liverpool institute high school

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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?).

Happy McLennon Day Beatle fans everywhere!

The Beatles with Fats Domino in New Orleans in September of 1964

“At first we played the music of our heroes. Little Richard, Fats Domino, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, The Everly Brothers, Ray Charles, Carl Perkins – anything we’d ever liked. But we still needed more to fill those 8 hour sets. Eventually we had to stretch and play a lot of stuff we didn’t know particularly well. Suddenly, we were even playing movie themes, such as ‘A Taste Of Honey’ or ‘Moonglow’, learning new chords, jazz voicings, the whole bit. Eventually it all combined as something new and we found our voice as a band..”- George Harrison, excerpted from  “George Harrison: Behind The Locked Door” by author, Graeme Thomson

“An Elvis Presley and Fats Domino fan, he {George Harrison} bought his first guitar at 13 from a schoolmate and began jamming with McCartney after they met commuting to and from their high school, the Liverpool Institute.” - Excerpt from “When He Was Fab, PEOPLE Magazine,  17 December 2001

“I’m In Love Again” was the first “rock ‘n’ roll” song that George Harrison heard.”- Seven Decades Of Fats Domino

RIP Fats Domino thank you for all the incredible music you have left us with and for being a hero and a pioneer to so many.

George Harrison, reading fan mail, and Neil Aspinall backstage, photographed for The Beatles Book’s July 1965 issue.

Photo: The Beatles Book

“Well, our parents, of course. Our families, you know. Honestly, all of them. Then there were people like Tony [Barrow], [Tony] Bramwell, Mal [Evans], Neil [Aspinall], Derek [Taylor], Brian [Epstein], and many people. George Martin. Oh, there is so much to remember. A woman, Astrid Kirchherr. And… a really fascinating guy… a bouncer… promoter and manager. His name was Horst [Fascher]. It was in Hamburg.” - George Harrison to Larry Kane in 1965 (in response to the question, “Who were the people who helped you the most?”), When They Were Boys [x]

* * *

“George was a year younger than Paul and I. And I met George probably when he was about 13, and I was 14, and - just behind the air raid shelters, smoking [in the Liverpool Institute playground]. […] It was an ideal place for the rebels to go and have a cigarette; so that’s where I met George.” - Neil Aspinall, Living in the Material World bonus features [x]

* * *

“Having lasted 40 years with The Beatles, Neil [Aspinall] is the only person who’s ever really been able to keep in contact with the four of us at the same time through all the various conflicts and whatever. And I met him when I was like 13 years old, smoking behind the air-raid shelters at the Liverpool Institute high school [big laugh].” - George Harrison, Billboard, 19 June 1999 [x]

* * *

“If he [George] were here, you know, he’d get a kick out of tonight, he’d be wanting to see everybody and party. But there would probably be a lot of people that he would thank and when you think of the span of his entire career, there’s so many people who are in this room tonight that he may want to mention, but I’m going to mention one that I’m sure of, and it’s the person in this room that George knew the longest in his life. That he met behind the air raid shelter when he was sneaking off to have his ciggie at school. Someone who looked after him, and all of them, from the time they were 13 till, for George, the end of his life. And that’s the mysterious Neil Aspinall. [applause]
Thank you, Neil, for holding it together for all these years because really, the whole phenomenon might not have happened or stayed together as long as it did without him. You know, he’s helped us, he’s helped his family and George loved him dearly, and many of you as well.” - Olivia Harrison, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 15 March 2004 [x]

* * *

“It was my privilege to have been his friend.” - Neil Aspinall on George Harrison, 2001 [x]

You’ve never got it down. It’s this fluid thing, music. I kind of like that. I wouldn’t like to be blasé or think, ‘Oh you know I know how to do this.’ In fact I teach a class at a the Liverpool Institute High School for Boys — I do a little songwriting class with the students — and nearly always the first thing I go in and say [is], 'I don’t know how to do this. You would think I do, but it’s not one of these things you ever know how to do.
—  Paul McCartney on songwriting

Scan - George Harrison’s Dark Horse album cover

Q: “Dark Horse, the album and the single, made for a powerful but pessimistic image of desperate competition with your former bandmates and with yourself.”

George Harrison: “That album had some good material but the pressure I got under that year was ridiculous. I went through so many things: produced two other albums, Shankar Family and Friends, and The Place I Love by Splinter. And I produced an Indian music festival, which had taken me years to get together, with 15 ro 16 classical Indian musicians all playing ensemble, like an orchestra - which they never do. In India you see solo players or two performers with a tabla player. In 1974 I went to India, got them all together, they came to Europe, Ravi wrote all the material. It rocked. Then came my own album and this tour I had lined up. And I also met my wife [Olivia] Arias around then.

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Having lasted 40 years with The Beatles, Neil [Aspinall] is the only person who’s ever really been able to keep in contact with the four of us at the same time through all the various conflicts and whatever. And I met him when I was like 13 years old, smoking behind the air-raid shelters at the Liverpool Institute high school [big laugh].
—  George Harrison, Billboard, 19 June 1999