January 29, 2005 – Eric Griffiths was born on October 31, 1940. Griffith, John Lennon, Pete Shotton and Rod Davis, were all at Quarry Bank High School together and shared an interest in American music. Eric and John attended some guitar lessons but found it too slow to learn and dropped the lessons when Lennon’s mother taught them to play easier banjo chords.
Lennon formed The Quarry Men with Eric, Shotton and Davis. Paul McCartney joined The Quarry Men as lead guitarist but the band decided that neither McCartney nor Eric were suitable as lead guitarist. When George Harrison joined the band they suggested that Eric buy an electric bass and an amplifier but he could not afford this and he was not invited to McCartney’s house for the next rehearsal and when Eric phoned them during the practice session, John told him he was sacked.
Eric went on to join the Merchant Navy, after with he spent over 30 years in the Prison Service. In January 1997, he returned to Liverpool to meet some of his former band members at the Cavern Club’s 40th anniversary. All the surviving original Quarry Men were there and that evening they gave an impromptu performance with borrowed instruments on the stage. When the band were persuaded to reform for a charity gig in Woolton in July 1997, Eric had to buy a guitar and re-learn a few chords.
Eric died of cancer of the pancreas on January 29, 2005 at age 65.