Our Town: Calgary music teacher gave John Lennon a few guitar tips

Friday, March 23, 2018

On Dec. 8, 1980, John Lennon was shot outside his Manhattan apartment. When the news broke, patrons in a Kitchener-Waterloo bar—including Brian Griffiths—were as shocked as everyone else. Word quickly spread that, some 15 years earlier, a local fellow named Frank had attended a Beatles concert at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens. That was as close a connection as anyone there figured they had to the famous musician.

Over the years, Griffiths had learned to keep his mouth shut whenever the Beatles came up. He left the bar that evening without sharing personal anecdotes that would have held everyone in the place rapt. As a musically gifted teenager in Liverpool in the 1950s, “Griff” had spent time with Lennon and taught him some licks on the guitar. It’s a top-notch musical bragging point—so good, that Griffiths had more than once been accused of making it up.

Source: Brendan Stephens/


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