First Annual Beatle Convention in Liverpool.
Thursday 23rd - Wednesday 29th August 2001
Welcome to Liverpool — and if it’s your first visit, we always like to add it won’t be your last, as this wonderful city has a charm all of its own and, of course, if you are a Beatle fan it already has a special place in your heart.
On the Beatle front it has been another eventful year which, of course, has been dominated by the dreadful news of George’s continued battle against cancer. We can only hope and pray that all will work out in the end. This recent development has taken the spotlight away from the release of the superb,
newly-remastered “All Things Must Pass” and the news that a new album release was imminent. Ringo continues his tour of the universe and he released a great triple album which highlighted the various members of his All Starr Band.
For Liverpool, July saw the announcement of the rebranding of the airport as John Lennon International Airport, which predictably became a world-wide new story.
Yoko picked up an honorary degree at Liverpool University after the visit to the airport, and then she went on to John’s old school, Dovedale Primary School, to view first hand the new school playground that she had financed with a £30,000 donation to the school.
However, as is the norm, it is Macca who has been the busiest. Sometimes it’s very difficult keeping up with him. We’ve had the release of Wingspan, the Paul Live at The Cavern DVD and video, the release of Blackbird Singing (with readings in Liverpool, New York and Hay on
Wye) — and high profile support for Heather’s land mines campaign.
He has been a regular visitor to Liverpool with a book-signing at HMV, a poetry recital at The Everyman, the awarding of degrees to LIPA students (where Eddie Porter deservedly got to hang out with Paul), and a planned art exhibition at The Walker Art Gallery in October. As if this isn’t enough he’s getting married and, he’s planning a new single album and tour in November. Cant wait!
For Cavern City Tours, another hectic year which once again has been dominated by interminable rounds of talks, reviews and assessment of the hotel project. Yes, you’re bored with it; and so are we! Suffice to say that by the time you read this, the decision will have been made one way or another. Fingers crossed!
Another long-term project has been the “Why don’t we do it in Abbey Road” CD album. The recording of this was finally completed on Friday, August 24, and the
bands that contributed this year included Los Beat 3, Comitatus, Ringer, Liverpool, Det Betales and Morsa and The Australian Beatals, who get the award for
traveling the furthest to get to Beatle Week. This gives a final total of 24 bands who have recorded in Abbey Road over the last four years and we are very excited about finally releasing the album of your favourite bands prior to Christmas. Many thanks to Will Schillinger for overseeing this project for us, even if he
has to fly in from NYC every year to do so. He is a top-class professional and the bands have all been fortunate to have worked alongside somebody with his talent and pedigree, Thanks, Will! What’s new with the Festival? Well, apart from welcoming a band from Australia for the first time, we have plenty of new faces to excite you. We’ve found some great new bands and unusually this year we have an all-girl Beatles band from Argentina called The Beladies, and a band from Germany, The Mini Beats, who are eleven years old
and have released three CDs and even have an American fan club as well as numerous TV appearances to their credit. We are now getting to the stage where we could have an OAP band. Why not! We’ve had everything else, including The
There have only been a couple of changes from the proposed itinerary, notably the absence of Hocus Pocus, who are not gigging at the moment because Aggeu has released his solo album, and Revolution/Working Class Hero who were originally accompanying Charles Rosenay’s American tour but who recently had to pull out.
Other snippets worthy of a quick mention include a message to conventioneers from Laurence Gilmour, who is still living in the USA. He sends his love and hopes to see everybody next year. Indeed, keeping in touch is an integral part of the camaraderie which builds up during Beatle Week. This process has
been made so much easier by the publication of “The Word Is Love”, an excellent production by Nina Douglas and Jo
Rishton. I can’t commend this highly enough for those that wish to keep in touch with the bands throughout the year. Log on to
Another similar publication is Rhian Watts’s “The Tribute Book”, which is also well researched and satisfies the same thirst for information about the world’s best Beatle bands. Indeed, so similar are these two excellent fanzines that
I may be practical for these two to consider amalgamating their considerable talents in the future. Another person worthy of mention is Bengt
Warmlind, and you can find his excellent web page at
nem.fyristorg .com/resa/ Bengt’s reviews of Beatle Week keep you abreast of the things you missed because you wimped out at 4am in the morning and went home before Wednesday.
Finally, don’t forget the other places to visit whilst you are here — Ferry ‘Cross The Mersey, Beatle Story, Jacaranda, the John Lennon Mathew Street Gallery, The Magical Mystery Tour and the Beatles art show at St Georges Hall: the list is almost endless. Not to mention The Tate Gallery, The Museum and The Walker Art Gallery if you are seeking some extra culture. Unashamedly, I’d like to also recommend De
Coubertin’s Sports Bar and Grill to eat (around the corner from The Cavern Club) and
don’t forget to gel your exclusive licensed MPL/Cavern merchandise, only available from Cavern City Tours, which commemorates Paul’s historic homecoming to
The Cavern Club in December 1999.
The Cavern itself has been very busy and we have had some great gigs lately, including a punk festival and appearances by Lonnie
Donegan, Ian Hunter, Steve Holly and Jason Downes. Over the weekend, the Club and Pub (which has had an extensive makeover) will have bands playing all day and night right through to Wednesday and entrance is free if you show this programme as proof that you are on a Cavern City Tour.
As a final point, we have to pass on our apologies for having to increase the cover price to £7, but there have been many factors involved which have resulted in this decision. The number of pages increased from 32 to 36 last year and 40 pages this year.
This obviously leads to increasing production costs, design costs and printing costs. The option was to revert back to black and white
or to increase the cover price and keep the colour. I hope we made the right choice. Cheers!