The Day John Lennon met Paul McCartney is being recreated 60 years on

It was one of the key moments in pop history – even if neither of them realised it at the time.

On 6 July 1957, teenagers John Lennon and Paul McCartney were introduced to each other at St Peter’s Church Fete in Woolton, where 16-year-old John was playing with his band The Quarrymen.

Now, to mark the 60th anniversary that day is being recreated by Cavern City Tours – owner of the Cavern Club, in collaboration with St Peter’s Church and Bishop Martin School.

The Quarrymen are set to play at the Thursday, 6 July event, which will include an afternoon fete, followed by a ticket-only Grand Dance in the church hall.

The fete includes:

  • The Quarrymen performing from the back of a flatbed lorry, with original driver Doug Chadwick on the wheel, as it travels on a circular route around Woolton village.
  • The crowning of the Rose Queen.
  • A children’s fancy dress competition judged by John Lennon’s sister Julia Baird who attended the 1957 fete as a child.
  • Traditional stalls, games and crafts, along with refreshments and a barbecue.
  • Live music throughout the afternoon.

The Grand Dance takes place in the church hall from 7.30pm and will feature a musical line-up, which includes a finale by the original Quarrymen.

The Cavern Club is also celebrating its 60th birthday in 2017.

Cavern City Tours director Bill Heckle said: “The day John met Paul was, in essence, the birth of the Beatles.”

“Without this key meeting between two schoolboys in a leafy Liverpool suburb, there would have been no Beatles as we know them, and with Paul turning 75 in June we think he’d agree 06 July 1957 was one of the most important days in his life.

“We’re delighted to be able to recreate this moment in the history of music, and we hope people get in to the spirit of the occasion – we’d love to see everyone turn up in 50s-style outfits to really turn back the clock.”

Admission to the afternoon fete is by £2.50 programme on the day.

Tickets for the Grand Dance cost £20 and go on sale at 10am on Friday, 17 March, from the

Cavern website www.cavernclub.com

The Quarrymen at St Peter’s Fete, 6th July 1957

London Beatles Walk to Feature on French TV!

My London Beatles Walking tour will be featured on TF1 TV in France. I was filmed with my tour group at the Abbey Road crossing and outside Abbey Road Studios. I then went with them to 3 Savile Row, where the Beatles did the famous ‘rooftop session for ‘Let it Be’.

Today, they came to my house and interviewed me and my wife, Irina, about our love of the Beatles and our extensive Beatles collection.

The piece will be shown on TF1 at 12 Noon (French Time) on March 26th.

For more details on my London Beatles Walks, see http://www.beatlesinlondon.com

More on ‘It Was 50 Years Ago Today’

The screening took place in a very nice screening room at the Hospital Club in Covent Garden. Those present included the director, Alan G Parker, and the co- producer Reynold D’Silva ( who also owned Ringo’s old flat in Montagu Square) and archivist Keith Badman. The film is produced by  Alexa Morris.

Alan gave brief speech before the film, telling us how the idea first came to him when he met Keith Badman at the Liverpool Beatles Convention in 1982.

The film begins with a recollections from the Beatles 1966 tours, focusing on the controversy surrounding John’s ‘bigger than Jesus’ comments, and they they decided they wouldn’t tour any more. During this section. there was a fascinating interview with Brian Epstein, filmed in late 1966, talking about the Beatles future plans, and really dodging the question about future tours.

The film then goes into the making of Sgt Pepper itself, and how the songs came about. There was a nice section on Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds, showing childhood photos of Julian Lennon together with Lucy O’Donnell, who was the inspiration behind Julian’s painting, that inspired John to write the song.

After talking about Sgt Pepper, the film covers the story of the Beatles meeting the Maharishi, and the death of Brian Epstein. I thought the section on Brian was done very well, and a very nice tribute.

Hunter Davies told a great story of how he went to Bangor with the Beatles to see the Maharishi. On the first night he took them to a Chinese restaurant, but realised he didn’t have enough money to pay the bill. The Beatles didn’t carry money with them, and the waiters in the restaurant didn’t recognise the Beatles, and were getting aggressive, thinking they wouldn’t be paid. George Harrison saved the day by asking for a knife, and slit open his shoe. From the shoe, he pulled out a £20 note, which he kept there ‘In case of emergency’

Views on the Maharishi are very mixed among the interviewees. Some really like him, but author and journalist Ray Connelly called him a con man.

Although most of the people in the film were known to me, one highlight was the interview with Barbara O’Donnell, who was a secretary at NEMS and Apple, and worked with Ringo until 1982.

The film ends with the release of the ‘White Album’.

The film was highly enjoyable, with enough new material and stories to keep the interest of even the die-hard Beatles fan that has seen nearly everything (yes, including me!) New fans would find it fascinating too!

At present, there are plans for premieres in Liverpool and London, around June 1st. I will give full details here when known.

The film poster for ‘It Was 50 Years Ago Today’.

 

 

 

It was 50 Years Ago Today! – a Review

Just back from a screening of the new film ‘It Was 50 Years Ago Today – The Beatles, Sgt Pepper & Beyond. 

The film very much starts where ‘Eight Day’s a Week’ ends – but for me was much more enjoyable. Where I found Eight Day’s a Week slightly disappointing, ‘It Was 50 Years Ago Today’ was far better than my expectations.

The film is expertly written and directed by Alan G Parker, who shows much love and dedication to his subject throughout the film. A brilliant cast of interviewees included Hunter Davies, who was present during most of the recording of Sgt Pepper; Philip Norman, who has written great books on the Fabs, and John and Paul; and Jennie Boyd (Pattie’s Sister). Also giving their insights were Tony Bramwell, Freda Kelly, and surprisingly, Pete Best, who talked about his families role in the making of Sgt Pepper. Although, because the film wasn’t sanctioned by Apple, there is no Beatles music, there is plenty of footage of the Fabs, much I hadn’t seen before, as collected by Keith Badman, Beatles archivist extraordinaire.

Altogether, the film is a great tribute to a great album. Highly recommended :>)

(More recollections tomorrow, after I get some sleep – it’s been a Hard Day’s Night!

It was 50 Years Ago Today.

George and Ringo’s old Flat up for Rent

The flat that George and Ringo shared during the ‘Beatlemania’ years is up for rent.

The flat, in Whaddon House, Williams Mews, is very close to Harrods, the most famous department store in London.

Brian Epstein lived in the same block – and it was his dream for all the Beatles to live together. However, Paul moved in with the family of his girlfriend Jane Asher, and John, Cynthia and Julian Lennon lived in Emperor’s Gate, Kensington.

For more on the flat see http://m.zoopla.co.uk/discover/property-news/former-beatles-home-up-for-rent/#YU5iuUQI6CoXSBxy.97 or from blogger Richard Porter’s book ‘Guide to the Beatles London’ which is available at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Guide-Beatles-London-Richard-Porter-ebook/dp/B00DVQ4P6U/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1489435318&sr=8-3&keywords=guide+to+the+beatles+London

 

Whaddon House as it looks today.

Paul McCartney to Release Cassette on Record Store Day!

Paul McCartney has announced a Record Store Day April 22 offering that won’t be in the usual vinyl format. In a press release March 13, he said he will put out a limited-edition cassette of three demos from his “Flowers in the Dirt” recording sessions done with Elvis Costello. The cassette will be available at participating Record Store Day outlets.

The songs – “I Don’t Want to Confess,” “Shallow Grave” and “Mistress and Maid” – are the same versions being released digitally as part of the deluxe version of the “Flowers in the Dirt” CD-DVD reissue on March 24, but here they’ll be returning to their original format on cassette.

For more on this story, see https://www.axs.com/paul-mccartney-bucks-tradition-offers-cassette-of-flowers-in-the-dirt–115979 and https://youtu.be/4jFfgo2fUrg

 

The track listing of the cassette

March 12th 1969 – Paul McCartney Marries Linda Eastman.

March 12th 1969 – Paul McCartney married Linda Eastman at Marylebone Register Office, London.

The press are out in force, as are lots of Paul McCartney fans, crying their eyes out as Paul has got married.

BTW Linda was NOT part of Eastman Kodak. Her family fled from Russia to escape the progrom against the Jews, and changed their name when they arrived in the US. The original family name was ….Epstein!

Here is colour footage of Paul and Linda’s wedding. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2tBX6_98QVg

Paul and Linda McCartney, with Linda’s daughter Heather, after their wedding at Marylebone Register Office

On the same day, Sgt Norman Pilcher of the drugs squad raids Kinfauns, the home of George and Pattie Harrison. Pattie is at home and George is at Apple in Savile Row. George tells Patti to show the police where the drugs are, before they smash the place up. However, before she has the chance, the police ‘discover’ a huge stash of pot, which wasn’t George and Pattie’s! They’d brought their own, to be on the safe side…

On June 11th 2003, blogger Richard Porter married Irina Dyomkina at Marylebone Register Office (no coincidence!)

Blogger Richard Porter with Irina, and her daughter, Ilona, at their wedding at Marylebone Register Office

We go to Marylebone Register Office on my Beatles In My Life walk http://www.beatlesinlondon.com

March 11th 1966 – John Lennon Talks to the NME

In March 1966 John Lennon gave an interview to the music paper the ‘New Musical Express’ – known to everyone as the ‘NME’

The chat took place at ‘a nice little caff in Soho,’ and was published in the March 11th 1966 edition of NME with the teaser ‘LENNON TALKS!’ on the front page. Asking the questions was Chris Hutchins.

To read a transcript of the interview see http://www.beatlesinterviews.org/db1966.0311.beatles.html

Blogger Richard Porter is a full time Beatles tour guide in London. For more info on his tours, see http://www.beatlesinlondon.com