The original blue no back

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!


“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

What a fantastic day - the sun blazed down all the time except for about two minutes as Lorry 1the Quarrymen started playing!

Our biggest problem was how to get 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 Rod was now playing guitar. 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, GeorgLorry 2e and Pete Best!

The route of the lorry took them down Church Road, along Allerton Road through the middle of Woolton Village, then past the Baths, 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 video 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 fete 60 years before.

Bishop 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 cField 1rowd.

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 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" in the Church Hall was held, 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 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 to be present, from Brazil, Argentina, Belgium, Poland, Italy, the USA, Japan, Spain - and loads more besides

Hall 1Our 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 have got to be dozens of great photos of the event, so if you have a really good shot which you’d like to share, why not email it to us and we’ll put it up here on the website on a special page.

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

And here’s a link to a BBC interview with Sir Paul, talking about 6 July 1957:


Youtube video of  1997 celebrations

This video of the 1997 “Day John met Paul” 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” Sat 26 Aug 2017

On Saturday 26 August, especially for visitors to Beatleweek, a special concert was held in 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 washboard

4: “Putting on the style”

5: “In spite of all the danger”

6: “Midnight Special” with Rolando Giambelli on washboard

7: “In my life”

8: “Blue Suede Shoes”

Many thanks to all those who put these videos on to Youtube, - they include Graham Baker, Bengt Warmlind, Martha my Dear and Martin Urionaguena.

And of course to Cavern City Tours and all at St.Peter’s Church for organising two fantastic events.

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!

Ilkley, Yorkshire, Tues 19 Sep

a FRattlers & Rod

Beatles Day, Mons, Belgium Sat 14 Oct 2017

The organisers of the Mons Beatles Day asked Rod Davis to give his talk on the Quarrymen’s Skiffle Years in French at thC-Pet6DWsAEbLMMe Theatre Royal in Mons on Saturday 14 October. Also on the bill for the celebrations were a host of musicians including the Clube Big Beatles from Brazil, Alain Pire’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, Jay Goeppner and Maiju Lepomaki, One after 909 from Holland, The Sixties Beatles Revival and The Choking Smokers!

Mons Rod & Truck

Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show - Sat 11 Nov 2017

The Quarrymen were invited by the Federation of British Hoistorical Vehicle Clubs to perform on their stand at the Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show at the NEC on Sat 11 Nov. 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 time in his bar there, Bob himself plays a mean washboard and he joined us for a number or two.

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