Friday, July 22, 2011

The Band Solidifies

July 22-28, 1861

The Beatles are now very nearly the band we will discover in the early '60s.  Stuart Sutcliffe isn't playing with them anymore, having stayed behind in Hamburg.  John has his Rickenbacker, Paul his Hofner "Beatle Bass" and George his Gretsch Duo Jet.  Of course, Pete Best still sits on the throne behind the drum kit and provides the "atom beat" that the Beatles are locally famous for, that heavy four-to-the-bar bass drum.  Again and again, one reads of reminiscences of early fans of the Beatles which mention how the sound would just go through you.  It is said that you felt it as much as heard it.  The excitement generated is irresistible.

How lucky those kids are to be there to experience it while the rest of the world sleeps (and quietly dreams of the Four Freshmen!)

The Beatles play three gigs at jive halls this weekend, the Aintree Institute on Friday, Holyoake Hall on Saturday and Blair Hall (with the sloping stage) on Sunday. Monday they are at Litherland Town Hall.  They play four mid-week sessions, both lunchtime and evening, at the Cavern, where they are quickly becoming the house band.  Then Thursday at St John's Hall and Friday back at the Aintree.  Obviously, the Liverpool promoters know a good thing when they see (and hear) it.  Sam Leach is beginning to get some "big" ideas that will come to fruition in November under the appellation of "Operation Big Beat", perhaps the high water mark of the inundation called the Mersey Beat sound.
P.S. Just found out, I'm going to see McCartney at Comerica Park in Detroit this Sunday.  Last time I saw him was 35 years ago, Wings Over America.  Thanks for asking, Chris.

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