Len Garry is one of the two odd-men-out in the group – someone who didn’t attend Quarry Bank High School. Len was born on 6th January 1942. He lives with his mum and dad, and older brother Walter in Lance Lane, Wavertree which is a village about a mile away from Woolton, where several of the other lads live. Len knew Pete slightly from Mosspits Lane Primary School, but after passing his Eleven-Plus he went to the rival grammar school to Quarry Bank – the Liverpool Institute – which he still attends. Len and Pete got reacquainted a few years ago after a mutual friend Ivan (Ivy) Vaughan – who goes to the Institute with Len – introduced him to his two pals John Lennon and Pete Shotton from Woolton. Since then, the four lads – sometimes joined by pals Billy Turner and Nigel Walley – have became inseparable. When John was looking for someone to play the tea-chest bass last year – it was naturally to his mate Len that he turned.
Len Garry played tea chest bass in the Quarry Men in 1957 and 1958, when they were still doing some skiffle tunes. They did rock’n’roll too, but tea chest bass was part of the instrumentation for many young British groups of the time, not only because it fit in with the skiffle repertoire, but also because it was less expensive than an electric bass and amp. Garry was a student at the Liverpool Institute, where Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and another early Quarry Men member, Ivan Vaughan, all went to school. In about mid-1957 he replaced one of the most obscure Quarry Men, Bill Smith, on tea chest bass after getting introduced to the band through his friend Vaughan. Garry‘s time in the Quarry Men ended in 1958 when, at the age of 16, he contracted tubercular meningitis and was hospitalized, lapsing into a coma and almost dying. In truth his time in the band was probably nearly up anyway, not only because Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison were closing ranks, but also because as skiffle faded in popularity, so did the need for and desirability of a tea chest bass. Garry was not involved in the Quarry Men reunion recording Open for Engagements in 1994, but did play with ex-Quarry Men Rod Davis, Eric Griffiths, Pete Shotton, and Colin Hanton on the 40th anniversary of the Quarry Men gig at which John Lennon and Paul McCartney first met.