The Night the Bomb
Mersey Beat: December 19 1964
The Cavern club had had a variety of sounds from driving beat to modern and traditional jazz, folk music, country and western, R&B and blues - but a new sound was heard there one recent Monday night - for that was the night the bomb dropped.
It happened when the Cavern staged the first 'event', described here by Mike Evans, alto saxophonist with the Clayton Squares.
"The Cavern was in complete darkness. Somehow 350 teenagers had been jammed between the arches and pillars. Suddenly there was a huge
explosion, girls screamed while the lights flickered and we broke into our first number, 'Danger Zone.' This was how the 'event', more commonly known as a 'happening' began. Entitled 'Bomb' it took the form of a mock four-minute warning of atomic bombardment.
"Then Adrian Henry, painter and poet, took the mickey out of an actual Civil Defense
pamphlet, saying 'Whitewash your windows and ram the dressing table up against the door. All in four minutes...'
"After some more poetry the Squares were off again with 'Talking Atom Blues.' "A natural break followed...and I mean a natural break, with Bob Wooler and Ray McFall
satirizing TV commercials such as PAD...Prolongs Active Death!" The stage was then taken over by Adrian Henry who read a poem fittingly entitled 'Frank And Bombstein.'
"While Adrian was reading the poem, a 'monster', every effectively clad, came onto the stage and strangled him. The monster was played by a gentleman known as Pete the Papers.
"Still in almost complete darkness, the Squares began to play very soft weird music while Adrian read a rather frightening poem called 'Tonight At Noon.' Girls were screaming all the time.
"Putting the pop image over were the Excelles who sang 'Don't Say Goodnight And Mean Goodbye.' Then they went straight into 'Silent Night.' For four minutes they sang the standard Christmas carol. All the time they were singing, the countdown of a four-minute warning was given over the PA. "When the countdown reached 10, the group sang louder until, at zero, they stopped. The lights went out and there was a tremendous explosion. girls were screaming again as a false ceiling, made of paper and powder, representing fallout, collapsed.
"After the bomb had supposedly been dropped, the event ended with two mutants, dressed in black, wandering round the audience to the
accompaniment of very eerie music on the organ."