News that John Lennon had assaulted Cavern Club DJ Bob Wooler at Paul McCartney’s 21st birthday party three days earlier reached the national press on this day.
The report was written by journalist Don Short, who later became a friend and confidant to the group. It appeared on the back page of the Daily Mirror newspaper, and was headlined: Beatle in brawl says ‘Sorry I socked you’.
Guitarist John Lennon, 22-year-old leader of The Beatles “pop” group, said last night: “Why did I have to go and punch my best friend?
“I was so high I didn’t realise what I was doing”
Then he sent off a telegram apologising to 29-year-old Liverpool “rock” show compere and disc jockey Bob Wooler, who was nursing a black eye, bruised ribs and torn knuckles.
The night before Bob and John were both at a Liverpool party to celebrate the 21st birthday of another of the Beatles, Paul McCartney.
Other “beat” music stars – including members of the Shadows and the Pacemakers – were at the party in Dinas-lane, Huyton, Liverpool, when a fight started.
Yesterday Wooler said: “I don’t know why he did it. I was booted in the face. I begged him to stop.
“Finally he was pulled off by other people at the party.
“I have been a friend of the Beatles for a long time. I have often compered shows where they have appeared. OI am terribly upset about this – physically as well as mentally.”
Wooler was treated for his injuries in hospital, where he was driven by Mr Brian Epstein, who has the Beatles under contract.
Epstein said last night: “I did not see the incident. All I did was to drive him to the hospital. I can only hope he gets well soon.”
John Lennon, in London with the Beatles last night, said: “I had a great deal to drink at the party and very little to eat.
“By the time this happened I didn’t know what I was doing.
“Bob is the last person in the world I would want to have a fight with. I can only hope he realises that I was too far gone to know what I was doing.”
One of the men who was at the party said: “I looked out of a window and saw Bob Wooler staggering about with blood all over his face. He was saying: ‘Get Brian Epstein.’
“I learned later that John Lennon had attacked Wooler.’
PUNCH-LINE: Lennon helped to write The Beatles’ latest hit tune “‘From Me To You’.”
Also on this day...
- 2015: Paul McCartney live: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- 2014: Ringo Starr live: Caesars Circus Maximus Theatre, Atlantic City, New Jersey
- 1968: Recording, mixing: Revolution 1, Revolution 9
- 1968: Paul McCartney flies from New York to Los Angeles
- 1967: Mixing: All You Need Is Love
- 1966: Recording, mixing: She Said She Said
- 1966: Mixing, editing: Love You To, I Want To Tell You, Here, There And Everywhere, For No One, Doctor Robert, Taxman
- 1965: Day off in Paris
- 1964: Travel: Sydney to Wellington
- 1963: Live: Odeon Cinema, Guildford
- 1962: Live: Tower Ballroom, New Brighton, Wallasey
- 1961: Live: Top Ten Club, Hamburg
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.
Here’s a “sobering” thought (ahem): If smartphones et. al were around in ’63, The Beatles would likely have been off to a very different start and perhaps finish. Sad to contemplate. It’s enough to turn one into a Luddite. But then we wouldn’t have this great site 🙂