Val Wilmer/Redferns60 years ago today, the course of popular music changed forever, when John Lennon met Paul McCartney for the first time.

It was Saturday, July 6, 1957, and that afternoon, John’s skiffle band the Quarrymen played at a festival at St. Peter’s Church in Liverpool. John, who was 16, played guitar and sang, backed up by Eric Griffiths on guitar, Colin Hanton on drums, Rod Davies on banjo, Pete Shotton on washboard and Len Garry on bass.

Later that night, the Quarrymen set up their instruments to perform again at a dance in the church hall. That’s when Ivan Vaughan, who occasionally played bass in the band, introduced them to his 15-year-old classmate, Paul McCartney. In 1995, Paul remembered his first impressions of Lennon.

“I just thought, ‘Well, he looks good, he’s singing well and he seems like a great lead singer to me,'” McCartney recalled. “I remember John was good. He was really the only outstanding member, all the rest kind of slipped away.”

During that first meeting, Paul showed John how to tune a guitar, and then sang Eddie Cochran’s “Flight Rock,” Gene Vincent’s “Be-Bop-A-Lula” and some songs by Little Richard. McCartney recalls he also played “A Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” by Jerry Lee Lewis on a backstage piano.

According to the Beatles Bible, after the show, John and Pete Shotton decided to ask Paul to join the group. Two weeks later, the invitation was extended and accepted.

In 1958, George Harrison joined the band. In 1959, they changed their name to Johnny and the Moondogs. In 1960, Stu Sutcliffe joined on bass, and suggested they change their name to “the Beatals” — that’s “B-E-A-T-A-L-S.” After a few more changes, that August, they became The Beatles.

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