Monday, May 10, 2010

An audition

May 10, 1960

A key person in the development of the Beatles was a guy named Alan Williams, their first quasi-manager.  He was a small time Liverpool impresario, of Welsh extraction, always on the lookout for ways to make a few bob from the entertainment business.  One of his ventures was the Jacaranda club near the Liverpool Art College which was a popular hangout for students.  That was originally how John Lennon and Stu Sutcliffe came into his orbit.  His book called "The Man Who Gave the Beatles Away" is a very fanciful and engaging telling of the early Beatles history.  When the Beatles were (as usual) looking for a drummer, Alan Williams had hooked them up with a rather older musician named Tommy Moore, a guy with a wife and kids and a job at the Garston Bottle Works.  Ah well, any port in a storm!  The "Jac" became their practice space during the day with Williams promising work for them after they improved their musical skills.

After the Empire Theatre rock show of March 1960, starring Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran, Williams had contacted Larry Parnes to offer his talent for any of Parnes' extravaganzas.  Larry Parnes happened to be in need of a backing group for his star attraction, Billy Fury.  An audition session was hastily arranged to take place on this day at a venue that Williams was just opening a lease on.  A place later to be called the "Blue Angel".  The Beatles played, but did not "pass the audition".

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