12th July 1958: John, Paul and George make their first record

Percy Phillips Record by The Quarrymen
The First record made by John, Paul and George
Percy Phillips Studio
Percy Phillips’ Studio was in the back room of his house

This small studio tucked inside a Victorian terraced house at number
38, Kensington is where The Quarrymen made their first and only
demo record. It was a disc that eventually became one of the most
historic recordings in popular music. John, Paul, George, Colin
Hanton and John Duff Lowe paid seventeen shillings and sixpence
(87.5 pence) and cut a two-sided disk made of shellac. They couldn’t
afford to pay for a tape and so the recording was made straight to
disk.

McCartney/ Harrison Song

The five-piece ensemble recorded Buddy Holly’s “That’ll Be
The Day” and “In Spite Of All The Danger”, an original McCartney-
Harrison tune. It was seen as Paul’s song with George providing
the guitar solo.

Percy Phillips in his studio
Percy Phillips (right) in his studio

Percy Phillips owned the studio, which was on the ground floor.
His clients waited in the front parlour and recorded in the back room
studio. The studio consisted of two tape-recorders, a microphone
hanging from the ceiling, a piano and disc-cutter, which produced
these shellac discs.

Interview with Colin Hanton

Colin Hanton spoke about that famous first recording. “We met at a theatre and walked up there. All I remember was this back room with electronic equipment in the corner. We set up our equipment with me in the corner and the lads with their guitars: there were no amps, it was all-acoustic. John Lowe was over by the wall on the piano. I was hitting the drums and he said that they were too loud, so I tried again but there was still the same problem, which was finally fixed by putting a scarf over the snare to soften it and keep it as quiet as possible.

Colin Hanton of The Quarrymen

“John Duff Lowe reckons there was one microphone hanging down from the ceiling, which picked everything up. He was complaining because he said we should get the tape, which was a pound, but we just had enough each— three shillings and sixpence (17.5 pence). I always felt that was one of the reasons to invite John Lowe along to split it five ways. John and Paul went white at the thought of a pound. “Percy was fed up because we were taking too much time, and starting to look at the clock. ‘In Spite Of All The Danger’ was quite long, and he said to chop a verse off. John said no. John Lowe could see Phillips from where he was sitting and he was apparently telling John to finish. We kept going, so the record ended with the song going almost to the centre of the disc, right to the hole in the middle.

We had a record!

In Spite of all the Danger
In Spite of all the Danger by The Quarrymen

“He gave us the disc and off we went. It was a big thing. How many people had records like popular crooner, Matt Monro? So we had a record too, and could listen to ourselves. We had heard our group before because the girl who lived next door to me, Geraldine Davies, had a Grundig tape recorder. She’d record us and then we’d all sit down and listen to it. It was a momentous day for us. I can still remember it so clearly”.

The songs appeared on Anthology Disc 1.

This interview first appeared in “Liddypool“. Read the full interview in the book – get your copy here.

Liddypool
Liddypool by David Bedford

David Bedford

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Home – Liddypool Dave

David Bedford, Beatles author and researcher of Beatles history
David Bedford

David Bedford’s fascination for Beatles History is shown in his books “Liddypool” (2009) and “The Fab one hundred and Four: The Evolution of The Beatles” (2013). He has also published his latest book about The Beatles drummers with Garry Popper, “Finding the Fourth Beatle” (2018).

He collaborated with the Beatles’ only official biographer Hunter Davies on “The Beatles Book” (2016), and is working on a number of new projects.

Beatles History

Liddypool Birthplace of The Beatles by David Bedford
Liddypool by David Bedford

David’s website aims to chart Beatles History through his interviews and research that have contributed to his books. Simply select Beatles History and either look at the main page, or select the appropriate year in Beatles History. This will be added to regularly to build a unique insight into Early Beatles and Quarrymen history.

inspector rocke

Inspector Rocke by David Bedford
Inspector Rocke

In a branch off The Beatles trail, David has published his first crime detective novel, Inspector Rocke, which is set in Liverpool, 1960, and features The Beatles too!

Beatles Detective

The Beatles Detective looking at The Beatles History
The Beatles Detective

Because of his forensic way of analysing Beatles history, in 2019, he launched a new Blog called “The Beatles Detective”, where he examines aspects of Beatles history, and searches for the evidence to solve the mysteries, like The Beatles names, Beatles members and other Beatles history. You can follow that at Thebeatlesdetective.com

He was Associate Producer and Historian on the documentary “Looking for Lennon” (2018), which was nominated for a National Film Award.

David is a Beatles historian, author and researcher, and a guest at Beatles events in the US, UK and Europe. He makes regular appearances on Radio, TV and Beatles Podcasts.

“David is defining and refining Beatles history” – Edd Raineri, Beatledd Fab Four Hour

Beatles Historian and Researcher: Discoveries

As well as many interviews with people connected with The Beatles, David’s original research has uncovered people, stories and events that no other author/historian has discovered:

Fab one hundred and Four: The Evolution of The Beatles, Beatles members and Beetles names
The Fab one hundred and Four

The only book on The Beatles and Liverpool (Liddypool)

The real meaning behind the Beatles song “Penny Lane(Liddypool)

Discovered Geoff Lee, who suggested to John Lennon that he should start a skiffle group; The Quarry Men (Fab104)

Has the only biography and photographs of Beatles drummer Norman Chapman; (Fab104)

The most complete biography of Silver Beatles drummer Tommy Moore; (Finding the Fourth Beatle)

Established that George Harrison joined The Quarrymen in December 1957, not 1958; (Fab104)

Established when the first colour photograph of John, Paul and George was taken; (Fab104)

Discovered who the “man on the flaming pie” was (Fab104)

Drummer Alan Leyland drummed with The Beatles in 1961; (Finding the Fourth Beatle)

That John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Pete Best signed a legal partnership agreement in 1961; (Finding the Fourth Beatle)

That Pete Best WAS NOT sacked and what really happened; (Finding the Fourth Beatle)

That The Beatles were not under contract at EMI in June 1962. (Finding the Fourth Beatle)

The between 1956 and 1970, 23 different drummers played with The Beatles at different times. (Finding the Fourth Beatle)

And much, much more, with many interviews being unique to him too.

Purchase David’s books in the Beatles Bookstore

David's Social Media
David’s Social Media

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David Bedford
David Bedford
Our 6th Fourth Beatle drummer played for one night only when they were still Silver Beatles or Silver Beats. He is on our Double CD too!
David Bedford
David Bedford
Our fifth drummer played a couple of times with The Beatles, as stand in for Tommy Moore and then stand in for Pete Best. read the rare and exclusive interview with Johnny Hutchinson
David Bedford
David Bedford
Tommy Moore was The Beatals first drummer. Finally, the most complete biography of Tommy is featured in "Finding the Fourth Beatle". Myths dispelled and truth told by those who knew him best.
David Bedford
David Bedford
Pete Shotton played washboard with The Quarrymen, but find out when and why he played the drums too. But he wasn't the "Fourth Beatle"
David Bedford
David Bedford
Mike McCartney claimed to have been The Beatles first drummer. Was he? The answer is revealed in "Finding the Fourth Beatle".
David Bedford
David Bedford
Beatles advent calendar. Each day we will reveal a new Beatles drummer from Finding the Fourth Beatle. 23 drummers! First is the Quarrymen drummer, Colin Hanton. Finding the Fourth Beatle is a great Christmas present! Get yours now.
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