Rod Davis

The Early Beatles yearsPart of the following line-ups • The Quarry Men (Oct 1957 - Feb 1958)

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How did you meet John Lennon for the first time

I met John when I was about four or five years old – I lived in Woolton and if you were church of England you would go to St Peter’s Sunday School. In the same class was Pete Shotton, Nigel Whalley, Ivan Vaughan, Geoff Rhind – about 15 or 20 kids. John and Shotton were always the ones chewing gum or doing something […]

Do you remember your first gig?

One of the first gigs was at Childwell Golf Club but we may have played at St Peter’s before. I remember it well because our stage uniform was supposed to be white shirts and black jeans – which was where the Black jacks name came from – but lot of parents didn’t allow Jeans -including mine. I went to my friend Mike Rice and he sold me a pair. Zip flies were just coming in and as we were tuning up the zip split so I hung the banjo extremely low and hoped for the best!! I don’t remember anything else about it. The club still have some records from those days so I’m hoping to find out the date. I don’t know how long we were the Black Jacks for. Nigel Whalley’s dad was a member of the club and Nigel became a golf professional. We were asked to play and we changed to the Quarry Men came from the Woolton quarry and from the fact we were from Quarry Bank. […]

You also played at the Cavern Club…

I played at the Cavern three or four times. I had an argument on stage with John about playing rock.

Was it because you were a ‘folk purist?’

No, its like playing heavy metal to a group of new romantic fans. It was the fact that you’d be torn limb from limb for playing the wrong music to the wrong crowd. Rock music and trad jazz were poles apart and the Cavern was a jazz cellar. I don’t know why John was so keen to be torn apart! We’d had a few narrow escapes before this. It wasn’t that I wanted to be a purist – I wanted to save my skin!

Paul McCartney is always telling the story of being told to stop playing rock at the Cavern..

He wasn’t there! It was a rock venue when Paul first played there. When the Quarry Men played he was away at scout camp. I remember arguing with John and Colin remembers about the note coming. John thought he had a request >from the audience but it was a note from the manager saying ‘Cut out the bloody rock!’ John was keen on rock music and every time he was there he wanted to play it. I will admit I was probably less keen on rock than John. Later on I became more interested in folk and country. […]

From London Beatles Walks with Richard Porter


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