Thursday, 21 June 2012

At the Tower Ballroom with Bruce Channel

On Thursday 21 June 1962 the Beatles went to New Brighton, which is an area in Liverpool at the other side of the Mersey (in Wallasey). The appeared as a backing group for Bruce Channel, an American singer who had a huge hit in 1962 with "Hey! Baby".

This evening was the first Pop dance concert organised by Brian Epstein. Also appearing with Bruce Channel was the harmonica player Delbert McClinton. John Lennon was fascinated and although there is an urban legend about John learning to play the harmonica that evening, it is quite clear that Lennon already knew how to play.

What is probably true, is that John Lennon liked the harmonica arrangment on "Hey! Baby" so much, that he decided to include something similar on Love Me Do. Furthermore, "Hey! Baby" contains a sustained first note with a rythmic shuffle in the background, something the Beatles would copy years later on "I Should Have Known Better" on "A Hard Day's Night".

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