Monday, August 31, 2009

A Bitter-Sweet Scouse Symphony

In he struggled & lurched. Alun Williams, owner of the Jacaranda bar on Slater Street, arrived at his business on the Monday mid-evening of Liverpool's Matthew Street Festival. Soaked to the bone from the rain that's been an all-too constant feature of this weekend & well-lubricated by the red wine he quickly requested from his bar staff, the man who acted as the Beatles' manager until Brian Epstein's offer was too good to refuse took a while to compose himself. After a while, however, he was, given his harried circumstances, in expansive mood.
I've often seen Williams before at his bar. However, the moment never quite seemed right to approach the guy who, in his own words, was the man who sold the Beatles. Besides, he would often look across the place like a guy with a burning grudge, & with good reason.
So it was with a little bated breadth that I approached him, barely a yard from my position at the bar. I exchanged pleasantries & asked him if he ever listened to today's bands. No, he replied, he was very much an old-timer. I asked him if he'd gone on to manage any bands after the Beatles. Yes he did, he replied, but they were, as he so pithily put it, "shit".
Chancing my arm that much bit further, I asked him if he was sick & tired of that early 60s period, or, perhaps, viewed it with any affection. He looked at me & replied, "Well, I'm stuck with it, aren't I?"
He had a few more things to say about Lennon & McCartney (the Beatles used the basement section of the club, now an expanded part of the bar for rehearsals) which the libel lawyers would seize on were I to relate them.
He wandered off, uncertain of gait & diminutive of frame to mingle with people who wouldn't have had a clue who he was.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

For someone who does nothing but slag the journalists of the city off at every opportunity from the warmth and safety of your anonymously penned blog, I hope you aren't planning to give up your day job any time soon with this tired and hackneyed line of questioning.

A wonder that "Alun" (sic) didn't tell you to fuck right off.

PS: He hasn't owned the Jacaranda for almost 50 years.

Correspondent said...

Anonymous, thank-you for your, erm, anonymous contribution. Hope all's well on Oldham Hall Street, by the way. Mea culpa, I misspelt Mr Williams' name, a fault rarely to be found with "the journalists of the city", I'm sure. Oh, & Mr Williams didn't tell me to go forth & multiply. However, he did ask me initially if I was a "f***ing bastard from the Echo". As for the ownership of the Jacaranda, if I'm wrong, I hold my hands up. Ah, well, back to the day job.

Anonymous said...

It's alright, I don't mind you slagging them off really. I suppose what I really meant was it's harder than it looks (to be as mediocre as the Oldham Echo)

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