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• Cavern Pub Wall Story •

Story and Updated! photos by: Neil Fowkes

Liverpool has changed a great deal since my first visit in December 1980, when I paid my respects to John Lennon, three days after his death. At this point, the Cavern Club had just been demolished and Mathew Street was full of fans needing to be close to their idol; across the road a religious man was preaching to all who wanted to listen...

Walking down Mathew Street

Now, twenty years on and 'The Beatles' are everywhere you turn in Liverpool! Shops named after records, Magical Mystery Tours, museums, statues and art galleries. The whole place is dedicated to remembering their four favourite sons; who, as it says on a sculpture across from the Cavern by Arthur Dooley: "Four lads who shook the world."

Neil Fowkes at the Cavern Club

This was going to be my second trip to the Beatles capital of the world - A family decision, after plans fell through for a trip to London. So instead of the planned visit to Liverpool later in the year, we decided to go on our own Magical Mystery Tour now!

For me, I have loved the Beatles since the age of thirteen; some twenty four years ago. So I decided to take my lovely wife Liz, and daughter Kayleigh, to see the area where modern musical history was made.

But my musical influences go a lot deeper and wider in range than just the Beatles. There are a lot of links to other groups from this area. For me, Badfinger are a Beatles link, which in a way, I wish had never happened - as history often depicts them as a copycat group.

Well, like all Badfinger fans - I know better!!

Across, and just down the street a bit, I could see the Cavern Pub sign. As I got closer, I could see the John Lennon statue and all these bricks with names impressed in them - the Cavern Pub 'Wall of Fame'. As I found out, each of the bricks carries the name of one of the 1,801 bands and artists who played at the original Cavern.

The John Lennon statue at the Cavern PubShine On!

Notice, that when the sunlight catches the Lennon statue just right, it appears that John is really just standing there! Imagine! *

When I spotted the Badfinger brick on the Cavern Pub wall, excitement ran through my veins and I started snapping my camera shutter. Then, in a moment of melancholy, I reflected upon the thought of Pete and Tommy playing just across the way, back in the early seventies...

Cavern Pub Wall

The Badfinger brick is situated to the right of the commemorative plaque and the Beatles brick. A just place for them on the wall - prominent and outstanding. The Cavern Club, which has now been rebuilt almost on its exact original site, using most of the original bricks and plans, is dark and personal. What an experience it would have been to see Badfinger play there!

A little closer

Although I was happy to see Badfinger's name on the Cavern 'Wall of Fame', I still have to wonder how the group who created so many excellent songs and records, escaped the public's ears. I am not always proud of my country, nor the music business, for treating the band the way they did. But I am grateful that America did recognize their talent. The Badfinger name and legacy will continue on.

The Badfinger Brick

Commemorative Plaque

Rick told me the story about how he originally heard about the brick through Peggy Burneka, from when she visited our country several years ago. He mentioned that there also was an Iveys and a Them Calderstones brick near the John Lennon statue. These I was not aware of and will endeavor to photograph them the next trip back to Liverpool and Mathew Street.

BWR Note: I was able to extract a slightly blurred shot of the Iveys brick from one of photos I found on the Internet - it is displayed below...

The Iveys brick The Cavern Pub

Later this year, I shall be visiting London - along the way taking some pictures of Park Ave. and Golders Green. I will also be going to Abbey Road Studios for a bare foot walk on the crossing and looking for anything Badfinger that I come across.

Then I shall be returning through Wales and Swansea on my way home. I will be getting in contact with the Crematorium where Pete was laid to rest. I want to place some flowers as a thanks for all the great music that he made. If possible, I also want to see if I can sort out a viewing of Pete's name in the book of Remembrances and will try to take some good quality photo's of Pete's name and any verses.

So make sure you keep your eyes on Rick's Badfinger site for my London episode...

Thanks to Dan Matovina for the truth put forth in his book; to Rick Kellogg for his great support and for bringing my photo's to life; and to Badfinger - for being Badfinger and not just a copy of the Beatles!

Cheers! Neil Fowkes


Additional Links: ( Also click on the photo... )

[ The Mathew Street Area ]

[ Mathew Street Virtual Tour ]

[ Virtual Tour of Liverpool City Centre ]

[ The History of The Cavern Club ]

[ The Cavern Club, Mathew Street ]

[ The Cavern Story ]

[ Liverpool - The Home to the Beatles (Photos) ]

[ Was 'Old Nick' Conjured up in Cavern? ]

New Musical Express / UK Music Paper 1970 March 7
Posted on Kiyoyuki's Badfinger Collection page


* BWR Note: I have noticed from the video that was taken by Peggy Burneka; some photos posted on the Internet and now the new photos from Neil; that John Lennon has moved! What Peggy saw, (below, left) as compared to Neil's photos, (below, right) and you can see that John use to stand in a doorway. But now he has positioned himself in a window alcove... I asked Neil about this and here are his comments:

John in the doorwayJohn is now in a window alcove

"I know what you mean Rick, that puzzles me too, as I have also seen the photo of the statue in the doorway. I'm pretty sure there is only one statue, which as you probably know is based on the photo of Lennon standing in the doorway in Hamburg. I can only guess that the statue was originally placed in the doorway of the Cavern Pub just a few feet down the street. But moved later as the doorway is now in use, if I remember correctly. I suppose it would be a little dangerous as everybody would be tripping up over John's feet as they went through!"


Updated Photos!: Recently Neil provided me with some updated photos from the Cavern Club wall - they are shown below. They include two excellent close-up photos of both 'The Iveys' and 'Them Calderstones' bricks. But you will notice that the 'Them Calderstones' brick is misspelled as 'The Calderstones.' Dave Jones of the Cavern Club explains, "It should be 'Them' on the wall not 'The'."
Thanks for the update Neil! Also added is the Gary Walker and the Rain brick for when Joey played in the Cavern in 1968.

Them CalderstonesThe Iveys

Gary Walker & the Rain

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