Personalities | The Beatles | The Formative Years (1959) | Key Events
Beginning of Lennon and McCartney
The gigs started drying up for The Quarry Men in the autumn of 1958 and by January 1959 there was nothing on the horizon. John Lennon had also been devastated by the death of his mother, killed by a speeding car. George Harrison drifted off to join the Les Stewart Quartet but Lennon, who was now attending Liverpool Art College, and Paul McCartney hung together, practising and writing songs. Early efforts included ‘Love Me Do’ which would become their first single, ‘Hello Little Girl’ and ‘Love Of The Loved’ which would be hits for The Fourmost and Cilla Black, and ‘One After 909’ that would eventually come out on The Beatles’ final album, Let It Be (1970).
Johnny & The Moondogs
The Quarry Men returned briefly in August when the Les Stewart Quartet broke up acrimoniously just hours before they were due to play the opening night of the Casbah Club in West Derby. George Harrison and fellow guitarist Ken Brown hurriedly recruited Lennon and McCartney and they played as The Quarry Men. They played well enough to be offered a weekly residency until they walked out a few months later after a row about money. They also had another shot at Carroll Levis’ Star Search, disguising their previous appearance by calling themselves Johnny & The Moondogs. This time they progressed to the final heat, held at Manchester’s Hippodrome Theatre, but they flunked out when they had to catch the last train back to Liverpool, missing their final slot that included the all-important ‘Clapometer’.
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