During Brit Week in Los Angeles, CA, The Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills hosted the world premiere of the documentary The Cavern Club: The Beat Goes On. To most people, the Cavern Club is best known for being the venue where the Beatles got their start. There’s much more history, however, to the Cavern Club than most realize.
The documentary takes viewers from the opening of the club in 1957 all the way to present day. The Cavern Club’s roots began with the club Le Caveau de La Huchette in Paris, France. Le Caveau opened post-World War II in 1949 — almost a decade before the Cavern Club opened. It was that very club that inspired original Cavern Club owner Alan Synter to create his own venue of similar nature. The Cavern Club originated as a jazz club and transitioned into a rock club as rock n' roll dominated the industry.
The Beatles' history began at the Cavern Club in 1957 with John Lennon’s original band the Quarry Men. Less than six months later, Paul McCartney joined the Quarry Men. Two years after that, Rory Storm and The Hurricanes, along with their drummer Ringo Starr, played the club. By 1961 The Beatles performed for the first time as Lennon, McCartney, George Harrison, Stuart Sutcliffe and Pete Best. The Cavern's story doesn't end once the Beatles take America by storm with their performance on The Ed Sullivan Show. Its legacy still lives on as it is still an active venue to this day. Once the British invasion led by the Beatles began, rock legends like the Rolling Stones and Yardbirds went off to play at the Cavern. The documentary discusses every era of the club and each owner’s contribution up to the present day. The popular location has hosted artists of nearly major genres.
From bankruptcies to the original Cavern meeting demolishment, nothing stopped the club from making a come back. In 1973 the club moved just a few yards away and later the original was demolished. There was even a protest by the club's fans to save the original venue. After more ownership changes, the Cavern Club finally returned to its original home after the arches to the club were discovered and the basement where this legendary club once stood was restored back to its glory days. The original bricks found after the demolition were also used to bring the club back to life.
Paul McCartney returned in to play the cavern once again in 1999, but with a band including Pink Floyd's David Gilmour and Deep Purple's Ian Paice. Featured in the documentary are members of the groups that played there in the early days such as the different owners/ family of owners. Following the screening was a performance by the Liverpool Beatles, which is the Cavern’s resident Beatles Tribute band.