Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Klaus Voormann Biography

Happy 70th Birthday to Klaus Voormann!

Exactly 70 years ago, Klaus was born in Berlin. He played a very important role in the Beatles universe, befriending him early during the Hamburg days, designing the Revolver cover and later playing with Ringo, George and John.

Klaus Voormann is probably responsible for bringing Astrid Kirchherr in the picture, since he wandered into the Kaiserkeller Club where Rory Storm and the Hurricanes were playing, followed by The Beatles. Klaus was so fascinated by the music that he invited J├╝rgen Vollmer and Astrid Kirchherr the next day to see The Beatles perform.

John Lennon called them "the Exies" and they befriended The Beatles (especially Stu Sutcliffe and George Harrison).

In the early 1960's, Voormann lived with George Harrison and Ringo Starr in their Green Street flat (London Mayfair) when Paul decided to move into Jane Asher's home and John lived with his wife Cynthia.

In 1963 Klaus was managed by Brian Epstein and had formed a group called "Paddy, Klaus & Gibson", made up of Paddy Chambers (guitar/vocals), Klaus Voormann (bass/vocals) and Gibson Kemp (drums).

In 1966 Voormann designed the cover of Revolver and received a Grammy Award for it. He would later design the cover for RINGO, George's single "When We Was Fab" and the Anthology records.

Later, he would show up on numerous ex-Beatle records: as part of the Plastic Ono band on Live Peace in Toronto 1969, on John's Walls and Bridges and appearing on The Concert for Bangla Desh.

Other Beatle-related works are:

- John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band

- Imagine

- Ringo

- Instant Karma

Thursday, 13 March 2008

The Quarrymen live at the Morgue Skiffle Cellar

The story of the Morgue Skiffle Cellar is a very interesting one. It was an illegal club in the basement of a house located at 25 Oakhill park in Liverpool, and run by Alan Caldwell.

Maybe the name Alan Caldwell doesn't ring a bell, but if I tell you it is the real name of Rory Storm, you'll probably go 'aaaahhh'. Yes, Alan Caldwell was the singer of Al Caldwell's Texans, the group that Ringo Starr would join one year later (23 March 1959) and which would evolve into Rory Storm and the Hurricanes.

On 13 March 1958 the club opened for the first time, and the Quarrymen appeared on stage, probably in the following line-up:

- John Lennon: Vocals, Guitar
- George Harrison :Guitar
- Paul McCartney: Guitar
- John Charles Lowe: piano
- Colin Hanton: Drums

The illegal club did not have a long life-span: on April 1st 1958 the police raided the place a first time, and by April 22nd the club was closed permanently.

The Quarrymen probably played more than once here, but no reliable info is available. If somebody out there knows a bit more, please feel free to comment below

Incidentaly, Alan (alias Rory Storm) had a sister (Iris) who first dated George Harrison, later Paul McCartney, and who ended up marrying Alvin Stardust.