Sunday, May 10, 2009

Beatle People: Bob Wooler

Bob Wooler (born Frederick James Wooler, 19 January 1926, Liverpool — died 8 February 2002, Liverpool) was most notable for being instrumental in introducing The Beatles to their manager, Brian Epstein, and as the DJ at The Cavern Club.


While he was living in Garston, he became involved in managing a skiffle group called The Kingstrums. He entered them into a talent contest at the Gateacre Labour Club. The competition was won by a group called The Mars Bars, who later became Gerry & The Pacemakers. The Kingstrums disbanded in 1958, but his experience of the music scene convinced Wooler that he was more suited to being a compère for the shows put on at local jive hives. As a compère/disc jockey he worked, part-time, for promoters such as Wally Hill of Peak Promotions.

Wooler's encyclopedic knowledge of the local scene soon made him a sought-after figure by promoters and his advice was regularly heeded. Allan Williams offered him a job at the Top Ten Club, but it burned down shortly after opening. Always of smart attire, Wooler then started full time employment, in his most notable role, as compère at the Cavern Club. Whilst Williams was sorting out his finances, due to his former club burning down, he recommended that Wooler become The Beatles' manager, an offer that he declined. His voice was captured on the only live footage of the Beatles ever filmed at the Cavern, performing "Some Other Guy." Later, he was instrumental in introducing the Beatles to their future manager, Epstein. Wooler became one of the major figures on the Mersey Scene and did much to help the various groups, remaining at the Cavern until 1967.

Famously, Wooler was physically attacked by John Lennon at Paul McCartney's 21st birthday party in 1963. A drunk Lennon was incensed by an apparent jibe that Wooler made about Lennon's recent holiday to Spain with Epstein.


* "The best of cellars", a wordplay of "best of fellas," and referring to the cellar in which the original Cavern Club was situated.

* "The Nemperor" for Epstein, was an amalgamation of NEMS, Epstein's record shop in Liverpool, and "emperor."

* Others include; "Mr Showmanship" for Rory Storm, "The Panda Footed Prince of Prance" for Faron, leader of Faron's Flamingos, "The Sheik of Shake" for Karl Terry, of Karl Terry and the Cruisers and "The Boswell of Beat" for Bill Harry, editor of Mersey Beat.


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