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In 1953 I went to the Liverpool Institute High School, where I became a close friend of Ivan Vaughan, where we both shared a zany sense of humour. It was here I got to know Paul McCartney, who was a fellow member of my German class. In 1955 I finally met John Lennon when Ivan Vaughan invited him to Woolton, where I bumped into Lennon, Shotton, Ivan and Nigel walking along Vale Road. I soon became “one of the gang” who would hang around Calderstones Park. In 1956 a lad called George Lee, a friend of Eric Griffiths and John Lennon at Quarry Bank School, suggested to John that he form his own group. This was at the height of the skiffle craze, and sure enough in the autumn of 1956 the band that was to become the Quarrymen took shape, with another Quarry Bank lad called Bill Smith on tea chest bass. Bill however, never turned up for practices and so I soon stepped into his shoes and became a permanent member of the band, staying with the group until August 1958 when I fell seriously ill with tubercular meningitis, spending some 7 months in hospital.
Some of my notable appearances with the Quarrymen included our first ever booking at the “Cavern” in early 1957, on the back of the lorry at Rosebery Street, and probably our best known gig at the St. Peter’s Church Rose Queen on 5 July 1957, the day Ivan Vaughan brought his friend Paul McCartney to hear John Lennon’s band!Len Garry – from the Quarrymen’s official website
From McCartney Times:
Garry‘s time in the Quarry Men ended in 1958 when, at the age of 16, he contracted tubercular meningitis and was hospitalized, lapsing into a coma and almost dying. In truth his time in the band was probably nearly up anyway, not only because Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison were closing ranks, but also because as skiffle faded in popularity, so did the need for and desirability of a tea chest bass.
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