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2002-Aug-25: The Casbah Club Reopens

Today's Observer reports that with the blessing of Sir Paul, Liverpool's Casbah Club will reopen to the public this week.  It  was in this coffee club, located in the cellar of a 15-bedroom Liverpool home, that the early Beatles first performed together.  The original owner and proprietor was Mona Best, mother of the Beatles' original drummer, Pete Best.   As a teenager, Sir Paul helped Mrs. Best to decorate the club before she opened it to the public all those years ago.   Beatles fans will have the opportunity to view the club's ceilings which were designed and painted by John and Paul.  One of the walls still features a silhouette of John Lennon playing his guitar painted by his first wife, Cynthia. On the opening night of the club, the Quarrymen performed.  The band that evening included Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison playing together in public for the first time.

Sir Paul holds fond memories of Mrs. Best who passed away in 1988.  Sir Paul recalls, "She seemed to understand what young people were going through."

Her son, Pete Best, claims that he has not spoken to any of the Beatles since the day he was replaced by Ringo Starr.  He thinks perhaps the reopening of the Casbah may offer an opportunity for a reconciliation with Sir Paul:  "Fifteen years ago I would have said, 'No, he wouldn't be welcome'. But things change. If he would like to come to the opening, or in a private capacity, the door is open,'

To mark the reopening of the club, Roag Best (the son of Mona Best and Neil Aspinall) will release his book called The Beatles: The True Beginnings  (Screenpress Books; ISBN: 1901680657).  The book claims to be fully authenticated by Sir Paul and is filled with illustrations of rare early Beatles memorabilia.  It documents the importance of the Casbah Club to the early careers not only the Beatles, but of bands such as The Searchers, Gerry and the Pacemakers, the Dominoes, and the Hurricanes as well.  The book is scheduled to be released in the U.K. on September 16.

The Best family have hopes that their Casbah Club will rival the Cavern Club as a mecca for Beatles fans.
 

(kindly submitted by PLUGGED correspondent Joan M. Hopkins)


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