And…Eight days a week!

It was on this day, Nov. 19th way back in 1962, The Beatles played gigs at three different venues. First they performed a lunchtime show at The Cavern Club, Liverpool, followed by an 85-mile drive to the Midlands, where they performed at Smethwick Baths Ballroom and then at the Adelphi Ballroom, West Bromwich in Staffordshire. During these very early days for the band, this was not an unusual schedule with the final set at the Adelphi Ballroom going into the wee hours of the morning! It was this grueling schedule and their commitment to honing their live performance that took them from being a former “Skiffle group” to, well… The Beatles!
However, this is also where The band were first introduced to drugs! “popping” Uppers to get them through the rigorous days and late rocking nights and then “downers” to get the much needed rest in those wee morning hours after the last drink and last girl!….”Yeah, Yeah, Yeah”

Here’s a look and listen of how they sounded in those early days…

11 Comments

  1. Hey Jim,
    OMG! Are you saying you got to see them when they were still playing clubs and small venues? Man you’re my idol I had a chance to see them once and it was a festival, I’m sure you recall “The Newport 69” Pop festival held on the fairgrounds of Devonshire Downs in Northridge ? The two day event claimed to have drawn over 200,000 people and Ana Crater Headlined one entire day. My then girlfriend “Julie” and I saved all year to scrape together the $11.00 for two tickets! But he’ll, we were seeing Ana Crater But unfortunately either Julie or I got the days wrong (I’m sure Julie is the one who messed it up) We only realized the mistake after we got to the venue, and you can probably appreciate the level of our disappointment! Instead of enjoying a long extended day digging Ana Crater, we were forced to sit thru sets by Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker, Ike and Tina Turner and The Byrd’s! Can you imagine? We missed “The Crater” And The Newport 69 pop festival is where Ana Crater perpetrated their notorious “Sick and disgusting prank”, causing the promoters to call in the health dept. where they proceeded to cleanse and disinfect the entire stage area in Has-mat suits, sucking all of “The Crater’s amazing energy from their final set! Regardless I still regret missing that opportunity to see them in their element and back yard, and I’ll bet Julie feels the same, not to mention the guilt of her getting the day wrong!
    Ana Crater 4 Ever
    Rick

    • I see your blog won’t let layers of comment on comment stack up. I think it is trying to tell us something. One more and out.

      Devonshire Downs? Wow, that’s walking distance from where I grew up. But in 1969 I was wearing green, drinking das gut Zirndoffer and chasing fraulines. You talk about “coveted first album”, and being “influential”. You are in the business, so I guess you’d know. It’s news to me but good to hear.

      I was thinking. If a decent copy could be found maybe Omnivour would want to come out with an “Eruption All Over Again” I am not looking for a cut or anything You could give it away along with a poster of the cover art, you know, for your trivia contest winners. Just saying.

      Anyway . . . Ana Crater 4-ever . . . over and . . . out

  2. Rick in the years before my ABC days my band was the house band for a while at Pandora’s Box. Quite different from the Cavern. We would play to an almost empty house because everybody was outside behind the picket fence dancing & waving at rubber neckers.

    • Hey Barry,
      First! Always great to see you show up! I know exactly what you’re saying, I played Pandora’s and every other club on the strip in the summers of 66 and 67!
      What a great scene! Don’t be a stranger…
      Rick

    • Hey Clark,
      Yes! Reminiscent of their first appearance on the Sullivan show!
      Ah, the live experience! Thanx Clark!
      Rick

  3. Rick, in watching this video you can’t help being impressed with how much they changed over their arc, and yet at the same time how little. Does that make sense? You see John and Paul out front, and Ringo and George one step back. Their style has already started to move away from the up-do Rocker to the shaggy dog antiestablishment rebel, but not quite. The chord progression is that of a by the numbers garage band, a la “Anna Crater”, but still you get the sense that they are itching to break loose. Anyway, thanks for this post. Keep them coming.

    • Hey Jim!
      First, I completely understand what you’re saying and of course agree with you! Additionally, I always admire your keen eye for detail!! In that regard, with reference to their “stage line up,” no accident there, even in those early days they knew they had a certain visual value with Paul’s bassneck shooting off “ stage right” with Jon’s guitar neck shooting off “stage left” at times in the dim light of silouhett, the stage looked like it had antennas! A very deliberate move by the band. Over the years I’m surprised that image was not used more as a kind of Logo, You get what I’m saying?
      Meanwhile, your comment about the song is spot on, yes, basic, garage band! But it’s not a n early Lennon McCartney comp. it’s an early Lieber and Stroller song…..Makes sense don’t it??
      Lastly we gotta give you a tip of the Ole SMS hat for evoking that legendary garage band from the San Fernando Valley “Anna’s Crater”! Wow, talk about a band ahead of their time? Unbelievable! I often wonder what Anna would be doing today if she hadn’t opted for self exile after that first incredible record!
      Thank you James, look forward to your further thoughts…
      Rick

      • Ah yes Ana Crater. I thought I was the only one who remembered them. An icon that never was. “a poor player who struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then . . . is heard no more.” That’s a Shakespeare Macbeth soliloquy. Pretty impressive, don’t you think? He then went on to say “This is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury. Signifying . . . nothing”. I guess that fits too. But I digress.
        If you think about it, Ana Crater paralleled the Beatles in so many ways. The instrumentalists included an up and coming guitar player, the drummer was a ringer and like Ringo he was the only one with prior band experience. The bass player, unlike Paul, was the weakest link. He stood there holding his instrument in his hand looking clueless, but otherwise was pretty hot. I think he was only eye candy. But he could have turned me, a confident heterosexual. I was sitting at a table in Bob’s one night when four of the guys walked in. A table of girls dropped their jaws and just sat silent. It was like the line from Rosanne Cash’s song, Seven Year Ache: “Boys say ‘when is he gonna give us some room’. Girls say ‘God I hope he comes back soon”.
        As far as their choice of material, like the early Beatles, their early works were largely covers. But you just knew their creative juices were bubbling up ready to explode.
        They were, as you say, ahead of their time. They had a tambourine playing front man and two smoking hot backup singers. And their name, Ana Crater! Where did that come from? Like the Jefferson Airplane and Mothers of Invention later, the name was fictious and nonsense. At the same time bands like Crème, The Sex Pistols and Steeley Dan were slightly naughty almost Freudian. According to an online reference Steeley Dan may have come from an Edgar Rice Borough novel “Naked Lunch”. In it he speaks of “steely dan”, a steam-powered adult toy”. I think he meant William Borough. Edgar Borough coincidentally was a Valley Boy, and named his massive estate, Tarzana after his most famous character. But I digress.
        I wonder what happened to Ana Crater? In addition to one or two minor valley engagements I heard a rumor they opened for John Denver in Santa Monica, the Civic Center I think, not the Troubadour. I’d have remembered that. Maybe they just split up and are members of some other bands we might know. I can’t remember their names, so I have no way of checking. Maybe they became lesser members of the Wrecking Crew.
        I do have a copy of their limited distribution album. It is on tape in one of the many boxes in the rafters of my garage. One of these days I will go through them, but after fifty years of heat and dust I suspect it won’t be playable. I can’t remember the name of the album and I didn’t write it on my bootleg tape, so have no way to research it and perhaps find it on eBay or one of those specialty shops.
        I wonder if they will be as good as I remember? Or maybe it’s just me. I tend to remember the details of my youth better that they were. Oh well. Go Ana Crater, wherever you are.

        • Hey Jim,
          I can’t tell you how great it is to find someone who not just remembers “Ana Crater” but actually has a copy of there now “Coveted” first recording, even if it is lost in your garage! Ya gotta find it! As I recall, the title of their debut record was the clever and suggestive “Eruption” in Ana Crater…I can also recall the vivid and brilliant cover art work. Correct me if I got this wrong but I believe that one of the “Smoking hot” background singers had a brother who was a very talented painter / designer who created this stunning image of a Volcano! “Genius”! For years you could find his work hanging in local bars and restaurants in and around the Canoga Park area. And in the early 70’s in an unusual turn, a powerful Artist Manager in Beverly Hills passed on the band but commissioned the brother to paint a portrait of Jimmy Durante! Yeah you read that right. I hear it still hangs in his palatial home today! I know, I digress, but I love sharing trivia about this often misunderstood and influential band!
          Last I heard about them was back in the 90’s when Rhino was trying to put together a deluxe box set! Not sure if it ever came to fruition. The band was known for it’s long stretches of non performance, which makes it that the more urgent that you uncover your lost garage tapes!
          Ana Crater 4 ever
          Rick

          • Rick,
            “Eruption”, thank you. I looked on eBay using keywords “Eruption” and “Ana Crater’. Zip . . .nada, and I don’t remember the album cover. Let me explain.

            They were playing a gig at the Scotland Yard. It was a restaurant / bar on Victory Blvd. It’s gone now, but the bar area was very large, huge. They booked bands for their afterwork crowd, and Ana Crater was there for three or four nights. I saw them two times there.

            On the second night, during a break, I started to shmoos up the front-man. I let it slip that I knew an industry executive. I am such a liar. Anyway, he offered me the loan of a demo. I took it home and recorded it on my Wolensak reel-to-reel. It was in a generic sleeve, so I never saw the artwork or knew anything about the artist. I guess, for me at least, “Eruption” was my first “White Album”.

            I took the demo back the next night, and dropped it off with the restaurant manager before they showed up. I didn’t stay for the show.

            I did see them once again. They booked a Rotary club picnic. Word got out, probably someone’s daughter; and crowds started showing up. It turned into a mini love-in. It was funny, all of these guys trying to cook steaks with kids bumping their elbows.

            You say they had “long periods of nonperformance? I wasn’t aware ever reemerged. That picnic was the last time I saw them.
            Anyway . . . Ana Crater 4-ever. We have a new salutation. I am going to have a hat made.

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