Saturday, October 15, 2011

How Will You Keep Them Down on the Mersey

October 15, 1961

John and Paul, tired and broke, return to Liverpool and the old grind of gigs after their vacation in Paris.  The new hairstyle, inspired by the Paris scene, is here to stay.  John, Paul and George are all wearing it now.  Only Pete Best continues to go his own way, tonsorially speaking.  The Beatles, as a group, never made overt demands on the individual members, peer pressure was enough to keep the band moving in a common direction in matters of both music and fashion.

Alain Delon on set
Here's an interesting youtube clip that shows what was happening in French cinema at the time, which heavily influenced the Beatles' changing style.  It's from the 1960 movie Plein Soliel (Purple Noon) and stars Alain Delon, who sports a remarkably "fashion forward" hairstyle.(Of course, these are just the first rumblings of the nouveau style.  The Beatles and others will take it to further heights in years to come.  In matters of style, evolution is the watchword.)

Now that they are back, the Beatles jump into the deep end, playing two gigs today.  One is a rare benefit, organized by unsung hero Jim Gretty, a guitarist and salesman at Hetty's Music Store on Matthew Street where many of the Beatles' instruments came from.  The gig is held at Albany Cinema for the local ambulance company.  They play this evening at Hambleton Hall, one of the rougher of their regular venues.

They are back at the Cavern FIVE times this week, and they play on the 17th at a show organized by their very own month-old fan club at a one-off venue, David Lewis Club in central Liverpool.  There is also a legendary appearance at Litherland (more later) and one at Knotty Ash to round out the week.

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