Thoughts from The Merseybeats' Billy Kinsley
We are in the home stretch now - 5 days to go, and $11,363 to raise! That means we've reached 77% of our goal. We're cautiously optimistic we'll get that final 23% with your support over the final few days!
Freda has an amazing story and is so well-liked and respected in the Liverpool music scene still today. That is why we are all so passionate about making sure her stories are preserved forever. Please read below the thoughts of Billy Kinsley, founding member of the Merseybeats and Liverpool Express.
Billy and The Merseybeats shared the bill with The Beatles more times than any other band. They were also on the bill the very last time The Beatles played The Cavern in August 1963. Billy and Paul were the bass players in their respective groups so they often shared bass equipment. And Neil Aspinall used to leave the Beatles van loaded with their equipment parked at Billy's parents' house sometimes because it was near the motorway! Billy is legendary in British music circles and is one of the only British musicians to have had Top 10 Hits in three different decades. He's a respected Beatles historian often consulted by the press for correct information and his biography 'It's Love That Really Counts' written by Spencer Leigh was released in 2010.
Billy Kinsley on Freda Kelly:
Down in the depths of Liverpool's Cavern Club in the early sixties, I was standing in the first aisle in front of the tiny hot dog stall with a Pepsi Cola waiting for The Beatles to come on stage. It was a lunchtime session and the place was about to rock like nothing you had ever seen in your life!
I looked at the girls in the seats and in the third row I thought I saw Cilla Black (Priscilla White in those days), sitting with all the other leather clad girls in the audience. But it wasn't Cilla, she was still in the cloakroom collecting coats, it was a girl with the same hair style, same leather coat and not quite the same accent being an Irish Scouser. "This is Freda Kelly, The Beatles fan club secretary," was how Bob Wooler introduced me to her. Bob was the club's compere and mien host in those days and was a great friend to all the Liverpool groups, giving us advice and convincing us all that we could be stars. My band was called The Merseybeats and we played alongside The Beatles, sharing the same bill on countless occasions all over Merseyside.
I got to know Freda pretty well after that but especially when my girlfriend (now my wife) Sandra and Freda became great pals. I think I've got some great stories of my own from those days but Freda beats me hands downs when it comes to her Beatle memories. I've read many books and stories of "The Lads" as she calls them, but they are never as good or as accurate and honest as the tales I've heard from her.Freda has always been a very private person and I know Brian Epstein and The Beatles were very happy to have her as part of their inner circle, knowing she would say the right things, and not exaggerate, and let’s face it: she could have come out with all kinds of stories, but that's just not Freda. She hates the way facts have been changed or distorted over the years becoming Beatles' folklore that she knows to be untrue. She speaks the truth, tells no lies and lo and behold I feel sorry for any one who misquotes her!!!! Her loyalty to the Beatles holds no bounds.