Beatles & Quarrymen Live


All photos shot with a 1960s Hasselblad 500C. More of this series can be seen on my website at: Beatles Live

The Quarrymen played at the Casbah Coffee Club on several occasions in 1959 and the Beatles played numerous gigs here from 1960 – 1962. The club is in the basement of this house in Hayman’s Green, Liverpool. I recently did a tour of the club which was conducted by Roag Best, brother of Pete Best, the Beatles original drummer. It was a great insight into the Beatles early days, I’ll definately be paying a return visit.

John, Paul and George painted the ceilings in this club and their work can still be seen. John painted the ‘Aztec’ ceiling, Paul painted the ‘Rainbow’ ceiling and all three painted the ‘Star’ ceiling. There’s a hole in one made by Rory Storm when he got a little too energetic during a performance. He ended up head butting the ceiling and left his skull imprint as a lasting reminder!


The Quarrymen played one gig at the Stanley Abattoir Social Club, Liverpool in 1957. The abottoir pictured above is now a market.


The final photo is the Locarno Ballroom, Liverpool. The Beatles played here on Valentine’s Day 1963. Next door in the distance is the Grafton Rooms, another Beatles’ venue.

© Simon Howlett 2016. All rights reserved

19 thoughts on “Beatles & Quarrymen Live

    • Thank you very much Jesús.

      Kodak T-Max 100 developed in Rodinal R09 for 6 minutes at 21 degrees. Processed in Lightroom. Used a Zero Image 612 while in Anglesey but messed up when developing the film so have nothing to show for my efforts. I was very disappointed. Will get out again with the pinhole camera, about time I used it a little more. Good to hear from you.

    • Thanks Paula. Really enjoyed my time in Liverpool, got to visit a lot of the venues I had on my list but there’s still plenty more to see. Photographed the Majestic Ballroom in Crewe – pleased I did as they’re in the process of demolishing it. Met a young American couple outside who were amazed when I told them the Beatles had played there.

  1. A lot of history and some wonderful photos Simon. I really ought to take my Hasselblad 500 out more often. You demonstrate here so skillfully what a superb photograph it takes. Thanks for the nudge.. 🙂

    • Thanks Adrian. I hope you do get to take your Hasselblad 500 out – look forward to seeing the results 🙂 It was great meeting Roag Best, he had a lot of fascinating stories about the Beatles.

  2. That first photo is a great shot of a lovely building – not so sure about the ex abattoir though – that thought makes me shudder. Didn’t know they’d painted the ceilings in one of their clubs – do you have any photos of the ceilings?

  3. Fantastic opening photo, and what I would give to have been sitting in the corner just one of those nights at the Casbah Coffee Club to hear the music, but mostly just to soak in the scene. Your photos are the next best thing. Next time in Liverpool, it is the first place I am stopping by 🙂

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