The Stories of Famous Bandmates’ First Meetings

On this day in 1957, two Liverpool teenagers met for the first time and would change the course of music history. John Lennon and Paul McCartney shared a passion for performing. Lennon’s youthful swagger and McCartney’s technical knowledge sparked a mutual respect and healthy competition that would lead them to join forces. Read the full story past the break, where we share the fascinating tales of other famous bandmates’ first meetings.


When John Lennon Met Paul McCartney

John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s historic first meeting took place during the blazing summer of 1957 in Liverpool at St. Peter’s Church. The Woolton Parish Church Garden Fete — where the traditional crowning of the Rose Queen, a parade, and a dog show took place — was the setting for a series of performances by the Quarrymen skiffle group. The band’s singer and guitar player was John Lennon. McCartney was in the crowd and felt wowed by Lennon. “I just thought, ‘Well, he looks good, he’s singing well and he seems like a great lead singer to me.’ Of course, he had his glasses off, so he really looked suave,” the musician recalled in 1995. “I remember John was good. He was really the only outstanding member, all the rest kind of slipped away.” A mutual friend introduced the teenagers. Paul impressed a somewhat aloof John by performing Eddie Cochran’s “Twenty Flight Rock,” Gene Vincent’s “Be-Bop-A-Lula,” and a medley of Little Richard numbers. McCartney showed Lennon how to tune his guitar. A few weeks later, Lennon asked McCartney to join the Quarrymen, which evolved into the Beatles in early 1960.