Rare photograph of Lennon and Walley.
Quarrymen world exclusive
Forty years since their heyday The Beatles still make headlines all over the world. Inside Out journeys back in time to bring viewers a world exclusive - the discovery of a rare photograph of John Lennon with his first band, The Quarrymen.
The Quarrymen is a band of legendary status in Merseyside's musical pantheon, not least because they evolved into The Beatles.
Back in late 1956 John Lennon formed The Quarrymen to play skiffle music, drawing on the sound of Bill Haley, Buddy Holly and Elvis Presley.
John Lennon in a very early photograph.
The group's name was taken from the Quarry Bank Grammar School, which Lennon and some of the other band members attended.
The band started to build up a local following, playing at parties, garden fetes and skiffle events across Liverpool.
But The Quarrymen's biggest break came when they appeared at the Woolton Rose Queen fete in July 1957.
It was the day Paul McCartney came along to see them... and it marked the start of the remarkable creative partnership between two iconic figures in popular music - Lennon and McCartney.
Following the meeting, McCartney was recruited to the band and the rest is history.
Although The Quarrymen eventually broke up, amazingly they are back together again and 2007 marks a momentous year - their 50th anniversary.
For many decades the band have been searching to find a fragment of their past.
They've been looking for a photograph of one of the most important days in pop music history - the date when John Lennon met Paul McCartney on July 6, 1957.
Only one photograph of the event has claimed its place in history - one in which a young, self-assured John Lennon stares out from the stage.
But The Quarrymen are convinced that more images of the Woolton Rose gig must exist in somebody's attic or photo album.
Memories can differ but photographs can tell a story in an instant, as The Quarrymen's Rod Davis explains:
"It's the 50th anniversary for goodness sake. These photos will disappear - we've got to try to find them. They're out there somewhere.
"What would be nice would be to find a photograph of Paul McCartney actually talking to The Quarrymen."
What's tantalising for the group is knowing that there must be other photographs out there of that important day - Rod's partner, Janet Pain, believes that she once briefly caught sight of such an image.
With John Lennon on stage that day in 1956 there were three other Quarrymen - Rod Davis was playing banjo behind John, Colin Hanton was on drums and Len Garry was there on T-chest bass.
If fate had been a little kinder, it could easily have been John, Paul, George and Colin, or Len or Rod.
Together they have had 50 years to get over not becoming The Beatles.
Ten years ago Rod Davis and the other members of the original Quarrymen got together again and started playing their distinct style of skiffle music.
Since then they've been in demand at Beatles festivals and conventions around the world.
The Quarrymen celebrate their 50th year.
When they were in New York in early 2007 they took the time out to pay their own respects at the Central Park memorial to their friend John Lennon.
Fifty years on The Quarrymen are being honoured with a weekend of celebrations at St Peter's Church Hall in Woolton in Liverpool.
Blast from the past
The evening is a great success but The Quarrymen's hopes of unearthing another photograph are looking slim.
Despite appeals no-one came forward with any pictures.
Nigel Walley and Rod Davis today.
But then something extraordinary happened... a photograph turned up.
After the Woolton show someone contacted The Quarrymen to say they had a photograph from their past.
They want to remain anonymous, but the photograph they produced is fascinating and a world exclusive.
It's not of the Woolton concert, but it is something very special, especially for The Quarrymen and their manager, Nigel Walley.
It's a photograph of Nigel and John Lennon in Lime Street in Liverpool on May 5, 1958 - and it's been hidden away since then.
Nigel is astounded by the find, as he explains, "It's absolutely fantastic - just the closeness, the togetherness we had in those days. We look happy there".
Search for photographs
For The Quarrymen there's still the hope more photos may be found.
If you have any rare early photographs or cine film of The Quarrymen, Inside Out would like to hear from you.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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last updated: 03/10/07