Monday, July 26, 2010

The German Connection

July 26, 1960

While the Beatles continued to play Saturday jive nights at Grosvenor Ballroom and Monday night sessions in the basement of the Jacaranda, Allan Williams worked toward his vision of a new entertainment empire.  (From such little acorns mighty oaks are born.)  Allan suffered two catastrophic setbacks in a short space of time at the end of July 1960.  First, he was "convinced" by the local constabulary that strip clubs were not going to be condoned in Liverpool and then his house band at the Jacaranda up and decided to move to greener pastures on the mainland.  In Hamburg Germany, to be precise.

Like Liverpool, Hamburg was a bustling commercial port city, had been since the days of the Hanseatic League.  And where there were sailors, who spent their lives on the move, there had always been opportunities for practitioners of the world's oldest profession.  In Hamburg, the Reeperbahn district was where those practitioners were allowed, if not encouraged, to set up shop.  Since even a young man can't spend all 24 hours in that pursuit, rowdy rock and roll clubs, sort of like the major leagues to Liverpool's minors, were sprouting all over the Reeperbahn.

Allen began hearing reports of the developing demand for entertainment from friends who had made the trip, including his Royal Carribean Steel Band friends, who were too naive to imagine that running out on the gig at the Jacaranda without advance notice might result in bad blood with the management.  A club manager named Bruno Koschmider had earlier made a trip to England and booked a Liverpool band called Derry and the Seniors, through Williams, to play at his club, the Kaiserkeller.  Encouraging accounts were reaching Allan's ears from that quarter, also.

The snowball had officially begun rolling downhill.

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