The Bouncer Who Bought the Cavern

By Bill Harry  

Hard Nights: My Life In Liverpool Clubland
Roy Adams, Cavernman Publications

Hard Nights: My Life in Liverpool ClublandRoy Adams is a former guardsman and amateur wrestler who became a bouncer in Liverpool clubs such as the Basement for eight years before owning his own clubs, including the Cavern itself.

A 'bouncer' is a club doorman and you had to be tough to take the job on. As Roy recalled in one incident, "I stooped down to fasten my shoelace hearing a thud as I started to bend forward. I looked behind me and there was a large triangle of glass with the point buried in the door just where my head had been.

"As I realized it another shard of glass just missed my face. Next thing pieces of glass were flying at us.

"Two of the crowd we'd knocked back had dragged a large cardboard box full of broken panes of glass from a rubbish skip down the street. They'd hidden behind a parked car. We managed to scramble inside but not before I'd been caught in the leg and my colleague had a gash in his hand.

"This was my first experience of the Liverpool determination for revenge when they feel rebuffed."

Roy's experiences of working during Liverpool's nightlife in clubs, ballrooms, nightclubs and restaurants for 42 years before his retirement in the year 2000 is contained in his self-published autobiography, 'Hard Nights.'

I particularly remember a tough nut called Eddie Palmer. The first time I met him he made some sort of insulting remark and I told him where to get off. He seemed to like that and apparently looked on me as if I was a friend. I never had any trouble from him, but I remember other people were terrified. I often wondered what had happened to him and I found out in Roy's book.

He related that a doorman called Beech Doherty had a nasty run-in with some Scots who threatened revenge. He was then deliberately run down by a car and his legs were so seriously injured it was thought he would never walk again. He eventually recovered and regained the use of his legs, although he walked with difficulty.

Doherty was told that Palmer had been paid to drive the car. When Beech was with his wife and daughter at the Peel Labour Club one night, Palmer came to the table and made some insulting remarks about Beech's wife and daughter. Beech followed him out of the club and stabbed him in the chest, killing him.

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