Liverpool: John and Paul
St. Peter's, Penny Lane and
John Lennon met Paul McCartney on July 6, 1957, when
Paul went to hear
John's band, The Quarrymen, play at a village festival at St. Peter's
Parish Church in Woolton, a Liverpool "suburb" that is really a small,
peaceful village. St. Peter's was John's Parish Church, within
walking distance of his home on Menlove Avenue. (The church cemetery is
also the resting place of one Eleanor Rigby--listed about halfway down
the "Rigby" family marker pictured above.)
The Quarrymen played often in the St. Peter's church hall (right),
which is still used for youth clubs and actvities. On
the July 6, 1957, the band played first in the field behind the
where Paul first heard John, then later in the church hall, where Paul
introduced himself, played some guitar and made enough
of an impression to be asked to join the band a short time later.
John spent the
first fours years of his life at 9 Newcastle Road, near the Penny Lane
roundabout--a busy intersection where
roads meet in a traffic circle. There is still a "shelter in the middle
of a roundabout" and a barber shop and a bank. Paul was once a
St. Barnabas Church, which faces the roundabout, and the Quarrymen
played several times at the St. Barnabas Church Hall.
The bustling shopping area and bus terminus was relatively near to John
and Paul's adolescent homes as well, and it clearly held many happy
memories for them both. The original lyrics to John's
"In My Life" refer
to Penny Lane, though it was Paul's song that immortalized the area.
Cynthia (Powell) Lennon had an apartment near Penny Lane and worked at
the Woolworth's store a block from the roundabout, where she was often
visited by John (and where she went into labor with Julian).
Field was and remains a Salvation Army Children's Home. Located on
Beaconsfield Road about a block from its intersection with Menlove
Avenue, Strawberry Field was a short walk from John's home and offered a
magical, thickly-wooded world of escape that obviously remained a
special place in his heart. "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane"
were released together as a single in 1967,
presenting a touching tribute to the Beatles' Liverpool roots.
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