Beatles Photo as Quarrymen Emerges on Anniversary of Fab Four’s Split

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Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison as the Quarrymen in 1959 (Photo: Tracks Ltd./PA)

A 1959 photo of teenagers Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison has emerged from their days in the Quarrymen, the band that the three were in, with other Liverpool friends, a year before the trio split off to form the Beatles in 1960.

The grainy image, from the collectors site, Tracks Ltd., was shared in the early hours of Friday, April 10 (GMT), the 50th anniversary of the day McCartney announced that he was leaving the Beatles.

The previously unpublished photo of the three young men with their guitars is said to be taken in a Liverpool home, though its precise date and location are unknown.

“History shines in every dimly-lit detail,” the BBC quoted Beatles’ historian and author Mark Lewisohn about the photo.

“Within a year of this moment the Quarrymen had become The Beatles, professional musicians playing long hours in Hamburg.

“Four years from here they’d have attained the inconceivable level of fame and popularity that joyously maintains to this day – out from this Liverpool room and across the universe.”

On April 10, 1970, a headline appeared in the Daily Mirror, “Paul Is Quitting The Beatles.” McCartney then followed it with a press statement to tout his solo album, McCartney. When quizzed whether the breakup was temporary or permanent, he famously replied, “I don’t really know.”

That same week, the Beatles’ Hey Jude album was at #3 on the U.S. sales chart. Abbey Road was at #9.

At that time, McCartney’s lawyer, John Eastman, said that his client had plans for three or four solo albums within a year. All four members had already had individual projects released or in the works. Lennon had formed the Plastic Ono Band with his wife, Yoko Ono. His newly released “Instant Karma” was a Top 5 success in the U.K. and U.S.

The group’s U.S. label, Capitol Records, said at the time, “Capitol’s recording contract with the Beatles, through EMI, has 6 1/2 years to run, and it covers all recorded performances, not only by the group as a whole but by any of its individual members.”

Related: The Beatles have significant plans for 2020

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3 Comments so far

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  1. ashap
    #1 ashap 10 April, 2020, 00:11

    Definitely Paul and John, but is that really George……

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  2. Richard
    #2 Richard 10 April, 2020, 00:33

    Within 5 years of that photo, I saw them in concert w my family in Sept of 64 in Indianapolis as a nine year old boy. That experience is still etched in my mind as though it were yesterday. Grainy video of concert can be found on ytube.

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