Paul McCartney’s 21st birthday party

6.00pm, Tuesday 18 June 1963 (50 years ago)

Paul McCartney celebrated his 21st birthday with a party held at his Aunt Jin’s house at 147 Dinas Lane, Huyton, Liverpool.

The party was held a marquee in the back garden in the evening of 18 June 1963. The Fourmost performed at McCartney’s request; he offered to pay them their regular fee, but the group insisted the would only accept fourpence halfpenny each. In the end, it is said, they were never paid anyway.

Paul McCartney on his 21st birthday, 28 June 1963

Other guests included Billy J Kramer and The Shadows. Cliff Richard’s backing group had been appearing in Blackpool. They met McCartney and his girlfriend Jane Asher outside the Empire Theatre, Liverpool, and all traveled to Dinas Lane together.

The party was overshadowed, however, by an incident involving John Lennon and Bob Wooler, the disc jockey at the Cavern Club.

Following Lennon’s holiday to Barcelona with Brian Epstein in April, rumours had circulated in Liverpool about the pair.

At the party Wooler allegedly described the holiday as a ‘honeymoon’. Lennon, fuelled by alcohol, lashed out at the DJ.

At the party the boys’ old friend Bob Wooler, the Cavern emcee, made a crack to John about his holiday. John, who’d had plenty to drink, exploded. He leapt on Bob, and by the time he was dragged off Bob had a black eye and badly bruised ribs. I took John home as fast as I could, and Brian drove Bob to the hospital.

I was appalled that John had lashed out again. I’d thought those days were over. But John was still livid, muttering that Bob had called him a queer. A day or two later when he had cooled down he was ashamed. He kept repeating, ‘Oh, God, Cyn, what have I done?’ He sent Bob a telegram saying, ‘Really sorry Bob stop terribly worried to realise what I had done stop what more can I say John Lennon.’ Unfortunately the local press got hold of the story and the [national] Daily Mirror ran it, which didn’t help John’s image. He swore he’d never do anything like it again and, to my knowledge, he didn’t, certainly for as long as we were together.

Billy J Kramer later claimed that Lennon had also attempted to hit a girl during the party.

Bob had been insinuating that me and Brian had had an affair in Spain. And I must have been frightened of the fag in me to get so angry. I was out of my mind with drink – you know, when you get down to the point where you want to drink out of all the empty glasses; that drunk. And Bob was saying, ‘Come on, John, tell me about you and Brian – we all know.’ You know when you’re twenty-one, you want to be a man – if somebody had said it now I wouldn’t give a shit, but I was beating the shit out of him, hitting him with a big stick, and for the first time I thought, ‘I can kill this guy.’ I just saw it, like on a screen: if I hit him once more, that’;s going to be it. I really got shocked. That’s when I gave up violence, because all my life I’d been like that.
John Lennon, 1972
Anthology

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