Monday 6 July 2015


On a sunny day in South Liverpool, 58 years ago, musical history was made when John Lennon met Paul McCartney

It was a day that shook the world. A very sunny day ... beneath blue suburban skies
An ordinary day, however, in a leafy part of South Liverpool.
But it was 24 hours that would change the world of music ... forever.
A simple church fete took place at St Peter's Church in Woolton on July 6, 1957.
A rose queen would be elected, there would be a fancy dress and the local police dogs exhibition would entertain. There were refreshments, ice cream vans, floats and music.

Music from a band called The Quarry Men who had been formed just months before.
On that fateful Saturday, The Quarry Men leader John Lennon would take centre stage. He knew there might be a chance of chatting up some girls later.
That afternoon in a field behind the church the band sang their way through such standards as Railroad Bill, Cumberland Gap and Maggie Mae as well as rocker Be Bop A Lula.
John did stumble over verses and improvised.
Watching in his dapper white jacket on that sunny Saturday was one Paul McCartney who had cycled from Allerton.
Sporting drain-pipe trousers and a quiff he looked like a real musician.
He watched as a check-shirted 15-year-old from nearby Menlove Avenue appeared on a makeshift stage and demanded attention.No microphone or sound system, but this guy could be heard.
His charisma spoke volumes.Paul recalls that day as if it were yesterday.
Paul, a Liverpool Institute pupil, was invited by classmate Ivan Vaughan to see the Quarry Men – a group for which Ivan sometimes played tea-chest bass.
Afterwards in the church hall across the road where the Quarry Men were playing the evening gig, Ivan introduced Paul to John. McCartney showed them how he played Twenty Flight Rock – one of his own favourites.

Paul recalls: “I remember when we first met at Woolton at the village fete,” he recalls.
“I remember him in a checked shirt with slightly curly hair.
“It was a beautiful summer day and I walked in there and saw John on stage and he was singing Come Go With Me by the Del Vikings.
“But he didn’t know the words – so he made them up.”

Although John had more or less decided that day that he wanted him in the Quarry Men it was a week or so before the message was finally passed onto a man who would become close pal and co-songwriter in a world famous partnership.
“D’y ya wanna join me group?” Paul didn’t need to be asked twice.
John also recalled that day too, oblivious to anyone else but his repertoire of skiffle numbers inspired by Lonnie Donegan.
He was leading the Quarry Men not aware that the magical history story was about to begin.
“That day was the day I met Paul. The day that it started moving,” he told everyone.
This was the humble beginnings of The Fab Four.
Stuart Sutcliffe and Pete Best joined later but it was only when Ringo Starr arrived that the jigsaw was complete.
Quarry Man Rod Davis was there on that momentous day, playing the banjo on stage with a teenage Lennon.He told: “When John met Paul it was all to change musically for us.
“I think that was one of the last times I played with the Quarry Men, someone called Paul elbowed me out,“ he laughs.
“Seriously I wanted to go on to university to continue my studies. John met Paul that night in the church hall but it wasn’t until October that they played together for the first time.
“As we all now know the shift in music changed from skiffle to rock and roll.”
Rod, born and brought up in Woolton, adds: “Who would possibly have known what was happening that day?
“I have a huge blow up picture on my wall at home near London. The one taken on the day – it is an image I always talk about when people visit.”
And one school pal of Rod’s, who knows that photograph better than anyone, is the man who actually took it.
Quarry Bank pupil and classmate Geoff Rhind.Geoff, now living in Dublin, told: “I took my camera that day and was going about just taking shots. I remember looking up at the band. I only took one.
“Afterwards John Lennon came up to me and said: “Were you taking pictures of me band?”
“I said: ‘Yeah,’ but that was the last we mentioned it.
“Years later Yoko Ono said it was her favourite picture of John.
“Like most people in those days I used a roll of film for different subjects then cut up the negatives and in this case a two-and-a-quarter inch square one.
“I left the pics in a drawer.”
Geoff says he found the negative years later in 1964 and sent it to the Liverpool ECHO for a nostalgia page.
Rod added: “I now go windsurfing and a few years ago I was on the South coast one day when someone introduced me to Paul who had a beach hut. He was walking his dog.
“Someone introduced me to him and he said “Oh, The Quarry Men . . . did I elbow you out of the band?” and he smiled and we chatted and then walked on.
“But nice to know I was replaced by Paul McCartney.
“When I see that photograph now I wonder what happened to all the other people on it.
“Just looking at the picture brings me back to that special summer’s day.”

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