Mersey Sound: 50 Years On

By Bill Hart



Press & Publicity




Press Release January 2009


Musician to string along with Cavern favourites



  Although the guitars can be of any value, type or condition, they must have one thing in common: they were all at some time played in public at Liverpool’s legendary Cavern Club.

This would potentially cover anyone from the Mathew Street club’s 52-year history, from


  John Lennon’s first band the Quarrymen, through to the early days of The Beatles and Merseybeat, right up to modern-day acts such as The Wombats.


  In between were thousands of unsung guitarists, whose instruments Mr Hart is also

 hoping to feature in his installation.


  The “floating” sculpture is intended to convey a gently flowing wave on the River Mersey.


  It will cover a floor area of 1,200 sq ft, with the surrounding walls used to display information about each individual guitar donor.


  Mr Hart, 62, hopes to have the installation ready to be displayed at a venue such as Tate Liverpool in 2011, which would also mark the 50th anniversary of the birth of “Merseybeat.”


  Although he is seeking guitars, Mr Hart is a drummer by trade and plays with several

bands in and around the Southport area, where he lives. He said: “I’ve been a rock’n’roller all my life. Liverpool was at the forefront of the Mersey sound, with the Beatles and all the many others.


  “I hope to get Paul McCartney to donate one of his guitars, but there are so many other musicians that never get any recognition, so they will also get a bit of glory out of it because they will be contributing to the building of the sculpture.“I want something that makes people proud of their association with the north-west, and to celebrate these unsung heroes.”


  Mr Hart said he was inspired to create his own installation after seeing the work of Cheshire-born, Turner Prize-nominated artist Cornelia Parker, specifically her artwork 30 Pieces of



  This involved flattening more than 1,000 silver items by steamroller and suspending the remnants from the ceiling.


  However, Mr Hart promises that a similar fate will not befall the guitars he receives, and that all will be returned in their original condition. He said: “All I need at this stage is a promissory note from each donor that they’ll submit a guitar for the duration of the exhibition, along with a date and some kind of authentication of when and where it was played.




Paul McCartney guitar will be at Hart of artwork

A BASS guitar once played by Sir Paul McCartney will take pride of place in a planned art installation to celebrate 50 years of Merseybeat.


The Mersey Sound Wave is the dream of musician-singer-songwriter Bill Hart, who is aiming to collect 100 guitars which have been played at Liverpool’s legendary Cavern Club.


  These will then be suspended from the ceiling to create a wave effect.

Since the proposed artwork was first publicised in the Daily Post last month, Mr Hart has been inundated with promises of donations.

But the “jewel in the crown” was the offer of a Hofner Violin bass, signed by Sir Paul during his famous homecoming gig at the Cavern in 1999, and now on display in the Cavern pub.


  Former Wings member and McCartney sideman Denny Laine fully endorsed the Mersey Sound Wave project when he made his own appearance at the Cavern for a live recording with his band last night. He said he would try to donate one of his own guitars to be included in Mr Hart’s exhibition, adding: “I admire what he’s doing. It’s an artistic endeavour, it’s different and it’s ambitious, and I’m into anything like that. “The Cavern has been the church of northern music, and anything associated with that is great. ”


Mr Hart, 62, is hoping to gather together enough guitars to create the artwork by 2011 to mark the 50th anniversary of the birth of Merseybeat. They can be of any value, type or condition but must have been played in public at the Mathew Street venue.


He has already won the backing of The Cavern Club who have said they will help contact musicians, both famous and unsung, who have played there in the past. Mr Hart said: “Things have happened so fast since I first revealed the project that it’s been difficult to draw breath.


  “The Cavern is the centre of the popular music universe for me, so to get their support is great.


  “The idea of the Wave came from the fact that the music arrived in the late 50s and early 60s via the Cunard and merchant ships bringing R&B records to Liverpool from New York. I also want to involve the local schools and colleges by holding an Open Day at the Cavern.”


  Ray Johnson, events manager at the Cavern, added: “I think the Mersey Sound Wave is a great way to commemorate and celebrate the 50th anniversary of Merseybeat, and I’m pretty confident we’ll be able to get 100 guitars together.”


* IF YOU have a guitar which could be included in the installation, Mr Hart can be contacted on 0845 0948795.





One of several M~S~W News Letters.

Durrr. I got the date wrong too! 2009..




Liverpool Daily Post & Echo coverage of the MSW event





Top: Front cover of the official M~S~W Press launch Invitation.

The lower part is the reverse side featuring the first verse of the

M~S~W CD song 'Making Waves'.




The far corner of the Fab4store provided a useful area for the display of the Liverpool Music Support Services half-size acoustic guitars.



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A Mersey~Sound~Wave Poster sited nearest on the steps of the entrance to The Beatles Story 

in Liverpool's Albert Dock.



The same poster on the inside door of Radio Merseyside lower left.



Bill Hart listens to Ray Johnson - Cavern Events Manager as he explains how the Hofner Violin Bass has become unplayable due to the damp climatic conditions inside the Cavern Pub. The guitar is insured at £50K.



Denny Laine listens to my plans for the M~S~W Back-stage in the World famous Cavern Club



Denny Laine meets Alan Weston - Reporter Liverpool Daily Post & Echo and Me!



The famous signed Sir Paul McCartney Hofner Violin Bass is handed over to me and the M~S~W by Denny Laine and Bill Heckle - MD Cavern City Tours'



Sam Leach in The Grapes, Mathew Street; a famous watering hole for the early Beatles. He shows off to me his  memorabilia and his excellent book: The Rocking City. 

This's not just a great read for Beatle buffs.. there's something here for everyone who loves rock 'n roll too. He contacted his American friends on my behalf with up-tp-date news of the M~S~W.



Catch The interview; click here..

I meet journalist Hugh O'Connell for a video interview in the Beatles Story in The Albert Dock Liverpool.

Hugh later became M~S~W Media Director.



Time for a pose at BBC Radio Merseyside



Steve Coleman

BBC Radio Merseyside Producer



Billy Butler 

The ever popular Radio Merseyside broadcaster winds-up the MSW interview.


Radio City Talk




Margi Clark 

Famed actress and broadcaster at Radio City FM Liverpool with Bill and Something Catchy Party Band.



The Band performed live, six Beatles songs in three min's 30 sec's, after the M~S~W interview.



Messing and posing for a photo shoot for the Liverpool Daily Post with £50K's worth of guitar!



Virginia & Bill Harry - the original founders of Mersey Beat Newpaper giving the M~S~W their full support.  The Occasion: A recent Launch of his latest book 'Liverpool - Bigger Than The Beatles' at The Beatles Story, The Albert Dock, Liverpool.




Billy Kinsley of the Mersey Beats, The Mersey's & Liverpool Express being interviewed at Bill Harry's book launch. With Bill stands behind with the mock Cavern stage in the background with me in the crowd.

Billy Later agreed to donate his Fender 'Scrapocaster' to the M~S~W.



Me meeting Horst Facsher in the famous Lathom Hall nr Crosby Liverpool. Horst acted as the Beatles early mentor and guide - in addition to employing them - in his famous Star Club in Hamburg, Germany



Outside the world famous Cavern Club, Liverpool. City visitors pose here for posterity pics.




The M~S-W was launched from here by Denny Laine of Wings & The Moody Blues in March 2009




"Yes! It's all over now."

 Me and Mrs Hart pose in glorious evening sunshine outside the Fab4store at the side of the River Mersey after the hugely successful

M~S~W Press Launch.