The Beatles’ diary -- July 1956

July 1956

Start of The Quarrymen. Sometime towards the middle of 1956 (date unknown) John and his best-mate Pete Shotton got together and formed a skiffle band. They nicked a washboard out the shed and got his mum to bag a tea-chest from the grocers. By fitting an old broom handle to the top and a string from top to bottom they had a ready-made double-bass. They then asked their mate Bill Smith to saddle up, and knocked out a very bad version of Lonnie Donegan’s ‘Rock Island Line’.

It wasn’t too long after that that John kicked Bill out. He never bothered turning up for the practice sessions and was replaced by Ivan Vaughan and Nigel Whalley in turn. But what they really needed, though, was someone to play the guitar – so John enlisted Eric Griffiths. John’s mum was pretty good on banjo …

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