Saturday, October 2, 2010

1960, April (circa)

(above) "Meet the Beatals" by S. Sutcliffe

Stuart Sutcliffe joined the band in January 1960. Without a drummer, and now called The Beatals, the four-piece band rehearsed often at Paul's home at 20 Forthlin Road, Liverpool. On the Anthology 1 CD, Paul told Mark Lewisohn that he recalled borrowing a Grundig recorder with "a little green eye" on which they would go around the house and "record little things." According to Paul (via Gottfridsson), this collection of "home demos" was "probably" taped in the bathroom during Easter vacation 1960, and this is now accepted (Sulpy gives good reasoning in his book). Not everyone has agreed with this date or location, as (for example) Belmo and Berkenstadt stating in 1995 that these songs were from autumn of 1960 in Germany. Furthermore, these are often called "The Quarrymen Tapes" when in fact The Quarrymen was by April already a disused name.

Stu is said to have later given a copy of this particular reel to his fiancee, Astrid Kirchherr. That reel was compiled with another (1960, July) onto a third reel, and stereo simulation was effected. This third reel was possibly created in the 1970's, although the other reel (1960, July) was known to exist as early as 1966. This third reel first appeared in bootleg form beginning in 1987 with the vinyl Liverpool May 1960, the bootleggers buying the reel at auction from an "anonymous European collector." Kirchherr returned her reel to George in 1994.

Also in 1994, Charles Hodgson, brother of Reginald, who lent the Grundig to Paul, found that recorder and a reel of tape in their Liverpool home. This reel is known as the "Hodgson Tape" and was a compilation created in 1960 by Paul as a gesture of thanks to Hodgson. It included three songs from the Kirchherr reel, eleven from the second reel (1960, July), and three songs not found elsewhere ("When I'm Sixty-Four," "Winston's Walk," and an early version of "Ask Me Why"). Reginald's son, Peter, handed this tape over to Paul on March 27, 1995.

(ref: Winn, Way Beyond Compare; Sulpy, Complete Beatles Audio Guide, 2006 ed.; Berkenstadt & Belmo, Black Market Beatles).


The previous best source for this (Kirchherr) reel was Madman's bootleg release, Wildcat. This has been overridden since discovered that extensive "looping" was used to artificially extend several of the performances. Too, the track "Well, Darling" was found in more complete version on the 2002 bootleg The Braun-Kirchherr Tapes. Winn recommends Purple Chick's Strong Before Our Birth, as complete, "speed-corrected" and "unlooped." Detailed information on this boot: here. Sulpy goes with Home Tapes One: 1958-62 for the same reasons. Detailed information on this boot: here.

Tracks as follows (times given are Strong Before Our Birth and Home Tapes One, where necessary and respectively):

"INSTRUMENTAL #1" - 5:18 & 5:10
"INSTRUMENTAL #2" - 6:15 & 6:07
"INSTRUMENTAL #3" - 2:50 (called "Turn the Mixers Off") & 2:55 (called "Turn the Bitches Off")
"COME ON, PEOPLE" (aka "That's an Important Number")

Note that Anthology 1's "Cayenne" (a song incorrectly known as "Thinking of Linking" on various bootlegs) is a poor choice for that track since it is compressed and edited there.

More detailed analysis on speed-correction and looping for the various tracks can be found: here. At this site, each of the instrumentals in question receives its own page, while "General Notes" and "Specs at a Glance" provide further overview for the technically-minded.

You can hear the "instrumentals" in their "proper form," and the complete version of "Well, Darling" - here.

VIDEO: None.


: Read Alan W. Pollack's musicology article on the reel: here.

STUART: About March 1960, Stu, as part-time band manager, sent a letter to a prospective venue, first using the name "Quarrymen" but then crossing it out for their newly-found moniker "Beatals" (a name that he suggested in the first place). Pauline Sutcliffe, executor for Stu's estate, recently combined this letter with a Stu Sutcliffe watercolor, and offered it under the title "Meet the Beatals." See that: here (and image used above).

A detailed evolution of the band's name, including Stu's involvement and inclusion through the years, is: here. Note comments concerning April 1960.

TOURISM: Visit Paul's home at 20 Forthlin Road. Some information in relation to this tape: here.


Tom Wise

Although I use quotes from sources, or cited fact, much of the material on this and other pages of my blog is original, from my own pen. This is not cut-and-paste, it is a work of art. Copyright © 2010 Tom Wise.


  1. "Thinking of Linking" is another song altogether. It was played during the filming of Anthology, and there's some snippets of it during the Get Back sessions, too!

  2. You're right. I meant to say that "Cayenne" has been incorrectly titled "Thinking of Linking" on various bootlegs such as THE QUARRYMEN AT HOME and LIVERPOOL MAY 1960. Fixed!


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