That’ll Be The Day (Allison/Holly/Petty)

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That’ll Be The Day (Allison/Holly/Petty)

Buddy Holly’s That’ll Be The Day was the first song recorded by Paul, John, and George as The Quarrymen, along with the McCartney/Harrison original In Spite of All the Danger. They were recorded by Percy Phillips, who operated a small home-based recording studio frequented by Liverpool bands looking to commit their act to disc. The recording was made to tape, which was wiped as soon as it was transferred to a single acetate. Each member of the group kept the disc for a week, the final keeper being pianist John Lowe, who ended up keeping it for 25 years before attempting to sell it at auction in 1981. Paul purchased the disc and had it professionally mastered, creating 25 copies for family and friends and preparing for its first official release on Anthology 1.

Quotes

“The first thing we ever recorded was ‘That’ll Be The Day’, a Buddy Holly song, and one of Paul’s called ‘In Spite Of All The Danger’.” – John Lennon, from Anthology

“I remember we all went down on the bus with our instruments – amps and guitars – and the drummer went separately. We waited in the little waiting room outside while somebody else made their demo and then it was our turn. We just went in the room, hardly saw the fella because he was next door in a little control booth. ‘OK, what are you going to do?’ We ran through it very quickly, quarter of an hour, and it was all over…John did ‘That’ll Be The Day’, which was one of our stage numbers, and George played the opening guitar notes and I harmonized with John singing lead…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. I ended up buying it back for a very inflated price. I have since had some replicas made. I don’t want to play the shellac because it would wear out, as demos in those days would. But it’s great to have.” – Paul McCartney, from Anthology

“Before midday on that Sunday Paul McCartney had called my mum in Liverpool. I eventually spoke to him on the phone and we had long conversations over the next few days because he wanted to buy it from me. I was living in Worcester at the time and he sent his solicitor and his business manager up. I deposited the disc in a small briefcase at the local Barclays Bank and we met up in a small room the bank kindly let me use. The deal was done, I handed the record over and we all went home.” – John Lowe, from A Hard Day’s Write

Personnel

  • John Lennon – vocals, rhythm guitar
  • Paul McCartney – vocals, rhythm guitar
  • George Harrison – lead guitar, backing vocal
  • John Lowe – piano
  • Colin Hanton – drums

Release history