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New Beatles Documentary Set For UK Release This May

The film Features rare interviews with The Beatles’ original drummer Pete Best, John Lennon’s sister Julia Baird, Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein’s secretary Barbara O’Donnell, Steve Diggle of the Buzzcocks, Beatles associate Tony Bramwell, Pattie Boyd’s sister Jenny Boyd, Hunter Davies, Simon Napier-Bell, Ray Connolly, Bill Harry, Philip Norman, Steve Turner, Andy Peebles, Freda Kelly, and The Merseybeats.

 

Kaleidoscope Entertainment has announced that it will release the new Beatles documentary It Was Fifty Years Ago Today! The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper & Beyond in UK cinemas on May 26th, Digital VOD on June 1st, and DVD on July 3rd.  On 1st June, 1967 The Beatles released their ground-breaking studio album, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”. Described by Rolling Stone magazine as “The most important rock & roll album ever made…”, it left an indelible mark on the 60s and went on to become one of the biggest selling records of all time.  It Was Fifty Years Ago Today! The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper & Beyond examines the twelve months (Aug 1966 – Aug 1967) that would arguably be the most crucial in the band’s career, a year in which they stopped being the world’s number one touring band and instead became the world’s most innovative recording artists, pushing the boundaries of what could be achieved in the studio.  Unable to hear themselves perform and mired by controversy, the band decided to stop touring in August 1966. What followed was a period of extreme creativity and rebirth during which they embraced Swinging London, the ‘avant-garde’, LSD and the advent of the Summer Of Love. The result was the creation of their new alter ego, Sgt. Pepper, with the desire to create a pop music first, the concept album.

From Emmy-nominated director Alan G. Parker, and produced by Reynold D’Silva, and Alexa Morris, the film features incredible rare archival footage unseen since the 1960s. The film also features rare interviews with The Beatles’ original drummer Pete Best, John Lennon’s sister Julia Baird, Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein’s secretary Barbara O’Donnell, Steve Diggle of the Buzzcocks, Beatles associate Tony Bramwell, Pattie Boyd’s sister Jenny Boyd, Hunter Davies, Simon Napier-Bell, Ray Connolly, Bill Harry, Philip Norman, Steve Turner, Andy Peebles, Freda Kelly, and The Merseybeats.

“We’re combining first-hand accounts of the events that allowed ‘Sgt. Pepper’ to happen with rare and unseen footage that we’ve forensically unearthed from mainstream archives and private collectors,” said Parker. “The last days of touring…. the execution of the album…. and the aftermath that it left behind will, I hope, give the audience an intimate sense of the band, the time and the impact of this extraordinary album.”

July 3rd.

On 1st June, 1967 The Beatles released their ground-breaking studio album, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”. Described by Rolling Stone magazine as “The most important rock & roll album ever made…”, it left an indelible mark on the 60s and went on to become one of the biggest selling records of all time.

It Was Fifty Years Ago Today! The Beatles: Sgt. Pepper & Beyond examines the twelve months (Aug 1966 – Aug 1967) that would arguably be the most crucial in the band’s career, a year in which they stopped being the world’s number one touring band and instead became the world’s most innovative recording artists, pushing the boundaries of what could be achieved in the studio.

Unable to hear themselves perform and mired by controversy, the band decided to stop touring in August 1966. What followed was a period of extreme creativity and rebirth during which they embraced Swinging London, the ‘avant-garde’, LSD and the advent of the Summer Of Love. The result was the creation of their new alter ego, Sgt. Pepper, with the desire to create a pop music first, the concept album.

From Emmy-nominated director Alan G. Parker, and produced by Reynold D’Silva, and Alexa Morris, the film features incredible rare archival footage unseen since the 1960s. The film also features rare interviews with The Beatles’ original drummer Pete Best, John Lennon’s sister Julia Baird, Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein’s secretary Barbara O’Donnell, Steve Diggle of the Buzzcocks, Beatles associate Tony Bramwell, Pattie Boyd’s sister Jenny Boyd, Hunter Davies, Simon Napier-Bell, Ray Connolly, Bill Harry, Philip Norman, Steve Turner, Andy Peebles, Freda Kelly, and The Merseybeats.

“We’re combining first-hand accounts of the events that allowed ‘Sgt. Pepper’ to happen with rare and unseen footage that we’ve forensically unearthed from mainstream archives and private collectors,” said Parker. “The last days of touring…. the execution of the album…. and the aftermath that it left behind will, I hope, give the audience an intimate sense of the band, the time and the impact of this extraordinary album.

The original lead singer of the British band The Foundations, Clem Curtis, has died at the age of 76.

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"Tony Crane pays tribute to friend and artist Clem Curtis"

I was very sad to learn last night that Clem had died, he had been a dear friend over many years, he often watched my performances on stage and we shared the usual artist banter.   In the late 80's we worked together and released a single "Ain't Nothing Like A House Party" under the group title THE CORPORATION  amusingly known as

"The Traveling Wrinklies"

Also with Mike Pender, Brian Poole and Reg Presley

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"Many good memories"

 

 

Liverpool Rocks returns to rock The Cavern in aid of Strawberry Fields project

The Mersebeats headlined a reprise of the legendary event founded by the late Chris Finley

 

The spirit of the Swinging Sixties was revived in style at the Cavern on Sunday afternoon as some of the Merseybeat era’s top acts came together to raise money for a much-loved local charity and celebrate the life of one of the scene’s key players.

More than £3,000 was raised for the Salvation Army’s Strawberry Fields project as people flocked to the legendary Matthew Street for the special sold-out show featuring everyone from The Baby Faced Beatles and Beryl Marsden to The Kirkby’s, Frankie Connor’s The Hideaways and The Merseybeats. The event was a reprise of the long-running Liverpool Rocks series of events staged by Liverpool musician Chris Finley, who died in February 2016 after a glittering career playing with Herman’s Hermits, The Merseybeats, Gerry And The Pacemakers and The Hideaways. “It was a very special show, a fantastic tribute to our mate Chris, and raising money for Strawberry Fields is the icing on the cake,” said organiser of the event, Judd Lander, who has been a mainstay of The Hideaways and is a prolific session musician, having played harmonica for the likes of Paul McCartney, the Beach Boys, Culture Club and the Spice Girls.

Courtesy Liverpool Echo

Liverpool's Strawberry Field, the inspiration for one of the Beatles  greatest hits, is to be revived.

The former Salvation Army children’s home, where John Lennon played as a child, is to open its gates to the public under new plans to redevelop the historic site.

 

The Immortal Jukebox

A Blog about Music and Popular Culture

The Beatles & Bowie agree: The Merseybeats are Fab!

Posted on April 14, 2015

British Beat – Some Other Guys:

The Beatles appearance on the Ed Sullivan show on February 9th 1964, viewed by some 73 million people (!) was an epochal moment in the history of popular music and indeed of global popular culture. The world would never be quite the same again. Additionally, their Sullivan show debut red letter marked a new, wholly unanticipated, chapter in the, ‘Special relationship’ between the peoples of Britain and The United States Of America.

Following in the wake of The Beatles overwhelming chart triumphs and virtual colonisation of the hearts and imaginations of an entire generation of American youth battalions of British Beat groups began packing their bags and stared dreamily at their atlases as they wondered what the fabled cities of New York City, Chicago and San Francisco were really like. Could it true that they were on their way there and that when they arrived they would be screamed at by hordes of gorgeous young women, celebrated for their ‘cute’ accents and garlanded as members of a wholly welcomed invasion?

For some like the Rolling Stones and The Who, Field Marshalls of the Invasion, this was indeed the case and they would go on over the following half century to pursue storied careers now commemorated in DVDs, Box Sets and epic myth making tours. But while the Generals and Staff Officers of any army always grab the lion’s share of the glory and the headlines, others in the ranks – the regulars, the foot sore infantry, sometimes have their fleeting moment(s) in the sun too.

The, ‘Some Other Guys’ series will feature posts on the lesser lights of the British Beat era who nevertheless made some great records that endure as fine music as well as being emblematic of the times.

So, today I showcase The Merseybeats/Merseys – a group who played hundreds of times at Liverpool’s legendary Cavern club in the early 1960s, alternating as headliners with the Beatles. In many respects they were like younger brothers of The Beatles – sharing their enthusiasms if not the overwhelming charisma and depth of talent of the Fab Four (but then who did!).

They did however produce a classic record in 1966, ‘Sorrow’. Both The Beatles and David Bowie were fond of the group and, ‘Sorrow’ in particular. The Beatles directly quoted from the song in their, ‘It’s All Too Much’ and former fan club member Bowie had a substantial hit with his sometimes camp, sometimes impassioned, wholly Bowiesque, version of the song which appeared on his early 70s covers album, ‘Pin Ups’.

The Merseys version, below, intimates that that the unreachable beauty, the longed for lover with the long blonde hair and the eyes of blue, may well turn out to be not an angel but the Devil’s daughter and the cause of long lasting sorrow as well as momentary joy. Or so it so often seems in the overheated imaginations of hormonally ravaged, emotionally immature, teenage boys! Later, spurned, the young man may come to realise that thinking about his fate might well be an illicit pleasure in its own right and cue up, ‘Sorrow’ time and again until the next love of his life appears.

The charmingly morose vocals are by the key duo of the Merseybeats/Merseys – Tony Crane and Billy Kinsley who also respectively played rhythm and lead guitar. The record label assures us that the track was produced by Kit Lambert (then manager of The Who) though I am inclined to hear more profoundly the influence of John Paul Jones (later of Led Zeppelin fame) who played the opening bowed bass figure and surely arranged the horns which feature so effectively.

The great Clemente Anselmo Arturo ‘Clem’ Cattini, the doyenne of UK session drummers, plays with the professional expertise he brought to over 40 British number 1 singles. ‘Sorrow’ will take up permanent residence in your musical memory. I’d like to feature two more songs to illustrate the worth of the Band. First, the Merseybeats 1964 million selling ballad, ‘I Think Of You’ which in addition to the aforementioned Crane and Kinsley has Aaron Williams on guitar and the late John Banks behind the drum kit.

This swooner with its attractive guitar figure was surely meant to play as the mirror ball scattered its indiscriminate temporary glamour over local dance floors. Perhaps many of the dancers as this song played thought of, ‘the one who got away’ even as they held close the one they were dancing with that night. The record is contained and contentedly wraps us up in satisfying angst. Finally a more dramatic and weighty performance from 1965, their version of Tony Colton and Ray Smith’s magnificent cri de couer, ‘I Stand Accused’ (later to be given a thrilling, amphetamine rush version by Elvis Costello). Tony Colton, as secret hero of the UK Music scene, will feature later in this series.

The above performance reveals an altogether grittier, sweatier, side to The Merseybeats. This, surely, is how they would have sounded in stygian gloom of The Cavern as the crowd, packed way beyond capacity, urged them on for chorus upon chorus before they all needed to groggily come up for air.

Few glossily illustrated, footnoted tomes will be written about the Merseybeats yet they surely left their mark on the 60s musical landscape and with, ‘Sorrow’ that mark is likely to prove indelible.

Notes: The original version of, ‘Sorrow’ was written and produced in 1965 in a hazy folk-rock style by the New York City wise guy team of Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein and Richard Gottehrer for The McCoys which featured guitar wunderkind Rick Derringer. Feldman, Goldstein and Gottehrer issued records under the name The Strangeloves including the garage rock staple, ‘I Want Candy’.

Richard Gottehrer is very likely to feature here on The Jukebox later as he went on to be an important figure in the New York New Wave scene (producing records for Richard Hell and Blondie) and co-found Sire Records.

‘Some Other Guy’ a raucous 1962 R&B by Richard Berry (written by Leiber & Stoller) has, as the the more astute among you will have already figured out, provided the inspiration for the, ‘Some Other Guys’ series. It was frequently played live by The Beatles in their Cavern days.

Archive footage

(copyright)

courtesy of Phil Chittick formally of THE MERSEYBEATS - LIVERPOOL EXPRESS

1975

 

1976

Tony Crane - Jersey

Batley Variety Club August 1976

 

Tony Crane - Elvis Show 1978

The Merseybeats - Dubai 2000

All the above images courtesy of Phil Chittick formally of THE MERSEYBEATS - LIVERPOOL EXPRESS

 

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Tony Crane of The Merseybeats and his son, Adrian, with Jimmy Cricket

FROM THE PAPERS:

The Merseybeats play charity concert

For the third successive year, Liverpool band The Merseybeats will perform a charity concert to support Relate Cheshire & Merseyside.

The 60’s music themed night will help raise funds for expanding relationship counselling to local families and young people, as well as support efforts to promote Relate’s wider vision of encouraging conversations about wellbeing and healthy relationships.

Following the success of previous events, this year’s charity concert will be once again held at The Floral Pavilion in New Brighton on Tuesday 18th October, starting at 7.30pm.

merseybeats picture

 

Tony Crane, lead singer and guitarist of the Merseys, says he and the band are very keen to show their support Relate Cheshire & Merseyside. “I had known friends of mine, famous people, who had problems with their relationships and had been greatly helped by Relate. It is a very good charity and it is a very good cause to raise money for”.

The Merseybeats first started performing over fifty years ago at The Cavern Club, Liverpool’s hottest nightclub in the 60’s, and played alongside The Beatles and many other bands around in that era

 

 

The Solid Silver 60s Show Tickets at Southport Theatre & Convention Centre,

 

Aboard the MS Oosterdam a cruise ship,

Photographs courtesy of Len Orford,

 

The Merseybeats performed with the legendary James Burton and Glen D Hardin

at the Floral Pavillion, Wirral on Friday 29th July


Guitarist James Burton has performed with the greats such as Elvis Presley, Ricky Nelson, Roy Orbison to name but a few. However, this was the first, and hopefully not the last performance with The Merseybeats!
Glen D Hardin, keyboard player for The Crickets, and Elvis, has also performed with many of the legends through the years.
The Merseybeats were all thrilled to be performing with James and Glen. They were also backed by the singing duo The Pashionettes, who got their first break when backing Tony doing his second Elvis show, also at the Floral, back in 1997. They now perform all over the world backing numerous performers, and are soon to be back on tour with of Suzie Quattro.
On Friday night Tony was delighted to include some songs from his Elvis show, such as the Wonder of You and Lawdy Miss Clawdy to specially feature James Burton.
After the show James and Glen told Tony they cannot wait to come back to the U.K and play with The Merseybeats again. A great time was had by all!

Photographs celebrating the events held in Liverpool:



 

Keith Emerson


Keith Emerson, the co-founder and keyboardist of progressive rock group

Emerson, Lake and Palmer, has died aged 71.

Below is a fabulous photograph of Keith with The Merseybeats,

Keith had popped in to catch up with his friends during The Merseybeats UK Tour.

Dave Goldberg - Lou Rosenthal - Billy Kinsley - Keith Emerson - Tony Crane - Bob Packham

Photograph taken 2009

 

 

News Posted Thursday 18th February 2016

CHRIS FINLEY

"Our dear Friend"

50 years association with

THE MERSEYBEATS

This is a very sad day for all of us,

our dear friend and colleague has sadly died.

Chris Finley has been a member and been associated with The Merseybeats since 1966,

In 1966 Tony and Billy formed a vocal duo called simply The Merseys and with their backing band, The Fruit Eating Bears, they achieved their greatest ever recording success with ‘Sorrow’ which has become a sixties classic and mentioned as a favourite by many artists, David Bowie later recorded a version for his 'Pinups' album. The original line-up of the unique 'two drumming band' the Fruit Eating bears was Joey Molland, guitar; Chris Finley, keyboard;

George Cassidy, bass and Kenny Goodlass and Kenny Mundye on drums.

The Merseys had run their course, during the years 1969 - 1974 Tony Crane and Billy Kinsley with Kenny Mundye on drums played

The Merseybeats, as a trio.   Touring extensively playing the Cabaret circuit which was often referred to as 'chicken in the basket' because that was the type of  food served in those venues.  They were headline performers at the 1971 Merseybeat Reunion Concert held at the Top Rank Ballroom, Liverpool.

Tony Crane continued to lead the group working on the cabaret circuit under the name of  Tony Crane & The Merseybeats 1971 -74 with Tony Coates (Bass) , Chris Finley (keyboard), Derek Cashin (drums)

And in more recent years................ Chris has been our keyboard player sharing performances with Adrian Crane.

This photo taken just days before we lost Chris

 

Tony Crane & The Merseybeats 1971 -74

(Chris Finley - 3rd from the left)

Tony Coates - Dereck Cashin - Chris Finley - Tony Crane

 

 

Ain't Nothing But A Houseparty - Corporation - YouTube

tTV interview from 80s with group that became knon as the wn as

Travelling Wrinklies Mike Pender, Brian Poole, Tony Crane

https://youtu.be/a3KStp4wqZo

 

DAVID BOWIE

After the shock news this morning, glowing tributes have been paid to David Bowie,

one of the most influential musicians of his era.

The musician had a career spanning decades. Bowie's hits include

Let's Dance, Space Oddity, Heroes, Under Pressure, Rebel, Rebel, and Life on Mars.

David Bowie did not cover many other artists songs, but he did make a hugely successful cover of

The Merseys hit recording 'SORROW' 

I was delighted and flattered that he chose to record our version on his 'Pinups' album. 

The song has become a classic and one of David's favourite songs of the 1960s.

  

In the early days he would often pop along to see us performing,

a musical icon that will be sadly missed.

My sincere condolences to his family and the world of music.

Tony Crane

The Merseybeats - The Merseys