April 23 & 24, 1960
Les Paul and Mary Ford, “The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise”
The Beatles went through several name and personnel changes before they became that group with that name that arrived on our US shores in 1964.
According to the "I Am the Beatles" site, here is the sequence of names:
- The Black Jacks
- The Quarry Men
- Johnny and the Moondogs
- The Nerk Twins
- The Beatals
- The Silver Beetles
- The Silver Beats
- The Beatles
- The Silver Beatles
- The Beatles
The Nerk Twins
Today I'll briefly explore those two nights in April 1960 that John and Paul were the Nerk Twins.
It is always good to keep in mind that the boys were simply young struggling musicians who found gigs however they could.
Betty Robbins was Paul's cousin. Betty's husband, Mike, and she ran the Fox and Hounds in Caversham on the outskirts of Reading, Berkshire.
John and Paul hitchhiked from Liverpool to the tavern and John and worked behind the bar for a week. Mike Robbins, aware that they were musicians recommended that they play on Saturday and Sunday nights.
They made posters and the Nerk Twins were born. According to Bill Heckle, owner of The Cavern Club in Liverpool, "In Liverpool, a nerk is a derogatory term for somebody completely without street cred." Knowing John's sense of humor, perhaps it was his self-deprecating idea.
Mike Robbins had been an entertainments manager hosting talent contests and asked them what song they'd start with? Paul said "Be Bop A Lula." Mike asked them if they could do anything more upbeat. Upbeat was the best way to start a show. According to Paul, they took that advice to heart and used it for arranging future shows.
So they decided to play a cover of Les Paul and Mary Ford's "The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise." It's the Les Paul and Mary Ford version from 1953 that you hear at the top of today's entry.
No one recorded the Nerk Twins. And the few patrons who heard the Nerk Twins those April nights cared. According to Mike Robbins, one of the locals said, "They were a load of bloody rubbish but they brought a bit of life into the pub."
What about those handmade posters? No one has ever found one and I suspect that if someone does it'll be worth a few bob.
- Related link >>> Beatles Bible site
- Related link >>> Daily Mail article
- Related link >>> I Am the Beatles site article on name changes