On this Day, July 6, 1957 – John Lennon Meets Paul McCartney

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1957 – The front-page headline of the Liverpool Evening Express on July 6, read “MERSEYSIDE SIZZLES,” in reference to the heat wave then gripping not just northern England, but all of Europe. The same headline could well have been used over a story that received no coverage at all that day: The story of the first encounter between two Liverpool teenagers named John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Like the personal and professional relationship it would lead to, their historic first meeting was a highly charged combination of excitement, rivalry and mutual respect.

It’s easy to assume that John and Paul would eventually have met on some other day had a mutual friend not chosen that hot and humid Saturday to make the introduction. But as much as they had in common, the two boys lived in different neighborhoods, went to different schools and were nearly two years apart in age.

Only John was scheduled to perform publicly on July 6, 1957. The occasion was the annual Woolton Parish Church Garden Fete, a parade and outdoor fair at which John and his Quarry Men Skiffle Group had been invited to play. The main attractions were a dog show and a brass band, but a family connection had helped get the Quarry Men added to the bill as a nod to the hundreds of teenagers in attendance. Midway through their first set, 15-year-old Paul McCartney showed up and watched, transfixed, as John, despite his rudimentary guitar skills and his tendency to ad-lib in place of forgotten lyrics, held the crowd with charm and swagger. After the show, it was Paul’s turn to impress John.

A mutual friend made the introduction in the nearby church auditorium, where John and his bandmates slouched on folding chairs and barely acknowledged the younger boy. Then Paul pulled out the guitar he was carrying on his back and began playing Eddie Cochran’s “Twenty Flight Rock,” then Gene Vincent’s “Be Bop A Lula,” then a medley of Little Richard numbers. As Jim O’Donnell writes in The Day John Met Paul, his book-length account of this historic moment in music history, “A young man not easily astonished, Lennon is astonished.” Paul’s musicianship far outstripped the older Lennon’s, but more than that, John recognized in Paul the same passion Paul had detected in John during his earlier onstage performance. Soon Paul was teaching a rapt John how to tune his guitar and writing out the chords and lyrics to some of the songs he’d just played.

Later that evening, walking home with one of his bandmates, John announced his intentions toward their new acquaintance. Two weeks later, John Lennon invited Paul McCartney to join the Quarry Men.


1483 – King Richard III of England was crowned.

1699 – Captain William Kidd, the pirate, was captured in Boston, MA, and deported back to England.

1777 – British forces captured Fort Ticonderoga during the American Revolution.

1854 – In Jackson, MI, the Republican Party held its first convention.

1885 – Louis Pasteur successfully tested his anti-rabies vaccine. The child used in the test later became the director of the Pasteur Institute.

1905 – Fingerprints were exchanged for the first time between officials in Europe and the U.S. The person in question was John Walker.

1917 – During World War I, Arab forces led by T.E. Lawrence captured the port of Aqaba from the Turks.

1919 – A British dirigible landed in New York at Roosevelt Field. It completed the first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by an airship.

1923 – The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was established.

1928 – “The Lights of New York” was previewed in New York’s Strand Theatre. It was the first all-talking movie.

1933 – The first All-Star baseball game was held in Chicago. The American League beat the National League 4-2.

1942 – Diarist Anne Frank and her family took refuge from the Nazis in Amsterdam.

1945 – U.S. President Harry Truman signed an order creating the Medal of Freedom.

1945 – Nicaragua became the first nation to formally accept the United Nations Charter.


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1957 – Althea Gibson won the Wimbledon women’s singles tennis title. She was the first black athlete to win the event.

1983 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that retirement plans could not pay women smaller monthly payments solely because of their gender.

1985 – Martina Navratilova won her 4th consecutive Wimbledon singles title.

1985 – The submarine Nautilus arrived in Groton, Connecticut. The vessel had been towed from Mare Island Naval Shipyard.

1988 – Several popular beaches were closed in New York City due to medical waste and other debris began washing up on the seashores.

1989 – The U.S. Army destroyed its last Pershing 1-A missiles at an ammunition plant in Karnack, TX. The dismantling was under the terms of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

1996 – Steffi Graf won her seventh Wimbledon title.

1997 – The Mars Pathfinder released Sojourner, a robot rover on the surface of Mars. The spacecraft landed on the red planet on July 4th.

 

Source: History.com; On-This-Day.com

 

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