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Who backed The Beatles? (4) PDF Print E-mail

John Lloyd: This lad sometimes joined John Lennon and Paul McCartney when they bunked off school to play their guitars at McCartney's house on Forthlin Road and played improvised gigs. They also listened to the gramophone there - "a beautiful piece of polished wood" as Lloyd would later remember it, and played the tunes they had heard on their guitars. John Lloyd currently lives in Liverpool and has his own business, dealing in carpets.

London Symphony Orchestra - (see page 25 The Royal Philharmonic and London Symphony Orchestras).

John "Duff" Lowe: John Lowe, nicknamed "Duff", was a pianist in The Quarry Men from February 1958 to January 1959. He also took part in the group's recording of the songs "That'll Be The Day" (Buddy Holly) and "In Spite Of All The Danger" (McCartney - Harrison) at the Kensington Recording Studio, Liverpool. This took place in 1958. And as you know art, Lowe, like everyone participating in this recording, received his own copy of this acetate. In 1981, 23 years later, "Duff" decided to sell his acetate containing these now famous and legendary recordings. Paul McCartney paid him a huge amount for it because he didn't want a stranger to buy this relic at London's Sotheby's auction. As a result, this recording ended up in Paul McCartney's personal museum.

Nowadays John "Duff" Lowe lives in Ashton, near Bristol, where he has his own business.

Tommy Moore: He was the drummer who played very briefly with The Silver Beatles - from May to June 1960. He was almost old enough to be the other Beatles' father - he was 36 at the time. What's more, Moore had a steady job at Garson Bottle Works. Brian Casser of Cass and the Cassanovas recommended Tommy to Allan Williams, and Williams appointed Moore drummer with The Silver Beatles during their tour with Johnny Gentle. During this tour Tommy ended up in hospital when the group's van, driven by Johnny Gentle, crashed. This happened on 23 May 1960. Moore, who had been asleep in the vehicle at the time, was thrown awkwardly and received a number of injuries and lost two of his front teeth. However, John Lennon and the Scottish organiser of the tour immediately hauled him out of the hospital and sent him straight to the gig with the rest of the group.

After this tour Tommy Moore returned to his full-time job and said he no longer wanted to play with the Beatles. He failed to turn up to a pre-arranged meeting with them to discuss a performance on 11 June 1960 at the Grosvenor Ballroom - at Williams's Jacaranda club, leaving John and the others in a difficult position. Led by Allan Williams they set off to see Moore at work and managed to persuade Tommy to perform with them again. By the way, it's interesting that throughout the time they were imploring him to come with them Moore heard them out while still operating his fork-lift truck. His last performance with the Beatles took place on 13 June 1960 at the Jacaranda Club.

Ray McFall: He was the last manager of the historic Cavern Club. He was born on 14 November 1926 in Garston, Liverpool. It was Ray McFall who, having become the Cavern Club's manager, stopped playing jazz within the walls of his establishment and brought rock ‘n' roll to it. Jazz was finally dethroned at the Cavern in February 1961. With McFall's arrival as manager of the club, gigs began to be performed at lunch-times too. This made the Cavern Club even more accessible and popular. Ray McFall got on very well with the Beatles, spurring them on to new projects in every possible way.

And the Beatles responded to him in kind. McFall loved to sing. And one day the Beatles backed him while he performed "Can't Help Falling In Love" (Presley) and "Tender Is The Night" (Vic Damone). By the way, Ray accompanied the Beatles on their first trip to the USA. He had a host of other ideas too, though nothing positive became of them. It wasn't long before McFall was ruined and forced to sell the Cavern Club. He left for London where he returned to his old job, having started life as an accountant.

Jimmy Nicol: He began his career as a drummer for Boosey & Hakes. He also performed in the Swedish group, The Spotnicks, and by the time the Beatles invited him to replace temporarily the ill Ringo, Jimmy was a member of the group Georgie Fame's Blue Flames. This is what happened: On Wednesday, 3 June 1964, the day before the beginning of the Beatles' world tour, Ringo Starr fell ill. He had literally "collapsed" with a bout of severe tonsillitis and had been rushed to University College Hospital. Brian Epstein and George Martin immediately set about wondering what to do with him since there was no question of changing the start dates of the tour.

George Harrison, who was standing next to them and had apparently misunderstood their conversation, said: "If Ringo doesn't go, I'm not going either. You'll have to find two replacements". Epstein and Martin were aghast at Harrison's chance remark and, having assured George that he had misunderstood them, began the search for a temporary drummer for the Beatles. And he was found in the shape of Jimmy Nicol whom Martin telephoned and asked to turn up at 3pm at the Abbey Road studio for a rehearsal with the Beatles.

He hinted to Jimmy that if he came and everything turned out well, he would be in for a surprise. The thing was Nicol had work as a session drummer for a recording of Tommy Quickly record at the same time. Having arrived at the Beatles' rehearsal, Jimmy Nicol played six numbers with them. These were: "I Want To Hold Your Hand", "She Loves You", "I Saw Her Standing There", "This Boy", "Can't Buy Me Love" (allo: Lennon - McCartney) and "Long Tall Sally" (Johnson - Penniman - Blackwell). The Australian journalist Dick Hughes, who was present during the rehearsal, later recalled McCartney telling him that Jimmy Nicol was a fantastic drummer, but they (i.e. the Beatles) were no longer able to manage without Ringo ...

Two hours later Jimmy left to pack his suitcase in preparation for a world tour with the Beatles.

His first public performance with the Beatles took place the next day, on 4 June 1964, at the KB Hallen in Denmark, where the group played and sang ten songs instead of eleven. The eleventh was "I Wanna Be Your Man", which Ringo always sang. After the concert George Harrison said: "Playing without Ringo is like a car driving on three wheels, but Jimmy managed to catch on to our rhythm really quickly ..."

Ringo was discharged from hospital on Thursday, 11 June 1964, and immediately hurried to join the Beatles. Part of him may have feared that the Beatles would manage without him. He met up with John, Paul, George and Jimmy in Melbourne, Australia. This meeting is captured in a photograph of the five of them. Jimmy played with the Beatles in Denmark, the Netherlands, Hong Kong and Australia. He didn't even say goodbye to the Beatles when he left the hotel for the airport to fly home to Great Britain. "They were asleep and I didn't think I ought to wake them up", said Nicol. Brian Epstein and the tour manager Lloyd Ravenscroft took him to the airport. Brian gave Jimmy a cheque for £500 and a gold watch engraved with the words From the Beatles and Brian Epstein to Jimmy - With appreciation and gratitude".

After returning to Great Britain, Nicol for a long time had no desire to take part in a recording for anyone. His career as a musician didn't develop particularly well either. The single of his group The Shubdubs - "Husky/Don't Come Back" failed to reach the charts. One day the Shubdubs stood in for the Blackpool group The Dave Clark Five at a show because their leader, Dave Clark, was ill. And the Australians didn't forget Jimmy Nicol either: he received over 5,000 fan letters from Australia, and through a well-known Australian DJ, also called Jimmy, he thanked everyone who had sent him these warm and friendly letters. Nicol's group later broke up. A short time afterwards he moved to South America, later returning to Great Britain where he was very fondly remembered on account of his tour with the Beatles, and therefore received a warm reception everywhere he went.

As we have already said, Jimmy Nicol did not play the entire world tour with the Beatles. And he left the Beatles with regret and bitterness, but there were also great hopes that his time, albeit temporary, with the Fab Four would bring Jimmy fame and glory. But these dreams failed to materialise. Nichol turned out to owe his creditors over £4,000, and on 29 April 1965 Jimmy Nicol was declared bankrupt.

So be it, but at least, to quote Andy Warhol's pithy phrase, Jimmy did have his fifteen minutes of fame.

Chas Newby: It was December 1960 - the time when Stu Sutcliffe had stayed in Hamburg although he had not officially left the group. The Beatles, though, did not want to mark time. They needed to perform and in order to do so they required a bass guitarist. Pete Best suggested Ken Brown as a candidate. He had played with them in The Blackjacks and was then living in London. But John and Paul rejected this idea, saying that Ken had already played with them in The Quarry Men and they'd had a few problems with him then and were therefore unwilling for him to return. Paul himself wanted to play the bass guitar, but Pete then suggested another lad who had played the rhythm guitar in The Blackjacks - Chas Newby.

At the time Chas was still at college, in the chemistry faculty, but he was on holiday then. He agreed to perform with the Beatles for a brief spell. Wearing a leather jacket and wielding his bass guitar, he performed with the group for the first time at the Casbah Club. This took place on 17 December 1960. Chas also played another three gigs with the Beatles: The Grosvenor Ballroom on 24 December 1960, Litherland Town Hall on 27 December 1960, and the Casbah Club on 31 December 1960. After this Newby returned to college to continue his studies.

Gayleen Pease was the second of the two girls to provide backing vocals in the song "Across The Universe". Her story is as follows: She was 17-year old girl from Stoke Newington, London N16 who was studying for her A-levels). See also No. 1 Lizzie Bravo 572-A.

Victor Spinetti: He was born in Abergavenny, Wales. He was a famous British comic actor, writer, director and producer of films, and one of the Beatles' closest friends. He took part in the shooting of the Beatles' films "A Hard Day's Night" (1964), "Help!" (1965), "Magical Mystery Tour" (1967), as well as "How I Won The War", in which John Lennon starred. He also took part with all four Beatles in the recording of their 1967 Christmas record (made ? [sic]). It was Spinetti who edited and produced both of Lennon's books - "In His Own Write" and "A Spaniard In The Works". Also, in 1968 he put on the play "In His Own Write" by based on ? ? ?" and was the author of a script for a play, which was later published (1968) in a separate book called "In His Own Write: John Lennon Play", published by Jonathan Cape, 1968, UK.

 
 
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