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Home arrow About The Beatles arrow • Beatles history arrow Who backed the Beatles (3)
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Who backed The Beatles? (3) PDF Print E-mail

Brian Jones: A talented musician and member of the Rolling Stones, he was born in Cheltenham on 23 February 1942. He was among the music students invited to play in the song "You Know My Name" ("Look Up The Number"). He also sang in the choir in the song "Yellow Submarine". He was so thrilled to receive John's invitation that he rushed along to the studio straightaway with his saxophone. The recording took place on Wednesday, 17 May 1967. Jones himself died tragically, drowning in his own swimming-pool having overdosed on either alcohol or drugs. This tragedy took place at his home in Sussex on 3 July 1969, less than a month after he left the Rolling Stones following a disagreement with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards. He was just 27 years old.

We should add that the song first appeared on side two of the single "Let It Be", in March 1970

Eight session men for Eleanor Rigby (song): Eight session musicians helped to record this song, one of the Beatles' most famous numbers, which came out on disc at the beginning of August 1966:

Violins: Tony Gilbert, Sidney Sax, John Sharpe, Jurgen Hess
Violas: Stephen Shingles and John Underwood
Cellos: Derek Simpson and Norman Jones.
Paul McCartney himself sang lead vocal, and John Lennon and George Harrison provided backing vocals. This song was recorded between 11 and 29 April 196[sic].

Eric Griffiths: One of the first members of The Quarry Men, Eric lived in a suburb neighbouring Woolton. One of the main reasons for John Lennon inviting Eric to form a group with him was that Griffiths had a new guitar and was friends with Colin Hanton, who had a full drum kit, a prerequisite for any music group. (By the way, running ahead here, we should mention that it was Griffiths influenced Colin on the matter of his joining The Quarry Men). Griffiths played lead guitar in the group until Paul McCartney, who had only just joined the group, decided to take this position from Eric.

He managed to put such convincing arguments to John of his rightness that not only Lennon but the other members of the group agreed with Paul. The manager of the group, Nigel Whalley, discussed these plans with Griffiths' friend, Colin Hanton. And when he was not invited to the next rehearsal at Paul McCartney's house, Eric telephoned Colin to find out what was going on. The latter told him that the others wanted Griffiths to leave the group. Eric Griffiths was a member of the group from March 1957 to the middle of 1958, when he was ousted from the group.

Colin Hanton: An apprentice upholsterer and friend of Eric Griffiths, he joined The Quarry men in 1958 together with his drum, bought for £38. His father was the manager of a Co-op shop and was often away from home on Saturdays, which enabled the group to hold rehearsals at Hanton's house on Saturday afternoons. Colin had one bad habit: he really loved a drink. His favourite tipple was Black Velvet, a mixture of Guinness and mild bitter. And although Hanton was two years older than the other members of the group, he looked much younger than all of them, which caused him problems when he wanted to go to a pub for a drink because teenagers were banned from entering such drinking establishments at that time.

At the beginning of 1959, with the help of Mr Harold Harrison, George's father, the boys were invited to play at a Saturday night dance at the Picton Lane Busmen's Social Club in Wavertree. Mr Harrison, a former compère, told the boys that evening that the manager of a neighbouring cinema wanted to book them to play to cinema-goers in the foyer during the intervals between films. However, on their first day's work, during the interval, the group drank so much at the bar that their next performance was a flop. Needless to say, they were thrown out in disgrace. On the way home the downcast Hanton had such a furious row with the other members of the group that he ended up declaring he would never play with them again. He leapt off the bus with his drum kit, long before his stop, and none of the members of The Quarry Men ever saw him again ...

Norman Chapman: As you will recall, for a week in July 1960 The Silver Beatles backed the stripper Janice. A little later, still without a drummer, they happened upon a drummer whom they immediately invited to perform with them. This was Norman Chapman. He was pretty tall - 6' 2" - a vision of beauty. He became the Beatles' next drummer after Tommy Moore. Chapman played with the boys in the evenings after he had finished work. However, Norman would not stay long with the Beatles ...

... One evening, Allan Williams heard the sound of a drum coming from a building next to the Jacaranda club. Knowing the position The Silver Beatles were in as regards a drummer, he rang them - they were in the club at that point - and offered to find them someone who could play the drums.

They came outside and started shouting, calling out to the unknown drummer and asking him to come down and have a chat. He came down and the Beatles asked him to play with them. Norman, and this is who it was, did agree to this but after three (!) performances at Saturday Night at the Grosvenor Ballroom, Liverpool, Chapman was called up and sent to Africa, to the then British colony of Kenya. The partnership was cut short - forever.

Chorus And Effects For Yellow Submarine(Song) : This was made up of Mal Evans and Neil Aspinall, Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones, Marianne Faithfull, Pattie Harrison, George Martin and employees from the Abbey Road studio, plus the sound engineers Geoff Emerick, Joe Skipper and Terry Condon. Recording began on Thursday, 26 May 1966 at Abbey Road Studios and was completed on Wednesday, 1 June 1966.

Johnny "Hutch" Hutchinson was one of the best drummers in Liverpool and of all time ? [sic]. Johnny Hutchinson, nicknamed "Hutch", was born in Malta. At eighteen he made his debut appearance at the Corinthian Club with the group Cass and the Cassanovas, which, after its leader, Brian Casser, left the group, became known as The Big Three and, having signed a two-year contract, began to play with Johnny Kidd & The Pirates. It was Johnny Hutchinson who played with The Silver Beatles at Allan Williams's new club, The Blue Angel, during their auditions before Larry Parnes, because the Silver Beatles drummer, Tommy Moore, had failed to turn up for the start of the audition (he was a whole 10 minutes late!).

A photograph of this chance performance by Hutchinson shows him sitting behind the drums and playing with The Silver Beatles looking apathetic, his face betraying no sign whatsoever of any interest or pleasure, you could even go so far as to describe his face as devoid of expression (of course, he couldn't have imagined then that in just a few years the Beatles would become the Fab Four!) In 1962, when Pete Best had been sacked, Johnny provided backing for Cilla Black.

However, there was another occasion for him to help the Beatles; for a very brief period, when the Beatles no longer had Pete and Ringo Starr hadn't yet arrived, Johnny Hutchinson played with them again. It is said that it was "Hutch" who was Brian Epstein's first choice to join the Beatles to replace the ousted Pete Best. However, Hutchinson didn't like the Beatles (!) and he declined (!). He started playing with The Big Three again, which was also managed by Brian Epstein. The members of this group, though, were not keen on Epstein's management style, and they soon dissolved their contract with him. And for nothing since it was they who were "lost" in the mid-1960s among a host of similar British groups ...

Simone Jackson: This took place on Wednesday, 12 September 1962, when the 16-year old vocalist from London, Simone Jackson, was performing at the Cavern Club. The Beatles performed as her backing group. Bob Wooler later recalled that Simone was one of the most delightful people the Beatles ever backed.

Janice "The Stripper": A stripper and native of Manchester, she started performing striptease acts at the New Cabaret Artists Club, which had been opened by Allan Williams under the name Lord Woodbine in one of the districts of Liverpool that was chock-full of pubs. As one of the conditions of her performances, Janice insisted on using a group because she considered herself to be a great artiste and was only prepared to disrobe in front of an audience if she was backed by "live" music. Williams offered the job to The Silver Beatles. Furthermore, the dancer wanted Beethoven's music or the Spanish Fire Dance or Aram Kachaturian's Sabre Dance. The Beatles couldn't read music, though, and made this plain to her right away.

And Janice, forced to compromise, stripped to the music of "It's A Long Way to Tipperary" or "Ramrod", "September Song" or "Moonglow", "Begin the Beguine" or "The Harry Lime Theme". Paul McCartney recalled that they were very young lads at the time and when Janice performed a full strip to music it caused them to blush heavily. However, Bill Harry, a friend and "chronicler" of the Beatles' story, wrote in one of his books that when they were studying at Liverpool College of Art, John and Stu Sutcliffe had drawn nude women so expressively and in such detail that the sight of the naked Janice would have shocked them silly. However, in Harry's own words: "This was the lowest points in their (i.e. the Beatles') career.

Davy Jones: A black American singer who had appeared on a host of prestigious TV programmes, including the famous The Ed Sullivan Show. He turned up in Liverpool for the first time on 3 May 1960, when he came to Great Britain to sign a contract with a local record company Pye Records. Whilst in Liverpool Jones performed at the local Liverpool Stadium with Jim Vincent at an event organised by Allan Williams. In 1961 Davy Jones again gave several concerts in Liverpool and the surrounding area.

He first performed with the Beatles on 24 November 1961, at the Tower Ballroom, New Brighton, at an event organised by Sam Leach. The Beatles backed him in two numbers. On 8 December 1961 they had another two joint performances: a lunch-time performance at the Cavern Club and a night performance at the Tower Ballroom. Later on Davy Jones and the Beatles performed in Hamburg, West Germany, at the then famous Star Club.

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