Latest 'Mersey Beat'
By Bill Harry
Groovin Records have issued 'The Almost Blues', an album by the Mersey band recorded at Abbey Road Studios on January 8 1969 in Studio 2 during a two hour session sandwiched between the Beatles and Engelbert Humperdinck. Al Williard Peterson remembers having to move Ringo's drums and John's amp to one side so that they could set up.
He also recalls, "This was our first session at Abbey Road Studios with Colin Areety on vocals. We recorded four tracks, but unfortunately 'Try Me' has not been retrieved. Colin absconded immediately after the session with the tapes and I haven't heard them since EMI decided to clear out their library!"
The Almost Blues who recorded at the session were Tommy Brown, vocals. Al Peters, trumpet, vocals. John Hodgson, guitar. John Beesley, bass. Peter Harvey, tenor sax. Derek Mari, baritone sax and Barry 'Basher' Robinson, drums.
Al recalls Cavern compere Bob Wooler:
"Whenever Bob booked the Almost Blues to play the Cavern all-night sessions he continually complained about the wearing of 'shades' (sunglasses after dark) saying 'How can you communicate with the audience if they cannot see your eyes?'
To that I would always reply, "It's the music, the blues, that communicates, Bob' whilst handing him another requested pink gin! I'd also reply to his continual reference to this with statements like, 'My hero, Ray Charles, wears them.'
Bob would reply, gesticulating like some Shakespearean actor, 'But he is blind.'
I'd reply 'T'is right, but it's part of the cool.'
Bob - "Bloody musicians, you young men are so exasperating at times.'
'What's that again - you'd like another booking at the Cavern?'
'Well, dear boy, another pink gin would seal the deal.'
These deals were either done in the Grapes or the White Star in Mathew Street prior to Bob M.C.ing another 'rave at the cave.'
To celebrate the Star Club's 40th anniversary in 2002 Mastersound have issued 'Kingsize Taylor & the Dominoes 2002.' Despite the date in the title, the 20 tracks are all from recordings made in the earlu 1960s in Hamburg, mainly during the time of their three-year residency at the Star Club. Many regard Kingsize Taylor & the Dominoes as the greatest British rock 'n'n roll band of the era.
Also celebrating the Star Club's 40th anniversary are three albums from Bear Family Records. 'Twist At The Top' by Howie Casey & the Seniors is the first album by a Liverpool group ever released. 'The Searchers At The Star Club' contains 19 tracks by the Searchers original line-up during their Hamburg performances. 'I Think Of You' by the Merseybeats is a 31 track compilation of their British recordings.
'The Best Of Liverpool Express,' is a 16 track album with classics such as 'You Are My Love' and 'Every Man Must Have A Dream.' The group have now reformed.