Sixty years to the day after the first meeting of future Beatles John Lennon and Paul McCartney at a local church fete in Liverpool, members of the Quarrymen who were present and performed on that day will appear at a special recreation of the event at St. Peter's Church. This is the original location in the Woolton section of Liverpool in the UK, Cavern City Tours announced March 15.
The afternoon fete will be highlighted by the Quarrymen performing on a flatbed lorry, as they did that day in 1957, with original driver Doug Chadwick at the wheel. Original members Len Garry, Colin Hanton and Rod Davis will participate. The event will also include several other old-time aspects of a fete including the crowning of the Rose Queen and a fancy dress contest for children. The grounds will also have stalls for games, crafts and food and additional live music. The judge for the dress contest will be Julia Baird, John Lennon's half-sister and author of “Imagine This: Growing Up With My Brother John Lennon,” who, as a child, attended the 1957 fete. The Quarrymen will be also among the performers at the finale, a Grand Dance, which will take place in the church hall at 7:30 p.m. that night. The graveyard at the church has tombstones for John Lennon's Uncle George and a real-life Eleanor Rigby.
“I can remember Paul doing something with his guitar, and I thought he was something of a showoff,” recalled Quarryman Len Garry of that fateful day to author Spencer Leigh in “The Beatles in Liverpool.” “He even put his behind his back to play it.” According to Leigh, it only took 20 minutes for John Lennon to decide McCartney was right for the band.
“The day John met Paul was in essence the birth of the Beatles,” said Bill Heckle, director of Cavern City Tours, which is sponsoring the event. “We're delighted to be able to recreate this moment in the history of music, and we hope people get in the spirit of the occasion.”
The Cavern Club, where the Beatles performed many times, is also celebrating its 60th birthday this year. The club started out as a jazz hangout, evolved to rock 'n' roll and now features indie rock as well as '60s era music. The Cavern's stage has featured many British Invasion acts including the Beatles, the Who, the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, Stevie Wonder and Queen. More recent era performers have included Oasis, The Arctic Monkeys and Adele.
Admission to the afternoon fete is £2.50. Tickets for the Grand Dance, which are £20, go on sale at 10 a.m. local time March 17 at the Cavern Club website.