I AM FUEL, YOU ARE FRIENDS

...we've got the means to make amends. I am lost, I'm no guide, but I'm by your side. (Pearl Jam, Leash)

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Before They Were Beatles: The Quarrymen

I've been looking for a relevant reason to post up some demos and rehearsals from the earliest incarnation of what would become The Beatles: The Quarrymen. John Lennon put together the earliest forms of this band in March 1957 with several friends. Paul McCartney joined in October of that year, followed by George Harrison in early 1958. And ever-shifting lineup ensued throughout those years with The Quarrymen playing gigs all around their native Liverpool, changing their name several times, among them The Blackjacks, Johnny and The Moondogs (in late 1959), and The Silver Beetles (in 1960), finally settling on The Beatles in late 1960. And so it goes.

A friend forwarded me an article this weekend with the subject line, Mad cool Beatles history. Reading below, I would have to agree.

Tunes from The Quarrymen are at the end.

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Beatles club gains protected status
Fri Sep 15, 4:06 PM ET

LIVERPOOL, England - A suburban basement where The Beatles played some of their earliest gigs was given protected heritage status by the British government Friday. The Casbah Coffee Club, created in the home of original Beatles drummer Pete Best, was given Grade II Listed status on the recommendation of conservation body English Heritage. The designation means the venue, which still contains original artwork and musical equipment, is of "special architectural or historic interest" and cannot be demolished.

Best's mother, Mona, created the club in the basement and coal cellar of her Victorian house on the edge of Liverpool after reading about the "beat" clubs popular with teenagers in London.
John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison — then billed as The Quarrymen — played at the club's opening in April 1959 as a last-minute replacement for scheduled headliners, the Les Stewart Quartet.

Best later joined the band, renamed The Silver Beatles and then The Beatles. The band played the Casbah many times until the club closed in 1962. The same year, Best was replaced as drummer by Ringo Starr and The Beatles released their first single, "Love Me Do."

The building, still owned by the Best family, features murals and paintings by members of the band and by Lennon's first wife, Cynthia.

Bob Hawkins of English Heritage said the club was "in a remarkably well-preserved condition ... with wall and ceiling paintings of spiders, dragons, rainbows and stars by original band members along with 1960s musical equipment, amplifiers and original chairs."

"We know of no other survival like it in Liverpool or indeed anywhere else," he said.


THE QUARRYMEN
LISTEN: Earliest known recording: Puttin' On The Style (1957)

(From Wiki) On 6 July 1957 the band played at St. Peter's Church garden fête. In the afternoon they played on a temporary stage in a field behind the church. After the set, Ivan Vaughan, an occasional tea chest bass player with the band, introduced Paul McCartney to John Lennon while the band was setting up in the church hall for the second set. McCartney showed the band how to tune a guitar and sang Eddie Cochran's "Twenty Flight Rock" and Gene Vincent's "Be-Bop-A-Lula" to his own guitar accompaniment. The evening show started at 8 p.m. and cost two shillings admission. Audience member Bob Molyneux recorded part of the evening performance on a Grundig portable reel-to-reel tape recorder.

In 1994, Molyneux, then a retired policeman, rediscovered the recordings that he had made of the concert in 1957. The scratchy recordings included covers of Lonnie Donegan's "Puttin' On The Style" and Elvis Presley's "Baby, Let's Play House". On 15 September 1994 Molyneux put his tape up for auction at Sotheby's. The tape sold to EMI for £78,500, making it the most expensive recording ever sold at auction, but the recording quality was too poor to issue and the tape remains in the EMI archives.

REHEARSALS & DEMOS, circa 1960
01. That'll Be The Day (Buddy Holly cover)
02. Well Darling
03. Matchbox (Carl Perkins cover)
04. One After 909
05. Cayenne (instumental)
06. Hello Little Girl
07. That's When Your Heartaches Begin
08. Wildcat (Gene Vincent cover)
09. I'll Always Be In Love With You
10. Some Days
11. Hallelujah I Love Her So
12. You'll Be Mine
13. The World Is Waiting For Sunrise
14. I'll Follow The Sun
15. You Must Write Everyday
16. Movin' And Groovin

QUARRYMEN DEMOS IN A ZIP FILE

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11 Comments:

At September 18, 2006 6:21 AM, Anonymous jean-pierre said...

Hello Heather !

Thank you for the Beatles tribute.

I hope that you will continue a long time to enchant us.
Page-setting is pleasant.

Cheers.

From France

 
At September 18, 2006 10:20 AM, Blogger j.d. said...

this is a great post.
my questions is "Hallelujah I Love Her So", a Ray Charles cover?

I know he has a song by that name, but I can't remember what it sounds like

 
At September 18, 2006 2:42 PM, Blogger Trellick Tower said...

Great pictures! Thanks for the songs too.

 
At September 18, 2006 5:57 PM, Blogger jeffro said...

this is an awesome post! i've never heard such early pre-Beatles recordings!

 
At September 18, 2006 10:30 PM, Blogger Lex said...

This is absolutely fabulous. Thanks for doing this. When I was in my teens (1978) I was a Beatle fan; I began researching their roots, and uncovered such gems: Buddy Holly, Ray Charles, Elvis, Gene Vincent (wow! In 1977 I wrote a GVincent fan club and they wrote back that the Beatles were what killed Gene), Eddie Cochran, etc etc. I've been looking for these old recordings!!! Do you know of any Silver Beatle recordings?
Lex

 
At September 20, 2006 9:46 AM, Blogger Ashley Plath said...

Thanks. I'll have to go see this!

 
At September 28, 2006 5:56 PM, Blogger alt-gramma said...

Fascinating! I was a true Beatlemaniac. I saw the Beatles in concert on their 1965 tour when I was 15. The biggest surprise for me here was "I'll Follow the Sun." I did not know it was this old. I'm so glad these old cuts were saved.

 
At August 22, 2007 10:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alt-Gramma, where did you see The Beatles in concert?
What were they like??

 
At March 13, 2008 5:53 PM, Blogger Deanna said...

Thanks so much for posting this!

 
At August 02, 2008 12:29 AM, Blogger tubeaudionut said...

I saw the Beatles in the Portland Oregon Coliseum in August of 1965. My older brother took me as we were both beatles fanatics..me at the age of 7. I couldn't hear a thing because there was so much screaming and I barely got views of them as I was shorter than the jumping and screaming crowd (mostly girls). I remember the first song was I feel fine. My brother still has his ticket and tour booklet...

 
At September 01, 2008 9:40 PM, Blogger doojeen said...

Unfortunately the song links don't work on my PC. Anyone else have the smae problem?

 

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