On a warm July 28th in 1968, The Beatles went on ‘The Mad Day Out’, a phrase coined by now legendary photographer, Tom Murray. One of the locations was by the River Thames in Wapping. The Beatles posed on the river bank with Tower Bridge in the background.
Tom very kindly allowed me to use one of his amazing photos as the cover of my book ‘Guide to the Beatles London’.
The book is divided into the followings sections:
1. The Story of The Beatles in London. A chronological history from their first visit to London to their break-up.
2. A walking tour of The Beatles London. A three hour walking tour around major Beatles locations in Central London.
3. Drive My Car. Other Beatles locations in and around London. My book is still available
The Cavern had failed to keep going in the wake of The Beatles’ success with owner Ray McFall being declared bankrupt. In stepped Debbie’s father Alf Geoghegan and friend Joe Davey: Debbie was asked by her father if he should buy it! Guess what she said? A grand re-opening was planned.
The Prime Minister Harold Wilsonand VIP Guests
After months of working all the hours that God sent the day of the re-opening of the original Cavern Club finally arrived. The Prime Minister Harold Wilson, resident of No 10 Downing Street would metaphorically turn the key to another famous No 10.. My dad, (Alf Geoghegan) and Joe Davey had bought the lease to the Cavern in March 1966 when the previous owner (Ray McFall) went bankrupt.
Saturday 23rd July 1966
The day arrived and the world’s press was waiting. The red carpet was laid down on Mathew Street and a red ribbon hung across the entrance to the Cavern. Inside, champagne was on ice and canapes were prepared. At 12.15pm the resident of No. 10 Downing Street would metaphorically turn the key to another famous No. 10. Liverpool’s famous pop shrine was to be given a new lease of life.
Excitement and anticipation quickly overcame our exhaustion when the police opened the barriers for the Lord Mayor’s shiny black limousine which pulled to a gentle stop outside the club. Excited chatter burst into a crescendo of cheers and whistles as the chauffeur opened the door for Harold Wilson to alight, followed by his wife Mary and his son Giles with the Lord Mayor close behind. The police held the press back as they surrounded the car and converged towards the entrance of the Cavern, all vying for the best shots.
The World’s Press
Mathew Street was bursting at the seams with throngs of people eager to catch a glimpse of the V I P’s and celebrities that were arriving for the grand re-opening. Harold Wilson, followed by distinguished guests made their way down to the Cavern stage for the speeches and the unveiling of the commemorative plaque. The World’s Press simultaneously switched on their light meters and the surge of electricity caused the lights to fuse.
Is There an Electrician in the House?
None of the microphones worked and my dad had to shout from the stage “Is there an electrician in the house.” From somewhere in the darkness a voice answered, ‘I know where the electrics are, I’ll sort it.” We never knew who this saviour was until fifteen years later: that is a whole story in itself!
The ceremony resumed and the celebrations began.
The VIP Guest list
An eighteen-hour star studded marathon followed in three sessions. The Hideaways kicked off the entertainment, followed by numerous local bands and acts included Billy J Kramer, Marty Wilde, George Fame, Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky Mick and Titch, The Bachelors, The Searchers ,The Fourmost, The Merseys, Solomon Burke, Rufus Thomas, The Scaffold, and The Pete Best Combo.
Liverpool’s terminally happy and enthusiastic export, Angie McCartney, stepmum to Paul, is still loving life at 90, and in two great interviews here, listen to Angie being interviewed by Jude Kessler and Lanea Stagg on their She Said She Said podcast, and also our favourite Antipodean, Plastic EP!
Angie’s Fascinating Book
Angie with Jude Kessler and Lanea Stagg on She Said, She Said
Breathtakingly well-written… Absolutely, not to be missed!
What a unique and entertaining jaunt. For me, The Beatles’ number one fan (at least in my heart) 30 Minutes in Memphis by Paul Ferrante is made all the more special due to the 100% accurate attention to Beatle history as well as the general socio-political atmosphere of the nation back in 1966. When ultimate Beatles fan, Marnie––daughter of the Memphis police sergeant and a typical example of teenage innocence in the ’60s, is told that the Fab Four are scheduled to perform and that her best friend has secured tickets for her birthday, she is over the moon! That is, until a disastrous yet misrepresented quote by John Lennon, on Christianity’s declining popularity, is released in a popular teen publication, which ignites a firestorm in an already racially charged atmosphere.
Forbidden from going to the concert, Marnie is paralyzed with fear when she discovers that the local KKK chapter, led by her father’s boss, Lieutenant Joe Bob Sutter, is planning to make this Beatles concert their last. They plan to assassinate John Lennon, perhaps all four of them on stage. With the show just days away, Marnie and Myles must prevent this tragedy from occurring. 30 Minutes in Memphis is an absolute thrill ride from start to finish. A unique blend of historical fact and “on beat” storytelling that blends seamlessly, creating an indelible portrait of teenage life in the ’60s touched by the volatility of the period. Breathtakingly well-written, without a scrap of profanity. Absolutely, not to be missed!
Bill Harry, friend of John Lennon and Founder of Mersey Beat, who wrote the foreword to the book, says: “This is a treasure chest of research and a visual delight, this will prove to be a work no Beatles fan should be without.”
After “Liddypool“, David Bedford expanded a chapter from “Liddypool” called the Fab 27, which told how John’s first Quarrymen ended up as John, Paul, George and Ringo.
By the time he had expanded the story to include those who taught The Beatles to play and the artists they backed on stage, he had 104 people and couldn’t believe how many he had, and the connection with the Fab Four.
Geoff Lee, classmate of John Lennon at Quarry Bank School reveals for the first time how he suggested to John Lennon that, because of his great singing voice, he should start a skiffle group. The group Lennon started was called The Quarrymen: the Quarrymen became The Beatles.
Not only did Geoff suggest John start the group that became The Beatles, but gave the young Lennon his first guitar. Bedford says, “We had always thought that John’s first guitar was purchased by his mother, but it wasn’t!” John later remembered Geoff’s generosity.
“I used to borrow a guitar at first. I couldn’t play, but a pal of mine had one and it fascinated me. Eventually my mother bought me one from one of those mail order firms. I suppose it was a bit crummy, when you think about it. But I played it all the time and I got a lot of practise.”
Geoff’s story is featured in the new book by Beatles historian and author David Bedford, “The Fab one hundred and Four” which tells of the evolution of The Beatles from The Quarrymen to the Fab Four.
Featured in The Fab one hundred and Four are: 1. the first published photographs of Silver Beatles’ drummer Norman Chapman. 2. the real influences in their formative years – family members, schoolmates, mentors and musical contemporaries. 3. profiles of every musician who was a member of the group – from The Quarrymen to The Beatles – from 1956 through 1962. Whether they were in the group for a night, a week, a year, two years or more, they are all mentioned here.
Listen to David’s interview with podcaster Bob Sorrentino about the book.
Aussie VideoBlogster Plastic EP interviews Jude in a fantastic two-part interview, discussing her lifelong love of John Lennon and her commitment to completing her remarkable book series on John Lennon’s life.
They discuss her books and her current book and looking at the incredible recording process of The Beatles’ first LP, Please Please Me.
The Beatles had just returned from their second trip to Hamburg and were guests of The Swinging Blue Genes at the Cavern for their welcome home appearance. They were already by far the best group in Liverpool. Everything about them was exciting and intoxicating. They seemed to be infused with even more vigour and passion than before. The transformation was unbelievable, with their gyrating hips, humorous banter on stage and sexy outfits- clad in tight black leather with Cuban heeled boots.
Their repertoire was now wide-ranging making them stand out from other bands. The Beatles sound was unique and addictive their energy palpable. Liverpool had never seen or heard anything quite like them before. We couldn’t get enough of them.
I was happily surprised when Daniel Sam, AKA Plastic EP, invited me to do a live interview for his website regarding my novel 30 Minutes in Memphis: A Beatles Story. I had seen a couple of his others, most notably with American Deejay/Beatles enthusiast Chachi Loprete, who had expressed a desire to have me on his weekend show Breakfast With The Beatles, which originates in Boston. So, I asked “Plastic” if he was going to send me a list of questions so I could prepare. “No worries,” he said in typical Aussie style. “You’ll do great!” Just come on and sell your book!”
What Time is It?
The morning of the interview I just happened to get up early to exercise in my home gym, and took a peek at my computer. (It was 5:30 AM in Connecticut, where I live, but the next evening in Melbourne.) When he saw I was on Facebook he asked me to chat live about the upcoming interview. With the help of my groggy wife, Maria, we were patched through. So I described the history behind the story, namely, the Beatles’ tumultuous 1966 tour. Then I got into the actual plot and he said, “Wait…you mean this story isn’t real? You are so detailed, I thought it was real!” I explained it was historical fiction, and used the film Titanic as an analogy. He became very excited. “This is incredible! My first novel!” he cried. “Wait! Here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to make a promo video, RIGHT NOW!” And that’s what we did, which would explain my scruffy appearance.
A Bundle of Plastic
Eleven hours later, we did the live interview, and it was tremendous fun. Plastic is a bundle of enthusiastic energy, and sets up his guests beautifully. We had a great time, and the story behind my novel has reached hundreds of people around the world. Overall, it was a memorable experience! His Facebook page has given many Beatle insiders/enthusiasts/collectors/authors a chance to come together, and there’s obviously an audience out there that’s hungry for this information. Just look at the number of views these interviews, which he conducts at a dizzying pace, receive. My thanks to Plastic EP, and everyone who’s come aboard to watch our chat.
Debbie Greenberg remembers Ringo when he was just a shy, Ritchie
When my dad (Alf Geoghegan) bought the Cavern with Joe Davey in April 1966, we owned a chain of butcher’s shops. One of the shops which I managed was in North Hill Street, diagonally opposite Admiral Grove, where the future Ringo Starr lived, although we knew him as Richie Starkey. He was born in Madryn Street but spent most of his formative years at No 10 Admiral Grove.
His mother, Elsie, was a friendly lady who would drop by our shop every Saturday morning on her way to work, place a ten-shilling note on the counter and say. “The usual Deb. Our Richie will collect it this afternoon.”
Her order was always the same; half a leg of lamb and a quarter pound of boiled ham.
Richie would arrive late afternoon and stand by the shop door, too shy to come in. “Have you come for your mum’s meat, Richie?” I would ask. He would nod, take the parcel and the change and head home across the street.
Most Saturday evenings, after close of business, dad would treat our butcher boys to a round of drinks at the Lothian Pub near Admiral Grove. Before Richie joined The Beatles, he would sometimes sit in the pub’s small snug and my dad occasionally offered him a drink. “Thanks, I’ll have a half” he would reply.