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The Quarrymen

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The Quarrymen - Rosebery Street, 22 June 1957 - Isn't that Paul McCartney in the lower right corner, checking out Lennon's group?

The Quarrymen - St Peter's Church garden féte, Woolton, 6 July 1957
We started in the summer of 1956. We are all friends and four of us (John, Rod, Pete and Eric) go to the same school – Quarry Bank High School which is a grammar school in Liverpool. A fifth member (Len) goes to a rival grammar school – the Liverpool Institute – but he’s a good mate so we let him play with us anyway! And our sixth member (Colin) has just left school and is now working as an apprentice upholsterer.

We started out as a group roughly a year ago in the summer of 1956. We began as a "skiffle" group but we are starting to play more and more of a very exciting new type of music coming from America called rock 'n' roll. Now we enjoy playing both types of music.

For those who have been living on another planet this last year (!) skiffle has been the biggest musical craze to hit Britain in years! Skiffle has become popular because almost anyone can play it! (Even us!) It's a mixture of different American musical styles from the past such as blues, jazz, folk and country but all jazzed up with a crazy beat!

—The Quarrymen, on a "pretend" Quarrymen's website, 1957

Our first appearance was in Rosebery Street — it was their Empire Day celebrations. They had this party out in the street. We played from the back of a lorry. We didn't get paid. We played at blokes' parties after that; perhaps got a few bob, but mostly we just played for fun.

—John Lennon, The Beatles Anthology, p.12, 2000

The other expression I had ... was 'It will turn up all right in the end.' I used to say that to my friend Pete who was in the Quarrymen, which is the name of the group before it turned into the Beatles — before Paul was in it. ... The original group was named after my school, which was Quarry Bank, and had a Latin motto which meant 'out of this rock' — that's symbolic, isn't it? — 'you will find truth.'

—John Lennon, The Playboy Interviews, p.135, 1980

This was the original Quarrymen. John was playing ukulele chords taught to him by his mum and he was singing Come Go with Me, by the Del Vikings, but he was making up his own words, because nobody knew the words in those days; nobody had the record: We'd only heard it on the radio and loved it. I met John that day. I knew the words to 25 rock songs, so I got in the group. Long Tall Sally and Tutti-Frutti, that got me in. That was my audition.

—Paul McCartney, Playboy interview, 1984

Listen to the Quarrymen!

6 July 1957: "Puttin' On The Style" (Lonnie Donnegan)
6 July 1957: "Baby Let's Play House" (Elvis Presley, 1955)
Summer 1958: "That'll Be The Day" (Buddy Holly)
Summer 1958: In Spite Of All The Danger" (McCartney)
Paul live from Abbey Road, 2006: "In Spite of All the Danger" & "20 Flight Rock"
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Read the story of these early Quarrymen recordings at

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