When Harry met John Lennon





harry1                    John Lennon 

We supported the Beatles on the night of Thursday 23rd August 1962, it was one of many times that

The Remo Four played with The Beatles.

Being the drummer from The Remo Four and Group One from 1958 to 1965 I supported the Beatles on about 40 occasions.  The reason we played at the top venues was first, both groups were excellent and completely different from The Beatles but eventually we had to add the popular rock songs into our act.

riverpark ballroom

The Venue was The Riverpark Ballroom  in Chester, unfortunately now  gone. The Beatles had just come back from Hamburg and were getting a large following.  They had sacked Pete Best ten days before and Ringo had only been playing with them for about a week.

It had been a dull grey overcast sort of day.

 In the early sixties the groups were booked by local promoters like Sam leach, Alan Williams, Wally Hill, Brian Kelly then Bob Wooler who had a major say in who played at the Cavern.  I was fortunate to play 122 gigs at the original Cavern from 1960 .

  • This particular night was a series of Thursday night gigs the Beatles were booked for at Riverpark, The Big Three had supported them the week before and we were followed by Gerry and the Pacemakers the following week.

The ballroom was long and thin and the dressing room was to the right of the stage.  Halfway through our set, mid song, John Lennon jumped up on the stage and yelled at us…

    “How many of our f***ing numbers are you going to play?”

I was very very annoyed and jumped up from my drumming seat, I was the nearest to him.  Luckily Dave Williams calmed me down.  We were not some up and coming group we were very experienced and you just don’t do that to fellow artists.

Well in those days if you lived in a rough area you could always look after yourself and I just reacted instinctively.

After Dave calmed me down we just carried on playing.  After all, at the time they were just another group, yes they were popular but so was Rory Storm, Faron, Bluegenes, Kingsize and Gerry. And everyone covered the popular numbers, our own and each others.

We found out when we came off stage that John had got married that day, Brian Epstien was best man and wanted to keep the wedding hush hush as he felt it would mar the Beatles image with the fans when they found out.  Paul and George were also at the wedding as witnesses.  John’s Aunt Mimi had boycotted the wedding because she strongly disapproved.  Brian treated the wedding party to a wedding breakfast at Reece’s Cafeteria in Liverpool.  It was also revealed later that Cynthia was pregnant .

So bearing all this in mind we forgave him, it must have been a very demanding day for him.

Harry Prytherch 2011