Beatles History Blog

On the anniversary of Sgt Pepper, how many of the Fab104 can you spot?

When I was writing my book, and the number kept rising, I considered doing a tribute to Sgt. Pepper with as many of the Fab one hundred and Four I could find. In the end we decided not to proceed with it, but see how many you can recognise?
If you want to know more about the 104 people involved in the story of the Beatles, you can order “The Fab one hundred and Four: The Evolution of The Beatles, 1956-1962” from www.fab104.com
Have fun!
David

Fab 104 and Sgt Pepper
How many of the Fab 104 can you spot in the Sgt. Pepper

When The Beatles were The Silver Beats and had a drummer called Cliff!

On 14th May 1960, The Silver Beats – as they called themselves for this one occasion – the boys headed up to the north of Liverpool to appear at Lathom Hall. They arrived there with their current lineup – John, Paul, George, Stuart and Tommy Moore.
Tommy forgot his drums and so Cliff Roberts sat in! Find the story in “The Fab one hundred and Four: The Evolution of The Beatles” by David Bedford
#TheBeatles #art and entertainment: Music
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When The Beatles were only the Silver Beats – with a drummer called Cliff!

Cliff Roberts, who sat in with the Silver Beats
Cliff Roberts, who sat in with the Silver Beats

On 14th May 1960, The Silver Beats – as they called themselves for this one occasion – the boys headed up to the north of Liverpool to appear at Lathom Hall. They arrived there with their current lineup – John, Paul, George, Stuart and Tommy Moore. For some reason, Tommy didn’t bring his drums!! So, he asked a fellow drummer, Cliff Roberts from Kingsize Taylor and the Dominoes, if he could use his drums. He declined!
So, drummerless, the lads approached Cliff Roberts and asked him to sit in with them that night, which he duly did. That night, they were:
John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Stuart Sutcliffe and Cliff Roberts: The Silver Beats.
Roberts recalled The Silver Beats’ appearance that first night: “They were a scruffy bunch whose drummer hadn’t brought his kit and asked if he could borrow mine. I had a brand new Olympic kit that I hadn’t even used on stage myself, so I naturally refused.” They performed six numbers together, as Roberts recalled, “four rock ‘n’ roll standards that all the
groups played, and two originals that they had to teach me.”
Cliff Roberts is therefore a member of the “Fab one hundred and Four: The Evolution of The Beatles”
Find out more at www.fab104.com
David Bedford
 

Meet Steve Calrow, Lead singer of The Beatles!

ImageYes, Steve Calrow sang with The Beatles in the spring of 1961. Bob Wooler had begun to introduce The Beatles at The Cavern Club. They had made their lunchtime debut on 9 February 1961 and their first evening performance was on 21 March 1961. Between these two dates, and before Stuart returned to Hamburg on 15 March 1961, Steve Calrow, a local performer who Wooler had seen at Holyoake Hall, made a brief appearance at The Cavern with The Beatles.

Along with John, Paul, George, Stuart and Pete, Steve was called into action to help out with the singing as The Beatles could hardly talk, let alone sing, after a grueling 14 days performing.  “I knew Paul and George more than I knew John but we all lived around the same area, which is why I think they worked so well together because they knew each other well.”

Find out more in “The Fab one hundred and Four: The Evolution of The Beatles” at www.fab104.com 

John Lennon Nerk and Paul McCartney Nerk

On this day in 1960, 23rd April, John and Paul took a trip to a pub, The Fox and Hounds, in Caversham in Berkshire, England to stay with Paul’s cousin Bett Robbins and her husband Mike who ran the pub. The couple had both worked as Butlin’s Redcoats before taking on the pub and the teenage Lennon and McCartney were keen to get their advice.
Yes, John and Paul performed as “The Nerk Twins”! They sang songs like the Les Paul and Mary Ford hit, “The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise”, as well as “Be-Bop-A-Lula”.
Read more at my blog – http://www.fab104.com/blog.html
David
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The Fab104 is an “essential read”

David Bedford’s latest Beatles book, “The Fab One Hundred and Four,” is a delightful
and essential read. Just when you thought everything’s been said about the Beatles,
and there wasn’t much left to learn about the history of the group, David delivers
the goods by exploring a whole new angle — looking at all the people, some known and
some hardly known, that played a key role in the evolution of the group right up
to the point where they were John, Paul, George, & Ringo, on the brink of super-stardom.
Ken Michaels, “Every Little Thing” Beatles radio show
Read more at http://www.fab104.com/blog.html
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Researching The Beatles by David Bedford

So, what does it take to research The Beatles? How do we Beatles authors and historians find the information?
Sometimes, just finding out a date can take weeks. In “The Fab one hundred and Four”, I was determined to find out when the first colour photograph of The Quarrymen was taken (see below). Sounds easy, but it was anything but! In the photograph, leaning against the wall with a half pint of Guinness is Dennis Littler, a good friend of Paul McCartney’s cousin Ian Harris. I tracked Dennis down, to find out what I could. Dennis sometimes let John, Paul or George borrow his guitar,  an Antoria Cello acoustic, which was more expensive than their guitars!
This is what Dennis remembered (taken from “The Fab one hundred and Four”):
Paul, George and John would often come to my house and play on my guitar, because it was a lot more expensive than the guitars they had, and obviously was a much better guitar too. I never performed with The Quarrymen, but rehearsed with them. I remember Paul coming to me one day and saying that he had worked out how to play ‘Butter y’ by Charlie Gracie and he played it perfectly. He had that knack of being able to pick a song up so quickly and it was
obvious how good he was. He could pick up songs like ‘Long Tall Sally’ by ear, and sing like Little Richard too because he had such a great voice. 
“When Ian got married, John, Paul and George were asked to provide some music, which is when the photo was taken by Mike McCartney, the first colour photograph featuring The Beatles. I am seen next to the wall with my glass of Guinness. I don’t remember much about the day I’m afraid.
So, the information that I had was that the photo was taken at the wedding of Ian Harris and Jacqueline Gavin. So all I needed to find was the day that Ian and Jacqueline got married. After searching databases and records, no such wedding took place between an Ian Harris and Jacqueline Harris between 1957 and 1959, and we know the wedding took place sometime in 1958. Where to go next?
As Ian Harris was a member of the McCartney family, they never use their first names. James Paul McCartney and Peter Michael McCartney for example. Ian’s dad was Harry, and as Paul had his father’s name, a search for Harry Ian Harris proved successful! In fact, Jacqueline didn’t use her first name either! She was Cecilia Jacqueline Gavin. Families eh? I then obtained a copy of the marriage certificate to provide the information I needed.
And so, as per the marriage certificate, Harry Ian Harris married Cecilia Jacqueline Gavin on 8th March 1958, the date the first colour photograph of The Quarrymen was taken, by Peter Michael McCartney!
So, for the purposes of the book, all you need to know is that the photo was taken on 8th March 1958. What you don’t see is the research behind finding that date. Believe me, that is the thrill of the historian/ researcher!
Read the full story behind the photograph in “The Fab one hundred and Four: The Evolution of The Beatles from The Quarrymen to the Fab Four”
David Bedford

The first colour photo of The Quarrymen, with Dennis Littler
The first colour photo of The Quarrymen, with Dennis Littler

 
 
 

Feedback on the Fab104

#Beatles #Quarrymen Review of The Fab 104. “While many other tomes on the subject will be sitting on dusty library shelves unread in the future, David’s books will be popular social histories of times well loved by Beatles fans forever and shared with children and generations of new fans the world over! For those fans who want to know the real stories, want the real insight of the early Beatles and their times in Liverpool, David’s book is the best there is.” Paul Clinton
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