Groups At The Iron Door

Discuss the early days of the Club with the manager.

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Groups At The Iron Door

Postby (cavernplayer) » Fri Dec 29, 2006 12:26 pm

Geoff, did you also book Rory Storm and the Hurricanes with Ringo still at drums at the Iron door prior to him joining the Beatles? Thanks.

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Postby (admin) » Fri Dec 29, 2006 12:45 pm

While we wait for Geoff's answer Steve, here is a hint.
Life, as with music, often requires one to let go of the melody and listen to the rhythm

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Postby (13_temple_street) » Fri Dec 29, 2006 2:31 pm

Steve,Rory had a long connection with the management of the Iron Door,Rory along with Kingsize Taylor was one of the first bands to play on the Liverpool scene.
He had various name changes over the years,one interesting change was Rory Storm and The Wild Ones this name he used solely for his lunchtime engagments,some of his regular band members had daytime jobs, that prevented them from playing,he had to compromise with musician's that were available.
At the moment of writing I cannot think at what period Richard Starkey joined Rory.It always appeared to me as if he had been with the band forever.
It was a great loss to Rory when Ringo went over to the Beatles,and very much a Beatle gain,Ringo took with him a lot of characteristic's he had picked up over the years with Rory,unlike most modern drummers who blend in with the bass player,Ringo laid it down for the whole group.Ringo's contribution was indispensable.
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Postby (cavernplayer) » Fri Dec 29, 2006 8:44 pm

Geoff and Peter, thank you for your wonderful responses and information. This is a wealth of history found nowhere else but here. Many thanks.
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Postby (j_gary) » Sun Dec 31, 2006 10:50 am

Hi Geoff, great perspective on the Ringo story. I am particularly intrigued by your impression of Ringo's drumming style or skill. My personal musical experience over the years with a variety of drummers is that there is a magical transformation in a band with the "right" drummer. It can be difficult to describe or see, buy rather it is felt.

I would be interested in your take on how the Beatles found or chose Ringo and how Rory lost him. Was he really noticeably different from other drummers on the scene?

Also, did you notice a dramatic change in the sound of the Beatles and Rory with the move?

It has been my contention for years that Ringo's contribution to the Beatles sound was significant but sublime. There is something about their early recorded sound that is full of life with just guitars and drums, and it has held up for years.
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Postby (13_temple_street) » Sun Dec 31, 2006 7:34 pm

Hi Gary,This for me is the first posting on the Iron Door forum for 2007,and possibly for your good-self.
I agree with you entirely when you say there is a magical transformation in a band with the "right" drummer.
I have noticed this in jazz bands when they bring in a new man to the line up the band sounds totally different.
I think the Beatles chose Ringo because he was reliable,earthy and unswathed by outside forces and pressure,he had a down to earth sensibility.
Ringo's gift to the Beatles and one which carried them through many a crisis was his ordinariness,his drumming was average but competent.
It is well known in Wales that the Male voice choir's sounded better in the 1920s&30s,than the present day,when asked this question a famous conductor replied they were more hungry in the old days,I think this applies to the Beatles sound when they first started recording.
Rory Storm was devastated when Ringo departed from band,he never really recovered.
Once the Beatles were starting to climb the ladder to success the remaining bands like Rory's were disillusioned and gradually started to disband.
It would appear from your posting Gary,you are a musician I would be interested to know what kind of stuff you play,also your opinion on Kingsize Taylor & The Dominoes.
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Postby (13_temple_street) » Mon Jan 01, 2007 8:43 am

Gary, having read your posting again I was wondering if I had perhaps missed something when
you hyphenated the "right"in you question to me.
I think we are all aware that Ringo was left handed,but for some reason set up his drum kit for a drummer who leads with his right.
I heard it said that this tendency to lead with his left hand, contributed to his different drumming style,I would be very interested to read your veiw on this,I don't buy into this argument.
The other simple explanation as to why the Beatles chose to go to Butlins Skegness holiday resort to ask Ringo to join them is because he had played with them in Germany on numerous occasions,and were used to his style.
Also they were aware of Ringo's personality that he would never rock the boat.
Ringo had been unhappy with playing with Rory for sometime he didn't think he was getting anywhere,he wasn't unhappy with Rory but the situation.
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Postby (j_gary) » Tue Jan 02, 2007 1:28 pm

Hi Geoff, thank you for the kind and informative response. Yes you were right about this being my first visit. I am often intimidated by the expertise around here so I am more of a lurker.

My "right" reference was more to the indescribable qualities that make a group gel. To be honest, I did not realize Ringo was a lefty. I've been a Beatle nut since their Ed Sullivan appearance and I am still amazed at what I hear when I pull out an old album. I used to be in a Beatle tribute band where I learned how little I knew of the group and their music.

The real mystery to me is how these four relatively poor, self taught, young Liverpool lads managed to create so much with so little, and just about change the face of music. I am convinced it was the combination of all four, along with Mr. Martin, that was responsible for their unbelievable writing, singing and recording.

I was at a Beatle convention in Chicago years ago where Pete Best was a speaker. He was fascinating to listen to and seemed a wonderful fella, however, he appeared very different from the other four. It seemed as though the right guy got the job, Ringo, but the timing and what rapidly followed is unbelievable. What must Pete feel as he looks back.

I was a "real" musician for about ten years from the 70's to the 80's. I was in a top 40/Rock/Disco band grinding away in the Detroit area bar circuit. Released a couple singles, but they were hopeless and disappeared. I now play part time in a three piece oldies group, and a six piece country band.

In all my musical endeavors, band members come and go. The one that kills the most is the drummer. The way these things happen are all over the map. In the Beatles case I often found the drummer switch, as to the timing and cause intriguing. I had read but had forgotten that Ringo had worked with the group prior to the switch. This was probably a major factor as you feel right away a big difference when a real drummer takes the chair. As a bass player, the impact directly effects me.

As to Kingsize Taylor & The Dominoes, I fear I am unfamiliar with the group. I love the name. Might you fill me in about the group? Sounds like a name I should know. I must do a little homework.

Thanks again, Gary
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Postby (admin) » Tue Jan 02, 2007 3:07 pm

A great post Gary. I hope you come back here often. There is not much history published with regard to the Iron Door Club, hence this forum.

There is a link to Kingsize Taylors version of Bad Boy at the bottom of this page. From what I am told, it certainly captures the atmosphere of the Iron Door Club in the early 1960s.
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Postby (13_temple_street) » Tue Jan 02, 2007 5:46 pm

Ten years on the circuit with a top 40/rock band
must have left you with a whole lot of memories.
I really enjoyed your article Gary,I sympathise with you,and understand that you being a bass player,a good drummer makes all the difference.
All the more so in the three piece band.
It wasn't until I started reading your posting I realized that you will have heard Pete Best perhaps only once on the drums with the Beatles,I can now understand your interest.
To be honest Gary I didn't detect all that much difference in the sound between the two.
When the Beatles appeared at the Iron Door as the Silver Beetles on the 15th May 1960 they were minus their drummer,Johnny Hutchinson(Big Three) deputise'd
I understand that Johnny Hutchinson's name was also put into the hat, when the Beatles were on the "prowl" for a replacement for Pete Best.
Johnny had also spent time with the Beatles, as a drummer I think Johnny turned them down.
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Postby (j_gary) » Tue Jan 02, 2007 7:12 pm

Thanks for the link Peter. Great stuff, seems the Iron Door was an important venue at the time. I am surprised that I've never heard that much about her.

Amazing times there, how was anyone to know that from such simple surroundings the world would be sent spinning.

Hot version of Bad Boy by Taylor. Sounds like he could sing, and talk about a good drummer. The drummer earned his money on this recording.

As I read about the club and artists, it seems there were many talented groups on stage. I wonder, were the Beatles that much different, or were they just the lucky ones?

Would one difference be the multifaceted presentation of the Beatles vs the lone front man offered by most of the groups? The sight and sound of all three Beatles in full harmony was a powerful one.
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Postby (j_gary) » Tue Jan 02, 2007 7:25 pm

Geoff, just read your post, wow.

Your thoughts on the Pete Best switch? If the drumming was close, why the dramatic change?

The Hutchinson story may be bigger than the Best one. It appears Best had no choice in the matter and had to play what he was dealt. Poor Mr. Hutchinson may have had a choice and passed. In light of that scenario, I would think it may be possible that there is one other human on the planet who gets less sleep than Pete Best, amazing.
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Postby (admin) » Wed Jan 03, 2007 4:42 am

I'm with you when it comes to this version of Bad Boy, Gary.

I find it so interesting that groups of the caliber of Kingsize Taylor did not have greater recognition in the day.

The Iron Door Club was first in many respects and as some have said, its influence dragged the Cavern kicking and screaming into the British Invasion when it came to rock and roll.

So many rising stars were eclipsed by the Cavern and the Beatles, of course. The more I learn about the Iron Door Club the more I am reminded that history is written by the "winners." Restoring the Iron Door to its rightful place has been a rewarding experience.
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Postby (13_temple_street) » Wed Jan 03, 2007 6:42 am

Gary,I would't worry about not knowing about the Iron Door,there are a lot of people in this country including Liverpool not heard of the club either.
It's through Peter's research into the Searcher's and other Liverpool groups,he realized there was another club in Liverpool that perhaps made a somewhat bigger contribution to the popular music scene.
It is a great mystery how it became forgotten.

I don't think even Pete Best knows the full story of his demise,my own personal view is a clash of personalities.
Although it all seemed to stem from the Beatles first record session,where as I am sure you are aware the record producer, didn't think Pete was up to it,and a session drummer was brought in.
Possible this was the excuse the group needed to say good bye to him.
Incidentally Ringo wasn't included,on the first recording either.
I think the Beatles and management had a perfect right to make the decision, that Pete should depart the band for whatever reason, but I think they should have compensated him good style.
It took Ringo a long time to settle down,he first played with them on August 18th at Hulme Hall,two days after Pete Best involuntary departure.
In my notes at the time I have the impression that Ringo is being treated like a hired hand by the group,but of coarse we all know he overcame this, and became an indispensable cog in the group in fact he ended up oiling the cog.

Poor Mr Hutchinson,looking at the cold facts of the possibility of Johnny joining the Beatles as their permanent drummer,I was not a fly on the wall at any conversation's Johnny may have had with the Beatles regarding the vacant position,it is well known that what ever the offer was he turned it down.
I understand your reaction that he would regret his decision and loose sleep,I think Johnny had is own agenda which did not include joining the Beatles.I think he was content in helping them out a role he had performed many times.

My partner Harry Ormesher was a close friend of Brian Casser,I suspect it was at Harry's instigation that Brian formed Cass & The Casanovas,I mention this because Johnny Hutchinson was the drummer for the band,when Cass (Brian Casser)departed from the group for pastures new in London Johnny & Adrian Barber formed the Big Three.The Iron Door had a long connection with the Big Three going back beyond the formation of Cass & The Cassanovas in 1959.
The Big Three along with Teddy Taylor, was one of the most unconventional groups on the beat scene.
I remember Brian Epstein coming into the Iron Door one night, when the Big Three were playing,I had a conversation with him,and as I suspected he had come with the idea of asking the Big Three to join his expanding empire,a heated argument ensued about the merits of signing The Big Three,having known them over the years, I knew they would not knuckle down,they would baulk at the idea of wearing uniforms or cutting their hair in a certain style etc.
The argument got out of hand, I asked Epstien to leave.
As history has shown Brian Epstein did persuade the Big Three to join his organisation,it turned out to be a disaster depending on which side of the fence you are.
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Postby (lyle_from_minneapolis) » Wed Jan 03, 2007 7:26 am

I was just reading the Hunter Davies Beatles biography last night, which also fails to mention the Iron Door, although several other less important venues are named. That's a shame.

His version of Pete Best's dismissal had me thinking it had more to do with John, Paul and George wanting Pete out...although they appeared unable to face him with it. George Martin did make mention of not being too impressed by Pete's drumming, but it doesn't sound like he told them to lose him. The fact that the Beatles never wish to comment much about it makes me believe they were the one's who wanted him out, and put Brian Epstein up to the job of breaking the news. There are also a lot of references to the boys often throwing insults directly at Pete as well as Stu Sutcliffe for not playing very well.

We'll probably never know for sure, but I would guess they saw their last chance to score a better drummer before their big break and went for Ringo.
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