Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Mersey Beat Magazine

July 6, 1961

Today, the first issue of Mersey Beat magazine is published by Bill Harry.

Bill Harry is a small time writer and wanna-be magazine publisher from Liverpool.  (Harry is a friend of John Lennon from his Liverpool Art College days.)  He has some prior publishing and printing experience and sees a golden opportunity to  launch a magazine specially devoted to the burgeoning Liverpool rock scene.  He borrows 50 English pounds, enlists the help of his girl friend (later wife) Virginia and rents office space.  The magazine is a smashing success and immediately sells out the 5000 copies of the first run.  (Check out the front page add for Frank Hessy's music shop below, frequented by all the Beatles for their equipment needs.  It is a few yards down Matthew Street from the Cavern.)

Among the articles in this issue is one entitled ‘Being A Short Diversion on the Dubious Origins of Beatles, Translated From the John Lennon.'  Yeah, THAT John Lennon and it is a masterpiece of the silly humor that he would soon be famous for.
Once upon a time there were three little boys called John, George and Paul, by name christened. They decided to get together because they were the getting together type. When they were together they wondered what for after all, what for? So all of a sudden they all grew guitars and fashioned a noise. Funnily enough, no-one was interested, least of all the three little men. So-o-o on discovering a fourth little even littler man called Stuart Sutcliffe running about them they said, quote 'Sonny get a bass guitar and you will be alright' and he did.  Many people ask what are the Beatles? Why Beatles? Ugh, Beatles how did the name arrive? So we will tell you. It came in a vision - a man appeared on a Flaming Pie and said unto them 'From this day on you are Beatles with an A'. 'Thank you, Mister Man,' they said, thanking him.

Bill Harry would get Lennon to write a regular column for Mersey Beat called Beatcomber.   The rocker pictured on the front page is Gene Vincent with a couple of local fans.

Issue Number 1 of Liverpool's Mersey Beat Magazine

1 comment:

  1. ha, what an interesting story teller John was. And i enjoyed reading the comment you left on my Role Playing post :)