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24 September 2014
BBC Liverpool - Local History

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Mike Byrne

Mike Byrne

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Music has always been the overwhelming influence in my life. From an early age I sang in school choirs and every Christmas would make a fortune carol singing.

In 1959 I started work at my dad's tailors shop in North John Street, just around the corner from the Cavern Club. Almost every lunchtime I would watch Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, Gerry and the Pacemakers and the Beatles, rock that tiny cellar.

The late Bob Wooler was the Cavern compere/DJ. My pal Clive Smith and I started our first ‘real’ group, Mike and the Thunderbirds.
We copied Elvis and Cliff and played when we could around the coffee bars and eventually the Cavern.

The magic of the stage was too strong and I turned pro in 1963, went to Germany with my new group, ‘Them Grimbles’ and made show business my life.

We had a good time during the 60’s and played on the same stage as the Beatles a number of times. We always knew that if any group was going to ‘make it’, it would surely be the Beatles.

Liverpool wasn’t the same after the Merseybeat boom subsided and the late 60’s was an anti climax for many; groups broke up, muso’s got married and the Cavern closed.

My ‘new’ career was as a solo artiste. I did cabaret, theatre, compering and promotion, but in 1988, took the biggest gamble in my life. I decided to open a Beatles exhibition. It wasn’t easy, but with the help and encouragement of my dear wife Bernie, we opened The Beatles Story to the public in 1990.

Performing music is still very important to me and I still sing professionally in a Rock ‘n’ Roll band called Jukebox Eddies.
My epitaph will probably read, "he loved a challenge".






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