Sunday, 3 June 2012

The Cavern Club

It is hard to imagine the Beatles without the Cavern Club. Together with the concerts they played in Hamburg, Germany, the sessions in the Cavern Club turned them into the biggest rockgroup ever. It was there they acquired a huge following, strong live reputation and of course it was there that Brian Epstein first saw the Beatles perform on November 9, 1961.

The Cavern Club opened on 16 January 1957 as a jazz club (similar to Le Caveau in Paris) but it became a hangout for skiffle groups, including John Lennon's Quarrymen. Their first appearance was on 7 August 1957. Later Paul McCartney joined them and performed there on 24 January 1958. George Harrison played his first gig at the Cavern Club on 9 February 1961.

After jazz and skiffle came the Beat movement (and blues) with the first Beat Night held on 25 May 1960. Incidentally, one of the groups performing on that night was Rory Storm and the Hurricanes (with Ringo Starr).

From 1961 till 1963 the Beatles made 292 performances (lunch and evening sessions) and it was at one of these sessions that Brian Epstein saw them for the first time. He was immediately infatuated with the Beatles and saw their potential. He is quoted as having said: "I was immediately struck by their music, their beat, and their sense of humour on stage—and, even afterwards, when I met them, I was struck again by their personal charm. And it was there that, really, it all started"

Other famous rockgroups that performed the Cavern Club are The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, Elton John, The Kinks, The Who, John Lee Hooker, Queen and Paul McCartney at his last concert of the 20th century.

Nowadays about 40 groups a week perform in a replica of the original Cavern Club (demolished in 1973) and it is still a major attraction site.

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