Liverpool: Beatle Clubs, Pubs and
The Beatles made the Cavern Club famous, playing nearly 300 shows
between February 1961 and August 1963 in the cellar club on tiny
Mathew Street in downtown Liverpool. The Cavern closed in
1973 and was demolished in a particularly brilliant feat of civic planning. A
reconstructed Cavern Club opened a decade later, built to the
specifications of the original and occupying part of the orignal
site (the remainder is lost forever beneath the neighboring
parking lot). It is now a major tourist attraction and still a venue
for local bands.
The Grapes was a favorite Beatle hangout, located a few doors down Mathew
Street from the Cavern (which was not allowed to sell alchohol). The
Beatles would often retreat to The Grapes before or after Cavern sets.
Mona Best's home was at 8 Haymen's Green in West Derby, a village on the
distant outskirts of Liverpool. Despite the long trek, the basement of the
home was turned into the successful Casbah Club, a teenage
coffee house and venue for bands. The Beatles played there often and, in
the summer of 1960, added Mona's son Pete Best to their line-up on
The Jacaranda Club (at 23 Slater Street) was owned by Allan Williams, who
became the Beatles' first manager. The Beatles often played, rehearsed
and hung out at the Jac, where Stu Sutcliffe's murals can still be seen
on the basement walls.
The Blue Angel (108 Seel Street) was another club run by Allan
Williams and was the scene of the Beatles' 1960 audition for
impresario Larry Parnes which landed them their first tour outside of
Liverpool, backing singer Johnny Gentle on a tour of Scotland.
The Litherland Town Hall and the Aintree Institute were two of several
venues that made up the network of widely-scattered ballrooms that were
the next step up from playing bars and cellar clubs. Both are located in
the extreme Northern section of Liverpool. The Litherland Town Hall was
the site of the "Birth of Beatlemania," the December 1960 concert that
demonstrated the group's remarkable improvement after several months in
Hamburg and sparked the first stirrings of fan hysteria in their
hometown. The Beatles performed 31 times at the
Aintree Institute, which still features live music and community events.
Ye Cracke is located on Rice Street near the Art College and
was a favorite
meeting spot for John, Stu and other art students. The Philharmonic Pub
was another favorite spot near the Art College. The ornate building is
located on Hope Street between the Anglican and the Catholic cathedral
(pictured in the background here).
The Empress Pub is located at the end of Admiral's Grove a few houses
away from Ringo's home. It was pictured on the cover of Ringo's 1970
"Sentimental Journey" album.
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