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Last Updated: Friday, 15 September 2006, 10:04 GMT 11:04 UK
Beatles' club gets listed status
The Beatles
The Casbah Coffee Club was set up in a converted coal cellar
A Liverpool club where The Beatles played their first gig has been given Grade II listed building status.

The Casbah Coffee Club was set up in the home of original Beatles' drummer, Pete Best, after his mother read about beat clubs in London.

John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison played in the converted coal cellar of the house in West Derby, in August 1959 as The Quarrymen.

Best soon joined as the drummer and the band became The Silver Beatles.

The foursome went on to perform there many times until it closed in 1962.

The Casbah Coffee Club in West Derby
About 1,500 fans saw the Beatles in one show at the club
The Beatles played a farewell gig at the club in front of 1,500 people.

The cellar club was preserved and still contains murals and paintings by the band members and Lennon's then wife, Cynthia.

Culture Minister, David Lammy, awarded the Grade II listed status after a recommendation from English Heritage.

He said: "It is absolutely right that the club where the group first learnt their craft should be badged as an important part of our heritage, and receive the extra protection from harmful redevelopment that listed building status affords."

Bob Hawkins, of English Heritage, said: "The basement rooms are historically significant because they represent tangible evidence of The Beatles' formation, their growth in popularity and their enduring cultural influence.

"The club survives in a remarkably well-preserved condition since its closure in 1962, with wall and ceiling paintings of spiders, dragons, rainbows and stars by original band members along with 1960s musical equipment, amplifiers and original chairs.

"We know of no other survival like it in Liverpool or indeed anywhere else."


SEE ALSO
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