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Encyclopedia > The Quarrymen

The Quarry Men (sometimes Quarrymen) were a little-known skiffle group formed around Liverpool, England in March 1957 by John Lennon. They are most famous as the band that eventually evolved into the hugely popular rock band The Beatles. Skiffle music is a type of folk music with a jazz and blues influence, usually using homemade or improvised instruments such as the washboard, tea-chest bass, kazoo, cigar-box fiddle, or a comb and paper, and so forth. ... Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough on Merseyside in north west England, on the north side of the Mersey estuary. ... Royal motto: Dieu et mon droit (French: God and my right) Englands location within the UK Official language English de facto Capital London de facto Largest city London Area - Total Ranked 1st UK 130,395 km² Population - Total (mid-2004) - Density Ranked 1st UK 50. ... March is the third month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar and one of seven Gregorian months with the length of 31 days. ... 1957 was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... John Lennon in the autumn of 1968 John Winston Lennon (a. ... Rock band (or rock group) is a generic name to describe a group of musicians specializing in a particular form of electronically amplified music. ... The Beatles (L-R, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, John Lennon), in 1964, performing on The Ed Sullivan Show promoting their first U.S. hit song, I Want To Hold Your Hand, and ushering in the British Invasion of American popular music. ...

Contents


History

When John Lennon decided that he wanted to play music, he first recruited his best friend, Pete Shotton to his embryonic group. Lennon was to be the singer and guitarist. Shotton was relegated to washboard, a common skiffle instrument. After just one week as the Black Jacks, they renamed themselves the "Quarry Men," after a line in their school song at Quarry Bank Grammar School and a week later they recruited a friend from that school, Bill Smith to play tea chest bass, despite Shotton's protestations as he had recently been involved in a fight with Smith. Boyhood friend of John Lennon of the Beatles, who also attended Dovedale Primary and Quarry Bank schools. ... Steve Howe playing lead guitar for Yes in 1977 A guitarist is a musician who plays the guitar. ... A washboard (left) and a piano player The Washboard is a tool designed for hand washing clothing. ... An English grammar school (equivalent to American middle- and high schools), located on Harthill Road in Allerton, England, a suburb of Liverpool, and founded in 1922. ... Bill Smith is a common name and could refer to the following people: Bill Smith, a professional poker player Bill Smith, the mayor of Edmonton Bill Smith (Red Green Show character), Adventures with Bill. ... A tea chest bass is a home-made musical instrument that uses a wooden chest of the type once used to deliver tea as the resonator for an upright stringed bass. ...


Smith was of a similar calibre to Shotton, and soon began to be sidelined when first Rod Davis (banjo) and Eric Griffiths (guitar) joined the band, as these two could play instruments reasonably well. He was eventually replaced by Len Garry and The Quarry Men performed at parties and skiffle contests around Liverpool, with the addition of Colin Hanton on drums. When Hanton joined the band he owned a drum set bought with his earnings as an apprentice upholsterer and then had the name "The Quarry Men" painted on the drum head. The banjo is a stringed instrument, derived from the banjar, a stringed instrument of American origins, sometimes called the gourd banjo. The banjar, in turn was based on the African akonting. Some etymologists derive it from a dialectal pronunciation of bandore, though recent research suggests that it may come from... Eric Griffiths (October 31, 1940 – January 29, 2005) was the guitarist in the original lineup of The Quarry Men until he left the group in the summer of 1958. ... The classical guitar typically has 3 nylon and 3 nickel-wound strings. ... The Quarry Men were a little-known skiffle group formed around Liverpool, England in March 1957 by John Lennon. ... For other kinds of drums, see drum (disambiguation). ...


With the recruitment of Len Garry as a more permanent bassist, the Quarrymen entered the Carroll Levis Discoveries Show talent contest on 9 June 1957 but they failed to qualify for the preliminary audition. June 9 is the 160th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (161st in leap years), with 205 days remaining. ... 1957 was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


Two weeks later (on 22 June) the Quarry Men played twice at an outdoor party in Rosebery Street to celebrate the 750th anniversary of the granting of Liverpool’s charter by King John. June 22 is the 173rd day of the year (174th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 192 days remaining. ... John (December 24, 1166–October 18/19, 1216) reigned as King of England from April 6, 1199, until his death. ...


On 6 July 1957 the band played at St. Peter's Church garden fête. In the afternoon they played on a temporary stage in a field behind the church. After the set, Ivan Vaughan, an occasional tea chest bass player with the band, introduced Paul McCartney to John Lennon while the band was setting up in the church hall for the second set. McCartney showed the band how to tune a guitar and sang Twenty Flight Rock and Be-Bop-A-Lula to his own guitar accompaniment. The evening show started at 8 pm and cost two shillings admission. Audience member Bob Molyneux recorded part of the evening performance on a Grundig portable reel-to-reel tape recorder. Two weeks later, meeting McCartney while cycling through Woolton, Pete Shotton, on behalf of John and the group, invited McCartney to join them. July 6 is the 187th day of the year (188th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 178 days remaining. ... 1957 was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Boyhood friend of John Lennon, and later schoolmate of Paul McCartney. ... Paul McCartney, as photographed by John Kelley for the 1968 LP The Beatles (aka The White Album). Sir James Paul McCartney, MBE (born 18 June 1942) is a British singer, musician and songwriter, who first came to prominence as a member of The Beatles. ... Manufacturer of home entertainment equipment, established after WW2 in Nuremberg/ Germany. ... A Sony TC-630 reel-to-reel recorder, once a common household object. ... In general, a tape recorder, tape deck, cassette deck or tape machine is any device that records a fluctuating signal by moving a strip of magnetic tape across a tape head, which is a strong electromagnet. ...


Nigel Whalley, the ex-tea chest bass player who was currently managing the band, got the Quarry Men a booking at Lee Park Golf Club in Liverpool. Alan Sytner, owner of the Cavern club, was a member of the golf club. The band subsequently appeared several times in what were billed as “Skiffle Sessions” and in August 1957, their name was first mentioned in the Cavern's advertisement in the Liverpool Echo, by which time Pete Shotton had left the band, due to his lack of any real musical talent. Rod Davis followed a short time later as school commitments prevented him from contributing as fully as he would have liked. Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough on Merseyside in north west England, on the north side of the Mersey estuary. ... The Cavern Club, which was opened on January 16, 1957, was a legendary rock and roll club at 10 Mathew Street, Liverpool, England, where Brian Epstein was introduced to the Beatles in 1961. ... 1957 was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Liverpool Echo and Liverpool Daily Post are two newspapers published by Trinity Mirror on Merseyside in the United Kingdom. ...


McCartney made his debut with the band at The New Clubmoor Hall on Back Broadway on Friday, 18 October when he returned from his summer holidays. The band had been booked by local promoter Charlie McBain and they wore matching outfits with long-sleeved cowboy shirts, black string ties and black trousers. John and Paul wore white sports-coats. Paul played lead guitar but botched a solo, embarrassing himself and the group. To save face with John, during a break he played him "I've Lost My Little Girl"—his recently-finished first song, which inspired John to also start writing. The other members of the band that night were Hanton on drums, Garry on tea-chest bass and Griffiths on guitar. October 18 is the 291st day of the year (292nd in Leap years). ...


On Thursday, 7 November, McBain booked The Quarry Men to appear at Wilson Hall, Garston. They also played Stanley Abattoir Social Club on 16 November, New Clubmoor Hall on 23 November and Wilson Hall on 7 December. November 7 is the 311th day of the year (312th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 54 days remaining. ... November 16 is the 320th day of the year (321st in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 45 days remaining. ... November 23 is the 327th day of the year (328th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 38 days remaining. ... December 7 is the 341st day (342nd on leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ...


The Quarry Men played The New Clubmoor Hall on 10 January 1958 and at The Cavern on 24 January. Because John was losing interest in skiffle and playing more rock ‘n’ roll, Rod Davis left the band in February 1958. Paul McCartney's friend and school mate, George Harrison first saw them on 6 February at playing at Wilson Hall for Charlie McBain and he joined the band two weeks later. January 10 is the 10th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 1958 was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... January 24 is the 24th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... George Harrison, MBE (February 24, 1943 – November 29, 2001) was a popular British guitarist, singer, songwriter, record producer, and film producer, best known as a member of The Beatles. ... February 6 is the 37th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ...


In March, Len Garry contracted tuberculosis (from which he later recovered) and was thus sidelined from the band. To fill the gap that his loss created, Eric Griffiths was invited to step down from his position of guitarist and take over the bass duties. He refused, and was sacked from the band. Tuberculous lungs show up on an X-ray image Tuberculosis is an infection with the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which most commonly affects the lungs (pulmonary TB) but can also affect the central nervous system (meningitis), lymphatic system, circulatory system (miliary TB), genitourinary system, bones and joints. ...


Not long after this, John Charles Lowe, nicknamed ‘Duff’, joined the band, playing piano with them through the Summer of 1958. On 23 March the band performed at the opening night of Alan Caldwell’s cellar club, The Morgue in Broadgreen. March 23 is the 82nd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (83rd in Leap years). ... Rory Storm (died September 28, 1972), real name Alan Caldwell, was the leader of Rory Storm & the Hurricanes, a Liverpool band who were contemporaries of the Beatles in the late 1950s and early 1960s. ...


In the summer of 1958 the band (comprising Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, Hanton and Lowe) recorded a 78rpm acetate demo of two songs at Percy Phillips’s studio at 58 Kensington; the first was an original Harrison/McCartney tune called In Spite of All the Danger; the other was a cover of Buddy Holly's That'll Be The Day. 1958 was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Charles Hardin Holley (September 7, 1936–February 3, 1959), better known as Buddy Holly, was an American singer, songwriter, and a pioneer of Rock and Roll. ...


Lowe left the band in the autumn of 1958 and the band continued to play regularly including the wedding reception of Harrison's brother Harry in Speke, on 20 December. After just two more performances (on 1 January at a Speke Bus Depot social club party at Wilson Hall organized by Harrison’s father, and on 24 January at a party at Woolton Village Club) Colin Hanton quit the band after a drunken argument. He was not replaced, and the band slowly disintegrated. December 20 is the 354th day of the year (355th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... January 1 is the first day of the calendar year in both the Julian and Gregorian calendars. ... January 24 is the 24th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ...


Lennon and McCartney continued to write songs together and Harrison joined The Les Stewart Quartet with Les Stewart and Ken Brown. When Mrs Mona Best opened the Casbah coffee club on 29 August 1959, Ken Brown arranged for the quartet to be its resident band. When Brown missed rehearsals to help decorate The Casbah, Les Stewart refused to play with the band. Brown and Harrison recruited Lennon and McCartney at short notice to help them fill the residency, and the new band used the old name ‘The Quarrymen’. On 10 October there was an argument between the band and Mrs Best, and The Quarrymen walked out of The Casbah, ending their residency. Ken Brown is president of the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution (AdTI), a think tank based in Arlington, Virginia. ... October 10 is the 283rd day of the year (284th in Leap years). ...


The band’s next appeared as Johnny And The Moondogs at The Carroll Levis Auditions at The Empire Theatre, Liverpool. By May 1960, Lennon, McCartney and Harrison had been joined by Stuart Sutcliffe, and drummer Pete Best. They tried several other names, including the Silver Beatles, before shortening that to The Beatles for their performances in Hamburg in August 1960. This article is about the month of May. ... 1960 was a leap year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar). ... Stuart Sutcliffe (June 23, 1940 – April 10, 1962) was an artist who, until his sudden death, worked in a style related to Abstract Expressionism. ... Randolph Peter Best (born November 24, 1941) was an early drummer for The Beatles from Madras, India. ... Hamburg is Germanys second largest city (after Berlin) and, with the Hamburg Harbour, its principal port. ... Note: as an adjective (stressed on the second syllable instead of the first), august means honorable. ... 1960 was a leap year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar). ...


Recent history

Len Garry, John Duff Lowe and Rod Davis reformed as a band for a short time in the 1990s and an album Open For Engagements was released in 1994.


In 1994, Bob Molyneux, then a retired policeman, rediscovered the recordings that he had made of the Quarry Men concert in 1957. The scratchy recordings included covers of Lonnie Donegan's "Puttin' On The Style" and Elvis Presley's "Baby, Let's Play House". On 15 September 1994 Molyneux put his tape up for auction at Sotheby's. The tape sold to EMI for £78,500, making it the most expensive recording ever sold at auction, but the recording quality was too poor to issue and the tape remains in the EMI archives. September 15 is the 258th day of the year (259th in leap years). ... 1994 was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International year of the Family. ... The boss is a trained space monkey. ... The EMI Group is a major record label, based in Hammersmith, London, in the United Kingdom and with operations in over 25 other countries. ...


In January 1997 the Cavern Mecca invited all the bands who had played at the Cavern in the 1950s to the unveiling of the “Cavern Wall of Fame” in Mathew Street to celebrate the club's 40th birthday. All five of the surviving original Quarrymen and John Duff Lowe attended, and that evening they gave an impromptu performance on stage with Gary Gibson standing in for John Lennon, and Lawrence Gilmour for Paul McCartney. 1997 is a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A local attraction on Mathew Street in Liverpool, England, opened in 1984. ...


That evening they were asked to help recreate the occasion of the Lennon - McCartney meeting at Woolton fête. Initially reluctant, the band were persuaded to help the Church Hall Restoration Fund, and the concert took place at the fête on 6 July 1997, exactly forty years after the original gig. The band toured the village in the fête procession, playing on the back of a lorry with their original 1957 driver. At the evening concert in the Church Hall the band played "Putting On The Style" which Bob Molyneux had recorded 40 years earlier. They also played the number that had persuaded Lennon to invite McCartney to join the band: "Twenty Flight Rock". The set ended with Pete Shotton's first public solo performance: as a tribute to his friend John Lennon he sang "Imagine". Woolton is a suburban area of South Liverpool, England. ... July 6 is the 187th day of the year (188th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 178 days remaining. ... 1997 is a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


On the back of this success The Original Quarrymen (Shotton, Griffiths, Davis, Garry and Hanton) recorded an album Get Back - Together, which was released in September 1997 and launched at the Beatlefans Convention at the Playhouse, Derby on Sunday, 9 November 1997. November 9 is the 313th day of the year (314th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 52 days remaining. ...


The band subsequently toured Europe, Canada, Cuba, the USA and Japan. Their album Songs We Remember was released in Japan in 2003 and released in the UK in January 2005, by which time Pete Shotton had long since quit. With the death of Eric Griffiths in early 2005, the band was forced to reassess itself, and eventually settled for recruiting John Duff Lowe to the pianist's seat and continuing the act in that form.


External links

References

  • Ed Chen and Saki, The Beatles Anthology (1995). Retrieved August 31 2005.
  • Donald Clarke, The Penguin Encyclopedia Of Popular Music, (London: Penguin, 1989)
  • Hunter Davies, The Quarrymen, (London: Omnibus Press, 2001)
  • Andy Davis, 'Inside The Beatles Anthology', Record Collector, November 1995
  • Peter Doggett, 'The Bits I Left Uptown,"', Record Collector, December 1995
  • Bill Harry, The Ultimate Beatles Encyclopedia, (London: Virgin Publications, 1992)
  • John Lennon, In His Own Write, (London: Jonathan Cape, 1964)
  • Mark Lewisohn, The Beatles Live!, (London: Pavilion Books, 1986)
  • Pete Shotton and Nicholas Shaffner, John Lennon—In My Life, (New York: Stein and Day, 1983)

  Results from FactBites:
 
The Quarrymen - Biography - AOL Music (931 words)
The Quarrymen were founded by John Lennon at the Quarry Bank School in Liverpool in the middle of 1957.
The Quarrymen were already trying to toughen up their sound, and that wasn't the only change taking place in the band.
The Quarrymen were reduced to a more manageable quintet of Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, Hanton, and Lowe, but the winnowing process begun by the band members and bad luck on Garry's part was difficult to halt.
The Quarrymen - Hunter Davies (750 words)
The Quarrymen was John Lennon’s first band – a group of schoolmates and local boys cashing in on the 1950s craze for Skiffle groups – the first musical phenomenon where it didn’t matter whether you could play your instrument properly or not.
There is plenty of interesting Beatles-related detail, not only in relation to the foundation of the Quarrymen, but in the account of Pete Shotton’s continuing association with John Lennon up to his death.
This book was only made possible by the fact that the Quarrymen decided to value their own significance and contribution to Beatles history, and to value their own possibilities as performers.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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