Monday, 18 February 2013

Goodbye, Mister Twist!

It was with sadness that we learned that The Beatles' "teacher", Tony Sheridan passed away this weekend, following complications after heart surgery. Born in May 1940, Sheridan was just two months older than Ringo, but was already an established name from television for the Beatles, who met him during their first visit to Hamburg in 1960.
Sheridan performed on the "Oh Boy!" TV-show in 1958 and 1959, and was reportedly the first who played the electric guitar while singing on British TV.
 
He was a one man band at the Top Ten Club at the Reeperbahn when the five Beatles first appeared on the scene. Often accompanying Sheridan on stage, their guest appearances at the Top Ten severed their association with their boss at the time, Bruno Koshmieder, and likely cost them their engagement at the Kaiserkeller Club in Grosse Freiheit.
As you all know, their involvement with Sheridan led to their first recording sessions and subsequent record release on Polydor. 
In early 1962, Ringo took a leave from Rory Storm and The Hurricanes to join Tony Sheridan's Beat Brothers in Hamburg for a few weeks. He didn't really like it and soon returned to The Hurricanes.
Richard Porter, Beatles London tour guide tells that Sheridan once took the Beatles London tour, accompanying a group of German tourists. Porter asked Sheridan who the better drummer was, Ringo or Pete Best? Sheridan looked straight at him and replied "Ringo, by a mile!".
I've had the pleasure of meeting Sheridan during several of his visits to Norway, the first time in 1985. He used to perform with the Norwegian Beatles cover band, "The Betales", and they toured in 2006.
Tony Sheridan was a proud man, who no one could tell what to do. You will find him talking about The Beatles' Hamburg days in several DVD documentaries, and he was a welcome guest at various Beatles festivals around the world

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