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The Quarrymen in 2007.......

 “Happy Birthday Sergeant Pepper” in Schwedt, Germany Sat 3 Nov

     The Quarrymen appeared at the “Happy Birthday Sergeant Pepper” day at the Uckermarkischen Buhnen Theatre in the little town of Schwedt, north east of Berlin. Also on the bill were Julian Dawson, Ian and the Zodiacs, Jazzterday und Dorte Simon, ReBeatles, Ringo Starr Connection and Ringo Ska!
   Outside the theatre was a larger than life picture of a Yellow Submarine and inside all kinds of things were taking place, interviews, memorabilia, concerts and discos into the early hours.
    We were taken in hand by Ricarda, who works for the theatre, who made sure we were fed and watered (and wined) and most importantly -  didn’t get lost in the rabbit warren of passages underneath the theatre.
     We had a great time on stage, inviting some washboard players up from the audience as usual, some of them were marvellous, one or too not so hot...  Then we spent rather a long time over dinner, getting the guitars out and singing and playingall kinds of music  from the Everly Brothers and country music to “The Hole in the Elephant’s Bottom” and “Lili Marlene”.
     The evening finished at the late-night disco and “with a little help from our friends” or in some case rather a lot of help from our friends, we all eventually made it back through the darkened streets to our hotel.
     Next morning we were off back to Berlin Airport where Len and Colin hopped on the plane to Liverpool and John and Rod went for a stroll round Berlin before catching their plane later that evening.
     What a great weekend that was! You should see the video but you’ll have to be satisfied with some photos!!Our thanks to allour friends in Schwedt,


John Lennon Northern Lights Arts Festival Durness, Scotland
Fri 28 - Sun 30 Sep

      At the end of September the Quarrymen travelled to the north coast of Scotland, to the little village of Durness where John Lennon used to holiday with his Scottish relations. Durness held a fantastic Arts Festival with all kinds of music and entertainment which has since won the Festival Oscar awards in the category of “Best New Festival”. Our congratulations go to Mike Merritt and his team.
    The Quarrymen have played in THE Cavern many times, but this was the first time we played in A cavern, yes  - in a real sea cave - The Smoo Cave, just one of the venues in this extraordinary event - and of course the acoustics were fantastic.  
      The Northern Lights Festival in Scotland was endorsed by the Lennon family and was been given permission to use John Lennon’s name by Yoko Ono Lennon. John’s sister, Julia Baird, and his cousins Stanley Parkes & David Birch were all on hand to unveil the plaque on the croft where they spent their holidays with John who developed a  life-long appreciation for the tiny village (pop 320!) This in turn led to him bringing his own family here to holiday during his later life when he famously crashed his car on the narrow roads.
      The Quarrymen had a great weekend which was blessed with the most wonderful sunny and warm weather when the rest of the UK was suffering rain and cold! We chatted to fans at  a Q & A session, played in the Sangomore Oasis Pub as well as in the Smoo Cave. There were so many other artists appearing at the different venues that we had trouble getting to see them and do our own gigs. We did catch Face the West, Blazin’ Fiddles, Lucy in the Sky, Nizlopi and Donny Munro amongst others, and alas we missed  Allison Crowe, Mr Hudson and The Library, King Creosote, Carol Ann Duffy, Julie Fowlis and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies!
     The Durness locals were very friendly towards their weird and wonderful visitors and joined in enthusiastically. The weather was warm, the coastline is magnificent and the Guinness (and the” 80 shilling”) went down smoothly - no wonder John thought it was such a great place for a holiday!.
     Our thanks go to Festival Director Mike Merritt, Marion, Julia, Stan, David and everyone else who made the Festival such a success. Here’s looking forward to next year.


                                                                                   Chicago Fri 3 to Sun 5 August

The Quarrymen had a great time at the Chicago Fest for Beatles Fans from Fri 3 to Sun 5 August. Other guests will included Gerry Marsden, Victor Spinetti, Terry Sylvester, Mark Hudson, Tony Palmer, Larry Kane and Bruce Spizer. Once again the Quarrymen were joined on stage by guest bass player, the brilliant JB Fonfrias.


                                                                                      Quarrymen on Radio and tv

      The Quarrymen have understandably been the focus of considerable media attention this year. As well as extensive newspaper coverage there were two excellent radio programmes, one on BBC Radio 2 by Whispering Bob Harris of “Whistle Test “ fame which included an interview with Sir Paul himself, reminiscing about his early days. Bob had a couple of unique surprises up his sleeve in the shape of some clips from “Putting on the Style” and “Baby, let’s play house” which were recorded in 6 July 1957 and were the icing on the cake of this tribute to the day the Beatles began.
      A few days later came the BBC Radio 4 programme “Well met in Woolton” which concentrated mainly on reminiscences from people who were actually in Woolton at the Rose Queen in 1957. Producer Marya Burgess did a wonderful job of finding the survivors and presenting their memories.
      On Thursday 5 July BBC tv’s prestigious “Newsnight” programme closed with an eight minute feature on the Quarrymen, showing footage of them around St Peter’s Church and Church Hall, together with clips from their recent concerts in Russia and Scotland. Our thanks to Peter Marshall and Robin Punt for their enthusiasm and interest in the Quarrymen. The whole film is now available on Youtube - see below!


                                                                                      Quarrymen on  www.youtube.com

Check out Quarrymen performances in Spain, Russia an on Newsnight on Youtube! We didn’t put them there ourselves but we can’t say we’re not delighted. Visit www.youtube.com then input Quarrymen into the search facility. Enjoy!


                                                                                                The Day John met Paul
                                                                                                           
6/7/8/July 2007 Woolton  

 Fifty years ago on 6 July 1957 John Lennon & The Quarrymen were playing at St Peter’s Rose Queen Celebrations and Garden Fete in their home village of Woolton. They were on stage singing their version of the Del Vikings “Come go with me” when who should arrive but one of their old friends Ivan Vaughan who had brought along as schoolmate from Liverpool Institute High School to watch his friends perform. That schoolmate was of course Paul McCartney and that was the moment The Beatles began. The Quarrymen appeared in Liverpool on Friday 6, Sat 7 and Sunday 8 July as part of the celebrations.


                                                                  The Wynd Melrose, Scotland   Sat 2 Jun

On Saturday 2nd June the Quarrymen appeared at The Wynd, an intimate little theatre at Melrose near Galashiels in the Scottish borders.The Wynd has a long tradition of hosting major artists such as Julie Felix who comes back again and again because it is such a great venue. We all had a great time at the Wynd with a marvellous audience. the show was recorded for TV and we hope also to produce a “live” cd of the event. Our thanks go to theatre owner Felix Sears for his kind invitation and also to our guest bass player Frank Cairns for arranging the whole gig.


                                                                                        Quarrymen play in Russia -
                                                                                                Saransk, Sun 20 May

Thanks to our new friend, Jane Enenko, whom we met at the Cavern in Liverpool in January this year, Len, Colin and Rod  topped the bill at the “Blues, Beatles and Rock ‘n’ Roll” show which took place in the capital of the Republic of Mordovia in central Russia on Sunday 20 May. The 10 hour show, which was held in the city’s sports stadium featured bands from all over Russia. We all had a fantastic trip, a really friendly welcome from the Russian Beatles Fans.



                                            NY Metro Fest for Beatles Fans

     March 2007 saw the Quarrymen crossing the Atlantic to appear at Mark and Carol Lapidos’ Fest for Beatlefans which took place at the NJ Crowne Plaza, Meadowlands, Secaucus New Jersey from Fri 16 to Sun 20 March. The guys got to meet many old friends at the Convention, such as Martin Lewis, Beatlefreak Extraordinaire, Jay Skilton from “We all stand together” Magazine, Chris Camilleri and Drew Hill from “Liverpool” and photographer Paul Saltzman who was with the Beatles in Rishikesh and loads more.......
     We persuaded the great bass player JB (John B Fonfrias) to appear onstage with us which was quite fantastic. We also spent much of Saturday being filmed by a BBC TV cameraman for a forthcoming documentary on the Quarrymen. New York was deep in snow and sluch so there will have to be some serious editing of the language!


                                                             Cavern’s 50th Birthday party 16 Jan 2007

     Together with many other guests the Quarrymen made their way to Liverpool  on 16 Jan for the Cavern’s 50th Birthday Party. And what a party it turned out to be! Kicking off at 2pm  both the Cavern stages were in use continually, hosting bands such as the Merseysippi Jazz Band, the first band ever to play at the Cavern, the Gary Murphy Band, Ringer, the Merseybeatles, The Beryl Marsden Band, The Prellies, The Blue Meanies....., some 25 bands in all, who delighted the audience who were busy enjoying the generous free beer and wine, a far cry from the Coke and lemonade of fifty years ago. Cavern Directors Bill  Heckle, Dave Jones and Julia Baird, (John Lennon’s sister for those who don’t know) were on great form chatting to their guests, many of whom were sporting greying locks and bald patches. It was impossible to speak to every body, but we found Sam Leach, Karl Terry, Geoff Nugent, Stan Boardman, Rolando Giambelli, Franco Fajji, Jean Catharell, Jackie Spencer, Ray Byrne, Nige Walley’s sister, Colin Hall, the guys from Ringer, Tim Holmes and loads more, these are just the ones we can remember through a strongly Guinness flavoured haze....

     We were very happy to find Steve Howard, the bass player from the Merseybeatles who were one of the featured bands, as Steve had agreed to sit in with the Quarrymen a couple of weeks later at the “Save Woolton Cinema Campaign” gig at The Picket in Liverpool.

     Our big mistake of the day was to go out for a quick meal , because when we returned we discovered to our horror that Richie Havens had just made an unscheduled appearance and we’d missed him completely. Fortunately we did get to chat to him next morning in our hotel as he happened to be staying in the same place.

      What a fantastic party! I crawled home at about 2.30 am, steered by a couple of younger friends with a much better sense of direction than mine. I can’t wait for the 60th Anniversary booze up!


                                                  “Save Woolton Cinema Campaign at The Picket”

     The Woolton Cinema had been put up for sale on the death of its owner and there were fears that this unique attraction would disappear from Woolton, where it had carved out a niche as an independent, showing interesting films in an attractive setting. A group of local supporters formed around Sally Morrison-Griffiths and Glen Simpron and soon the Campaign to save the cinema was underway. Various successful fundraising efforts were launched and Merseyside celebrities added their support, these included Woolton resident playwright Willie Russell and Mike McCartney himself.

Many fundraising efforts were undertaken by the Campaign team and their helpers, including a concert at The Picket in December, with a second concert at The Picket on Fri 25 Jan with a lineup featuring the Riffs, The Snides, Pop Tart, The Good Intentions, Blue Demon, The Merseybeatles and The Quarrymen. Mike McCartney introduced the Quarrymen and we were delighted that he played washboard with us on a couple of numbers, wearing his new Quarry Bank tie, a very brave gesture considering Mike is an old boy of the Institute!.  Everybody had loads of fun as you can see by the photos, and the good news is that the Woolton Cinema has now been bought by a consortium of South Liverpool businessmen who intend to reopen it as a cinema and the funds raised by the Campaign were donated to the local Marie Curie Cancer Care Foundation in Woolton Village, a very worthy recipient.