The Quarrymen are a British skiffle/rock and roll group, formed by John Lennon in Liverpool in 1956, which eventually evolved into the Beatles in 1960. Originally consisting of Lennon and several school friends, the Quarrymen took their name from a line in the school song of Quarry Bank High School, which they attended.
Lennon started a skiffle group that was very briefly called the Blackjacks, but changed the name before any public performances. Some accounts credit Lennon with choosing the new name; other accounts credit his close friend Pete Shotton with suggesting the name. The Quarrymen played at parties, school dances, cinemas and amateur skiffle contests before Paul McCartney joined the band in October 1957. George Harrison joined the band in early 1958 at McCartney’s recommendation, though Lennon initially resisted because he felt Harrison (still 14 when he was first introduced to Lennon) to be too young. Both McCartney and Harrison attended the Liverpool Institute.
The group made an amateur recording of themselves in 1958, performing Buddy Holly’s “That’ll Be the Day” and “In Spite of All the Danger”, a song written by McCartney and Harrison. The group moved away from skiffle and towards rock and roll, causing several of the original members to leave. This left only a trio of Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison, who performed under several other names, including Johnny and the Moondogs and Japage 3 before returning to the Quarrymen name in 1959. In 1960, the group changed its name to the Beatles, and went on to have an extremely successful recording career.
Here’s a gallery of 42 rarely seen photographs of the band from the late 1950s.