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  When the extensions to The Cavern bandroom were being carried out in circa 1964, Wes Paul and Barnie Muldoon worked as labourers for Costains... 

The idea was to enter through a fruit warehouse at the back of The Cavern in Harrington Street and batter our way through two foot, solid brick, walls - the main tools originally were a four foot cold chisel and a huge sledge-hammer. We had a bore hole trough the left wall (facing the stage) within a couple of days. If you were ever doing 'The Cavern Stomp' in that era and felt a ghostly presence oozing out of the sweaty, smelly walls - don't worry it wasn't a bad trip or a come down of a joint - it was simply the two of us, having a laugh, poking a five foot cane through the original bore hole.

Second stage was to use Kango Hammers to burst our way down through feet of well seasoned concrete - and do you know what - nobody mentioned anything about hearing the horrendous hammering over the sweet sound of Merseybeat - fans enjoyed those fabulous afternoon sessions in complete oblivion...   

Barnie Muldoon and Wes Paul
Worked together for Costains when extending
the original Cavern band room
 
Photograph Wes Paul copyright 2000

Funny thing is I don't remember anybody doing the stomp in wellies - but at lunchtime Barnie and I would be invited in by big Paddy to check our work from the Cavern Side. The checking often took a whole session - wellies, working gear - the lot... Sorry, Paddy the music was too good to miss...

Rumour has it that some of the tins of fruit and chicken got lost under the worthless Cavern Bricks which soon made a pretty pile (if any names are mentioned - I'm declaring the Fifth Amendment (don't rat on yerself)...  The Rat Inspector, who was a pal of Barnies made the quote of the century when he told the owner's of the warehouse "The only rats in here, mate, have got tin-openers." Now if somebody had had sufficient foresight and a little dishonesty during those excavations they might have smuggled bricks up those stony Cavern  steps - I can't remember anybody ever liking those crap tins of chicken anyway (you know the ones that you always got in your Christmas hamper - that fell to bits in a heap of jelly) - but I wonder how much an original Cavern brick would fetch today on the black market?

If anybody actually attended Cavern sessions during the alterations let's know about it - it may be trivial to some but it's a piece of Merseybeat history that I've never seen mentioned...

Copyright Wes Paul (The Silent Witness) 2003

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