A Day That Changed The Course of History


It was fifty-eight years ago today, in 1957 that 16 year old, John Lennon met 15-year-old Paul McCartney. It was at St. Peter's, Woolton’s Parish Church in Liverpool; John was playing with the Quarry Men at a church fete, come garden party.

Paul had gone along to the Saturday afternoon fete with his mate, 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, where they all went to school.

Quarry Street
The band played on a makeshift stage in a field behind the church. John played 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 (trucks for our American readers) 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 lorry while playing. Once in the field behind the church things got a little easier.

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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. It really was a day that changed the course of history.

McCartney who 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 Paul 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.”

Afterwards, 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 becoming a member…and the rest is history.

Woolton Church

Woolton Church today

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