PART TWO : IMAGINE... THE SIXTIES - A TRIBUTE TO JOHN LENNON FROM THE ORIGINAL MERSEYBEAT GROUPS
by Eddie M
The following article is taken from a fanzine I used to publish called 'Beatles',
John Lennon was born in Liverpool on the 9th October 1940.
Fifty years later and 10 years since his senseless murder, Liverpool's Pier Head was selected as the venue for a historic night when international stars played their favourite Lennon or Beatles song. The John Lennon Tribute concert was held on the 5th May under the glare of the World's media, but it was only part of a series of John Lennon celebrations during May 1990.
Merseycats was formed in January 1989 after the death of former Merseybeats drummer John Banks. The original Merseybeat groups of the sixties decided to 'Come Together' to help the seriously ill and handicapped kids of Merseyside. In 1990, Merseycats aim to raise £40,000 for Alder Hey Children's Hospital 75th Birthday Appeal.
On Thursday, 3rd May, Merseycats held an Imagine...The Sixties, A Tribute to John Lennon concert at Liverpool's Philharmonic Hall. Compered by Billy Butler and Wally Scott of Radio Merseyside, the bill consisted of eight original Merseybeat bands.
The Big Three & Friends was something of a disappointment, expecting to see Johnny Hutchinson (Hutch), Johnny Gustafson (Gus) and Brian Griffiths (Griff) the Big Three on view was when Faron fronted the band along with Griff especially flown in from Canada and Howie Casey (remember the Wings World Tour of 1975/76?) on saxaphone. You can always depend on Faron to put of a show and tonight was no exception with storming versions of 'What'd I Say. and 'Some Other Guy'.
Each band was given a 20 minute spot to entertain the sell out Philharmonic crowd and everybody took the opportunity to perform material from the 50's & 60's each with their own special tribute to John Lennon.
Songs performed included:
Slowdown/Send Me Some Lovin' - Earl Preston & the TT's
Imagine - Brookside's Ethne Brown
Boys/I Know - Beryl Marsden
Hello Little Girl - The Fourmost
(Just Like} Starting Over - Sony Webb & the Cascades
Ain't That A Shame/Shake, Rattle & Roll - Karl Terry & the Cruisers
Money/Just A Little Bit - Geoff Nugent's Undertaker's and just stole the show with their tremendous
Top of the Bill were the Pete Best Band with their tremendous arrangement of I'll Get You'. They ended with 'Twist and Shout' a song Lennon made is own. You always hope for a suprise ending and with a stage full of Merseycats, Gerry Marsden was pulled from the audience to lead the singing on 'You'll never Walk Alone'.
John Lennon may have been an international star but tonight was a celebration of Lennon, the rocker, one of the boys.