Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

WHEN JOHN MET PAUL; A Preview of Sam Taylor-Wood's Film Nowhere Boy Sets Toes A-Tapping with Its A Preview of Sam Taylor-Wood's Film Nowhere Boy Sets Toes A-Tapping with Its Exhilarating Soundtrack of Lennon's First Encounters with Rock 'N' Roll Exhilarating Soundtrack of Lennon's First Encounters with Rock 'N' Roll; SOUND CHECK

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

WHEN JOHN MET PAUL; A Preview of Sam Taylor-Wood's Film Nowhere Boy Sets Toes A-Tapping with Its A Preview of Sam Taylor-Wood's Film Nowhere Boy Sets Toes A-Tapping with Its Exhilarating Soundtrack of Lennon's First Encounters with Rock 'N' Roll Exhilarating Soundtrack of Lennon's First Encounters with Rock 'N' Roll; SOUND CHECK

Article excerpt

Byline: David Smyth

BEFORE rooftop gigs and selfdiscovery in India, before mop-tops and mania, before John and Paul were even an item, the seeds of The Beatles were being sown in the suburbs of Liverpool.

Nowhere Boy, artist-turned-director Sam Taylor-Wood's imminent film debut, takes the focus all the way back to John Lennon's school days. Though the teenager's performing and songwriting abilities are seen to be understandably limited (considering he is usually competing for attention with the coconut shy at a village fete), the film is a welcome reminder of the brilliance of the music that existed before The Beatles changed the rules completely.

We see young Lennon awestruck in the cinema watching Elvis directing his pelvis towards hundreds of hysterical girls, listening to Screamin' Jay Hawkins howling I Put a Spell on You with a nimal intensity, and learning from his wayward mother Julia that rock 'n' roll is a synonym for sex.

It is the start of a relationship with this riotous sound that would remain an inspiration all the way to his Rock 'n' Roll solo album of 1975.

A soundtrack, to be released before Christmas, features exhilarating staples of the Fifties from Jerry Lee Lewis, Wanda Jackson, Eddie Cochran and, inevitably, Rocket 88 by Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats, widely considered to be the first rock 'n' roll song. Then there are newly recorded versions of the songs Lennon and his fluctuating cohorts were playing at their earliest gigs -- Elvis's That's All Right, Buddy Holly's That'll be the Day and a cutesy early Lennon original, Hello Little Girl.

Before The Beatles, there were The Quarry Men, a ramshackle gaggle of Lennon's schoolmates who feature in the film and who were the musical equivalent of the chimp in the ascent of man picture. Members are still available for gig bookings, promising "country, western, rock 'n' roll and skiffle" at www.originalquarrymen. co.uk.

Then they focused on skiffle, the lively homemade sound popularised by Lonnie Donegan that made live performance far more accessible to boys who might not otherwise have been able to afford proper instruments. The washboard and tea chest bass were today's illegally downloaded laptop music production software. …

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