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.
Asked by “Fresh Air” host Terry Gross why it is that John Lennon has been said not to have cared for the sound of his own voice, Giles Martin, son of legendary Beatles producer George Martin, responded to the public-radio interviewer that the issue ran deeper than that:
‘Well, I don’t think it was just his voice. He didn’t like, you know, my father always told me that the sounds that John had in his head were never the sounds that got on record.That’s the thing is, you know – and to demand them to make changes. You know, he was just a natural, beautiful singer.
Giles Martin oversaw, including production and remixing, a 50th-anniversary four-disc “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” box set, released last month.
About the original “Strawberry Fields” Giles said: “Of course, they had to slow it down. And that gives you a more sort of a demonic edge, you know, your slowed down voice. And so what you hear is John slowed down. In fact, on this album, there’s very few occurrences of a natural voice.
They played around with tempos, you know, on “When I’m Sixty-Four,” Paul’s voice is sped up, you know, and same with “Lovely Rita,” you know, they – “Penny Lane” his voice is sped up. And on “Strawberry Fields,” John’s is slowed down.
It’s – they’re all over the shop just trying to change things. But you’re right, on the demo or on the first take of “Strawberry Fields,” you hear the song for what it is which is an incredibly complex but beautiful personal sort of diary to his time in Liverpool.
Giles has worked on several other recent Beatles projects, including the Beatles soundscape for the Cirque du Soleil production “Love,” the audio restoration of Beatles concerts for Ron Howard’s documentary “Eight Days A Week,” and the Beatles “Rock Band” video game. Giles was the executive producer of Paul McCartney’s 2013 album “New.”
July 7 – Miami, FL – AmericanAirlines Arena
July 10 – Tampa, FL – Amalie Arena
July 13 – Duluth, GA – Infinite Energy Center
July 15 – Bossier City, LA – CenturyLink Center
July 19 – Wichita, KS – Intrust Bank Arena
July 21 – Des Moines, IA – Wells Fargo Arena
July 23 – Omaha, NE – CenturyLink Center Omaha
July 25, 27 – Tinley Park, IL – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
September 11, 12 – Newark, NJ – Prudential Center
September 15, 17 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden Arena
September 19, 21 – Brooklyn, NY – Barclays Center
September 23 – Syracuse, NY – Carrier Dome
September 26, 27 – Uniondale, NY – Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
October 1, 2 – Detroit, MI – Little Caesars Arena
October 13 – Porto Alegre, Brazil – Estadio Beira-Rio
October 15 – Sao Paulo, Brazil – Allianz Parque
October 17 – Belo Horizonte, Brazil – Mineirao Stadium
October 20 – Salvador, Brazil – Itaipava Arena – Fonte Nova
When George took a trip to India he returned with experience, insight and a bunch of fish-eye selfies
In 1966 George took a trip to India, and what resulted was an array of picturesque fish-eye selfies that perfectly capture that eastern tangent to The Beatles’ discography.
Besides the fact that there is actually a compilation of George Harrison selfies in existence, it’s the shots themselves that that are so remarkable.
Using naught but lens, angle and exposure without effects, editing or adjusting, George Harrison’s 1966 selfies have a natural psychedelic feel.
The trip itself acted as major inspiration to The Beatles sound, ultimately transforming music forever, with the introduction and popularising of the sitar amongst pop music, thanks to the legendary Ravi Shankar.
The perfectly serene, scenic backdrops are bursting with life, showing a raw documentation of what inspired Harrison’s music to transform.
A couple of things we can take away from this is that these photographs are the very evidence of Harrison documenting his revolutionary journey of both musical and self discovery