Although the Quarrymen had entered the competition two years previously without success, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison returned to Liverpool’s Empire Theatre for another preliminary audition for the ABC TV’s talent show TV Star Search.
The group had had no drummer since Colin Hanton walked out of the Quarrymen on 1 January 1959. When questioned, they explained that “the rhythm’s in the guitars”.
Perhaps in a bid to differentiate themselves from their recent line-up with Ken Brown, the group renamed themselves Johnny and the Moondogs for this event. The auditions were held by ‘Mr Star-Maker’ Carroll Levis at Liverpool’s Empire Theatre over three consecutive Saturdays on 11, 18 and 25 October.
While it is unclear on which date Johnny and the Moondogs appeared, 18 October is the most likely. The group successfully passed the audition, qualifying for the regional finals on 15 November.