To complement Radio 2's celebration of 25 years of Brian Matthew's Sounds of the Sixties, 6 Music presents a season of documentaries about Brian's friends the Beatles.
The Casbah: Birthplace Of Merseybeat celebrates the somewhat neglected and hugely significant venue where The Beatles enjoyed a residency prior to their later and more often recognised success at the Cavern Club. The documentary is presented by original Beatles' drummer Pete Best whose mother Mona both owned and ran the club.
The Casbah, a private members club in the basement of the Best family home, was distinctive in a number of ways having opened as a strictly Rock'n'Roll venue. The majority of Liverpool clubs in the late 50's having had roots in Jazz, Folk & Country music. It was also notable in that it was run by a woman, Mona Best, in an era when music/club promoters were invariably male. The documentary will explore the history of the club (decorated by The Beatles and now awarded Blue Plaque status) while examining the broader context of the boom that came to be known as Merseybeat.
Contributions from Merseybeat newspaper founder Bill Harry alongside Merseybeat veterans Mike Pender of The Searchers, Georgie Spruce (AKA Earl Preston of Earl Preston & The TT's), Howie Casey (of Derry & the Seniors - the first Liverpool combo to play in Hamburg and secure a recording contract), and Geoff Nugent (of The Undertakers). The programme will also feature the recollections of Casbah Club members and a fleeting, though noteworthy, contribution from Paul McCartney.