Happy McLennon day! 60 years since John met Paul at the Woolton Church Fete on the 6th July 1957 and started this whole thing off…
“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.”
[Paul, talking about his first impressions of John, Record Collector Magazine, 1995]
“I was on a battered old guitar, which hadn’t cost much. A bloke named Rodney was on banjo, Pete Shotton was on washboard, I think Eric Griffiths was on another guitar and Len Gary [sic] was on box bass.
“There was a friend of mine called Ivan who lived at the back of my house and he went to the same school as Paul McCartney - The Liverpool Institute High School. It was through Ivan that I first met Paul. Seems that he knew Paul was always dickering around in music and thought that he would be a good lad to have in the group.
“So one day when we were playing at Woolton he brought him along. We can both remember it quite well. We’ve even got the date down. It was June 15th 1955 [sic]. The Quarrymen were playing on a raised platform and there was a good crowd because it was a warm sunny day.”
[John, talking about how he and Paul met, quoted in Beatles Monthly No 2, September 1963 - and obviously getting the date really wrong - on purpose or not?!]
Pics - top - the first (?) photo of John and Paul together. The Quarrymen, including Paul, playing at New Clubmoor Hall, Broadway, Liverpool on 23rd November 1957. Photo by Leslie Kearney.
Photos on truck taken by James Davis - Rod Davis’ dad, who is the Rodney on banjo that John’s talking about. Photos taken on 6th July, 1957. (John with his eyes closed in the centre of the first photo, he’s obscured by Pete Shotton in the second).
Bottom 2 photos - The Quarrymen playing on 6th July, 1957, the day John met Paul. (Last photo - Geoff Rhind, other photo - Unknown but maybe Geoff Rhind?).
July 6th 1957- The day John Lennon met Paul McCartney for the first time
“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.”- Paul when he met John for the first time
“I half thought to myself, He’s as good as me, I’d been kingpin up to then. Now, I thought, if I take him on, what will happen?”- John
“I still remember his beery old breath when I first met him here that day. But I soon came to love that beery old breath. And I loved John.”- Paul
“We were recording the other night, and I just wasn’t there. Neither was Paul. We were like two robots going through the motions. We do need each other alot. When we used to get together after a month off, we used to be embarrassed about touching each other. We’d do an elaborate handshake just to hide the embarrassment… or we did mad dances. Then we got to hugging each other.”- John
“John had his thing, and Paul had his, and together there were two different things all together. But they fit.”- Billy Preston
“Paul hits this chord, and I turn to him and say, That’s it! Do that again! In those days, we really used to write like that- both playing into each other’s noses.”- John
“One of my great memories of John is from when we were having some argument. I was disagreeing and we were calling each other names. We let it settle for a second and then he lowered his glasses and he said: "It’s only me.” And then he put his glasses back on again. To me, that was John. Those were the moments when I actually saw him without the facade, the armor, which I loved as well, like anyone else. It was a beautiful suit of armor. But it was wonderful when he let the visor down and you’d just see the John Lennon that he was frightened to reveal to the world.“- Paul
“Before John Lennon died I got back a good relationship with him. That was very special. The arguments we had didn’t matter. We were able to just take the piss about all those songs; they weren’t that harsh.”- Paul
“He was always saying, ‘I wonder what Paul is doing.’ When John and I were together, and this is about a week or two before our relationship ended, I remember him saying, ‘Do you think I should write with Paul again?’ I said, ‘Absolutely. You should because you want to. The two of you as solo performers are good, but together you can’t be beaten.”- May Pang
“Well, he’s like a brother. I love him. Families – we certainly have our ups and downs and our quarrels. But at the end of the day, when it’s all said and done, I would do anything for him, I think he would do anything for me.”- John, hours before his death
“I look in the mirror and think, ‘Nice one! You wrote songs with John Lennon on his porch, then you went to his bedroom and listened to Fats Domino and Elvis! How brilliant is that?’”- Paul
Just because the two teens [John and Paul] didn’t display or articulate strong feelings at their first meeting doesn’t mean they didn’t have them. I know many writers don’t see the day that way. Most, in fact, downplay the day’s events. One McCartney biography goes so far as to say, “There were no bolts of lightning that day.” Yet, given how important rock music was to both teenagers, I can’t picture them not being stirred at the sight of the other performing.
Sparks had to fly in their rock and roll hearts. The simple fact is that for many years following, they chose each other above all others.
Jim O’Donnell, The Day John Met Paul: An Hour-by-Hour Account of How the Beatles Began, Second Edition – Introduction
“Lennon meets McCartney and I didn’t notice. It’s hard to imagine it could have happened without Ivan. Maybe John and Paul would have gone on to be musicians. But it’s more likely they would have made it into separate bands.”
“It’s possible they’d never have met… and The Beatles would never have been.”
July 6, 1957 – The Day John Lennon Met Paul McCartney
John Lennon & Paul McCartney . Happy Lennon / McCartney Day !—- coloring done by thebeatles
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. - Julia Baird
“You’d have to say the way The Beatles broke up was a bit untidy, a bit ugly. We were such a great little band, it would’ve been nice to just continue on, but the business side really crept in and got a bit sticky. I regret that. If I could have reversed that scenario, it wouldn’t have been a bad idea. But otherwise, no regrets, really. You do what you do, and try and make things work out, and have a bit of fun while you’re doin’ it. That’s the story for me, these days.“
[Paul, answering the question if, when looking back over his life, he had any regrets, New Zealand Stuff magazine, 2nd July 2017]
Scan - from Beatles Monthly No. 2, September 1963. Scanned by yours truly in honour of McLennon Day 2017, 60 years since John met Paul, and they started A Great Little Band!