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On what would have been John Lennon's 74th birthday, the school friend who told him to start a band is unveiled for the first time in new book on The Beatles.

Geoff Lee, classmate of John Lennon at Quarry Bank School reveals for the first time how he suggested to John Lennon that, because of his great singing voice, he should start a skiffle group. The group Lennon started was called The Quarrymen: the Quarrymen became The Beatles.

Not only did Geoff suggest John start the group that became The Beatles, but gave the young Lennon his first guitar. Bedford says, "We had always thought that John's first guitar was purchased by his mother, but it wasn't!" John later remembered Geoff's generosity.

Geoff Lee (center, wiping his eye) at Quarry Bank School

"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 practise."

Geoff's story is featured in the new book by Beatles historian and author David Bedford, "The Fab one hundred and Four" which tells of the evolution of The Beatles from The Quarrymen to the Fab Four.

Featured in The Fab one hundred and Four are the first published photographs of Silver Beatles' drummer Norman Chapman, the real influences in their formative years, family members, schoolmates, mentors and musical contemporaries, and profiles of every musician who was a member of the group, from The Quarrymen to The Beatles, from 1956 through 1962. Whether they were in the group for a night, a week, a year, two years or more, they are all mentioned here.

Bill Harry, friend of John Lennon and Founder of Mersey Beat, who wrote the foreword to the book, says: "This is a treasure chest of research and a visual delight, this will prove to be a work no Beatles fan should be without."

Author David Bedford was born in 1965 and grew up in The Dingle, Liverpool, by the bottom of Madryn Street, where Ringo was born. Not long after he married, they left The Dingle for Penny Lane. When illness forced retirement upon him at the age of 35, he was advised to find an interest to occupy his time. David began a quest to discover as much about the history of the early Beatles. His first book was Liddypool: Birthplace of The Beatles, which was published in 2009 and he has spoken at Beatles events in the U.S. as well as in the U.K. and Europe.

For more informattion visit or follow Dave Bedford on Facbook.

Published October 9, 2014

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