In the Beginning

The chain of various incarnations, lineups and band name changes that eventually became the Beatles all began in 1956. Ring-leader John Lennon formed a band called the Quarrymen, named after Quarry Bank High School.

The band name came from the school song which had the line “Quarrymen, strong before our birth” (and you thought only pro wrestlers and leaders of Middle Eastern countries made outrageous claims). By the way, the Quarrymen as a band exist to this day, although most of the original members have died including, saddest of all those who have ever died, its founding father, John Lennon.

A huge day in the life: on July 6th, 1957, the Quarrymen were enlisted to play an outdoor party behind a church in Woolton, a suburb of Liverpool. Just after 4:00 p.m., they played their first set. It has been surmised somehow that the band was playing the Del-Vikings’ hit “Come Go With Me” when Paul McCartney showed up. After their set, John’s friend Ivan Vaughan introduced Paul to John and the rest of the Quarrymen.

Lennon was always famous for his inability to remember lyrics, and so when the two sat down after the set and Paul sang the lyrics to Eddie Cochrane’s “Twenty Flight Rock,” Lennon was impressed. In the next few days, Lennon realized he had a tough decision to make. Should he ask Paul to join the Quarrymen? It may seem to us now as the easiest decision in the world. After all, this young McCartney fellow knew how to play real guitar chords unlike the banjo style chords which were all that Lennon knew. Not only that, he could sing like a bird, and while he seemed to Lennon like a bit of a goody two-shoes, he had a certain aspect to him that showed he might be going places. Paul McCartney was talented.