- Oct 31, 1940
- Jul 29, 2005
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Eric Ronald Griffiths (31 October 1940 – 29 January 2005) was an English musician and dry cleaner, he was best known as the guitarist in the original lineup of The Quarrymen until he left the group in the summer of 1958.
Born in Denbigh, North Wales, to Liverpudlian parents, Eric’s mother returned to Liverpool in 1945 to live with her parents after her husband’s death as an RAF pilot in World War II. In 1950 the family moved to Halewood Drive, Woolton and at the age of 11 Griffiths won a scholarship to Quarry Bank High School where he met John Lennon, Pete Shotton and Rod Davis.
The four boys were in the same House at school and shared an interest in American music; particularly skiffle. Lennon and Griffiths attended some guitar lessons but found it too slow to learn and dropped the lessons when Lennon’s mother taught them to play easier banjo chords. The two boys would play truant to practice in the Griffiths home whilst his mother was at work. Griffiths also befriended a novice drummer, Colin Hanton, with whom he would also practice. When Lennon formed The Quarry Men with Shotton and Davis, Griffiths was invited to add his rudimentary skills because he had a new guitar.
Griffiths left school in the summer of 1957 with GCE passes in English, Mathematics and History and became an engineering apprentice whilst continuing to play as lead guitarist in the band. When Paul McCartney joined The Quarry Men he aspired to be lead guitarist but his ineptitude at his one public attempt stymied that. The other band members decided that neither McCartney nor Griffiths were suitable lead guitarists, so when George Harrison joined the band they suggested that Griffiths buy an electric bass and an amplifier, but he could not afford this. Griffiths was not invited to McCartney’s house for the next rehearsal and when he coincidentally phoned them during the practice session, drummer Colin Hanton had to let him know he was no longer in the band.