Former Quarrymen guitarist and Lennon/McCartney bandmate Ken

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Former Quarrymen guitarist and Lennon/McCartney bandmate Ken

Postby I am the Paulrus » Wed Jun 16, 2010 6:52 pm

Former Quarrymen guitarist and Lennon/McCartney bandmate Ken Brown dies aged 70

Jun 15 2010

by Luke Traynor, Liverpool Echo

http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpoo ... 6660415/2/

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Ken Brown

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A LIVERPOOL musician hailed as being responsible for bringing the Beatles has died.

Former Quarrymen guitarist Ken Brown was discovered at his home in Essex on Monday after a concerned relative had raised the alarm.

Police forced their way in through his front door and found the 70-year-old, who suffered from emphysema, lying on the living room floor.

It is thought he may have died five days earlier.

Ken played an integral part, in 1959, in persuading George Harrison to introduce his two friends - Paul McCartney and John Lennon - to form a new band.

And if history had been played out slightly differently, Ken himself might have been the bass player for the world famous Beatles.

In the late summer of 1959, he had an argument with his then bandmate Les Stewart after he secured a residency for them at new West Derby coffee club, The Casbah.

When Stewart refused to play there, George Harrison - who was also in the Les Stewart quartet - left with Ken and agreed to find two other musicians to play that night.

George turned up later with Paul, John and Cynthia, Lennon’s girlfriend.

They decided to call themselves the Quarrymen, Lennon’s original band, and that night played songs including Three Cool Cats and Long Tall Sally as Ken played Hofner guitar and the group used his 10-watt amplifier.

But things turned sour when Ken one night felt a crippling pain in his leg and was asked by Casbah manager Mona Best to instead take money on the door - allowing George, Paul and John to play together for the first time.

Hearing that Ken would be receiving fifteen shillings like the other three, Paul objected.

Beatles author Bill Harry told the ECHO: “McCartney shouted, ‘All right, that’s it then!’, and they stormed off down the drive towards West Derby village, shouting that they would never play the Casbah again.”

Ousted, Ken approached Pete Best and together they formed Blackjacks who played regularly at the Casbah until the Beatles approached Pete to join them on their life-changing trip to Hamburg.

Today, Roag Best, Pete’s brother, said: “We only found out about Ken on Monday night, Pete was sobbing on the phone when he told me.

“Ken was very quick-witted, he never lost his Scouse edge. It’s very rare you can put your hand on your heart and say, ‘that guy was brilliant’, he was just a lovely guy.

“He would laugh that John Lennon once borrowed £5 off him and that he was still waiting to be paid back.

“He took a real pride in what the lads achieved.”

Ken was living on his own in Essex, after moving away from Liverpool with his family as young man - upset to be leaving the region as Merseybeat music swept the UK.

Ken’s brother had repeatedly tried to phone his brother as they were soon to attend a wedding and after a series of failed to attempts to contact him he contacted the police.

Ken had been running a snooker club in Essex and still played the guitar, making recordings in a small studio in his house. He was due to join former bandmate Pete Best in Liverpool this August to play a one-off show at the Casbah club.

Mr Roag added: “Without Ken, the Beatles would not have been formed.

“And I’m sure if he had remained in Liverpool Ken would have been a household name. He was at the forefront of the music scene.”

The last time that Ken saw the group was on March 16, 1963, when he was phoned to be told the Beatles had run out of money and were due to appear in Sheffield the next night – could he lend them £20?

Ken once said: “Eventually, I agreed and they all turned up at our flat. Marcia {his fiancee} and I went down to the van to see the boys. I handed over the money, which they repaid six weeks later.”
Last edited by I am the Paulrus on Wed Jun 16, 2010 7:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Former Quarrymen guitarist and Lennon/McCartney bandmate Ken

Postby chris » Wed Jun 16, 2010 7:15 pm

thanks :-BD
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Re: Former Quarrymen guitarist and Lennon/McCartney bandmate Ken

Postby eggman1979 » Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:12 pm

Great story. May he rest in peace.
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Re: Former Quarrymen guitarist and Lennon/McCartney bandmate Ken

Postby Mark Rink » Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:36 pm

nice story rest in peace Ken :-BD
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