QUARRYMEN

In 1956 John Lennon started his first group, the BLACKJACKS at Quarry Bank School in Liverpool. As skiffle music was quite popular at that time, John Lennon's group also played skiffle music. John Lennon was joined by some school pals, Pete Shotton, on washboard, Eric Griffiths on guitar, Bill Smith on tea-chest bass and Rod Davis on banjo.

BLACKJACKS 1956 - 3/57
John
Lennon

gtr/vcl
Pete
Shotton

washboard
Eric
Griffiths

gtr
Bill
Smith

bs
Rod
Davis

bjo/vcl

It didn't take long until the BLACKJACKS changed their name to the QUARRYMEN, paying an ironic tribute to their school.

QUARRYMEN 1 3/57 - 5/57
John
Lennon

gtr/vcl
Pete
Shotton

washboard
Eric
Griffiths

gtr
Bill
Smith

bs
Rod
Davis

bjo/vcl

Bill Smith, who played a T-chest bass, left the group in May 1957. He was replaced for a few weeks by Ivan Vaughan.

QUARRYMEN 2 5/57
John
Lennon

gtr/vcl
Pete
Shotton

washboard
Eric
Griffiths

gtr
Ivan
Vaughan

bs
Rod
Davis

bjo/vcl

In June 1957 the QUARRYMEN had to present yet another bass player.

QUARRYMEN 3 6/57
John
Lennon

gtr/vcl
Pete
Shotton

washboard
Eric
Griffiths

gtr
Nigel
Whalley

bs
Rod
Davis

bjo/vcl

At the end of June 1957 the QUARRYMEN finally found the right bass player. He was called Len Garry from the Liverpool Institute. At his school, the Liverpool Institute, he had a good friend called Paul McCartney. Colin Hanton joined the QUARRYMEN at the same time on drums. Colin Hanton came originally from Woolton village. He was a friend of Eric Griffiths and Rod Davis. Colin Hanton was one or two years older than the others. He already had a job and was able to buy a set of drums.

QUARRYMEN 4 6/57 - 7/57
John
Lennon

gtr/vcl
Pete
Shotton

washboard
Eric
Griffiths

gtr
Len
Garry

bs
Rod
Davis

bjo/vcl
Colin
Hanton

dr

Paul McCartney often went to see his friend Len Garry play with the QUARRYMEN. The more concerts he attended the more he liked the frontman of the group. After the concerts John Lennon and Paul McCartney often exchanged their ideas about the music and finally in July 1957 Paul McCartney also became a member of the QUARRYMEN.

QUARRYMEN 5 7/57 - 1/58
John
Lennon

gtr/vcl
Pete
Shotton

washboard
Eric
Griffiths

gtr
Len
Garry

bs
Rod
Davis

bjo/vcl
Colin
Hanton

dr
Paul
McCartney

gtr/vcl

When Rod Davis and Pete Shotton left the QUARRYMEN in January 1958 got John Lowe to play the piano and from another local group, the REBELS they hired George Harrison.

QUARRYMEN 6 1/58 - 7/58
John
Lennon

gtr/vcl
Paul
McCartney

gtr/vcl
Eric
Griffiths

gtr
Len
Garry

bs
George
Harrison

gtr/vcl
Colin
Hanton

dr
John
Lowe

pno/vcl

In July 1958 Eric Griffiths and Len Garry left the QUARRYMEN. The group decided to go on without replacements. As a quintet they were able to record their first single, which was released as a private pressing only.

QUARRYMEN 7 7/58 - 10/58
John
Lennon

gtr/vcl
Paul
McCartney

gtr/vcl
George
Harrison

gtr/vcl
Colin
Hanton

dr
John
Lowe

pno/vcl

QUARRYMEN single
1958: QUARRYMEN - That'll Be The Day (Buddy Holly / Norman Petty / Jerry Allison) b/w In Spite Of All The Danger (Paul McCartney / George Harrison)

At the same time as the recordings of the promotional single took place John Lennon and Paul McCartney were writing a number of songs together. These songs were later recorded for BEATLES releases.

John Lowe left the QUARRYMEN in the autumn of 1958.

The QUARRYMEN continued to play regularly as a quartet. After two performances in January 1959 the QUARRYMEN drifted apart and finally disbanded.

QUARRYMEN 8 10/58 - 1/59
John
Lennon

gtr/vcl
Paul
McCartney

gtr/vcl
George
Harrison

gtr/vcl
Colin
Hanton

dr

John Lennon and Paul McCartney stayed together and they wrote several songs. George Harrison joined the LES STEWART QUARTET.

The LES STEWART QUARTET should become the house band at the newly opened Casbah Coffee Club. When Ken Brown, who also was a member of the LES STEWART QUARTET helped to decorate the Cabash and therefore was not able to attend all rehearsals of the band, Les Stewart refused to play. Ken Brown and George Harrison called John Lennon and Paul McCartney and asked them for help. As the new band consisted of three quarter of the QUARRYMEN they resurvived the old name and played at the Cabash. After a dispute with the owner of the Cabash the Quarrymen stopped playing there in October 1959. This was the second end of the QUARRYMEN

QUARRYMEN 9 8/59 - 10/59
John
Lennon

gtr/vcl
Paul
McCartney

gtr/vcl
George
Harrison

gtr/vcl
Ken
Brown

gtr/vcl

In 1994 Rod Davis reformed the QUARRYMEN with John Duff Lowe and three other musicians. They recorded an album and played several concerts.

QUARRYMEN 10 1994 - 1995
Rod Davis
gtr/bjo/vcl
John
Lowe

kybds/vcl
John
Ozoroff

gtr/vcl
Charles
Hart

pcs/vcl
Richie
Gould

bs

QUARRYMEN album
1995: QUARRYMEN - Open For Engagements (Kewbank Records KBCD 111)

In January 1997 the Cavern celebrated it's 40th birthday. All groups who had originally played at the Cavern were invited to the unveiling of the “Cavern Wall of Fame”. The QUARRYMEN for that occasion consisted of Pete Shotton, Eric Griffiths, Rod Davis, Len Garry, Colin Hanton and John Lowe. For their unrehearsed performance they were joined by Gary Gibson as John Lennon and Lawrence Gilmour as Paul McCartney.

QUARRYMEN 11 1/97 - 7/97
Pete
Shotton

washboard
Eric
Griffiths

gtr
Rod
Davis

bjo/gtr/vcl
Len
Garry

bs
Colin
Hanton

dr
John
Lowe

pno/vcl
Gary
Gibson

gtr/vcl
Lawrence
Gilmour
gtr/vcl

Another concert took place at Woolton fête on 6 July 1997, exactly forty years after the original gig. At the concert the QUARRYMEN even played songs like "Putting On The Style" or "Twenty Flight Rock". The set ended with Pete Shotton's first public solo singing: as a tribute to his friend John Lennon he sang "Imagine".

After the concert, which took place at Woolton fête the QUARRYMEN recorded another album "Get Back - Together", which was released in September 1997.

QUARRYMEN 12 7/97 - 2001
Pete
Shotton

washboard
Eric
Griffiths

gtr
Rod
Davis

bjo/gtr/vcl
Len
Garry

bs
Colin
Hanton

dr

QUARRYMEN album
1997: QUARRYMEN - Get Back - Together (Quarrymen QM001)

The band subsequently toured Europe, Canada, Cuba, the USA and Japan. In 2001 Pete Shotton announced his retirement from public washboard playing.

Early in 2004 the QUARRYMEN could record yet another album. They were invited by BMG Records of Japan to record a skiffle album for the Japanese market. The album was recorded at Parr Street Studios in Liverpool and released as "Songs We Remember". In January 2005 Eric Griffiths died.

QUARRYMEN 13 2001 - 1/05
Colin
Hanton

dr
Eric
Griffiths

gtr
Rod
Davis

bjo/gtr/vcl
Len
Garry

bs

QUARRYMEN album
2004: QUARRYMEN - Songs We Remember (Sony / BMG)

When Eric Griffiths had died many people did not expect the QUARRYMEN to continue. But the three remaining members were convinced that Eric Griffiths would not have liked them to stop. While they were discussing possible new members they always came back to John Lowe and finally they were able to bring him back to the group. The first gig at which John Lowe played again with Len Garry, Colin Hanton and Rod Davis was at one of London’s top music venues, the Halfmoon in Putney on Saturday, September 10, 2005.

QUARRYMEN 14 7/05 - ...
Colin
Hanton

dr
John
Lowe

kybds/vcl
Rod
Davis

bjo/gtr/vcl
Len
Garry

bs