By Anne-Marie Trace, The Beatles Shop
The 2011 Liverpool Beatles Auction boasts lots that cover the entire history of the original Cavern Club from its roots as a Jazz club through to its final demise.
The Hessys publication Frank Comments (Lot 92 – three issues) and Merseyside Jazz Magazine (lot 91) carried adverts for the Cavern Club and it organised it's own Jazz Festival in 1960 with a programme of events (lot 95) that included Rory Storm and The Hurricanes, featuring Ringo Starr on drums.
When the Beatles were playing in the Cavern one fan took her records Love Me Do (lot 206) and Please Please Me (lot 205) down to the club in her handbag (lot 200) to get signed.
When the Cavern stage was replaced in the 1960s it was cut into pieces and sold off to Beatles fans (lot 259). The Cavern closed in the mid sixties, but it did not go quietly, there were protests and eventually the club reopened in July 1966. The Prime Minister came along to the reopening. There was a programme for the event (lot 214) and Rufus Thomas and Solomon Burke were contracted to play during the day (lots 273 & 274)
After the reopening the club started to sell branded merchandising. There are quite a few examples in the auction including a very rare Cavern Tshirt (lot 264) and a full price list for merchandise available to fans. (lot 287)
The club was finally subjected to a Compulsory purchase order from the Railways (lot 253) and set for demolition. But not before the gas meters were all read. The club contacted the Gas Board by letter (lot 216) informing them that demolition was imminent and they weren't responsible for damage to Gas Board equipment that wasn't removed.
And just when you think the story of the original Cavern is over, building work on the site a decade after the club was demolished yields a number of original bricks from the original club that are sold off by the new site owners for a local charity. (lot 215.)
And this is only skimming the surface of Cavern items in this year's auction!
For more information, and to download the catalogue, click here