quarry bank school

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RIP Pete Shotton (4 August 1941 - 24 March 2017)

“Pete was John’s best friend from the age of 5, and they were inseparable. They tormented teachers at Quarry Bank School, getting themselves into trouble almost daily. John could keep a straight face while Pete would have hysterics at anything his partner in crime did. When it came to starting The Quarrymen, Pete had to be involved as he was John’s best friend. As he wasn’t musical, Pete was given the washboard. He didn’t last long in the group but was always there at his friend’s side.

"Even after The Beatles became famous, John had Pete working at Apple and would give Pete whatever he needed, famously setting his friend up in a supermarket on Hayling Island. The pair remained friends. He will forever be mentioned in the same breath as his friend John Lennon, a friendship that survived fame and remained as strong as ever.”

-David Bedford

At Woolton village fete I met him. I was a fat schoolboy and, as he leaned an arm on my shoulder, I realised that he was drunk. We were twelve then, but, in spite of his sideboards, we went on to become teenage pals.

   Aunt Mimi, who had looked after him since he was so high, used to tell me how he was cleverer than he pretended, and things like that. He had written a poem for the school magazine about a hermit who said: ‘as breathing is my life, to stop I dare not dare.’ This made me wonder right away- 'Is he deep?’ He wore glasses so it was possible, and even without them there was no holding him. 'What bus?’ he would say to howls of appreciative laughter.

   He went to Quarry Bank High School for Boys and later attended to the Liverpool Art College. He left school and played with a group called the Beatles, and, here he is with a book. Again I think- 'Is he deep?’ 'Is he arty, with it or cultured?’

   There are bound to be thickheads who will wonder why some of it doesn’t make sense, and others who will search for hidden meanings.
   'Whats a Brummer?’
   'There’s more to 'dubb owld boot’ than meets the eye.’
None of it has to make sense and if it seems funny that’s enough.

                                                                  P.S. I like the drawings too.

—  Introduction written by Paul McCartney for John Lennon’s book In His Own Write.
What about the time we met?

Paul McCartney used to see a boy on the bus – a typical 50’s ted: “greasy hair, long sideburns, shuffling around like he was Mr Hard”, as he described him. McCartney would come across this boy on the top deck of the bus often. He also says he saw in the queue at a chip shop this same boy once.
According to Mark Lewhison, Paul sometimes reveals that he also has seen this boy during the time he was a paperboy; he even talked to him outside the newsagent’s shop – McCartney worked as a paperboy after his family moved to Forthlin Road, in summer 1956.
This boy who Paul used to come across by chance through the city was John Lennon; he attended Quarry Bank Grammar School, and in the summer of 1956, he and his friends formed a skiffle group called The Quarrymen.
The Quarrymen’s initial formation was John Lennon, Pete Shotton, Eric Griffiths and Rod Davis. Ivan Vaughan, who was neighbour and friend of Lennon and Shotton, introduced them to his school-mate from Liverpool Institute, Len Garry. Then the drummer came, Colin Hanton, who was Eric Griffiths’ neighbour and friend.

Paul attended Liverpool Institute and Ivan Vaughan was his best mate. Ivan knew that his friends from Quarry Bank would perform at St Peter’s Church’s festival in Woolton Village, on the afternoon of 6th July, 1957, so he invited Paul to go along with him to try to pick up some girls.

On the sunny Saturday afternoon of 6th July, the 15 years old Paul McCartney arrived in the fete riding his bike to meet Ivan. He saw some of the sideshows when he heard the music filling the air coming from a little Tannoy system. There was a guy with a slightly curly hair and checked shirt playing on a platform. It was John and the band; however, apparently Paul seemed has just noticed Lennon presence, as himself recalled, “He was the only outstanding member, all the rest kind of slipped away”. John sang a Doo-Wop song called Come Go With Me, by The Del Vikings, which Paul loved. Lennon just had heard it on radio, he really didn’t know all the words; so in a humorous way, he put in some stuff about penitentiaries, and McCartney thought it was interesting and intelligent. Ironically, it really was sort of an invitation to Paul to come and go with him, and they would never apart.

Later, when the first Quarrymen’s performance in that day finished, Ivan took Paul along to meet the band. The boys were sitting around a table when they came in. McCartney was dressed in a white jacket with silver details and black drainpipes trousers. As Pete Shotton recalled, “Right off, I could see John was checking this kid out. Paul came on as very attractive, very loose, very easy, very confident – wildly confident”.
Ivan introduced Paul to his friends – Len Garry he already knew, they were from the same school – but McCartney’s particular interest was John. Paul played Twenty Flight Rock by Eddie Cochran with the right chords and words, sort of humiliating these boys who earlier were literally improvising on ‘Come Go With Me’. “I could see John was very impressed”, said Pete Shotton. McCartney also realized John looked impressed, and he actually was: “I was very impressed by Paul playing ‘Twenty Flight Rock”, said John. McCartney joked it was probably because he did know the words.

After chatting some, Paul went to piano that there was in the parish hall. He remembers that “it’s when John leaned over my shoulders, contributing a deft right hand in the upper octaves and surprising me with his beery breath”. McCartney still remembers this particular detail, as he own has said, and every time he gets the opportunity of emphasising about “John’s beery breath”, he does, like on the message he sent to St Peter’s Church:

“I still remember John’s beery old breath in the day I met him for the first time. Soon I came to love his beery old breath, and I loved John”.

Paul learned to love John Lennon’s beery breath, even because they would hang out together, write songs together, share a microphone together, occasionally sleep together, and, thereafter, live their lives together.

  “The most important day in his life was the day he met me.” –Paul McCartney

At the Woolton village fete I met him. I was a fat schoolboy and, as he leaned an arm on my shoulder, I realised he was drunk. We were twelve then, but in spite of his sideboards, we went on to become teenage pals.

Aunt Mimi, who had looked after him since he was so high, used to tell me how he was cleverer than he pretended, and things like that. He had written a poem for the school magazine about a hermit who said: “as breathing is my life, to stop I dare not dare.” This made me wonder right away - “Is he deep?” He wore glasses so it was possible, and even without them there was no holding him. “What ‘bus?” he would say to howls of appreciative laughter.

He went to Quarry Bank High School for Boys and later attended the Liverpool Art College. He left school and played with a group called the Beatles, and here he is with a book. Again I think - “Is he deep?” “Is he arty, with-it or cultured?”

There are bound to be thickheads who will wonder why some of it doesn’t make sense, and others who will search for hidden meanings.

“What is a Brummer?”

“There’s more to 'dubb owld boot’ than meets the eye.”

None of it has to make sense and if it seems funny then that’s enough.

Paul

P.S. I like the drawings too.

—  Paul’s introduction to John’s first book, John Lennon: In His Own Write, 1964
My theory about McLennon

After John and Paul first meeting – that was basically a love at first sight –, they started to hang out, becoming each day closer from each other because of their common love for music. It’s fact that John used to have collective masturbation sessions with his school mates, so probably he also did that alone with Paul while they hanged out in Lennon’s or McCartney’s home, so knowing each other in “different levels people know about”. John and Paul became very intimate friends, and sort of forgot their old friends. According to Spitz’s biography, the Quarry men would go to parties and John and Paul would stay isolated from the others as they didn’t exist, just chatting whispery.
Lennon and McCartney, being so close friends that would even have a wank together, would build a deep connection with each other. John would start to feel jealousy of Paul dating girls, and it was because he was getting a crush on Macca. I believe it was when everything started; maybe playing their guitar, hanging out, or even having these hypothetical masturbation sessions, their first kiss happened. They were teenage boys with their bodies flowering hormones and discovering new things; that would happen sooner or later. Also, Paul was perfect to John; he even said Macca looked like Elvis. Yes, he was like a more delicate, more feminine version of Elvis – dark hair, large eyes and, the most important: same lips shape. There’re a lot of pictures of years later where John is looking at Paul’s lips. Probably Lennon couldn’t help looking at them without tasting while he was this teenage boy full of hormones. John’s mother death in 1958 also would approach them even more.

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George Harrison, Olivia Harrison, Ringo Starr, and Barbara Bach at the Chelsea Flower Show in 1999.

Newsreader remembers school friend 

BBC newsreader Peter Sissons went to primary and secondary school with George Harrison. Here he recalls his fond memories of the Beatle.

“I last saw George at the Hampton Court flower show the summer before last. I was ambling around with my wife buying plants and he was ambling around with Olivia buying plants. I didn’t recognise him, he recognised me, because he was practically in disguise, he had his pork pie hat on and his old clothes. We sat down for a couple of hours and had a very, very long chat, one that was very revealing and one which I will always remember because I saw, in a way, the true George.

He was just recovering from the horrific attack on his life in his own home, he was clearly very, very shocked and damaged by that. He came close to death then, just a fraction of a centimetre from the knife killing him. The way he told me about it, this was a man of enormous gentleness and warmth and peace who spent most of his adult life campaigning for people not to hurt each other. And in the middle of the night in his own home he and his wife had to fight desperately to stop this maniac killing them both. I don’t think George could ever really understand that, why someone like him should be singled out in that way. I think that was a really profound shock to find anyone in his own home capable of that sort of evil.

He said what really hurt him most was that one of the policeman told him that when this man was being driven away from the scene… the man kept saying to the police in the car: ‘I did kill him didn’t I, I did kill him didn’t I?’

There was no doubt that this wasn’t anything to do with just inflicting fright, it was an attempt to murder him. I don’t think George could ever really understand that, why someone like him should be singled out in that way, even though of course it had happened to John Lennon.”

Sissons attended Dovedale Road Primary School in Liverpool at the same time as Harrison and fellow Beatle-to-be John Lennon.

“I didn’t know John, George didn’t know John. We only really got to know each other when we went to secondary school. John went to another Liverpool secondary school, Quarry Bank, and George and I went to the Liverpool Institute, now Lipa, the Liverpool institute of the performing arts and that’s where we all met Paul McCartney.

They weren’t products of the 60s, they invented the 60s. They were products of the late 40s and the 50s: post-war austerity. Hardly anyone had a TV set, everybody made their own entertainment and one of the big features of life at Lipa was the annual hobby show where everybody would bring in what they did for their hobby and put it on display.

The whole school was full of pastimes and hobbies, including those of course who were into the guitar. I remember to this day watching these chaps clinking away in the corner with handbooks of chords. They all wanted to be Duane Eddy, they were plinking and plonking away, no one could have told then they would have gone on to do anything. But it was creativity, you made your own entertainment and that’s where they came from.”

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