The original blue no back

Welcome to the Quarrymen’s Official Website

The Quarrymen in 2017:

Jan 16 2017 The Cavern’s 60th Anniversary:

The Cavern opened its doors for the first time on 16 Jan 1957 but the Quarrymen didn’t appear there until some time later, in fact we played there several times in the first half of 1957, mostly as guests on Skiffle Sessions - we were amongst the “special guests” for whose names there was insufficient space in the Cavern’s half-inch high adverts in the Liverpool Echo. That was until August 7 when the Quarrymen were first listed. This is erroneously believed to be our first Cavern appearance.

However we did appear at their 40th Anniversary, which is where we got back together and from where we were invited to take part in the re-enactment of 6 July 1957 by Liverpool Beatles fans, led by Jean Catherall.

At the Cavern’s 60th Anniversary party we were invited to the “Story of the Cavern Club” show at the Liverpool Philharmonic on Sunday 15 Jan and we appeared on stage in the Cavern itself on the evening of Monday 16 Jan. The programme covered the many types of music for which the Cavern had become famous, starting with jazz from the Dany Doris band, the resident group at the Caverne de la Huchette in Paris - the club which inspired Alan Sytner to open his own club in Liverpool. They were followed by a solo set from Gilbert O’Sullivan, making his first ever appearance at the Cavern. Then came the Quarrymen and we enjoyed the assistance of legendary skiffler Chas McDevitt for three numbers. Last up was Chris Farlowe and Supercharge with their blend of R&B and Funk! What a fantastic evening!

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“The Beatles’ Skiffle Roots”   Sunday 2 July 2017

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As part of the Sevenoaks Summer Festival, on Sunday 2 July Rod Davis  joined The Lonnigans in a show called “The Beatles™ Skiffle Roots” at  the Oaks Theatre at Knole Academy in Sevenoaks, Rod presented his talk  with slides and music about the early days of the Quarrymen, He was  joined on washboard by Marianne Hillier-Brook and John Armer on  tea-chest bass. The Lonnigans then took over for the second half of the  show in their own inimitable style! The show was in aid of Ridge View  Special Needs School in Tonbridge.


“The Day John met Paul”   Thursday 6 July 2017

Lorry 1What a fantastic day - the sun blazed down all the time except for about two minutes as the Quarrymen started playing! Our biggest problem was how to get up on the back of the lorry! Dave Chadwick, who drove us on 6 July 1957, was there again, driving one of his company’s lorries, tastefully decorated with some Quarrymen decals. On the lorry were three Quarrymen who were there in 1957, drummer Colin Hanton, tea-chest bass player Len Garry and banjo player Rod Davis - although Len and Rod were now playing guitars. They were joined by their old manager, Nige Walley, who got them their first booking at the Cavern - today Nige was trying his hand at the washboard. John Duff Lowe, who played on “That’ll be the Day” and “In Spite of all the Danger”- with Colin Hanton plus John, Paul and George, and finally Chas Newby who played bass with John, Paul, George and Pete Best.

The route of the lorry took them down Church Road, aLorry 2long Allerton Road through the middle  f Woolton Village, down High Street and Kings Drive as in 1957, then back up Kings Drive, along Woolton Street to the lamps, then back up Allerton Road and Church Road. There were huge crowds of onlookers especially in Church Road, the mobile phones and the cameras were clicking away madly so there will be no shortage of videos and photos this time around.

The lorry turned back up the lane to the Church Field, now occupied by Bishop Martin Primary School and the Quarrymen climbed gingerly off the back and went for a lie down in a darkened room until they were due to play later that afternoon. Meanwhile the  bells of St. Peter’s played Beatles music! John Lennon’s half-sister, Julia Baird, opened the fete with her sister Jackie and cousin, David Birch, all of whom had been at the fet 60 years before.

BField 1ishop Martin Primary School had filled their grounds with stalls, coconut shies, refreshment stalls and all sorts of games. The Rose Queen - and the Rose King - were crowned by Julia and everyone had a fabulous time. there was a table-tennis tournament, a fancy dress competition and the band of the Salvation Army played for the assembled crowd.

Johnny Storm and the T-Cups played a great Rock ‘n’ Roll set and they were followed by the Quarrymen who played for about half an hour. Their set included quite a few numbers which they had played 60 years before! Sadly however this time there was no good-looking young man turned up to watch them, having cycled all the way from Allerton! After the Quarrymen came the Coburn Brothers with a blistering John and Paul set.

In the evening the “Grand Dance” was held in tHall 1he Church Hall, just as 60 years previously. Once again Johnny Storm and the T-Cups made the rafters ring, then the Quarrymen - this time with Nige Walley playing the Tea-chest bass as he had done occasionally in the old days - played another set of their vintage skiffle and rock ‘n’ roll numbers and the evening was rounded off by Mike Byrne and the Sunrockers.

What a fabulous day! Beatles fans had come from all over the world to be present, from Brazil, Argentina, Belgium, Poland, Italy, the USA, Japan, Spain and loads more besides.

Our thanks go to the dozens of people who made this day such a success - the staff and pupils of Bishop Martin Primary School, the helpers from St. Peter’s Church and especially all the guys from Cavern City Tours.

There are quite a few videos on Youtube, his is a link to the best one we’ve found so far. Many thanks to the person who videod it and put it up!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JjSjxuVT7_w

and here’s a link to a BBC interview where Sir Paul talks about 6 July 1957:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/entertainment-arts-40519135/it-s-60-years-since-john-lennon-met-paul-mccartney


Youtube video of the 1997 celebrations

This video of the 1997 celebrations came to our notice recently - many thanks to the cameraman! It’s a great video - however let us be clear about this - the Quarrymen sound a whole lot better now after gigging together for the last twenty years! When this video was taken we had practised only twice in the previous forty years!


“It was Fete” 26 Aug 2017

On Saturday 26 August, especially for visitors to Beatleweek, a special concert was held i St Peter’s Church Field with the Quarrymen and a host of international musicians. there are loads of videos on Youtube from this event. Have a look at the following:

1: Julia Baird introduces the Quarrymen - start of “Mean Woman Blues” - we were having some PA problems here!

       2: Rod Davis introduces the individual musicians - plus Rock Island Line!

       3: “Lost John” with Jane Enenko on washboardl

 4: “Putting on the style”

 5: “In Spite of all the Danger”

      6:“Midnight Special”  with Rolando Giambelli on washboardl

 7: “In my Life”

8: “Blue Suede Shoes”

Many thanks to all those who put these videos on to Youtube, including Graham Baker, Bengt Warmlind, Martha my Dear and Martin Urionaguena - and of course to Cavern City Tours, Bishop Martin School and St Peter’s Church for organising two fantastic events.


Skiffle in Ilkley, Yorkshire Tues 19 Sep

Rod Davis visited Ilkley in Yorkshire on Tuesday 19 Sep to play with Jez Quayle and the Fast Rattlers Skiffle Group. Jez was giving a talk all about Skiffle Music and how it started, illustrated by slides, videos and music. A great time was had by all!

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Beatles Day, Mons, Belgium Sat 14 Oct 2017

C-Pet6DWsAEbLMMThe organisers of the Mons Beatles Day asked Rod Davis to give his talk on the Quarrymen’s Skiffle Years in French at the Theatre Royal in Mons on Sat 14 October. Also on the bill were a host of musicians including the Clube Big Beatles from Brazil, Alain Pirea’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Jay Goeppner and Maiju Lepomaki, One after 909 from Holland, The Beatles Revival Band and the Choking Smokers!

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Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show - Sat 11 Nov 2017

The Quarrymen were invited by  the Federation of Historic Vehicle Clubs to perform on their stand at the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show at the NEC on 11 November. The FBHV even brought in a vintage lorry to make us vintage musicians feel at home!

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We were visited by Dave  Chadwick, who was the man who drove us on the lorry around Woolton in  July 1957 - and 2007 and 2017! He claimed he;d only come to check out  the beautiful old 1937 AEC Matador on which we played.

Another visitor was Bob Francis who lives in Italy. Rod has played many times in his bar in Malcesine. Bob himself plays a mean washboard and he joined us for a number or two!

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In December 2017 the Quarrymen visited the city of Usti nad Labem in the  Czech Republic at the invitation of the Boom Beatles Revival Band &  Orchestra - a group of Beatles tribute musicians who have appeared In  Liverpool’s Beatle Week - to play in their annual Christmas Concert in  aid of local cancer charities. It was a great evening - after a Q & A session the Quarrymen played a 60 minute set, followed by the Orchestra which consisted of some 25 musicians and singers. Len Garry was invited to sing “Long and Winding Road” backed by the whole orchestra, who then went on to play a superb selection of Beatles music under the direction of Pavel Nepivoda. For the rest of the evening the enthusiastic crowd  was entertained by the Boom Band. The Boom and Orc even produced a 20th  Anniversary Birthday Cake for the Quarrymen as we got back together in  1997! The Quarrymen also visited the city museum to try out some of the  local folk instruments - see photo below!

Usti nad Labem Sat 16 Dec

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Don’t worry! It was beer in those plastic cups!

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Our 20th Birthday Cake

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Wandering round Usti with Pavel..

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The Quarrymen on stage.- thanks to Axel Bertram from Beatles Fanclub Aschersleben for his great photos.

Skiffle as played on a Czech Bisernice - a sort of four stringed mandolin!!

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Sampling the local Pivo.

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With Andrea from Dresden on the washboard!