weeks later Shotton encountered McCartney cycling through Woolton. Paul mulled over the invitation to join, and eventually agreed to join the Quarrymen’s ranks.