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2001-Apr-01: Paul the Precocious Quarryman

"I like to think that was my greatest contribution to the history of the Beatles - not letting John chuck Paul out of the Quarrymen," Eric Griffiths confided to Beatles biographer Hunter Davies who has just completed a book on John Lennon's first band, the Quarrymen.  Eric Griffiths, a schoolmate and Quarryman, reveals in the book that 16-year-old John Lennon feared that the "precocious" 15-year-old Paul McCartney would take over the band:

"Paul was very good.  We could all see that. He was precocious in many ways. Not just in music, but in relating to people."

Griffiths recalled a particular incident which took place during a walk to a rehearsal with John, Paul, and John's best friend, Pete Shotton:

"I was walking ahead with John. John suddenly said: 'Let's split the group, and you and me will start again.'
We could hear Paul behind us, chatting to Pete as if he was Pete's best friend. John knew we were all his pals, but now Paul was trying to get in on us. Not to split us up, just make friends with us all. I'm sure that was all it was, but to John it looked as if Paul was trying to take over, dominate the group.

"I said to him: 'Paul's so good. He'll contribute a lot to the group. We need him with us.' John said nothing. But after that the subject was never mentioned again."

However, Griffiths added,  when Paul announced he was going to wear a "white sports coat" for his debut performance with the band, John appeared in a similar on so there would be no mistaking who was the leader of the band!

This Hunter Davies book is scheduled for release on April 12.

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)


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