Saturday, February 5, 2011

Some Wondrous Memories

February 5, 1961

The Beatles play their first gig at Blair Hall for a new promoter, Peak Promotions Ltd.  Then, continuing the string they play their third appearance in a week at Lathom Hall, the scene of Stuart's recent trouble.  Imagine how difficult it must be to return to the scene of that crime and pretend that all is well.

Well, the Spencer Leigh book, Twist and Shout, is proving to be a veritable gold mine of interesting insights about the early Beatles.  So let's visit with a few of the other Liverpudlians who were there at the time.

Dave Forshaw was a promoter of shows who remembers the Beatles wearing leather jackets and jeans on stage.  This was very much out of the ordinary at the time when everybody else was dressing in dinner jackets and ties, trying to look like Bill Haley and the Comets.

Tony Sanders played drums for an outfit called Billy Kramer and the Coasters.  He remembers the leather jackets and cowboy boots, with which they would stomp on the stage floor (a technique they learned in Hamburg).  He remembers how rough and ready the Beatles presentation was, with them smoking and joking with each other on stage.  "Lennon had a leather jacket and McCartney had a jacket that looked as if he'd been sleeping in it for months, but when they kicked off, it was unbelievable."

Harry Prytherch was the drummer for one of the local leading acts, the Remo Four.  He remembers how the stage at Blair Hall sloped down toward the front rows of the audience (as some raised stages do to afford a better view to the seats at the front).  He made it a practice to tie a lanyard from his bass drum to his "throne" to keep the drum from creeping down toward the front.  Once, during a show, he noticed that Pete Best was drumming with one hand and hanging on to his bass drum with the other and came forward to lend Pete his piece of string.  lol

Even with all of the Beatles recent improvements, Don Andrew, also of the Remo Four, was not exactly overwhelmed.  His impression, at the time, is they were dirty and "made a horrible deafening row".  No accounting for taste!

Three Cool Cats
George, Paul and John with ciggies, boots, and TV aerials

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