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Friday, February 15, 2013

The Day John Lennon Met Paul McCartney

Much of the genesis of the Beatles is a bit nebulous and is often argued, but most Beatles historians cite the date, July 6, 1957, as the official beginning of the Beatles.

John Lennon, a neighborhood guitar-player (local trouble-maker, part-time shoplifter and full-time egomaniac) had been playing around at a few local gigs in the area for a year or so. John’s initial band was called “The Blackjacks”, consisting of a few of his mates from school. Soon thereafter, the band’s name was changed to “The Quarrymen”, in honor of their present school, Quarry Bank High School.

Paul had been invited to watch the Quarrymen by a mutual friend. After the band’s first concert, Paul was introduced to John... After the brief introduction, Paul played John the song “Twenty Flight Rock” by Eddie Cochrane. John decided to “make the group stronger” and asked Paul to join.

Paul kept the songs neatly arranged in a notebook and each new tune was listed as “Another Lennon-McCartney Original”. The two made a lifelong pact to continue composing in this way and earnestly shook on it. (This handshake was the only actual songwriting agreement the two had; they never signed a written contract as inevitable co-composers.)

Although both John and Paul continued to compose songs on their own too, they never broke their pact and every song, whether solo or co-written, was given the “Lennon-McCartney” label.

Today I Found Out has links and more detail, plus these related posts:

John Lennon Once Almost Beat a Man to Death

1 comment:

  1. There's a little more to the story than that- McCartney wanted to meet Lennon because he observed two funny things during the Quarrymen's performance:

    1) John Lennon didn't really know how to play the guitar. His mother had taught him to play the banjo, and Lennon played his guitar like a banjo, only using the top four strings.

    2) Lennon frequently didn't know the words to the songs he was supposed to sing, and would make up his own comical lyrics as he went along. That cracked up McCartney, who thought, "I HAVE to meet that bloke."