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The fateful story of how John Lennon and Paul McCartney met for the first time.

On July 6, 1957, 16-year-old John Lennon met 15-year-old Paul McCartney. It was at St. Peter’s, Woolton’s Parish Church in Liverpool, and John was playing with the Quarry Men at a church fete/garden party.

It was a Saturday afternoon and Paul had gone along to the fete with his friend, Ivan Vaughan, to watch John’s skiffle group, The Quarry Men. (The group was made up of Eric Griffiths, Colin Hanton, Rod Davis, John Lennon, Pete Shotton, and Len Garry.) The group took their name from Quarry Bank High School, which they all attended.

The Quarry Men played on a makeshift stage, in a field behind the church. John played the guitar and sang, while Eric Griffiths also played guitar, Colin Hanton, the drums, Rod Davies a banjo, Pete Shotton was on washboard and Len Garry played the inevitable, tea-chest bass.

Things had got underway in the early afternoon with a short parade through this up-market area of Liverpool, with a couple of lorries bringing the Rose Queen, on the first lorry, with the Quarry Men on a second lorry. The biggest challenge for John and his mates in the band was to stay upright on the back of the moving vehicle while continuing to play; once in the field behind the church things got a little easier.

In the evening the Quarry Men played at The Grand Dance in the church hall, opposite the church; sharing the bill with the George Edwards Band. Ivan Vaughan had on occasions played tea-chest bass with the Quarry Men and it was he who introduced Paul to John.

McCartney, wearing a white jacket with silver flecks and the obligatory black drainpipe trousers, talked with John for a little while and having shown John a technique for tuning, McCartney played some songs, including a medley of Little Richard’s tunes, along with Eddie Cochran‘s “Twenty Flight Rock” and Gene Vincent‘s “Be-Bop-A-Lula.”

According to Paul, “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.”

Afterward, John and Pete Shotton talked over whether or not to ask Paul to join The Quarry Men.

They decided it would be a good idea and a couple of weeks later Shotton saw Paul riding his bike in Woolton and asked him to join. After a little thought, Paul agreed to become a member. ..And the rest, as they say, is history.



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A collection box at the church where  Paul McCartney and John Lennon played together for the first time has sold for £1,700 at auction.
McCartney joined Lennon’s first band The Quarrymen – which later became The Beatles – in a session at St Peter’s Church, Liverpool, in 1957.
Stephen Bailey, manager of The Beatles Shop, previously said he thought the box could sell for £500.
“Or enough to buy a new church collection box,” he added.
“The church was buying a new one and wondered what to do with the old one,” Mr Bailey explained.
“The committee then decided to try and sell it and put the proceeds towards church funds.”
The wooden box was made by a member of the church’s congregation in 1929.

In 1957, McCartney – then a 15-year-old schoolboy – impressed The Quarrymen so much at the St Peter’s Church session that he was invited to join the band.

Lennon was a member of the church’s youth club and attended services there with his aunt, Mimi Smith.



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A rare photograph of the trio who evolved into the Beatles has emerged on the 50th anniversary of Paul McCartney announcing he was leaving the group.

The previously unpublished photo of The Quarrymen shows McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison thrashing their guitars in a Liverpool house a year before they morphed into The Beatles.

The image was uncovered in a purchase by music memorabilia specialists Tracks Ltd but it is unclear who captured the moment on camera and when exactly – although it is thought to be dated towards the latter part of 1959.

Lennon formed the skiffle and rock ‘n’ roll group in 1956 which played at parties and school dances before McCartney and Harrison later joined up.

Tracks director Paul Wane said: “Having seen thousands upon thousands of Beatles photos in my career, I was amazed to stumble quite randomly upon this shot of the Quarrymen amongst a collection of photos that I bought recently.”

Beatles historian and author Mark Lewisohn said: “It’s late 1959, somewhere in Liverpool, and history shines in every dimly-lit detail. Schoolboys Paul McCartney and George Harrison, 17 and 16, are rock and rolling together with art-school student John Lennon, 19.

“John, Paul and George were a trio for much of 1958–59. ‘The rhythm’s in the guitars’, they’d audaciously tell promoters who wondered where their drummer was.

“Within a year of this moment the Quarrymen had become The Beatles, professional musicians playing long hours in Hamburg. Four years from here they’d have attained the inconceivable level of fame and popularity that joyously maintains to this day – out from this Liverpool room and across the universe.

“There are few Quarrymen photos and a discovery such as this is extremely rare. Precise information of where and when it was taken would be welcomed by collectors and historians alike.”

The date of April 10 1970 was a sad day in the lives of many music fans as the headline “Paul Is Quitting The Beatles” appeared in the Daily Mirror.

McCartney had sent out a press statement to promote his new solo album in which when asked if the break was temporary or permanent, he replied:  “I don’t really know.”

He added he could not foresee a time when the legendary Lennon-McCartney songwriting partnership would become active again.

In 1974 the career of the most successful group in the history of popular music was legally and formally terminated.



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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.


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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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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.”