Tuesday, 10 April 2018

The "lost" Cavern Club tape

Live at the Cavern Club, 1962.
In mid-1962, "a fan in the audience" at the Cavern Club in Liverpool recorded a Beatles' performance, more-or-less in full. It's the only full-length recording of them live known to exist prior the Star Club tapes from late December 1962.

On August 29th 1985, the tape was auctioned and sold at Sotheby's in London. Sotheby's said it was recorded in February or March of 1962, but this can't be accurate, as one of the covers they play wasn't released until May and didn't reach British charts until June. Most say the show was recorded in June or July of 1962. It's definitely Pete Best on drums. Sotheby's sold it that day for £2,310. Who bought it? Paul McCartney of course!

Nobody knows anything about the sound quality. The setlist (as recorded anyway) is:
- Words of Love
- What's Your Name
- Roll Over Beethoven
- Ask Me Why (listed as 'Tell My Why' by Sotheby's, but that's almost surely an error)
- The Hippy Hippy Shake
- Til There Was You
- Hey! Baby
- If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody
- Please Mister Postman
- Sharing You
- Your Feet's Too Big
- Dizzy Miss Lizzy
- I Forgot to Remember to Forget
- Matchbox
- I Wish I Could Shimmy Like my Sister Kate (aka: Shimmy Like Kate; aka: Shimmy Shimmy)
- Memphis, Tennessee
- Young Blood
- Dream Baby (How Long Must I Dream)

McCartney has neglected to release the tape to the public. This blog post was prompted when someone asked me what I would ask Paul McCartney about, if I just had one question. My question would be: Why, oh why haven't you released this tape to the fans? You had the opportunity around The Beatles' Anthology! If the three others voted no, give me the tape and I'll get it to bootleggers who would leap at the opportunity to release this! What are you saying, it sounds just as bad as the Hamburg Star Club recordings? We LOVE the Hamburg Star Club tapes! We promise you, we will still remain Beatles fans even if the tape sounds crappy, we won't deflect to the Rolling Stones or anything! Please, please us - some of us don't have long to live and we would die happy if we could just have one listen to this. Pretty please with sugar on?

7 comments:

Ariel C said...

I wonder if Paul really listened to the Star Club lp? I'm just hoping the sound is reasonable. Maybe do a re-transfer with today's technology! I'm just hoping the tape isn't that fragile. Some tapes (even from the early 70's) can get brittle and break/crumble while the tape is being played. Anyways, I hope somehow this gets released (even partially).

John Drake said...

For me, this is more of a holy grail than Carnival of Light.

Keith Beatley said...

I would love to hear a decently recorded version of Shimmy Like Kate by the Beatles.

Brian Fried said...

In a recent interview, Paul made it clear that he still believes in the "equal voice" system in which everyone has to say OK — which, when coupled with his and Ringo's insistence they want Let It Be out means that either Yoko or Olivia is the one blocking the release. In a case like this, I think there may also be a hold out until all the other stuff gets released that they know can make money. Which means that before we get any of these releases we'll end up with deluxe box sets of the existing LPs, plus CD releases of the compilations from the late 70s (Rock & Roll and Love Songs are over 40 years old now… and Hollywood Bowl is out) before we see these — not to mention in 2033 a third BBC set.

Uwe Klöckner said...

Only 2000 pounds for the very first live recording of the greatest band ever, including songs unavailable elsewhere? I guess the quality must be abysmally bad, considering they included barely listenable (well, for Joe Public that is) home tapes of 1960 on the Anthology series and nothing form the mentioned tapes.

Steve Marinucci Beatles news said...

This is nothing new. It was in Richie Unterberger's "The Unreleased Beatles" (starting on page 42). It was also posted on my Beatles message board in 2014.

The first few paragraphs of that post:

"I had forgotten about this until reading about it again in Unterberger's 'The Unreleased Beatles'.

In mid-1962, "a fan in the audience" at the Cavern recorded a Beatles' performance, more-or-less in full. It's the only full-length recording of them live known to exist prior the Star Club tapes from late Dec. 1962.

On August 29th 1985, the tape was auctioned and sold at Sotheby's in London. Sotheby's said it was recorded in February or March of 1962, but (as Unterberger says) this can't be accurate, as one of the covers they play wasn't released until May and didn't reach British charts until June. Most say the show was recorded in June or July of 1962. Definitely Pete Best on drums.

Sotheby's sold it that day for (a surprisingly low?) £2,310. Who bought it? Paul McCartney."

Read more: http://abbeyrd.proboards.com/thread/5150/1962-full-length-cavern-recording#ixzz5CiLfxaxF

Roger Stormo said...

I know Steve, I looked at your postings when I made this post, and also a couple of other sources. I just think that one must keep mentioning this tape to Beatles fans, so that it keeps being on people's mind. ;-)