Drummer on new Rory Storm CD not Ringo

Rory Storm & the Hurricanes
Live From the Jive
on Rockstar Records

To be released September 17th in the UK.

Track Listings

1. Introduction

2. Brand New Cadillac

3. (You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care

4. Make Me Know You’re Mine

5. Bye Bye Love

6. Jet Black

7. Down The Line

8. C’mon Everybody

9. Don’t Bug Me Baby

10. Rip It Up

11. Somethin’ Else

12. Train To Nowhere

13. Since You Broke My Heart

14. Honey Don’t

15. All American Boy

16. Willie & The Hand Jive

17. Closing Announcement

18. Milk Cow Blues (home recording)

19. What ‘d I Say (home recording)

20. Cathy’s Clown (home recording)

21. Now Is The Hour (home recording)

Tracks 1-17 were recorded at the concert on March 5th, 1960 at the Jive Hive.

These recordings by Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, Ringo Starr’s first band and one of the most popular groups of the early Merseybeat era, have been unearthed after more than 50 years.

The band were at the forefront of the Liverpool scene but never made it big.

The tapes were recorded in March 1960, two years before Starr was poached by Brian Epstein to join The Beatles and before any of the groups from Liverpool had been to Hamburg.

Found in Storm’s sister’s cellar, the tapes will form the group’s first and only album release later this month.

Starr joined the group at the age of 18 in 1959, but the band got left behind during the Merseybeat boom in the wake of The Beatles’ success.

They only released a couple of singles, including one produced by Brian Epstein in 1964, but they failed to chart.

Frontman Storm, born Alan Caldwell, was known for his gold lame costumes and on-stage charisma. He died in 1972 aged just 34.

“Rory was a performer,” his sister Iris Caldwell said. “He wasn’t, like The Beatles, a brilliant songwriter. They called him The Golden Boy and Mr Showbusiness.

The tapes include tracks recorded at the Jive Hive club in Crosby, north of Liverpool, and at Storm’s house, known as Stormsville.

“I suppose these tapes have been in an old sealed box ever since,” Caldwell said.

Even though Ringo Starr was the regular drummer in the Hurricanes, and is featured prominently on the CD cover, he was probably not present at this concert.

This is an extract from the diaries of Hurricane Johny Guitar:

2. Jive Hive. Don played as Ritchie had ‘flu. 


4. Southport. We paid £22.10 for tape recorder. 

March 5. Two half-hours were taped by radio engineers at Jive Hive.

At Beatleweek in Liverpool, Iris Caldwelldid admitted there was “some doubt” as to wether it was Ringo on drums, apparently it is known he was suffering with the flu the day before the recording was made and didnt play with the group that night. She kept saying, in mock loud whisper “It is Ringo, trust me”

She was being interviewed by Mark Lewisohn who remained very gracious towards her, but when he himself was interviewed about an hour later, he did say that it was definitely not Ringo for the reasons stated above about his illness and the obvious fact that it also sounds nothing like him to back the story up.

Ringo has always been known as a great timekeeper, whereas the drummer here (identified as Don in the above diary excerpt) is all over the place.

BBC News story

6 Responses

  1. John Medd says:

    So, it's official: Ringo Starr wasn't even the best drummer in The Hurricanes.

  2. wogew says:

    Au contraire: Ringo Starr was the best drummer in the Hurricanes as well as in the Beatles. Don't take Lennon's oneliners as anything but jokes.

  3. Unknown says:

    Mark Lewisohn most certainly did NOT say that at all! We are still uncertain as to who the drummer is and Iris recalls Ringo singing to her at her 16th birthday party that took place the day after the recording, so it could well be him.

    We know who Don is/was, but he is sadly no longer with us and so cannot be asked to verify this.

    Also, John Lennon never said that about Ringo – it's just a myth and originated in the 1980s.

  4. wogew says:

    After I reported that there was some doubt about the matter, Bill King (of Beatlefan magazine) sent Lewisohn a message regarding whether or not Ringo was the drummer at this concert. Lewisohn explained about Johnny Guitar's diary entry, which doesn't specifically reference Ringo missing that show but indicates he was out that week. Plus Lewisohn noted that the drumming is awful, unlike Ringo.

  5. Unknown says:

    I was a guest of Richard Page of RSASB (Ringo Starr's All Starr Band)gig last evening in Vancouver, BC(Fri) Oct. 9, 2015 (Johnny's 75th B'day). I handed Richard Page a note to give to Ritchie asking about the Jive Hive gig, March 1960, in order to 'set the record straight.'

    Here's the answer straight from the horse's mouth, by way of Richard Page:

    Yes, Ringo said he remembers
    Playing that gig.

    My own personal observation (a humble musician's perspective): Yes, time dragged; yes, playing not in top form. If he wasn't well i.e., had the flu … that may be why.

    Hope this is helpful, y'all. Case closed?

  6. Unknown says:

    Sirabhorn, how do you know it was this gig Ringo was referring to? They played the Jive Hive a lot of times around that time, so maybe he was remembering one of those appearances?

    I know the drummer on the CD is two years prior to any other recordings we have as Ringo, but the difference – if true – is absolutely striking. The drummer is playing a lot more complex than Ringo generally did and, as stated, the time keeping is appalling. The guy also doesn't seem to know the songs particularly well and is audibly finding his way through them.

    If Ringo hadn't been up to the task that night, there were always a number of Crosby drummers who could have handled it. Don Alcyd/Singleton and Dave Lovelady for two.

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