Executive Honorary Members
Sir Paul McCartney
Sir George Martin
(The Original Quarrymen):-
The Casbah Coffee Club is where the Beatles story really began, long before we ever heard of the Cavern Club. So while we were over at the 2002 convention, Beatles Ireland decided to pay a visit to 8 Hayman's Green, West Derby, and witness first hand what it must have been like to see the Beatles play there.
When we arrived the back garden was jammed with people, most of whom were here tonight for the release of the new book by Roag & Pete Best called ‘The Beatles The True Beginning’.
I spotted Sam Leech chatting away to somebody under the canopy, Freda Kelly smiling and been polite as usual, Harry & Doris Prytherch mingling with some old friends, and Pete Brennan researching every other person in the garden. When the crowd died down we made our way down the steps inside to where Pete, his brother Roag, and Ken Brown were doing a book signing. For £25 you could have the paperback version, £80 the hardback edition (limited to 2000 copies) and for £5, a photograph with Pete.
We got our books signed, as well as ‘Anthology I’ and the ‘Decca Session’ but declined the photo opportunity. We proceeded further into the Casbah where there was a buffet laid on. From here we turned left and had a drink at the bar.
Later, the Pete Best Band turned the clock back 40 years by treating us to some rock classics including ‘Money’ and ‘Some Other Guy’. During the latter we tried to make our way through the crowd up to the front, but we were still about sixto seven people deep.
It was very dark and steamy but I took two photographs anyway, hoping that at least one of them might come out. The minute my flash went off, some guy wearing a black T-Shirt grabbed me. He took my camera so I chased after him until we got outside. He kept saying to me “how do you open this?” and it was only then that he showed me a sign above the entrance, which said ‘no cameras allowed in The Casbah’.
Having not seen the sign beforehand, I explained to him that I’d only taken two photographs and that we were over from Ireland to do a feature on the Casbah for our magazine and website. He didn’t want to know and kept repeating “I don’t care! How do you open this”. Now I realized he meant business and was going to open my camera and remove the film, so I pleaded with him not to, and asked him to take the camera until the end of the evening.
I was conscious that the ten previous photographs on that film were of my one year-old daughter, and my Mother’s birthday party a week previously but it made no difference to him. With that he opened the camera, pulled the roll of film from it, and threw it into the bushes. I didn’t even by to retrieve it—the damage had been done. As one observer commented “he didn’t have to do that, it was hardly Paul McCartney at the Cavern”.
Shortly afterwards Pete & his Band emerged from the club pumping sweat and steam rising from their bodies into the night sky. They disappeared into the house, followed quickly by some ‘not so light’ refreshments. Pete appeared fifteen minutes later and Beatles Ireland were waiting at the steps to get to him before the awaiting crowd. Pete Brennan presented him with two Irish Crystal Coffee Glasses in a presentation box, which included an engraving from the club.
He signed several items including a rare 7” single of ‘My Bonnie’ that our Pete had, and the two of them chatted for ages like school reunion pupils. Commenting on Mr. Brennan’s determination to get everything signed, photographs taken, and a video made of the event, someone in the crowd shouted, “Are you an Estate Agent? If not, you should be”.
The two men shook hands, the motion detector light outside the house went off (again) and it was almost midnight. Time to go and give someone else a chance to grab a few minutes of his precious time.
The Casbah Club is now open to the public again so the next time you go to Liverpool, take the £7 taxi journey out to see at After all, this is where it all started.
Pete and his band after emerging from the club pumping sweat and steam rising from their bodies into the night sky.
The Casbah Club, also home to the Best family. The Club situated in the basement area of this fifteen-room Victorian house which the Best family moved into after the war.
Ken Brown outside the Casbah, obliging the fans.
Rock The Casbah
Rock The Casbah