Behind the Scenes 5
By Bob Azurdia
March 12 1964
Chatting with Johnny Gustafson
Chatting with Johnny Gustafson at the Cavern last week I heard just how tough it was getting in Hamburg.
“I’m really glad to have joined the Merseybeats,” Johnny told me, “Not only because they are a great group but because I was getting sick of playing to the same crowd at the Party Club for hours on end.”
Johnny who played the Cavern with the Merseybeats without any rehearsal and on only the third occasion he’d been with the group since joining them added that he was looking forward to April.
“That’s because we’ve got a tour of Sweden, Denmark and Norway lined up,” he said.
Paul McCartney is not the only member of his family to make an impact in showbiz – he’s just the only one to use his own name.
In fact his brother Mike, who works in the city at one of Liverpool’s most fashionable hairdressers, is a well-known TV performer.
He appears in the late-night ITV programme ‘Gazette’ as a member of Liverpool’s Scaffold group.
Mike was pretty anxious not to cash in on the name of his Beatle brother so he’s known professionally as Mike McGear.
I happened to pick up an old newspaper this week dated Friday, June 14, 1963.
At the New Brighton Tower that evening the Beatles and Gerry & the Pacemakers topped the bill.
The Swinging Bluejeans were on at the Mardi Gras – and they had a lunchtime session at the Downbeat the following day.
According to my paper Gerry and the Pacemakers were also on at Litherland Town on the Saturday supported by the Dennisons and the Fourmost.
Only an average Beat weekend – the sort of first rate choice Merseyside fans were accustomed to nine months ago.
Today all five groups are TOP TOP liners and we don’t see them at home too often.
In the paper I’ve got before me the Roadrunners, Earl Royce & the Olympics, the Feelgoods and the Mafia are all billed for this weekend.
Wonder how many of them will be around in nine months…?