Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Marching to a Different Drummer

March 16-19, 1961

The Beatles are at the Cavern again, building a bigger following there now.  Gerry Marsden of Gerry and the Pacemakers says that one of the most striking things about the Beatles relates to Paul's left handedness.  When John stood stage left (the audiences right) and Paul to stage right, they brought a pleasing symmetry to the set up.  They brought to mind bookends for the lead guitarist and drummer, especially on those small stages they played on so often.  That resonates well with their desire to play as an ensemble, not as a "Band Leader and the So-and-Sos" type act, like so many other groups.  Gerry also says that part of the secret of their success was that they had a strong following among young men as well as the girls.  I think we can definitely attribute that to the edginess of their sound.  (NG - Many of the pics used in this video are by Astrid Kircherr.)

On the 17th, they play a gig, their only one, organized by a pair of promoters doing business as Ivamar. And then another gig at the Iron Door.  It was at the Iron Door that our friend Sam Leach gave a young girl, coat check girl at the Cavern, named Priscilla White her first chance on stage in front of a backing band.  She'd soon change her name to Cilla Black and has since become a well known figure on English TV as a bright and pretty singer. Famously, she later recorded a song written by Paul McCartney called "Step Inside Love".  In those days in Liverpool, you couldn't swing a cat without hitting three wonderful musicians.

The 19th is spent at the Casbah Coffee Club in West Derby, the basement club that they had pitched in to decorate before its grand opening.  Must have done wonders for club membership numbers by now!

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