Reflections on Liverpool Beatleweek Part Two- St Peter’s, Quarrymen, and the Summer of Love!

Saturday of Beatleweek saw, for me, the highlight of the weekend, a recreation of St Peter’s Church Fete, where, on July 6th 1957, John Lennon first met Paul McCartney.

The former church grounds are now part of a school, who kindly allowed their grounds to be used for the fete. On entering, we were all given a programme for the 2017 fete, and as a nice touch, a reproduction of the 1957 programme.

The undoubted highlight of the fete was the performance of the Quarrymen, 60 years after their historic first appearance here. Rod Davis, Len Garry, and Colin Hanton all played on that historic day. The rest of the band had historic associations with the Fabs too – Nigel Walley, now on tea chest bass, was the Quarrymen’s first drummer; John ‘Duff’ Lowe played with the band on their first professional recordings; and Chas Newby played a few gig with the Beatles in late 1960-early 1961, including at Litherland Town Hall, where many have said ‘Beatlemania’ began.

Just before the Quarrymen came onstage, the rather strange inflatable stage collapsed, much to the amusement of the crowd. After an attempt to put it back up, it was abandoned and the Quarrymen played without a cover over them. Luckily, it was a very nice sunny day, and it didn’t matter.

The Quarrymen gave a great performance, playing many of the songs they played 60 years ago. They were joined onstage at one point by our good friends, Jane from Russia, and Rolando from Italy. Len Garry asked how many people in the crowd were from overseas, and about 90% of the people there put their hands up!

The Quarrymen at St Peter’s

After the Quarrymen, Nube 9 gave a blistering rock and roll set, that got us all dancing.

Lucrecia of Nube 9 rocking out at St Peters

We also took the opportunity to visit St Peter’s Church Hall, where John Lennon was first introduced to Paul McCartney. While we were there, a lone guitar player played and sang ’20 Flight Rock’ – the song that Paul McCartney played to John Lennon, which persuaded John that Paul should join the band. A magical moment.

Inside St Peter’s Church Hall

After a short rest  we went back to the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall for the evening’s entertainment, which was ‘The Summer of Love Concert’, featuring Hal Bruce and the Rockits, and the Psychedelic Love Orchestra. The evening began with the Love Orchestra playing the Magical Mystery Tour EP. Last year they played as the Brighton Beach Boys, playing Pet Sounds, but this year they turned their attention to the Beatles, and did a great job.

Hal Bruce and his band did a nice set of songs which were supposed to be from 1967, but he cheated a bit by doing some from 1968 and 1969 too. I don’t think anyone minded too much though, but he got a bit wearing when he kept on plugging his CDs, cruises etc. Not really in the spirit of the concert.

To finish, the Psychedelic Love Orchestra played the whole of Sgt Pepper, plus some other Beatles songs from 1967. I really love this band, and I hope they become a regular feature of Beatleweek.

Irina and Lilia with Hal Bruce at the Philharmonic

 

End of Part Two

Intermission

Coming soon – Part 3, A visit to the grave of Brian Epstein; (not) the end of Beatleweek, remembering old friends, and the Adelphi convention.

 

Reflections on Liverpool Beatleweek – Part One Nube 9 and The Bootleg Beatles

This years Liverpool Beatleweek was one of the most enjoyable for several years – and the good news is, the despite speculation to the contrary, it won’t be the last!

For me, Beatleweek began a few days earlier, and in London. I conducted a couple of tours for the group Argentinian Band, Nube 9. They were great fun, and it was really enjoyable to show them around all the Beatles sights in London.

Nube 9 and friends on a certain well known crossing

We went up to Liverpool on the Friday, and made our way to the Albert Dock, and a visit to the Liverpool Maritime Museum. If you ever go to Liverpool, make sure you see all the wonderful museums and art galleries. There is far more to Liverpool than the Beatles and football!

Outside the Liverpool Maritime Museum

In the evening we made our first visit of the weekend to the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, a great concert venue near the two cathedrals. The Bootleg Beatles gave their usual great performance to a enthusiastic, packed audience.

End of Part One

Intermission

Part Two Coming Up – St Peter’s, Quarrymen, and the Summer of Love!

Andrew Lancel to Play Brian Epstein in ‘Cilla – the Musical’

  • I’m thrilled to say my friend,  Andrew Lancel, will play the role of Brian Epstein in the new show Cilla the Musical, which has its world premiere at the Liverpool Empire on September 7.

    He will star in the production which tells the story of Cilla Black whose teenage dreams of stardom lead her to becoming one of Britain’s best-love entertainers of all time.

    Lancel  has played the role of Epstein before in Epstein – The Man Who Made The Beatles. It opened at the Epstein Theatre, Liverpool at the end of 2012 and then transferred to the Leicester Square Theatre in 2014. The play was a hit and was praised by critics with London Theatre calling Lancel’s performance “mesmerising.”

    Andrew is best known to TV audiences as super-villain Frank Foster in Coronation Street and as DI Neil Manson in the long-running ITV television series The Bill.

    CILLA – THE MUSICAL is the musical adaptation of the critically acclaimed hit ITV television series by Bafta-Award winner Jeff Pope (The Moorside, Philomena, From The Cradle To The Grave, Mrs Biggs and the acclaimed Little Boy Blue which had ITV audiences glued to their screens).

    It’s an introduction by a young John Lennon to music mogul Brian Epstein that changes Priscilla White’s life forever. By the age of just 25 she would be known as singer and TV Star Cilla Black, Number One selling artist and at the fore-front of the Brit-Pop music scene.

    The musical score is the soundtrack to the 60’s including Cilla’s greatest hits Anyone Who Had a Heart, Alfie and Something Tells Me, Twist and Shout by the Beatles, and California Dreamin by The Mamas and The Papas’.

    Kara Lily Hayworth beat thousands of hopefuls in nationwide open auditions for the coveted role of Cilla.

    The show will be at the Liverpool Empire until September 16.

  • Andrew Lancel and Will Will Finlason backstage at the Epstein play

Macca Single Story a Hoax

The French Wikipedia page about Paul McCartney has removed the message about a new single. It originally said that the song ‘A Life Of Mercy’ would appear on Monday and would be from McCartney’s new album, which  name also was revealed: ‘In The Universe and Beyond’.  However the entry has been deleted under the heading “no proof”.

REMEMBERING BRIAN EPSTEIN, 50 YEARS AFTER THE DEATH OF THE BEATLES’ MANAGER

 

The Beatles Story in Liverpool has launched a new exhibit today, to honour the life and achievements of Brian Epstein, 50 years after the untimely death of The Beatles’ manager.

Brian Samuel Epstein passed away on 27th August 1967 during the height of the Summer of Love, at the age of 32. The Beatles were in Bangor, North Wales with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi when they received the news. Brian will be remembered for introducing The Beatles to a global audience and helping them to spread their message of love around the world.

Going onto permanent display is Brian Epstein’s original wool and cashmere coat, a set of handwritten lyrics by Brian (which were never used by The Beatles), a fragment of original note paper, press cuttings and a draft letter from Brian to The Beatles circa March 1967.

The items will be exhibited within a newly refurbished NEMS area of the main exhibition at the Albert Dock. The room itself is a tribute to the Epstein family business, North End Music Stores, which Brian successfully managed during the 1950s.

The Liverpudlian entrepreneur first discovered The Beatles in November 1961 during a lunchtime performance at The Cavern Club. The group signed a management contract with Brian shortly afterwards, and he eventually got them signed to record with EMI. In addition to handling the Beatles’ business affairs, Epstein would often step in to mediate their personal disputes and is arguably the closest claimant for the title of ‘The Fifth Beatle’.

Joe Flannery, booking officer for The Beatles and lifelong friend of Brian Epstein said: “Brian was a strict business man who first got involved with The Beatles when he was running NEMS in Liverpool city centre. He truly loved The Beatles, and he demonstrated that by doing everything he could for them.

“It’s wonderful to see Brian’s jacket on display at The Beatles Story, he was always dressed so smartly, and was so visual and bright. I was always proud to be his friend and I’m still very proud to say I was his friend.”

Martin King of The Beatles Story said: “Brian was a great man, without his belief and enthusiasm there may not be a Beatles Story to tell. He had a style and sartorial elegance throughout his life, and it is fitting that we display some of his clothing that had him voted “Britain’s best dressed man under 30”. We pay honour to his legacy.”

To find out more about The Beatles Story and to purchase tickets, please visit beatlesstory.com

New Paul McCartney Single/Album due? Or Fake News?

Thanks to John Bezzini for this:

“According to the French Wikipedia page about Paul McCartney, a new single will be released next Monday, August 28th. The single is called A Life of Mercy. The site also reveals the name of Paul’s new album: In The Universe And Beyond. Wikipedia also mentions a collaboration on the new album with Australian singer-songwriter Sia and the American musician Beck. Although Wikipedia is generally reliable, there is no source entry in this case, as is usually the case.”

This might be untrue – but will keep informed if and when we hear more :>)

Sounds like fake news – but these days, who knows?

Sir Bruce Forsyth

We are all very sad to hear about the passing of Sir Bruce Forsyth – truly a giant of British TV.

For us Beatles fans, he introduced the ‘Fabs’ onto mainstream family TV when they appeared on the show ‘Sunday Night at the London Palladium’ – where lots of people have said ‘Beatlemania’ began.

But Bruce was much more than that – we was really the star of Saturday night TV, with his shows ‘The Generation Game’ and more recently ‘Strictly Come Dancing’. The world will be a less entertaining place without ‘Brucie’ in it.

‘Didn’t he do well’  RIP Sir Bruce.

Bruce Forsyth with the Beatles on Sunday Night at the London Palladium