Bono confirms half a bar of chocolate united Lennon-McCartney

On location in November 2021: Where Paul met John.

It’s been known by die-hard Beatles fans for a while, and we shared the story in 2013. Now Bono has a book out where he confirms that Paul told him the story about where Lennon and McCartney first met.

Bono: Surrender.

Here’s the excerpt from Bono’s new book, “Surrender”:

I’m sitting in the front seat of a red Range Rover. The driver, who picked me up from John Lennon Airport in Liverpool, is Paul McCartney. He’s taking me and Jimmy Iovine on a magical mystery tour through his hometown, showing us the neighbourhoods where the Four grew up. He’s pointing here, there, and everywhere. And apologising.

“You sure you’re interested in this?”
“Oh yes,” I reply. “I couldn’t be more interested.”
“Yeah? Okay, well, that’s where George’s neighborhood was. It was actually a rough neighborhood, George’s. Really Ringo’s was a little tougher. I’ll show you where he was in a minute. John’s was like a little nobby. Not too nobby, but a little nobby. And mine, my family were okay. We were over there.”

As he drives, he points out the window.

“There’s the 86 bus. Myself and John used to ride there, just gone by. You sure you don’t mind me telling you this?”

“Oh no, I don’t mind. Please go on.”

Do I mind? It’s like Moses giving you a tour of the holy land. It’s like Freud giving you a tour of the brain. It’s like Neil Armstrong giving you a tour of the moon It’s like Paul McCartney driving me through the geography of a music that has transformed my life. We pull up at a light.

“See over there? That newsagent? It’s changed a bit, but that’s where I had my first real conversation with John.”

Now I know a bit about The Beatles lore and wonder if his memory is playing tricks.

“But I thought your first conversation with John was when he was in the Quarrymen and they played at that fete in St. Peter’s Church.”

Paul looks at me with, I feel, some respect.

“Yeah, that’s true,” he says, smiling. “But I’m talking real, insightful stuff, not just ‘What sort of guitar do you use?’ or ‘What sort of tunes are you listening to?”

“Insightful? How do you mean?”

“Well, John bought a bar of chocolate, Cadbury’s chocolate, and when he came out of the newsagent’s he broke it in half. Gave me one half. I was amazed because, you know, back then, chocolate was really something. Most boys would break off a little square, but John gave me half his bar.”

I was musing on this as Paul put his foot on the accelerator and we moved off.

“I don’t know why I’m telling you that”

Perhaps he did know. I knew. In an instant it was clear to me that the greatest collaboration in the history of popular culture started with a fifty-fifty deal on a bar of chocolate. Lennon and McCartney. Born over a bar of Cadbury’s chocolate.

Read about the real location of the news agent and how McCartney pointed it out in one of his music videos.

Mark Ashworth has a new blog post which updates the story.

8 Responses

  1. debjorgo says:

    A perfect example of where two stories can be different, but both absolutely true, ie, George Martin signing with the Beatles because he liked their personalities.

  2. It all makes sense now. At the end of Strawberry Fields, John says “Cadbury Paul”. Now we know the rest of the story!

  3. debjorgo says:

    Ah…, a Paul is Fed clue.

    I know I’ve heard Paul say, talking about their songwriting partnership, “John used to give me half a bar, and I’d finish it for him”.

  4. mike says:

    I believe Pete Shotton also said the same thing in his book: that most kids would covet their chocolates and candies, but that John would always share with everyone.

  5. Applejam101 says:

    Oh, these puns just kill me. Thanks for the laugh/groan. Now I’ll always picture John handing Paul a chocolate bar at the end of SFF.

  6. Stewart Corrick says:

    Great story about my favourite chocolate bar. Oh, and my favourite song writers. Oh, and half my favourite band.

    Thank you for sharing.


  7. Shad Radna says:

    He took his lucky Breakaway and broke it in two…

  8. James Whitehouse says:

    Does make you think about the “lucky break and broke it in two” line in Too Many People…. Hmmm

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