THE LIVERBIRDS burst onto the Liverpool music scene in 1963, playing at the Cavern Club before travelling to Hamburg’s famous Star Club for a three-year residency. They met John Lennon as they were just starting out and he dismissed them with “Girls don’t play guitars”.
In 1963 Liverpool was where the music world was exploding. Musical talent, attitude and the knowledge that you could be anything you wanted to be saw the city flooded with bands and singers who were headed to the top.
Standing tall amongst all of the boys was the world’s first all-girl rock ’n’ roll group … This is the untold true story of The Liverbirds! The hard-rocking quartet, consisting of vocalist-guitarist Valerie Gell, guitarist-vocalist Pamela Birch, bassist-vocalist Mary McGlory and drummer Sylvia Saunders.
Mary, Sylvia, Val and Pam did it on their terms, turning down Brian Epstein, hanging out with Jimi Hendrix and driving Chuck Berry wild. They became one of the top attractions at the Star Club and released two albums and several singles.
The group broke up in 1968, after a tour to Japan, but now the Royal Court in Liverpool are producing a foot-stomping musical written by Ian Salmon packed with all of the great 60s songs that shook The Cavern, including The Liverbirds smash hits Peanut Butter and Diddley Daddy.
Ian Salmon: “I came to the story of The Liverbirds through my friend Paul Fitzgerald: he’d found this fantastic photo of four girls holding guitars on the Mersey ferry and asked the obvious question, ‘How have I never heard of these?’
The writing process has been made a lot easier by long conversations with Sylvia and Mary, the two surviving Liverbirds. “Being able to get to know Mary and Sylvia and hear their story in their own words has been an incredible experience. Their tale is too good for people not to know, being able to bring it to the audience it deserves is a privilege and a pleasure.” Ian is working closely with experienced Director Bob Eaton who has written and directed many musicals in the past, not least the smash hit Lennon.
Girls Don’t Play Guitars runs from Friday 4 October to Saturday 2 November 2019.
Tickets are available from www.royalcourtliverpool.com or on 0151 709 4321