Saturday, March 12, 2011

Looking Forward to Hamburg and Back at Liverpool

March 12-15, 1961

The Beatles are playing all the clubs, usually multiple gigs per day.  The 12th at the Casbah and Sam Leach's Cassanova.  The 13th, a lunchtime gig at the Cavern and later at the Iron Door.  The 14th and 15th, lunch at the Cavern and again at the Iron Door.  They must have figured out by now that another trip to Germany was definitely in the cards for them.  Stuart Sutcliffe is going over early, perhaps to prepare the way for them, but most likely to reconnect with his lovely Astrid, whom he hasn't seen for a couple months, an eternity when you are young and in love.  This demonstrates that they no longer rely on Stu as a full time member of the band, but he does still go on stage with them on occasion.

If you have an idle hour to kill and you want to enter the world occupied by the Beatles, kind of as a "fly on the wall", there is no better way than by watching a bit of early Coronation Street.

Coronation Street was (and still is) a BBC soap opera, set in a fictional town of North West England, somewhere in the vicinity of Liverpool.  I am a great believer that we can learn quite a lot about the everyday lives and culture of people by opening ourselves up to their popular entertainments.  (How can we better come to know Elizabethans than by attentively watching a well-produced Shakespeare play.)  There is much to be gleaned from Coronation Street for those who want to deeply understand the phenomenon of the Beatles.  First, you have to appreciate that the series began before anyone outside of Liverpool itself ever heard of such a thing as the "Merseybeat", so whatever insights to be found are not of the "looking back" variety.  This was TV that was meant to show the little dramas typically to be found in the lives of the people of that time and place, a time and place that would later radically re-contour the landscape of popular music worldwide.  Coronation Street will also help improve your ear for that distinctive North West accent.  It will take a little time, but keep at it.  :-)  Intrigued?  Watch some here.

1 comment:

  1. ah yes, just to be a fly on the wall. ha ha, Astird was also the band's photagrapher back in Hamburg, wasnt she???