Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Lightning Strikes

So, in 1957, John and Paul were two teenagers, somehow living within a mile of each other, each of whom had found a consuming passion in popular music.  John, always the leader, had formed his own "band" made up of his friends, musical talent optional.  Paul had, with the encouragement of his Dad, traded in a trumpet for a big Arch-top Jazz Guitar called a Zenith model 17.

July 6,1957 was the date of the Woolton's St Peters Parish Church carnival.  Booked to play at that event was John Lennon's Quarrymen.  The band played in a grand procession from the back of a flatbed truck, then later outside on the grounds of the church.  They were to play again in the evening inside the church hall.  While waiting for that show to begin, Paul McCartney arrived with his guitar over his shoulder in time to hang out at the informal rehearsal that John and friends were using to "tune up" for the show.

During a lull in the music, Paul picks up his guitar and reels off  Twenty Flight Rock, a current top 40 hit by Eddie Cochran and Be Bop a Lula by Gene Vincent.  John noticed this kid had talent and now had a decision to make.  Ask him to join the group and thus share some of his status as leader or reject him and occupy the alpha dog position alone?  That decision resulted in the first big change for a group that would continue to evolve for the next decade and a half and have an unimaginably huge influence on music and culture around the world.

Panorama of the field behind St Peters Church Woolton

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