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Beatles best mates protest exclusion from Mathew Street Festival
60s Merseybeat Rockers Release Protest Record in Response to Worldwide Condemnation of their Exclusion from Liverpool Music Festival
Liverpool -- 19 July, 2010 -- Since the announcement earlier this year that there would be no MerseyBeat Stage at this year's Mathew Street Festival there has been worldwide uproar from fans who travel thousands of miles to taste the music that made the Beatles. Brian Jones the sax player with Liverpool legends The Undertakers started The Bring Back the Merseybeat Stage to Liverpool Facebook campaign and has had over a 1000 protests in just a few weeks.
It seems that Liverpool Council, who is of course famous for knocking down the original Cavern club to make way for a Railway airshaft which was never implemented, have done it again.
New Council leader Joe Anderson has issued a statement proudly proclaiming that there have been 4 Merseybeat stages in the 17 years of the festival and this year there are many Beatles tribute bands, and a couple of originals singers from the era. What an insult to the bands still playing who now play mainly for charity to be ignored in this way. The fact that their music has led to Liverpool becoming the third largest tourist city in the UK off the back of the MerseyBeat seems to have been lost on Joe and the rest of the organisers. Many of the greats from the Merseybeat era have joined the protest
Billy Harry, founder of Mersey Beat magazine, said, "I find it incredulous that no Stage for the presentation of original Merseyside bands from Liverpool's golden era is going to be available this year. It was Liverpool bands, not only the Beatles, who resulted in Liverpool being named as Capital of Music by the Guinness Book of Records and for Liverpool also to obtain the tag 'Britain's Number One Music City' recently."
"It is not only the duty of the Council to honour the pioneering musicians who have done so much to make Liverpool a worldwide attraction which has resulted in the city being the third most popular tour destination in Britain, but an actual insult not to include them in a festival which resulted from the development of their music and influence from those heady days of the Mersey Sound.
Horst Fascher, The Man who took The Beatles to The Star Club, said, "Please don't make Liverpool's Mathew Street Festival a Beatles Disneyland - keep on believing in the heart and soul of the cities Rock'n'Roll roots. Horst Fascher, Manager of the Star-Club in Hamburg (and one of the "by the heart" fans of the Merseybeat)"
Sam Leach, Famous Beatles Promoter, said, "To withdraw the Merseybeat Stage is the height of lunacy. Many years ago the Liverpool Council demolished the Cavern in showing they didn't know the right thing to do. Nothing changes. Even when I single-handedly organised the Tribute to John Lennon at St George's Hall Plateau, they did all they could to make it difficult for me. When that drew a crowd of 100,000 and much acclaim from all corners of the Globe, they then took credit for that. Again what's New?"
Gary Popper, Producer of the shortly to be filmed Get Back movie commented, said, "I was very surprised to hear that original members of Merseybeat groups have been denied a stage to perform at the forthcoming music event season. I hope this is not so. It would be a deep insult to those who actually created the music revolution that rocked the world. It is the legacy they created that attracts tens of thousands of tourists to the city each year - more so than any other factor."
But the heroes are not taking this insult lying down, they may be collecting their pensions, but ten of the greats from the era have gone into the recording studio and made a protest record which is already being played all over the world. The boys have aptly called themselves "Mathew Street Banned" and the track is called "The Wall" reminding everyone of the names on the Mathew Street wall opposite the reconstructed Cavern. Proceeds from the Record will go to The Prostate Cancer Charity and Clatterbridge Cancer Hospital.
For more information, visit www.liverpoolbeat.com/Mathew-Street-Protest-Page.html
Published July 19, 2010