The former owner of the Cavern Club Ray Mcfall, who gave the Beatles one of their first big breaks, has died aged 88.
Mcfall booked the fab four for one of their first shows at the Liverpool venue, helping to launch their career.
The Liverpool Echo reports that McFall passed away on the evening of January 7th, the cause of his death has not been announced.
The former Cavern Club owner is widely credited with helping to bolster the Merseybeat scene into one of the most successful musical phenomenons of the sixties.
Mcfall began running the Liverpudlian venue in 1959 with announcer Bob Wooler. The duo revamped the club from a struggling jazz venue into a rock ‘n’ roll club. He first booked the legendary foursome for a lunchtime session in February 1961.
He claimed that the very first time he heard the band play, he was instantly hooked and convinced of their talent.
In an interview about the fab four, McFall said: “The Beatles were sensational and I was smitten. Completely. Absolutely. Instantly. I stood at the side, between the pillars, about halfway up the hall, and as soon as they started playing I was captivated by them. I said to Bob: ‘What other lunchtimes have they got? We must have them regularly.'”
Speaking to the BBC, Cavern Club director Jon Keats said, “It was Ray who opened it up to those early Merseybeat sessions, which led to the whole Merseybeat explosion. It was completely his vision that moved the club forward, with what turned into the huge Merseybeat explosion and The Beatles’ success and Gerry and the Pacemakers and all the main bands. He changed The Cavern completely and allowed the rock’n’roll into the club.”
The Beatles ended up playing the venue 292 times. Other acts to perform at the Cavern Club were The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds and The Who.