The original blue no back

Welcome to the Quarrymen’s Official Website

UPDATED June 2024


It is with great regret that we learned that our old friend, John Duff Lowe, passed away on 22 February, 2024. Our sincere condolences, together with many which we have received from Quarrymen fans all over the world, go to John’s wife and his family.

John’s great claim to fame was, of course, that he played piano on the Percy Phillips’ recording of “That’ll be the Day” and “In Spite of all the Danger”, and that he ended up with the precious shellac recording of the session. The Quarrymen owe him a great debt for his efforts to get the group back together, which began in 1990. After a couple of false starts he succeeded in producing the CD “Open for Engagements”, which triggered off interest in the Quarrymen which eventually resulted in our getting back together in 1997.

Because of family commitments Duff did not start playing with the revived Quarrymen until 2005, and his last gig was in 2018, after which his progressive illness made playing keyboards increasingly difficult.  We are pleased that his son, Henry Duff Lowe, has been able to take his father’s place on keyboards and help keep his memory intact.

QM Balcony tv 2

We have received very many kind emails expressing condolences to Chas Newby's family and to the Quarrymen from people who have learnt that Chas passed away on Monday 22 May. He had been undergoing treatment which seemed to be successful and he was very much looking forward to being able to play bass with the Quarrymen again. However, this was not to be, because Chas's condition suddenly started to deteriorate very quickly and he found that he had only a couple of weeks to live. He decided to sit in his garden and enjoy the sunshine and flowers.

Chas started playing bass with the Quarrymen in 2016, having been recommended to us by Martin Lewis, who had met him at a Beatle Convention in the USA . Since then we have had the pleasure of playing with him in Germany, the Czech Republic, Spain, Hungary, Mexico - and of course in Liverpool at Strawberry Field, St. Peter's, the Philharmonic. the Cavern and at the Casbah and many other times in England, including at Hunter Davies' 80th birthday and especially at the 60th Anniversary of the Day John Met Paul at St Peter's in Woolton.

Chas was a charming, kind and unassuming man, and very enjoyable company. He will be sorely missed.

The Quarrymen - Colin Hanton, Len Garry, John Duff Lowe, Rod Davis

Chas bass at Roag's Museum
Chas + white sig

LEFT: Chas’s Hofner Bass on display at the Beatles Museum, Liverpool.

Edmund Thielow of BeatArchiv produced a short video of Chas playing in Glauchau in October 2020:


Colin Hanton

tells all!

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In collaboration with music journalist Colin Hall, who by coincidence is also the curator of “Mendips”, John Lennon’s former home, our drummer, Colin Hanton wrote his memoirs a couple of years ago. Mark Bentley, an attorney in Florida and a big Beatles fan, happened to read Colin’s book and decided that it would make a great documentary. Under the direction of filmmaker Todd Thompson of Stars North Films and with the support of Doug Schwab of Liverpool West Productions Inc. the movie is almost complete. Audiences were given a sneak peek “first look” at PRE-FAB! on Friday, April 8th where it was selected to be the prestigious Opening Night Film at the Florida Film Festival.

Sadly Colin was unable to be present, having been unlucky enough to have tested positive for Covid the day before he was due to fly to the USA. However his co- author, Colin Hall, was 100% OK and did make the trip. The “first look” screening on Opening Night was a great success and we can’t wait for the film to be shown here in the UK. As well as telling drummer Colin’s own story, how he played from 1956 to 1959 in the pre-Beatle days, with John, Paul and George, the film also features appearances by Billy Bragg, Peter Asher, Bob Harris and Mark Lewisohn. This is the story of the Quarrymen, the band that gave birth to the Beatles, and serves to bookend the story of the Fab Four in conjunction with Peter Jackson’s “Get Back”.

Here is a link to the trailer!:   

and this is a link to Stars North, the company who made the film, where you can also find the trailer: 

Some photos from the Opening Night!

Right to left: Director Todd Thompson
Colin Hall, Doug Schwab & Sylvia Hall

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The Festival had even hired a Skiffle Group to greet people to the theatre.... they played a marvellous version of “Rock Island Line” in honour of Col Hanton & the Quarrymen.

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Sylvia and Colin Hall, pictured with Mark Bentley from Tampa, Florida, who was so inspired when he read Colin Hanton’s story that he decided to turn it into a documentary....and so the movie was born. He enlisted the services of ace film-maker, Todd Thompson (at the end in this photo) and so the journey from page to screen began in 2018.

Colin Hanton was extremely disappointed not to be at the Opening Night Screening but entrusted Colin Hall to continue as his representative at the show. He told Colin ”I know I can rely on you.” It had been an honour and a privilege for Colin Hall to be asked to write “PreFab!” with Col Hanton in the first place, but now he felt an even greater sense of responsibility!

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Here’s Colin Hall joining in on “Rock Island Line”... they had prepared a snare drum and some sticks for Col H. which we can see the washboard player is using in his absence. 

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Quarrymen Live CD

On Sunday 8 March 2020 the Quarrymen - Colin, Len, Chas and Rod - recorded a live CD in front of a specially invited audience. This took place at the Penny Lane Development Centre in Penny Lane itself, which is where Colin held his book launch in 2018. It’s a great little venue and Julie and her staff made us all most welcome. The CD captures the atmosphere of a Quarrymen live performance, with their - often rambling - introductions and asides, as well as a selection of significant songs from the Quarrymen’s history. The performance was recorded by Alan Lewis of Glass Studios, Birkenhead, who also produced the master.

Outside front +spine

1: Maggie May
2: Rock Island Line
3: Lost John
4: Freight Train
5: Matchbox
6: Puttin’ on the Style

  7: Mean Woman Blues
  8: Come go with me
  9: In Spite of all the Danger
10: That’ll be the Day
11: Besame Mucho
12 That’s all right, Mama
13: Blue Moon of Kentucky

14: Don’t be cruel
15: One after 909
16: In my Life
17: Blue Suede Shoes
18: Twenty Flight Rock
19 Never stop Rockin’ ‘n’ Rollin’

Great! So where can I buy a copy?


Colin Hall - “The Songs The Beatles Gave Away”


Colin Hall, the curator of “Mendips”, who collaborated with Colin Hanton on his biography, has recently published a brand new book about the songs the Beatles gave away. However, it’s about a great deal more than that because Colin has included a whole swathe of carefully researched background material which is totally fascinating.

“The Songs The Beatles Gave Away” is a hardback, 528 pages, is published by Great Northern Books, and is available from them price 19.99 including UK p&p. 

Add 5.00 per book for Europe and 10.00 for overseas.

Signed copies are available on request at no extra charge.

To place your order, call 01274 735056 or visit

Colin Hall

Photo by Toby Clarke

A Turkish Quarryman??

A Turkish Quarrymen fan, Deniz Basterzi , has decided to re-create some songs from the Quarrymen’s early repertoire as a one-man band!  With the help of technology Deniz gets to play all the instruments himself, as well as singing, starting with “Putting on the Style” and “Baby, Let’s play house”!

Click on this link to find “Putting on the Style”: