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  • The Birds and The Beatles meet The Liverbirds from

  • Merseyside, teenagers who have teamed up to try and break

  • the male monopoly of the beat world.

  • Boyfriends have had to have the brush-off,

  • and the girls spend most of their spare time

  • rehearsing.”

  • Well, we did.

  • Yeah, of course we did.

  • We did, every day after work.

  • But I did have a boyfriend.

  • And this was a good excuse, and I said, “Oh, I'm sorry.

  • I can't go out with you anymore,

  • because I've got to really concentrate on my music now.”

  • Oh, look.

  • There's one here, that John Lennon said we'd fail.

  • Yeah.

  • Liverpool, 1962.

  • Everybody was playing music.

  • People were saying, there's this fantastic band on,

  • and they look great, and we've got to go then to The Cavern

  • and see them.

  • I was 16.

  • And I'd never been to a concert or a dance before.

  • It was so hot in there.

  • It seemed as though the sweat was running down the walls.

  • Just sitting there, waiting for them to come onstage.

  • And then that was it

  • The Beatles.

  • [MUSIC - THE BEATLES, 'SOME OTHER GUY']

  • (SINGING) Some other guy is making me very

  • Oh, my god.

  • I said to my cousins, “We're going to be like them.

  • And we're going to be the first girls to do it.”

  • [MUSIC - THE BEATLES, 'SOME OTHER GUY']

  • [CROWD CHEERING]

  • I was born just after the war.

  • So much of Liverpool had been damaged,

  • and they hadn't managed to build new houses yet.

  • Four children, my grandparents,

  • and an uncle living in a three-bedroom apartment.

  • I think about how sad it was, how cold it was in winter,

  • because we had no heat.

  • We'd put coats on top of ourselves

  • as well to keep us warm.

  • The parish priest would just knock at the door

  • every now and then.

  • And when my mother opened the door,

  • they'd just give her an envelope

  • and say, “Here, Maggie.

  • That's for you.

  • Buy something that you need.”

  • I wanted to be a nun to pay back

  • what they did for us one day and help all the people that

  • were poor.

  • But before that, I wanted to earn a lot of money

  • to help my family to have a better life.

  • So when I got home, I said to my parents,

  • We're going to start a girls' group.”

  • “A group girl?

  • What are you going to do there?”

  • And I said, “Play.”

  • But you can't play anything.”

  • Well, we've got to learn.”

  • We went to Hessy's.

  • We said, “We're starting a girls' group.”

  • And they said, “Oh, that's a good idea.”

  • We just bought the guitars and the drums.

  • Although we couldn't play a note between us.

  • We started go into The Cavern with our guitars.

  • Talking to other musicians, well, they all

  • thought it was a great idea.

  • Oh, my god, girl, isn't that crazy?

  • But when are you going to start practicing?

  • And we tried and said, “Oh, this

  • is a lot harder than we thought it was going to be.”

  • [KNOCKING]

  • [DOOR OPENS]

  • And there were two girls outside the door.

  • We said, “We're looking for Mary.”

  • And he said, “What you want off our Mary?”

  • We said, “Well, can we speak to her?

  • Because we believe she's got a band.”

  • Oh,” he says, “I don't know about that.”

  • He said, “Mary!”

  • And Valerie, she was like the main one.

  • You've got a band?”

  • Oh, um.”

  • We knew it was a fraud.

  • They couldn't play.

  • We said, “We can't play.”

  • She said, “But you've got the instruments.”

  • We said, “Yeah, we've got the instruments.”

  • So Val said, “Look, don't worry about that.

  • I'll teach you to play.”

  • [MUSIC PLAYING]

  • Valerie was a very good musician.

  • She had a very deep voice, long black hair

  • with a fringe.

  • There was something about her that

  • made you be a bit frightened of her

  • if you didn't know her properly.

  • Mary, she was quite shy and sort of quiet, you know.

  • I couldn't understand how she wanted

  • to start a group and thing, because she was so quiet.

  • And very religious.

  • Oh, I was still going to be a nun.

  • I was going to play in the group for a few years,

  • earn a lot of money, and then be a nun.

  • Very religious.

  • Sylvia was always bubbly.

  • - [LAUGHS]

  • And Sylvia wanted to play guitar.

  • But Sylvia's hands were too small.

  • [LAUGHS] So I said, I'll get a kit of drums.

  • My cousin left.

  • And somebody said, “Well, that's strange,” he said,

  • because there's a girl here tonight.

  • She's just told me that she's from Liverpool

  • and she plays guitar.”

  • That was Pam.

  • And we came up with Liverbirds,

  • because that's the emblem of Liverpool.

  • [MUSIC PLAYING]

  • And on this one day, the compere Bob Wooler

  • said, “Would you like to come and meet The Beatles?”

  • Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.

  • So he took us into the dressing room.

  • We had our guitars with us.

  • It was just John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

  • And he said, “This is The Liverbirds.

  • They are going to be Liverpool's

  • first all-female rock and roll band.”

  • And he turned around and he said to Mary, “What's that?

  • What have you got there in that case?”

  • So she said, “A guitar.”

  • And John Lennon just looked at us and he said

  • [CHUCKLES] — “Girls don't play guitars.”

  • And we thought, oh, god.

  • We're going to show you.

  • Then we practiced, and practiced, and practiced,

  • and practiced.

  • You have to do rudiments

  • mama, daddy, mama, daddy.

  • Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom.

  • Mama, daddy, mama, daddy.

  • And this gentleman came up to us, and he said,

  • “I'll get you all bookings up and down the country.”

  • “I'll give you all 7 pound a week.”

  • [CHA-CHING]

  • Oh.

  • We were ready to go on tour.

  • [MUSIC PLAYING]

  • We toured all over England.

  • Playing all around different places.

  • We were playing with a group called The Kinks.

  • We did a few days [INAUDIBLE] with The Rolling Stones.

  • We didn't have time for boys.

  • Too busy.

  • The four of us just belonged together.

  • We were best friends.

  • The Beatles came back, raving about the Star-Club

  • in Hamburg.

  • Now everybody wanted to go to the Star-Club in Hamburg.

  • We wanted to be as famous as The Beatles.

  • Why not?

  • And so what did we do?

  • We sat together and said, “Well,

  • who should be our manager?”

  • And we said, “Brian Epstein.”

  • Who is that?

  • The Beatles' manager.

  • Brian E — how old are you?

  • Brian Epstein said, “Yes, I'll manage you,

  • and I want to manage you.”

  • I know it's crazy.

  • But it's true.

  • And we said, “We want to go to Hamburg.”