I came home last week, having spent a week with one of our Cavern Club resident bands in Chicago and the Mid-West…just emerging now from jet-lag!
I first met The Mersey Beatles in 2004, when they came to Australia with The Cavern Club and a whole host of representatives from Liverpool, to celebrate the 40th year since the Beatles’ appearance down-under. It was a wonderful trip. We have since crossed foreign paths in Sweden and now, they have their U.S. working visas, I was delighted to be invited to join them for their launch tour.
They played in Chicago and several other towns in Illinois, Wisconsin and finally in Indiana. We learned how the Mid-West, despite being almost on the East Coast of America, got its name. British explorers, making their way westwards from the Atlantic east coast, mapping ‘their’ new territory, made a mega-gaffe. The 5 Great Lakes were in the way…Michigan, Eerie, Ontario, Huron and Superior. Lake Michigan is so vast that it impossible to see land on the other side. The ignorant British trekkers decided that this must be the West Coast of America…relayed the information back to London..only to find out that this was a lake, not The Pacific Ocean. In order to save face all round, this region was given the title of Mid-West!!!!! Thank you Tony Cook, the MB’s keyboard player…a mine of information!!!#
When they played in Joe’s, downtown Chicago, Jay Geoppner turned up, with endless bags of the most delicious popcorn known to man…we were munching it when peckish, when full, when drinking, when travelling,..it’s so ridiculously moreish, I’m not sure it’s legal!…(and I’m very pleased that we cannot get it here). Jay jumped on stage to join The MB’s in their last number of the night, ‘Get Back’..making a fab finale.
After several more dates, we ended up as house guests of Mark Minnick, The Mersey Beatles’ sponsor. When I say house guests, we are talking palace guests here…out in the great, as-far-as-the-eye-can-see wheat plains of Indiana..what immense countryside! It really has to be seen to be believed.
To introduce the band every night, we played the newly-released trailer of ‘Come Together. A Beatles Tribute’..the fabulous documentary created and assembled by Americans, Steve Ison and John Schofield. I recommend that you look at this link, then stream/download this fascinating story of an International Beatle Week in Liverpool:
Then the band came on and completely wowed the audiences, having them dancing in the aisles! I did a book-signing in the interval, along with MB’s merchandise.soon to be enhanced with a cd…….. I was aided and abetted by two gentlemen…and I really mean that..Roy and Winston. Thank you both!
As an inaugural trip, it couldn’t have gone better…..a new/old Beatle invasion is on its way! The Mersey Beatles will be back in the MId-West in October…then on to Florida next spring.