Recording: Summertime

This was the first occasion on which John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr recorded music together.

They were the backing group for Lu Walters, whose real name was Walter Eymond although everyone knew him as Wally. Walters was the bassist in Rory Storm's band The Hurricanes, which also featured Starr on drums.

We also recorded with Lou Walters. He was Rory Storm's bass player. He was a guy who thought he was a singer. He paid to have the record made himself, as we had done in Liverpool with That'll Be The Day.
George Harrison

The recording was made in the small Akustik studio by the railway station at Kirchenallee 57, Hamburg, where members of the public were able to record messages for family and friends and have them pressed to 78rpm acetate discs. The discs had spoken word advertisements on the b-sides.

Stuart Sutcliffe was present at the recording but didn't play. Also at the studio was The Beatles' manager Allan Williams, and guitarists Johnny Byrne and Ty Brian of The Hurricanes.

In addition to Summertime, Starr, Walters, Byrne and Brian made recordings of Fever and September Song. Nine copies of Summertime were pressed onto acetate disc, though none are known to have survived.

The Beatles are said to have wanted to record some songs on their own - though whether this would have been with Sutcliffe and Starr is unknown. Furthermore, their drummer at the time, Pete Best, was not present. Either way, Williams feared they would be late for their 8pm start at the Kaiserkeller, and so put a stop to the session.

Also on this day...

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6 responses on “Recording: Summertime

  1. McLerristarr

    “Walters was the singer and bassist in Rory Storm’s band The Hurricanes”

    If Lu Walters was the singer and bassist, Ringo was the drummer and Johnny Guitar was the lead guitarist, what did Rory Storm do? There’s only rhythm guitar left and that hardly makes you the leader of the band.

    1. Joe Post author

      Good point. It was a badly-written sentence. I meant to say that Walters was the singer here, and was also the bassist in the Hurricanes. Rory Storm was the singer and leader of that band.

  2. roger devonside

    lou walters known as wally is an amazing individual ,because the music world does not realise the two remaining original beatles are bass mccartney drums pete best,the two remaining hurricaines are bass lou eymound drums ringo starr ,how incredible .from the super aerobatic display wingwalker roger devonside.

  3. Andrew

    Why does the above information differ from the research of Hans Olof Gottfridsson?
    He reports that it’s not exactly ascertained as to whether George played on Summertime, as it could have been Ty Brian.
    Also reports differ as to whether Stuart Sutcliffe was actually present (that’s not important as he didn’t actually play anyway)
    Also reports on the number of acetates cut – which is all guesswork, but 9 copies would seem to be too many considering that at most only 8 people were present and it’s not known whether they all bought a copy.

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