|The Daily Howl|
12 March 1964
Bill Turner, a former school friend of John Lennon, dropped in to see us the other week and chat about the famous Beatles spokesman.
“Whilst we were at Quarry Bank School I remember a book John produced called ‘The Daily Howl,’” he said.
“It was an exercise book filled with his stories, poems, drawings and cartoons. He used to show his work to a bloke called Pete Shotton before he let anyone else see it. Pete was his best mate at Quarry Bank and I think John wrote ‘The Daily Howl’ mainly for him.
“I remember it was at the time Davy Crockett was the rage and one of the poems was ‘The Story of Davy Crutch-Head.’ He also took a current hit song called ‘Suddenly There Was a Valley’ and he incorporated this into a story which went – ‘Suddenly there was a valet who rode up riding…’
“There were quick flashes in the book such as a weather report: ‘Tomorrow will be Muggy, followed by Tuggy, Wuggy and Thuggy.’
“He had an obsession for Wigan Pier; forever Wigan Pier kept cropping up – mainly in a story called ‘A Carrot in a Potato Mine’ – and the mine was at the end of Wigan Pier.
“One of his favourite cartoons was a bus stop scene. I remember he wrote under the sign, which said ‘Bus Stop’ – ‘Why?’ And he had a flying pancake at the top of the cartoon and below it there was a blind man wearing glasses leading along a blind dog – also wearing glasses.
“At one time ‘The Daily Howl’ was confiscated by one of the teachers and it went all round the staff before he got it back at the end of term.
“John and Pete formed a skiffle group which they named after the school – the Quarry Men. Also in the group was a chap called Colin on drums, another chap called Rod on banjo and Len Garry on tea-chest bass. They used to practice in the bathroom at John’s place in Menlove Avenue.
“They played at Barnabus Hall and another early engagement was at Woolton Garden Fete. Paul joined the group after he’d seen them at St Peter’s Church Hall, Woolton one night. He asked John if he could ‘have a go’ on his guitar – and he’s been with John ever since.”