When a young Richard Flavell and his bandmates were playing parties and clubs in England in 1960, they dressed in smart suits and thin ties and soaked up every bit of American blues and R&B they could get their hands on—including the music of Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley. Last May, Flavell was thrilled to meet a more famous contemporary of the English music scene, when Sir Paul McCartney visited Yale to receive an honorary degree.

At a reception in New Haven, Flavell told McCartney about his days playing clubs in Norwich, England, where early Beatles collaborator Tony Sheridan was a performer. Flavell remembers a conversation with Sheridan, who had just come back from Hamburg and a series of gigs with a new band from Liverpool.

“They’ve got a funny name,” Sheridan told Flavell. “You should remember them. They’re going to do well.”

McCartney, says Flavell, was amused.