Paul McCartney celebrated his 21st birthday with a party held at his Aunt Gin'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.
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.
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.
Lennon spoke about the incident in a 1971 interview.
He’d insinuated that me and Brian had had an affair in Spain. I was out of me 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 he was saying, 'Come on, John, tell me' – something like that – 'Tell me about you and Brian, we all know.' And obviously I must have been frightened of the fag in me to get so angry. You know, when you’re twenty-one, you want to be a man, and all that. If somebody said it now, I wouldn’t give a shit. So I was beating the shit out of him, and hitting him with a big stick, too, and it was the first time I thought, 'I can kill this guy.' I just saw it, like on a screen – that if I hit him once more, that was going to be it.
John Lennon: For The Record, Peter McCabe and Robert D Schonfeld
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.
Also on this day...
- 2014: Ringo Starr live at Beacon Theatre, New York
- 2010: John Lennon’s handwritten lyrics for A Day In The Life sell for $1.2m
- 2009: Ringo Starr to get Hollywood Walk of Fame star
- 2001: Sir Paul McCartney’s coat of arms is granted
- 1968: Première of the In His Own Write stage play
- 1968: George Harrison and Ringo Starr return to England from America
- 1968: Paul McCartney celebrates his 26th birthday at Apple
- 1965: Television: Tonight
- 1965: Radio: BBC European Service
- 1965: Mixing: I’ve Just Seen A Face, I’m Down, It’s Only Love, Act Naturally, Wait, Help!, Yesterday
- 1964: Live: Sydney Stadium, Sydney
- 1961: Live: Top Ten Club, Hamburg
- 1960: Live: Grosvenor Ballroom, Wallasey
- 1956: Paul McCartney is given a trumpet for his 14th birthday
- 1942: Paul McCartney is born
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.