McCartney Times

Colin Leo Hanton

bio_pic_colinColin Leo Hanton (born 12 December 1938, Walton Hospital, Walton, Liverpool, Merseyside) was a drummer for The Quarrymen—the band which would later evolve into The Beatles.

Hanton was in an early line-up of the band from Summer 1956 along with John Lennon, Eric Griffiths, Pete Shotton and Rod Davis, and stayed with the band through several line-up changes until January 1959 (by which time the band consisted of Lennon, Hanton, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and John Lowe).

Hanton was working as an apprentice upholsterer when he was asked to join the nascent band, largely because he had recently purchased a new drum kit. Many of the band’s early practice sessions took place in Hanton’s parents’ house. He left the Quarrymen after an argument with the rest of the band following a disastrous performance at the Speke Bus Depot Social Club. in Wavertree January 1, 1959.

In 1997, Hanton joined the revived Quarrymen with other original members Rod Davis, Len Garry, Pete Shotton (who has since retired) and Eric Griffiths, who died in 2005. John “Duff” Lowe, a pianist, also plays with the group occasionally. 

Colin played drums with the Quarrymen from 1956 until 1959, appearing with John, Paul and George and he has been playing with the revived Quarrymen since 1997. For Colin’s full story see Hunter Davies’ biography of the Quarrymen.

“I was born in Walton Hospital on 12 December 1938 and lived in Bootle during the war years. The family moved to Woolton in 1946 when I was about seven or eight, together with my elder brother, Brian. This was where I first got to know Rod Davis, who lived in a nearby street and used to come and play football with the lads in my road.
My sister Jacqueline was born in Woolton and then a not long after my mother went into hospital with tuberculosis where she eventually died. Meanwhile we had gone to live in Bootle with my grandparents.
Some years later my father remarried and we went back to live in Woolton again, where I went to St. Mary’s School and then on to Horrocks Avenue Senior School.
When I left school I decided I wanted to be a carpenter and the careers master sent me off to a furniture company called Guy Rogers in Speke where I after a time I became an apprentice upholsterer.
I was very interested in jazz and played along to records with drumsticks but no drums. At last I got my mum and dad’s permission to buy some on hire purchase from Frank Hessy’s Music Shop in Liverpool, a set of white Broadway drums which I still own, in fact I used them on the Quarrymen’s cd and now they are on exhibition in the Beatles Story Museum in Liverpool!

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