Man called John Lennon is first in queue for tickets to see McCartney at Cavern

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The Independent Online
FANS OF Sir Paul McCartney endured a hard day's night for the chance to see their hero turn back the clock at the Cavern Club - and the first person in the queue yesterday was one John Lennon.

The 18-year-old music lover, who changed his name by deed poll three weeks ago, was one of hundreds of fans who lined up outside record stores in a bid to win tickets for the one-off gig.

Mr Lennon slept outside the Liverpool HMV store overnight to be first in line this morning to pick up a form allowing him to join a national raffle for 250 tickets. He was among 150 people who were waiting as the shop opened its doors.

Four other HMV stores at Birmingham, Glasgow, Newcastle upon Tyne and Oxford Street in London were also besieged as they each gave out 250 forms, entitling people to enter Thursday's draw.

Lennon, better known to his friends as Ben Lomas and originally from Worcester, started his 22-hour wait on Sunday morning. The teenager, who has recently moved into Liverpool's legendary Penny Lane, and hopes to find employment in the Beatles' industry, said seeing Sir Paul "would be a dream come true".

He added: "I've always loved the Beatles and seeing Sir Paul back where he started his career is too good an opportunity to pass by.

"I changed my name to John Lennon as a tribute to him. It was the best way of honouring him I could find."

The same store had at least one Beatles fan who had travelled from overseas to be in with a chance. HMV spokesman Gennaro Castaldo said: "One fan had travelled all the way from Holland. There were stores that would have been nearer for him but he decided he wanted to go to Liverpool because that's where The Beatles came from."

All 1,250 forms nationwide went within minutes of the five stores opening. Sir Paul's 14 December rock'n'roll show sees him return to the Matthew Street venue 12,953 days since he last played at the original Cavern Club.

Sir Paul chose each of the five stores which would be giving away the tickets. He has long had an affection for HMV since the Beatles manager Brian Epstein had a chance encounter in the company's old flagship store which led to the band landing a deal.