Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Life is a Cabaret

July 25, 1962

Another minor setback for the Beatles.  Epstein, always on the look-out for new approaches for getting the band "out there" books them into a cabaret venue, the Cabaret Club in Liverpool.  Cabaret fare is more likely to be smokey renditions of laid back classics like "My Funny Valentine" than rhythm and blues.  No doubt Brian advises them to feature their more easy listening numbers.  Didn't work though.  They "go a cropper" and are never invited back.

Tomorrow and the 27th go better.  They play Cambridge Hall in Southport in a North End Music Stores promoted show with the infectious Joe Brown and the Bruvvers.  George is still obsessed with guitars.  Here he poses after the show on the 27th with Joe Brown's beautiful Gibson ES-335 with Bixby vibrato.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Eyes on the Prize, Boys

mid-July, 1962

This summer, the story of the Beatles is all about getting hired into better and better ballrooms.  This has to be attributed  to the unrelenting hard work of Brian Epstein.  All this groundwork is, undoubtedly a big factor in their future success.  On the 17th the Beatles make another foray south to McIlroy's Ballroom in Swindon, not far from the neolithic stone circle, Stonehenge.  And on the 19th an extension of their appearances at the Majestic Ballroom in Birkenhead is begun.  The Majestic booking is with Top Rank, Britain's premier live entertainment company, which owns and operates 28 ballrooms all around the country.  These are first rate venues, but the Beatles are still appearing when there is nothing else going at the cramped and clammy Cavern Club.

Their dreams are finally coming true.  Great live venues, and a recording contract!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Princes of Wales

July 14, 1962

The Beatles make their first appearance in Wales, which is just across the River Dee from Liverpool City.  Of course, all of the Beatles have spent time in Wales, especially at Butlins Holiday Camp (Pwllheli location), where they'd vacation as kids, but this is their first trip there as professionals.  They appear at a dance in Rhyl, Flintshire, about an hour away from home.  I'm sure they are wondering and worrying, "How do we ease Pete out and Ringo in?".

Pwllheli is to the south on Cardigan Bay (zoom out to see it).

Friday, July 6, 2012

Typical Summer Gigs

July 6-7, 1962

On the 6th, a Friday, the Beatles make their second appearance on the "Fish and Chip Boat", the Royal Iris.  This was an excursion ship that would put to sea for a couple of hours, allowing city dwellers to get away from the heat of the city for a while and enjoy some variety entertainment for a couple of bob.  Like last time, the share the spotlight with sax player Acker Bilk, who, to help the new kids along, presents them with his  idea of an essential piece of stage equipment, bowler hats.  I wonder if they thought back to Acker Bilk a couple of years later at this photo shoot...

Thanks for the splendid hats, Acker!
 On the 7th, Brian Epstein books the band into Hulme Hall in euphoniously named Port Sunlight for the first of four appearances.  The occasion was a golf club dance. 

Then it's back to the usual Liverpool dance halls interspersed among the many Cavern Club dates.  With so many opportunities, its a wonder that every citizen of the city didn't get a chance to see the Beatles sometime.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Tonight's the Night

July 2, 1962

Given the length of a normal human pregnancy, Julian Lennon is conceived on or about this date in Beatle history.  I know there are conflicting stories, but his birth date (April 8th) is known and the typical gestation period (40 weeks) is also well documented, so there it is.  Take it or leave it.

It was rather ungenerous of John to say later that Julian was "born out of a whiskey bottle on a Saturday night."  That comment may have had more to do with John's complicated self-image than the reality of the situation.  John is always a welcome visitor to Miss Powell's "bedsit" room (rented sleeping room with shared bath).  One picture is worth a thousand words...

John and Cyn (from the amazing Beatles Chronology fb page)
The Beatles play a gig at the Plaza Ballroom tonight, in amongst all the Cavern appearances.