Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Best Drumbeat

August 10, 1960

The Grosvenor gig being a thing of the past, the Beatles had even more time than usual on their hands. Of course, it goes without saying they would find something related to rock and roll to fill the extra time.  That quest took them back to a place that they hadn't seen since 1959, The Casbah Coffee Club.

The previous year John's original group, the Quarrymen (including both Paul and George) had played at the club in its earliest weeks.  In fact, they had helped to paint and otherwise prepare the basement rooms that would become the teenage hangout.  Later, a bit of bad blood between the Beatles and proprietor Mona Best resulted from the payment of a few shillings out of the band's fee to a band mate who was too ill to actually play.

The house band by August 1960 had become the Blackjacks, which featured on drums the shy, handsome son of the club owner.  Creator of the Atomic Beat, his name was Pete Best.  No doubt, the Beatles were also suitably impressed by his brand new professional drum kit.

The cover photo on the Best's book about the history of the Casbah shows a silhouette of John Lennon painted before the opening by his then girlfriend Cynthia Powell.  It feels as if part of John is weirdly frozen in time there, like the shadow of an unknown Japanese person emblazoned onto a wall at Hiroshima in August 1945.

No comments:

Post a Comment