|Location||Mathew Street, Liverpool, England, United Kingdom|
|Owner||Alan Sytner, Bob Wooler, Ray McFall, Tommy Smith, Bill Heckle, Dave Jones|
|Opened||1957, reopened 1984 and 1991|
|Closed||1 March 1973, and 1989|
The Cavern Club is a nightclub on Mathew Street, Liverpool, England.
The Cavern Club opened in 1957 as a jazz club, later becoming a centre of the rock and roll scene in Liverpool in the early 1960s. The club became closely associated with Merseybeat and regularly played host to the Beatles in their early years.
The Cavern Club closed and opened on a new site in 1973 and was filled in during construction work on the Merseyrail underground rail loop. It reopened in 1984.
Alan Sytner opened The Cavern Club, having been inspired by the jazz district in Paris, where there were a number of clubs in cellars. Sytner returned to Liverpool and strove to open a club similar to the Le Caveau de la Huchette jazz club in Paris. He eventually found a fruit warehouse where people were leasing the cellar; before this, it was used as an air raid shelter in World War II. The club was opened on 16 January 1957. The first act to perform at the opening of the club was the Merseysippi Jazz Band.Local commercial artist Tony Booth created the poster artwork for the opening night, who shortly after became the original poster artist for the Beatles.
What started as a jazz club eventually became a hangout for skiffle groups. Whilst playing golf with Sytner's father, Dr. Joseph Sytner, Nigel Walley—who had left school at 15 to become an apprentice golf professional at the Lee Park Golf Club—asked Dr. Sytner if his son could book The Quarrymen at The Cavern, which was one of three jazz clubs he managed. Dr. Sytner suggested that the band should play at the golf club first, so as to assess their talent.After performing at the golf club, Sytner phoned Walley a week later and offered the band an interlude spot playing skiffle between the performances of two jazz bands at The Cavern, on Wednesday, 7 August 1957.
Before the performance, the Quarrymen argued amongst themselves about the set list, as rock 'n roll songs were definitely not allowed at the club, but skiffle was tolerated. After opening with a skiffle song, John Lennon called for the others to start playing an Elvis Presley song, "Don't Be Cruel". Rod Davis warned Lennon that the audience would "eat you alive", but Lennon ignored this and started playing the song himself, forcing the others to join in. Halfway through, Sytner pushed his way through the audience and handed Lennon a note which read, "Cut out the bloody rock 'n roll".Paul McCartney's first appearance at The Cavern was with The Quarrymen on 24 January 1958. (George Harrison first played at The Cavern during a lunchtime session on 9 February 1961.)
Sytner sold The Cavern Club to Ray McFall in 1959 and moved to London.Blues bands and Beat groups began to appear at the club on a regular basis in the early 1960s. The first Beat night was held on 25 May 1960 and featured a performance by Rory Storm and the Hurricanes (which included Ringo Starr as drummer). By early 1961, Bob Wooler had become the full-time compère and organiser of the lunchtime sessions.
The club hosted its first performance by the Beatles on Thursday 9 February 1961. Brian Epstein, the Beatles manager who secured the groups' first recording contract, first saw the group perform at the club on 9 November 1961. Inspired by the group, Epstein made moves to take over their management.
The Beatles made their first appearance at the club on 9 February 1961 after returning to Liverpool from Hamburg, Germany where they had been playing at the Indra and the Kaiserkeller clubs. Their stage show had been through a lot of changes, with some in the audience thinking they were watching a German band, as they were billed from Hamburg.[ citation needed ] From 1961 to 1963 the Beatles made 292 appearances at the club, with their last occurring on 3 August 1963, a month after the band recorded "She Loves You" and just six months before the Beatles' first trip to the U.S.[ citation needed ] By this time "Beatlemania" was sprouting across England, and with girls demanding to see the Beatles and screaming just to get a glimpse of them, the group had to hide or sneak into concerts, and the small club could no longer satisfy audience demand. After the Beatles' farewell gig on 3 August 1963, Bob Wooler gave their future dates to The Mastersounds, a local R & B band, led by Mal Jefferson. The Beatles had graduated from the club and had been signed to EMI's Parlophone label by producer George Martin. The amount of musical activity in Liverpool and Manchester caused record producers who had previously never ventured very far from London to start looking to the north.[ citation needed ]
In 1963, young local band The Hideaways were signed up to the newly founded Cavern Club agency and became the resident group, often stepping in for last minute artist cancellations; they also became the first pop group to appear on a nationwide television commercial for Timex Watch Company filmed by the Rank Organisation at the Cavern Club. The band also performed at the Cavern the night prior to the club's closure, making them the last group to perform on stage along with disc jockey Billy Butler and doorman Paddy Delaney, who—with fans—barricaded themselves into the club prior to the authorities' arrival the next morning to gain access. The Hideaways were also proactive along with local MP Bessie Braddock to reopen the Cavern; as a result they were the first group back on stage when the club re-opened on 23 July 1966 with local MP Bessie Braddock and then-Prime Minister Harold Wilson. The Hideaways also hold the official record of over 400 Cavern Club appearances at both old and new venues and are now recognised and named on the wall of fame.
In the decade that followed, a wide variety of popular acts appeared at the club, including The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, The Hollies, The Kinks, Elton John, Black Sabbath, Queen, The Who and John Lee Hooker.
Petula Clark references the club twice as "a cellar full of noise" in her 1965 hit record "I Know a Place".
Brian Epstein's 1964 autobiography was entitled "A Cellarful of Noise".
Future star Cilla Black worked as the hat-check girl there.
The club closed in March 1973 after British Rail made a compulsory purchase of the warehouses, of which the basement housed the Cavern Club, in order to build a ventilation shaft for the new underground railway Merseyrail. This, however, was never built and the area was turned into a car park.
Soon after the Cavern club closed in 1973, a new Cavern club opened at 7 Mathew Street, later renamed the Revolution Club. This club would later shut down and be reopened as Erics, which itself became a notable local music venue in the late 1970s.
On 7 December 1981 plans were revealed to excavate the buried remains of the Cavern Club cellar. It would form part of a £7-million redevelopment project of the former warehouse site of 8-12 Mathew Street which had housed the Cavern Club up until its closure in 1973. However, on 23 June 1982 it was announced by the project architect David Backhouse, that the plans to excavate and re-open the Cavern Club in its original form would be impossible for structural reasons. Tests had revealed that the arches of the old cellar had been too badly damaged during the demolition of the ground floor of the Cavern Club and the warehouses above.
5,000 bricks from the damaged archways of the original cellar area of the Cavern Club went on sale at £5 each, complete with an authentication plate signed by former Cavern Club owner Ray McFall. Proceeds from the sale of the 5,000 bricks went to Strawberry Field Children's home.
Prior to the Cavern Club's opening ceremony, over 100 musicians from the 1960s Mersey Beat era were invited to sign the wall at the back of the Cavern's stage, a tradition which began in the early days of the Jazz bands in the 1950s and continued through the '60s and '70s. A further 15,000 bricks from the Cavern site were used on the authentic reconstruction of the Cavern Club within the redevelopment.
The Cavern Club now sits at a 90 degree angle to the original and covers 70% of the original Cavern footprint, the stage is not far from the original location, and the 'Live Lounge' is an exact replica of the original, using as many of the old bricks as possible.
The fire exit, next to the Cilla Black statue, is the location of the original entrance.
The club was taken over by former Liverpool F.C. player Tommy Smith. [ citation needed ] In 1991, two friends—schoolteacher Bill Heckle and taxi driver Dave Jones—reopened it, along with George Guinness.[ citation needed ] They still run the club today and are now the longest-running owners in its history. The club continues to function primarily as a live music venue. The music policy varies from the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s and 1990s classic pop music to indie, rock and modern chart music.[ citation needed ]The new design was to resemble the original as closely as possible. This coincided with a period of massive economic and political change in and around Liverpool and the club survived only until 1989, when it came under financial pressures and closed for 18 months.
On 14 December 1999, former Beatle Paul McCartney played the New Cavern Club, publicising his new album, Run Devil Run . It has about 40 live bands performing every week; both tribute and original bands, although most perform their own material. The back room of the Cavern is the most frequently used location for touring acts and ticketed events, in more recent times playing host to The Wanted, Adele and Jessie J. The Cavern is also used as a tour warm-up venue with semi-secret gigs announced at the last moment. The Arctic Monkeys did this in October 2005, Jake Bugg in November 2013, as well as Travis and Oasis.
The front room is the main tourist attraction, where people come to have their photograph taken on the stage, with the names of the bands who played there written on the back wall. This room hosts live music from noon to midnight Monday to Thursday, and noon to close on Fridays and weekend. Between November 2005 and September 2007, the front room played host to the Cavern Showcase,an organisation and event started by 1960s star Kingsize Taylor, his wife Marga, and best friend Wes Paul. The night took place every Sunday and featured original 1960s bands such as The Mojos and The Undertakers.
In November 2008, a campaign to have Gary Glitter's brick removed from the wall of fame was successful. A brass plaque near where it was located notes that the bricks of two former Cavern Club performers - Glitter and Jonathan King - have been removed.
In 2017,[ when? ] the Cavern commissioned Tony Booth, the artist who designed all the original posters and signage for the original club, to produce 60th anniversary artwork which portrays bands and musicians who performed there. Also in 2017, a statue of Cilla Black commissioned by her sons was unveiled outside the Cavern's original entrance.
In June 2018, Paul McCartney came back to the Cavern Club. During a Facebook Live Q&A session in the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, Paul McCartney hinted that he would perform a secret gig the following day. At 9 a.m. on 26 June it was announced via his Facebook page and The Cavern Club's Facebook page that Paul would be returning to the club. Tickets were sold from The Echo Arena box office, leaving people who had camped overnight on Mathew Street disappointed. Paul McCartney was expected to play only a 45-minute set, but performed for two hours. He opened the show saying "Liverpool! Cavern! These are words that go together well!" and then played a mixed set featuring songs from his upcoming album, Egypt Station .
Tribute clubs exist in Dallas, Buenos Aires, [ citation needed ] A similar looking club was also featured in the opening sequence of the film Across the Universe , in homage to the Beatles' beginnings, though the club's name was never mentioned. The footage for this scene was actually shot in The Cavern Club itself. The Cavern Club is the first playable location in The Beatles: Rock Band .Wellington, Exeter, Costa Teguise in Lanzarote, and formerly in Tokyo and Adelaide.
The Hard Rock Cafe restaurant and hotel chain owns the trademark to the "Cavern Club" name in the US. When the Hard Rock Cafe was built in Boston in 1991, it included a brick Cavern Club cellar that was a reproduction of the Liverpool club, including a stage for local bands. In 2006, the Boston restaurant moved to a new location, and although the new restaurant still has a "Cavern Club" performing area, it bears no resemblance to the Liverpool cellar. In 2014, a lawsuit was filed to revoke Hard Rock's trademark on the Cavern Club name.
It also had a cameo in two John Lennon biopics, 2000's In His Life: The John Lennon Story and 2009's Nowhere Boy , as well as the movie Across the Universe .
The poet Roger McGough mentioned the club in his poem "Let Me Die A Youngman's Death": "Or when I'm 104 / and banned from the Cavern / may my mistress / catching me in bed with her daughter / and fearing for her son / cut me up into little pieces and throw away every piece but one."
Norwegian Cruise Lines have Cavern Clubs on two of their liners, the Norwegian Bliss and the Norwegian Epic , which showcase Beatles tribute bands.
Randolph Peter Best is an English musician known as the Beatles' drummer immediately before the band achieved worldwide fame. Fired from the group in 1962 after playing drums as a Beatle for the previous two and a half years in Germany and England, he started his own band, the Pete Best Four. He later joined and started many other bands over the years. He is one of several people who have been referred to as the Fifth Beatle although he was one of four Beatles before being replaced.
Sir Richard Starkey, better known by his stage name Ringo Starr, is an English musician, singer, songwriter and actor who achieved international fame as the drummer for the Beatles. He occasionally sang lead vocals with the group, usually for one song on each album, including "Yellow Submarine", "With a Little Help from My Friends" and their cover of "Act Naturally". He also wrote and sang the Beatles' songs "Don't Pass Me By" and "Octopus's Garden", and is credited as a co-writer of others.
The Quarrymen were a British skiffle/rock and roll group, formed by John Lennon in Liverpool in 1956, which evolved into the Beatles in 1960. Originally consisting of Lennon and several schoolfriends, the Quarrymen took their name from a line in the school song of their school, the Quarry Bank High School. Lennon's mother, Julia Lennon, taught her son to play the banjo, showed Lennon and Eric Griffiths how to tune their guitars in a similar way to the banjo, and taught them simple chords and songs.
Brian Samuel Epstein was a British music entrepreneur who managed the Beatles from 1962 until his death. He was referred to as the "Fifth Beatle" due to his role in the group's business affairs, image and rise to global fame.
Malcolm Frederick Evans was an English roadie and personal assistant employed to the Beatles from 1963 until their break-up in 1970.
Alice Mona Best was a British music club proprietor, best known as the owner of The Casbah Coffee Club, a club in Liverpool which served as a venue for rock and roll music during the late 1950s and 1960s. Among the bands to play at The Casbah was the Beatles, for whom her son Pete Best was a drummer at the time. Mona also had two other sons, John Rory, and Vincent "Roag" Best. It was later confirmed that Roag's father was The Beatles' associate, music executive Neil Aspinall, although he was not registered as the father on Roag's birth certificate.
Rory Storm was an English musician and vocalist. Born in Liverpool, Storm was the singer and leader of Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, a Liverpudlian band who were contemporaries of the Beatles in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Ringo Starr was the drummer for the Hurricanes before joining the Beatles in August 1962, replacing original drummer Pete Best.
Eric Ronald Griffiths was an English musician and dry cleaner, he was best known as the guitarist in the original lineup of The Quarrymen until he left the group in the summer of 1958.
Kaiserkeller is a music club in the St. Pauli quarter of Hamburg, Germany, near the Reeperbahn. It was opened by Bruno Koschmider on October 14, 1959. The Beatles had a contract with Kaiserkeller to play there in 1960.
William Harry is the creator of Mersey Beat, a newspaper of the early 1960s which focused on the Liverpool music scene. Harry had previously started various magazines and newspapers, such as Biped and Premier, while at Liverpool's Junior School of Art. He later attended the Liverpool College of Art, where his fellow students included John Lennon and Stuart Sutcliffe, who both later performed with the Beatles. He published a magazine, Jazz, in 1958, and worked as an assistant editor on the University of Liverpool's charity magazine, Pantosphinx.
"Maggie May" is a traditional Liverpool folk song about a prostitute who robbed a "homeward bounder": a sailor coming home from a round trip.
Charles Newby is a British musician who was (briefly) the bassist for the Beatles for several gigs in December 1960, while Stuart Sutcliffe was still in Hamburg focusing on his art career.
Christopher Nigel Walley is an English former golfer and tea-chest bass player and manager, best known for his association with band The Quarrymen, the precursor of The Beatles which included John Lennon. His surname has often been spelt incorrectly as 'Whalley' in numerous books and on web pages.
The Casbah Coffee Club, officially Casbah Club, was a rock and roll music venue in the West Derby area of Liverpool, England, that operated from 1959 to 1962. Started by Mona Best, mother of early Beatles drummer, Pete Best, in the cellar of the family home, the Casbah was planned as a members-only club for her sons Pete and Rory and their friends, to meet and listen to the popular music of the day. Mona came up with the idea of the club after watching a TV report about The 2i's Coffee Bar in London's Soho where several singers had been discovered.
Phillips' Sound Recording Services was a studio in the house of Percy Francis Phillips (1896–1984) and his family at 38 Kensington, Kensington, Liverpool, England. Between the years of 1955 and 1969, Phillips recorded numerous tapes and acetate discs for Liverpool acts, people and businesses in a small room behind the shop his family owned.
The original lineup of the Beatles, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Stuart Sutcliffe and Pete Best regularly performed at different clubs in Hamburg, West Germany, during the period from August 1960 to December 1962; a chapter in the group's history which honed their performance skills, widened their reputation, and led to their first recording, which brought them to the attention of Brian Epstein.
The Cavern Club at 10 Mathew Street, in Liverpool was the venue where the Beatles' UK popularity started. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Pete Best were first seen by Brian Epstein at the club. Epstein eventually became their manager, going on to secure them a record contract. Best was replaced by Ringo Starr on 16 August 1962, which upset many Beatles fans. After taunts of, "Pete forever, Ringo never!", one agitated fan headbutted Harrison in the club.
In His Life: The John Lennon Story is a 2000 American made-for-television biographical film about John Lennon's teenage years, written by the film's executive producer, Michael O'Hara, and directed by David Carson.
Kenneth Brown was a British guitarist with The Quarrymen, a precursor to The Beatles.
This is a summary of 1957 in music in the United Kingdom, including the official charts from that year.
11 July 1991 Cavern City Tours re-opened the Cavern Club and continued to provide the disco music which had been so successful under the previous owner. / Within a month the Cavern was open six days and three nights to cater for the growing visitor and tourist market. / The new owner’s aim to bring back live music to the Cavern didn’t happen immediately.
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