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UPDATED Mar 2017

Pete Shotton succumbs to heart attack

PeteWash copyIt was with great sadness that the Quarrymen learnt of the passing of our old mate and washboard player Pete Shotton.

Quarryman Rod Davis writes:

I first got to know Pete when we were classmates at Sunday School at St. Peter's Church in Woolton, Liverpool in about 1946, then again at Quarry Bank School in 1952 when we were in the same year and the same house until Pete left to become a police cadet after five years. After I left the Quarrymen in 1957 our paths parted for the next 40 years and Pete followed a varied career, much of it involving his continued friendship with his best buddy, John Lennon, including a spell at Apple and another as John's personal assistant. After John's death Pete's business career culminated  in his setting up of the Fatty Arbuckles restaurant chain.

At the Cavern's 40th Birthday party in January 1997 the Quarrymen - Eric Griffiths, Colin Hanton, Len Garry and myself, Rod Davis who were on stage with John the day he met Paul, met together for the first time for virtually 40 years. We were asked to play at a re-creation of the Day John met Paul to be held in Woolton that July, which was a great success and as a result we made a cd.called "Get back together" which produced invitations to play if not quite all over the world, certainly over a great deal of it.

Although Pete claimed he hated playing the washboard, his real talent was as a raconteur, and he used to enjoy holding the audience in the palm of his hand at a Quarrymen performance as he unfolded some amusing anecdote as he introduced the next song.

Over the next four years we visited the USA several times, appearing in New York, Las Vegas, Boston, Orlando, Chicago, Vancouver, Dublin and even Havana, Cuba and made numerous tv appearances. At a Fourth of July concert in 1998 beside the Hudson River, Pete, who at that time was living in Dublin, announced to the audience that "We don't do this for the money, we only do it for the craic!" (An Irish word approximating to "fun with your friends"). This however was totally misunderstood by the family audience of good clean-living Americans who obviously thought we were a bunch of British druggies and we were lucky not to have been run out of town. With Pete and the Quarrymen we enjoyed many good laughs over the years.

Pete hung up his washboard in 2000 after a couple of heart scares but he refused to have surgery and he retired into what was for him a welcome obscurity from which he rarely emerged despite the constant clamour for interviews about his relationship with John and the Beatles.

Over the last couple of years I dropped in to see him occasionally and found an increasingly ill man who had nevertheless not lost his old sense of humour.

Pete died of a presumed heart attack on Friday 24 March at his home in Knutsford, Cheshire. The world will be a much less interesting place without Pete Shotton.

Our thoughts are with his family.

Rod Davis - March 2017