Manager Who Never
This became the subject of another myth. Years later, Williams was to allege that Stuart couldn't play and turned his back to Parnes during the audition. Yet Cheniston Roland had been taking photographs of the different groups at the audition. In the photographs of the Silver Beetles playing, Stuart is standing to the side and his hands and the guitar can be plainly seen, proving he wasn't performing with his back to anyone. Photos of the Beatles in Hamburg also show him facing the audience. In the most famous photo of the Wyvern session, with Hutchinson sitting in with them, Stuart can clearly be seen playing the instrument. Witnesses to his performance in Hamburg, such as Ricky Richards of the Jets say that Stuart never played with his back to the audiences.
Parnes himself was also to refute Williams' allegation that the reason he had turned down the group as Billy Fury's backing band was due to Stuart's inability to play.
Three of the groups got work from Parnes. Cass and the Cassanovas were asked to back Billy Fury on tour, Derry and the Seniors to back Duffy Power and the Silver Beatles to back Johnny Gentle.
Parnes declared that his only objection to the Silver Beetles was the fact that their drummer dressed differently from his fellow members and was several years older than the others.
Because Parnes decided to book some of the Liverpool groups to back artists of his - and Williams had set up the audition - Williams was to get a cut from the three bands.
The Silver Beetles then went on a short tour of Scotland backing Johnny Gentle.
On their return, Williams added them to the list of groups he occasionally got local bookings for via his Jacaranda Enterprises and secured them a handful of gigs from Wirral promoter Les Dodd of Paramount Enterprises, from which he took a cut. He also booked other groups to appear with Dodd, such as Gerry & the Pacemakers. Williams then booked the Silver Beetles into a shebeen he ran with a partner, Lord Woodbine, to provide backing for a stripper called Janice, because they just happened to be around and were cheap, although he was to openly admit that he didn't think much of their music.
These bookings between June and July 1960 were basically the only local bookings Williams ever got for the group, acting purely as an agent, apart from a few bookings in his own Jacaranda club due to the fact that his resident Caribbean Steel Band had left him.
In the meantime, Derry & the Seniors, who had turned professional to undertake a summer season backing one of Parnes' artists, were told that the deal was cancelled. Blaming Williams, Howie Casey and Derry Wilkie of the Seniors, went to the Wyvern and confronted Williams, who then offered to take the group down to London.
He drove them down to the 2 I's coffee bar in London, arranged for them to play - and by a stroke of pure good luck, Bruno Koschmider, a Hamburg club owner, was in the club seeking bands for his venue.
Williams had already allegedly been in touch with Koschmider. The story is a complicated one as it also involves claims from Casey Jones that he was the original person to contact Koschmider, not Williams.
However, it resulted in Koschmider booking Derry & the Seniors for his club, the Kaiserkeller, having already booked a group from London to precede them, the Jets (one of whose members was Tony Sheridan).