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ON THIS DAY: PETE SHOTTON PASSED AWAY

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Peter Shotton (4 August 1941 – 24 March 2017) was an English businessman and former washboard player. He is known for his long friendship with John Lennon of The Beatles. He was a member of The Quarrymen, the precursor of the Beatles, and remained close to the group during their career.

He built an independent career as a restaurant manager, eventually founding the Fatty Arbuckle’s chain of restaurants.

Shotton, born in Liverpool to George and Bessie (née Wilson) Shotton, was a close childhood friend of John Lennon, and attended Dovedale Infants School and Quarry Bank Grammar School at the same time as the future Beatle. The two boys were frequently in trouble with their teachers and with their headmasters, often being caned by the headmaster as punishment for their various misdeeds, and they came to be known at Quarry Bank as “Shennon and Lotton” or “Lotton and Shennon.”

In 1957, Shotton was Lennon’s bandmate in The Quarrymen, playing percussion (specifically, a washboard), until Paul McCartney joined. Shotton was “fired” from the band when, after confiding that he really did not enjoy playing, Lennon smashed the washboard over his head at a party. However, he remained a friend and confidant – as he became friends with all of the Beatles as the group formed.
During the Beatles’ career

Shotton regularly visited Lennon’s house (Kenwood) on weekends to keep Lennon company, leaving his wife and young son at home, or to escort Cynthia Lennon for a night out when her husband was busy with band matters or songwriting.

Shotton had a minor, but uncredited, role in the Beatles’ songs: he was occasionally invited to observe them recording at Abbey Road Studios, and played percussion (maracas, tambourine) on a few records. Shotton also helped Lennon with the lyrics to “I Am the Walrus” (remembering a nonsense rhyme they had loved as boys) and McCartney with the storyline of “Eleanor Rigby” (he suggested that the two lonely people in the song meet, but too late). Shotton also recalls Lennon squinting at the words of a Victorian-era poster for Pablo Fanque’s Circus Royal that hung in Lennon’s music room at Kenwood while he worked out the tune for “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!”. According to writer Stan Williams, Shotton’s wife Beth is the “pretty nurse” selling poppies mentioned in the lyrics of “Penny Lane”.

After the Beatles became famous, Lennon and George Harrison bought a supermarket on Hayling Island, and gave it to Shotton to run. Later, Shotton served as manager of the Apple Boutique, then as the first managing director of Apple Corps.

After Lennon began a relationship with Yoko Ono and Apple started to flounder, Shotton parted company with Lennon and the Beatles. He resumed his ownership of the Hayling Island supermarket, which he continued to run until the late 1970s. He then began the Fatty Arbuckle’s chain of restaurants, a franchise designed to bring the feel of the American diner to Britain. The franchise was highly successful in the 1980s and was later sold for an undisclosed sum. He later moved to Dublin, Ireland, living as a tax exile.

Upon hearing the news that Lennon had been murdered on 8 December 1980, Shotton visited Harrison at Friar Park, Harrison’s home.

Shotton is the co-author of John Lennon: In My Life (1983, republished later as The Beatles, Lennon and Me), which told the story of their friendship, from the age of six until Lennon’s death.

Shotton died of a heart attack on 24 March 2017 at his home in Knutsford, Cheshire.


NEW WOOLTON CAFE BAR WHERE JOHN LENNON USED TO REHEARSE IN THE CELLAR

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Open from today, Nowhere will welcome guests across the weekend, before permanently opening on Tuesday offering breakfast, brunch, evening small plates and cocktails

Nowhere, Woolton Village’s quirky new cafe-bar, where John Lennon and his Quarrymen used to rehearse in the cellar, will open its doors for the first time for the Bank Holiday weekend. Open from today, Nowhere will welcome guests across the weekend, before permanently opening on Tuesday. The new venue will offer a breakfast and brunch menu and evening small plates, along with a creative cocktail list, artisan coffees and a wide selection of loose leaf teas.

The cafe bar will also be available for private parties and will showcase the best of Liverpool’s up-and-coming singing talent. When there isn’t a live performance, “relaxed, soulful beats” will set the tone for Nowhere. Owner Neil Davies created the venue’s concept with trips to New York giving him inspiration, after finding cool coffee shops and quirky bars. He said: “I thought of having Nowhere as the name of the venue because I wanted something different, that was a little bit of a play on words.

“But once I’d chosen the location and got into the site to refit it, a man came in to see what we were turning the place into.He said that the Quarrymen used to sing and rehearse in the cellar when it was a milkshake shop. It was a total coincidence that John Lennon is known as Nowhere Boy and I’d already named it Nowhere. It was meant to be.”

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FIRST RECORDING SESSION FEATURING JOHN, PAUL AND GEORGE TOOK PLACE ON THIS DAY

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The first recording session featuring John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison took place on 12 July 1958.

The Quarrymen recorded two songs in a Liverpool studio – In Spite Of All The Danger and a version of Buddy Holly’s That’ll Be The Day. The songs were pressed directly onto a 10″ aluminium and acetate disc to be played at 78rpm, which is now owned by Paul McCartney. The Quarry Men consisted of John, Paul and George, plus Colin Hanton on drums (not that there’s much audio evidence of him) and on piano, John “Duff” Lowe. For a fee of 17 shillings, three pence, the youths were able to take home a 10” 78 rpm acetate of their work (the master tape was then re-used), which they then lent to each other for a week apiece.

Duff ended up keeping it for 23 years before selling it to Paul for an undisclosed amount in 1981.

Paul said: “When we got the record, the agreement was that we would have it for a week each. John had it a week and passed it on to me. I had it for a week and passed it on to George, who had it for a week. Then Colin had it for a week and passed it to Duff Lowe – who kept it for 23 years.”

 

RECORDING STUDIO WHERE FIRST DISC WAS MADE REMEMBERED 60 YEARS ON

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The Liverpool studio will be mocked-up for the exhibition in August, housing historic memorabilia and previously unseen and unheard artefacts from the time
The first ever recording – now thought to be the most valuable record in the world – will be remembered in a studio exhibition in Liverpool in August.

The debut recording from The Quarrymen, recorded at Percy Philips’ Sound Recording Services studio in Liverpool on July 12, 1968, took place 60 years ago this month.
The Quarrymen recording featured Buddy Holly cover That’ll Be The Day and a McCartney/Harrison track In Spite Of All The Danger.

The studio was founded by First World War veteran Percy Phillips in 1955 in his small terraced house in the Kensington area of Liverpool. It will be mocked-up for the exhibition during International Beatle Week in August, housing historic memorabilia and previously unseen and unheard artefacts from the time.

Phillips’s grandson Peter said he has wanted to showcase the studio for more than 30 years in order to get his grandfather’s name added to the history of the Beatles.
Peter told the Press Association: “It’s been a long-held ambition of mine to release this material. Grandpa died in 1984 and we were left with his studio equipment and all of this archive of acetate discs, which we looked after.”
The Percy Phillips Studio Collection exhibition, part of International Beatle Week in Liverpool, will take place August 26.

source:audiomediainternational

THE QUARRYMEN PLAY ROMSTOCK 2018

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John Lennon’s first band The Quarrymen showed they still know how to put on a show at Romstock 2018. The four-piece– were the highlight of the music festival staged on playing fields off St Kenelms Road in Romsley, near Halesowen.

Originally formed back in 1956 with John Lennon, The Quarrymen features Rod Davis,Colin Hanton, Len Garry and Charles Newby. And the skiffle band Music lovers flocked to the ‘In Spite of all the Danger’ and ‘That’ll be the Day’
John Lennon’s former band The Quarrymen stole the show at Romstock 2018 at the weekend.

In its seventh year since it began in 2012, Romstock 2018 pulled in over 2000 people to raise money for youth projects in the parish.
Band Co-ordinator Mark Moran was delighted with how everything played out.

“It was a staggering success,” he said. “The cost to put together these events is so huge and we had to raise the prices to £15 this year and I was a bit worried about that, but in the end it was so worth it.”We sold 1000 tickets before the event and reached in excess of 2000 for people on the door, it’s phenomenal. Everyone had a fantastic time and it was a joyous event. Aside from the birth of my kids it was probably the best day of my life.”It was a lovely, family-friendly day. So many bands want to come and play for us now, it really was like a field of dreams out there. A great community spirit.” “They’re legends,” Mr Moran added.
“They were so nervous to start with but they came on and stormed it, it was wonderful. They’re fit as a fiddle for their age and they were such lovely guys.
“What shocked me was that there were a lot of young people that came to see them. Music itself was changed because of these guys and they were the catalyst for the Beatles beginning. It was special, words can’t describe how good it was. It was like a magical history tour of music taking part in our little village, I’m still on cloud nine.”

John founded the Quarrymen in 1956 at Liverpool’s Quarry Bank school before Paul McCartney and George Harrison joined the existing line-up.

The event, that takes place at Romsley Playing Fields on St Kenelms Road near Halesowen, broke its own records for attendance and money raised to help it’s youth.
“The organisation from the parish is fantastic, everything worked so well. The security guards were bored in the end as everything went so smoothly. It couldn’t have gone any better,” Mr Moran said.
“We’re trying to add to it each year with little bits hear and there. I have a plan and it’s a bit ambitious, but I think people would book their tickets for next year now if they could. We’re aiming to top this year and we’ll do it.
“I also want to thank David Powell, the Chairman, he’s taken this from a small plastic tent with 200 people and upped it a gear but still as a small village affair as we want it to be.

source:expressandstar

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.”