The following article appeared in New Musical Express on August 30, 1963, page 10

Without John Lennon, The Beatles could not have continued the fantastic story of their success in this week's NME Chart-because there would be no Beatles. Today, John is the only origianl member of The Quarrymen, a small group of skiffle fans who took their name from Liverpool's Quarrybank grammer school.
This was in the late 1950s. And as time went by, almost the entire line-up changed to make way for "new boys" like Paul McCartney and George Harrison.
It was John's own idea to call them The Beatles. They were moving away from skiffle to produce their own, wild, sound, and a different name was needed to project the new image. Soon they became the sensation of Merseyside with their driving music, unruly hair and distinctive black leather jackets.
John remembers the early days well. "I used to borrow a guitar at first. I couldn't play, but a pal of mine had one and it fascinated me.
"Eventually my mother bought me one from one of those mail order firms. I suppose it was a bit crummy, when you think about it. But I played it all the time and I got a lot of practice.
"After a while we formed The Quarrymen with a lad named Eric Griffiths, Pete Shotton-my best mate at school-and myself. We also had a lad named Gary, who's now an architect, and somebody else named Ivan. Ivan went to the same school as Paul and he brought him along one day when we were playing at a garden fete.
"Well, Paul and I hit it off right away. I was just a little bit worried because my old mates were going and new people like Paul and George were joining, but we soon got used to each other.
"It was Elvis who really got me interested in pop music and started me buying records. I thought that early stuff of his was great. When I heard 'Heartbreak Hotel', I thought, 'This is it,' and I started trying to grow sideboards, and all that gear!"
John plucked at his guitar in the Bournemouth dressing room.
"I suppose I started to get off-beat, musically, when I found out I liked Carl Perkins' version of 'Blue Suede Shoes' better than Presley's. After that we all started to buy records by little-known American groups, mostly r-and-b stuff."
He talks with refreshing frankness about his schooldays in Liverpool.
"I think I went a bit wild when I was about 14," says John, "I was just drifting, I wouldn't study at school, and when I was put in for nine GCE's I was a hopeless failure.
"My whole school life was a case of couldn't care less.' It was just a joke as far as I was concerned. Art was the only thing I could do, and my headmaster told me that if I didn't go to art school, 'I might was well give up life.'
"I wasn't really keen. I thought it would be a crowd of old men, but should make an effort to try and make something of myself. I stayed for five years doing commercial art.
"Frankly, I found it all as bad as math and science. And I loathed those. The funny thing was, I didn't even pass art in the GCE.
"I spent the exam time drawing daft cartoons. I got into art school by doing some decent stuff and taking it along to show them.
"During my whole time at art school I just used to disappear from time to time. When my first exam came up I was with The Beatles in Scotland, backing Johnny Gentle. For the second, I was away with the group in Hamburg.
"Eventually I decided to leave whether I ever passed an exam, or not, but when I got back there was a note saying, 'Don't bother to come back.' Believe it or not, I actually got annoyed!"
He looks serious for a moment. "Don't think I'm proud of it at all...I wouldn't want anybody to follow my example. In fact, I'm sorry now that I didn't make more effort with things like English, which I know I'm quite good at.
"What kind of things have I written? Well, all sorts really. Since I left school I've written little essays about a character called Small Sam, and off-beat things about Liverpool.
"I even had a bash at writing a serious play with Paul. It wsa about Jesus coming back to earth today, and living in the slums. We called the character Pilchard.
"It all fell though in the end, but we aim to do at least one big play or musical thing together. That's our ambition-a West End production with our own words and music.

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