Bill Harry
(1939-present)

Aged 81

Bill Harry (born 17 September 1938), is the creator of Mersey Beat; a newspaper of the early 1960s which focused on the Liverpool music scene. Harry had previously started various magazines and newspapers, such as Biped and Premier, while at Liverpool's Junior School of Art. He later attended the Liverpool College of Art, where his fellow students included John Lennon and Stuart Sutcliffe, who both later performed with the Beatles. He published a magazine, Jazz, in 1958, and worked as an assistant editor on the University of Liverpool's charity magazine, Pantosphinx. Harry met his wife-to-be, Virginia Sowry, at the Jacaranda club—managed by Allan Williams, the first manager of the Beatles—and she later agreed to help him start a music newspaper. After borrowing £50, Harry released the first issue of Mersey Beat on 6 July 1961, with the first 5,000 copies selling out within a short time. The newspaper was published every two weeks, covering the music scenes in Liverpool, Wirral, Birkenhead, New Brighton, Crosby and Southport, as well as Warrington, Widnes and Runcorn. He edited the paper in a small attic office above a wine merchant's shop at 81a Renshaw Street, Liverpool. Harry arranged for the future Beatles' manager, Brian Epstein, to see them perform a lunchtime concert at the Cavern Club on 9 November 1961. Epstein subsequently asked Harry to create a national music paper, the Music Echo, but after disagreements with Epstein about editorial control, he decided to become a P.R. agent; working for many solo artistes and groups, including Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Procol Harum, David Bowie, Led Zeppelin and the Beach Boys, as well as many others.

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band member of The Dissenters 1960

Commemorated on 1 plaque

TonyMo22 on Flickr

This plaque commemorates John Lennon's 'other band' (which never played a note) The Dissenters writer Bill Harry (1939-) musician John Lennon (1940-80) artist Stuart Sutcliffe (1941-62) artist Rod Murray (1937-) In June 1960 these 4 art students attended a poetry reading by Royston Ellis (The 'Paperback Writer' in Paul McCartney's song 1966); Ellis's work was heavily influenced by Allen Ginsberg and other Americans. Afterwards, the 4 came here to discuss what they'd heard. They were unimpressed and decided to put Liverpool 'on the map' each in their own way as 'The Dissenters'; The rest is...

Ye Cracke, 13 Rice Stree, Liverpool, United Kingdom where they formed a band (1960)