In Spite Of All The Danger – OUT NOW


Available now on all major platforms

Imagine, it’s 12th July, five lads from Liverpool have saved up money to make a record. They want to record a Buddy Holly song; “That’ll be the day.” They also want to record a B-side to the record, a song that would go down in history. At the time they were blissfully unaware of what was to come in the following ten years; the world hadn’t seen anything like it yet. The lads were about to record what would later be called “the most expensive record in existence” a song called, “In Spite of all the Danger.”

John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Colin Hanton and John “Duff” Lowe walked into Percy Phillips studio at number 38 Kensington and paid 17 shillings and 6 pence for a 78RPM shellac disc featuring sound of the band who would later become The Beatles, at this point, the sound that will live on forever had never been recorded before.

“It says on the label that it was me and George but I think it was actually written by me, and George played the guitar solo! We were mates and nobody was into copyrights and publishing, nobody understood – we actually used to think when we came down to London that songs belonged to everyone. I’ve said this a few times but it’s true, we really thought they just were in the air, and that you couldn’t actually own one. So you can imagine the publishers saw us coming! ‘Welcome boys, sit down. That’s what you think, is it?’ So that’s what we used to do in those days – and because George did the solo we figured that he ‘wrote’ the solo.”

Paul McCartney – The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, Mark Lewisohn

This record was unique, the only ever McCartney-Harrison composition ever recorded. The sound quality these days is considered poor, but the melody is still intact and you can hear the quality of their young voices. You can hear the fantastic guitar solo of George Harrison, the stomp on the pedal from Colin, the harmonies of McCartney and the strong vocals of a seventeen year old John Lennon.

John Lennon was imitating his idol, Elvis Presley, he was completely unaware that he would be grieving the death of his mother three days after this recording was made. The song Is a close imitation of Elvis’ classic ‘trying to get to you.’

“It was my song. It’s very similar to an Elvis song. It’s me doing an Elvis, but I’m a bit loathe to say which! I know which one! It was one that I’d heard at scout camp when I was younger and I’d loved it. And when I came to write the first couple of songs at the age of about 14 that was one of them.”

Paul McCartney – The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, Mark Lewisohn

Here we are 60 years later, still talking about what these lads did all these years ago. Years later after John “Duff” Lowe would keep hold of this record for twenty three years, it would eventually be bought by Paul McCartney and he would now own it as a prize possession.

For myself, I would become aware that as a city, Liverpool wasn’t doing anything of particular significance to mark the 60th anniversary of the first recording our greatest sons made. In March (2018) I would contact the fantastic Marc Kenny, who has recently reached number one with releases in Egypt and Bulgaria. I told Marc the idea, to replicate the release, but modern and crisp and with us as local lads doing the vocals. We fell in love with the idea and decided we would do it. We discussed how it would sound, how we would release it. We eventually started discussing who else could help us.

A year ago I watched the Quarrymen perform at the 60th Anniversary of the Woolton Village Fete where John and Paul first met. I remembered watching the men on stage, still passionate and enthusiastic about performing, all with smiles on their faces, reminiscent of the past. I told Marc about how I had met Colin through a mutual friend and I could contact him and ask him to be involved. This led us to a place I never thought I would end up – In a legal debate with Sir Paul McCartney, Colin Hanton and John Lowe.

John “Duff” Lowe would sell the prestigious record and would sign documents which forbidden the reproduction of it, understandably. For Duff to be involved with it was out of the question, Colin was still keen and called me up courteously to explain the situation and the lengthy chats he had with Duff about it. Colin enthusiastic and kindly dedicated time and effort into trying to help us, but without Sir Paul McCartney’s permission, Colin couldn’t be on the record either.

It left myself, Marc, Dan and Barney recording this classic, but with the well wishes of the lovely gentlemen that went before us. We sincerely hope that we have done this record justice, it is a beautiful song, that deserves to be reproduced, sang along to and performed. We hope this anniversary serves to remind us of how much of a true classic it is.

“When we got the record, the agreement was that we would have it for a week each. John had it a week and passed it on to me. I had it for a week and passed it on to George, who had it for a week. Then Colin had it for a week and passed it to Duff Lowe – who kept it for 23 years.” – Paul McCartney, Anthology

Article Credit: Dale Roberts

2 thoughts on “In Spite Of All The Danger – OUT NOW

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s