July 6, 1957
The day John met Paul.
The Quarrymen 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. In the band were John Lennon (vocals, guitar), Eric Griffiths (guitar), Colin Hanton (drums), Rod Davies (banjo), Pete Shotton (washboard) and Len Garry (tea chest bass).
That evening the group was due to play again, minus Colin Hanton, this time at the Grand Dance in the church hall on the other side of the road. They were due on stage at 8pm, and admission to the show, in which the Quarrymen alternated on stage with the George Edwards Band, was two shillings.
While setting up their equipment to play, the Quarrymen’s sometime tea-chest bass player, Ivan Vaughan, introduced the band to one of his classmates from Liverpool Institute, the 15-year-old Paul McCartney.
McCartney wore a white jacket with silver flecks, and a pair of black drainpipe trousers.
Lennon was decked out in a checked shirt, tight pants (“Drainies”) and
his hair was slicked-up in the fashion of his supreme idol, Elvis
The pair chatted for a few minutes, and McCartney showed Lennon how to tune a guitar - the instruments owned by John and Griffiths were in G banjo tuning. Paul then sang Eddie Cochran’s Twenty Flight Rock and Gene Vincent’s Be-Bop-A-Lula, along with a medley of songs by Little Richard.
“I remember I was amazed and thought, ‘Oh great’, because I was obviously into the music. 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. He was really the only outstanding member, all the rest kind of slipped away.” -Paul McCartney.
Lennon was equally impressed with McCartney, who showed natural talent for singing songs that The Quarrymen worked hard to accomplish.
“I dug him.”, as John recalled. So much so that John asked Paul to join his band the next day. John stated that he made the momentous decision somewhat begrudgingly. “I was the kingpin”, John said; far more talented than his fellow bandmates. With Paul’s obvious talent and personality, his agreed-upon and unquestioned position as the group’s “leader” would be in jeopardy, or at least, lessened to a degree. “I had to decide whether to make myself stronger or make the group stronger”, John said. Fortunately, Lennon decided to “make the group stronger” and asked McCartney to join.
Since that moment, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, without realizing it, created the most important duo in the history. Without Ivan Vaughn, Paul and John would have never met. Thank you to everything that made those two boys meet each other. It was exactly 58 years ago today. In 2015, we are still grateful to know such amazing persons. They will forever be alive. Maybe not physically, but all they”ll always be in our hearts.