Ray O'Brien
"What we love to do and why!"

There are places I'll remember

By Ray O Brien
Every Beatle Fan in the world knows the history of The Beatles
playing in the Cavern , the Blue Angel, the Jakaranda and have
made pilgrimages to these hallowed sites over the years but
not many people know the history of many of the other Beatle
venues like the where Ringo first played with them or the place
they first wore their famous collarless jacket suits. Triva of
coarse but this book is full of little gems from the very early
days of the Quarrymen, Silver Beatles, and Early Beatles.
Every venue has a black and white photos taken recently to
give the reader a sense of time , some venues are gone
replaced by other buildings and some venues remain the same,
(untouched by time). The author also gives a lot of details about
each venue and how often they played there. This book also
has ticket and advertising for many of the venues. A copy of a
letter from Sir Paul McCartney to the author in response to a
query is also in the book.
I enjoyed this book and found much of its content new and
interesting, it is a great reference book and will certainly be
used by me in the future. Every tourist office, hotel, guest
house should have a copy of it and maybe in the future we will
go on a Magical Mystery Tour, further than Penny Lane or
Strawberry Fields. A labour of love from the author, a
Liverpudlian, a Beatle fan and who was also there before and
after it happened. Nice one Ray !!


In the Footsteps of The Beatles
By Paddy Shennan
It was like the eye of a hurricane. One minute we were playing
small clubs in Liverpool, the next we are here."
A bemused John Lennon was still trying to get his head around
Beatlemania. The time was 1984. The place America. And the
"small clubs" were places like Litherland Town Hall, the Civil
Service Club in Lower Castle Street, Liverpool, Knotty Ash
Village Hall and the YMCA, Hoylake.
Now, 37 years on, we are being taken on a magical mystery tour
of 60 of the venues - other than the world-famous Cavern -
which helped The Beatles develop their stagecraft.
Ray O’Brien, from Wallasey, who attended the Liverpool
Institute at the same time as Paul McCartney and George
Harrison has compiled and published a booklet entitled There
Are Places I’ll Remember: The Beatles Early Venues In And
Around Merseyside.
The Beatles are still big business, but what about the halls and
clubs where it all began? Ray visited and took photographs of
60 of them in Liverpool, Sefton, Knowsley, St Helens, Wirral and
Chester. He also includes details about their appearances at
each place. "Some of them are no longer standing and some
have become supermarkets, but about 70% of the venues
haven’t changed at all," explains Ray, 54, who estimates he saw
the Fab Four about 50 times at the Cavern. Ray’s book also
includes a 1960 picture of the Liverpool's Institute’s Upper
School featuring a 17-year-aid Paul McCartney.
" It’s amazing to think that this ordinary-looking boy had been
play-trig in The Quarrymen since 1957,’ says Ray. "And yet there
he is just another lad in school uniform on a group photograph.
We are standing outside The Lathom in Seaforth which holds a
special place in Beatles history not least, says the author,
because it featured in the film Backbeat".
He adds: "Their first of 11 appearances at this venue took place
on March 14 1960, when they auditioned as the Silver Beats -
the only occasion they performed under this name. Ten further
appearances followed in January and February 1961 as The
Beatles on their first appearance they were attacked by some
local youths and John Lennon sustained a broken Wrist."
A short drive away is another famous venue - Litherland Town
Hall. where The Beatles first appeared on December 27 1960,
shortly after returning from their first trip to Hamburg.
Ray says: "They proved so popular that they made a further 16
appearances in 1961, including a memorable occasion on
October 19, when they joined forces with Gerry And The
Pacemakers - performing as the Beatmakers."
Other places on Ray’s hit-list today look a little different: the
former Odeon Cinema on Lord Street. South-port is now a
Sainsbury supermarket; the Albany Cinema on Northway,
Maghull is a Lidi supermarket and Blair Hall on Walton Road.
Walton. is an Iceland supermarket.
One of the most intriguing venues for the author was
Hambleton Hall in St David’s Road, Page Moss. Huyton -"The
hall later became a probation office and continued to be so
until fairly recently. It has now been demolished. In a former
life, I was a probation officer and occasionally used to visit it."
The Grosvenor Ballroom on Grosvenor Street in Liscard today
boasts a plaque which proudly states that The Beatles played
there regularly between June 1960 and September 1961.
Something, Ray believes, which other venues could and should
copy...
‘If this was America, there would be plaques on every building
The Beatles played. And I think it is right to put them up,
because a lot of’ people who go to these places today don’t
realise that The Beatles used to play there. And they were
actually appearing at some of these venues up until 1963 which,
as John Lennon said, is incredible when you consider that in
1964 they were appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show and taking
America by storm."
There Are Places I’ll Remember: The Beatles’ Early Venues In
And Around Merseyside, by Ray O’Brien (Published by Ray O’
Brien, £5.99) is available from The Liverpool Connection at the
Blue-coat chambers, Liverpool, or from Ray, himself: Tel 0151-
512-8398 or email rayo@cwctv.net



Pete Brennan
Beatles Ireland President.
There Are Places I’ll Remember: The Beatles’ Early Venues In
And Around Merseyside, by Ray O’Brien (Published by Ray O’
Brien, £5.99) is available from The Liverpool Connection at the
Blue-coat chambers, Liverpool, or from Ray, himself: Tel 0151-
512-8398 or email rayo@cwctv.net
Ray joined Vince in a
depleted studios at
OCI for the last
Wednesday on 94.6
fm for Beatle
memories
26th November 2008
   

Ray has interviewed
John Lennon's sister
and  Cammell Lairds
has re-opened 17th
November 2008
 Ray always has a
great story or
interesting news for us
and today Ray told us
about a very spooky
Merseyside ghost     
6th November 2008
Ray joined us with lots
of information from
the  city of culture     
15th Sept 2008
Ray joined us to give
us the lowdown on the
Mathew Street Festival
and is rewarded with a
chat with Mr Big        
25th August 2008
 Ray amazes Paul
with his recall of facts
and figures and
always has a very
positive take on
matters concerning
Liverpool
11th August 2008
Ray always gives us
the good things to visit
during Liverpool´s year
as the capital of
Culture and tells us
about a great new
exhibition..Paul Melba
is in the studio with
Vince
14th July 2008

Ray joins Vince in the
studioto talk with David
Garrick and discuss
the work of Beryl
Marsden  
7th July 2008