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Thursday, 17 August, 2000, 10:07 GMT 11:07 UK
Lennon band goes back to school
Paul McCartney and John Lennon
The Quarrymen got Lennon and McCartney together
John Lennon's first band, The Quarrymen, are to play a gig at their old school for the first time in 40 years.

The skiffle group are to perform at the old Quarry Bank School in Liverpool, where they were formed in 1956.

The gig will form part of a major Beatles celebration to be held in the city later this month.

The Quarrymen eventually evolved into The Beatles following the recruitment of Paul McCartney, but the original members have done a few shows in recent years.

John Lennon with The Quarrymen
John Lennon was the frontman for the Quarrymen

Pete Shotton, Len Gary, Rod Davies, Eric Griffiths and Colin Hanton are delighted to be returning to their school, now known as Calderstone's Comprehensive.

Griffiths, who now runs a dry cleaning business in Edinburgh, said: "We've missed the last few Liverpool festivals because we were playing in America, so we're looking forward to finally being part of it.

"To play at our old school where it all began is a perfect bonus for us."

If it had not been for the Quarrymen, The Beatles would probably never have existed.

Church fete

Paul McCartney met the band at a church fete in 1957 and successfully auditioned for the part of guitarist.

George Harrison and Stuart Sutcliffe were added to the group, who briefly had spells as Johnny and the Moondogs and the Silver Beetles (sic) before the name The Beatles came to Lennon in a dream.

The original Quarrymen initially reformed three years ago to mark the 40th anniversary of the Woolton Village Fete meeting.

In addition to the school concert on 26 August they will also be playing Sir Paul's Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts the following day.

The shows form part of the Mathew Street Festival, which runs from 24-29 August.

More than 50 venues and seven outdoor stages will be used for the huge event, which will feature acts from all over the world.

Among the special guests will be be Beatles biographer Hunter Davies, Klaus Voorman , who designed the Revolver album sleeve and played on Lennon's Imagine, and Neil Innes - the man behind spoof band The Rutles.

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