Posted 22 Nov 2011
The Cavern Club, a small rock and roll venue in Liverpool, England, probably would be just another bar that faded into the memories of the past were it not for the club's association with a little band you might have heard of known as The Beatles. The Beatles first played at The Cavern February 9, 1961. The band was discovered by Brian Epstein while playing there later that year in November.
But The Cavern Club is much more than just the bar where The Beatles first tasted success. Alan Sytner opened The Cavern Club in January 1957, modeling it after jazz clubs he had found in Paris that were often in cellars. The Cavern Club's location had once been an air raid shelter. Rock and roll was banned in the early days of the jazz club but within a couple of years that changed with a transfer of ownership to Ray McFall in 1959.
In addition to the Fab Four, The Rolling Stones, played at The Cavern Club as did the The Kinks, Elton John and The Who. Many up and coming British bands would climb onstage at The Cavern. The club remained open until 1973 when it was moved above ground due to its underground location being needed for a ventilation shaft for the Liverpool rail loop. After the move, the club lost popularity and eventually closed.
The closure was only temporary though, and in 1984 the club was reopened. The ventilation shaft ended up never being built, so the new club reoccupied much of the same space as the original. Many of the bricks from the original club were used in the construction of the new club. Despite its legendary status, the new Cavern Club had a rocky start with several owners and some hard financial times.
The Cavern Club today is not only a historical landmark, but also a fully operational rock and roll bar. Owned partly by Liverpool Football Club player Tommy Smith, The Cavern now features a back room where bands play almost nightly and a front room that is the main tourist attraction. People often travel here, stay in one of the hotels in Liverpool city centre
and visit the club from around the world to not only get a taste of rock and roll's stellar past but to get a glimpse of its brightest future.