Rory Storm And The Hurricanes

Rory Storm And The HurricanesIn Liverpool on the 21st September 1939 Mrs Violet Caldwell had a son Alan. His dad Ernie was the local window cleaner but also worked part time at Broadgreen hospital as a porter. The family lived on the Oakhill park estate in Stoneycroft, Liverpool.

The boy was destined to become the front man for local band ‘The Hurricanes’ and will be known as Rory Storm. Although it never affected his singing Rory did have a stammer when he spoke.

Rory had several names for the band including ‘Dracula & the Werewolves’ and ‘Al Caldwell’s Texans’ but he settled on Rory Storm and the Hurricanes and became very popular on the local scene playing all the clubs like ‘The Iron door’ and ‘The Cavern’. They were also the first band to play the OPB (Orrell Park Ballroom) Beat Nights.

In Hamburg, Germany the group were also one of the best and most sort after bands on the gig circuit playing at the Star Club, one of the main venues, they were as popular here as in their home town Liverpool.

Rory was never greatly interested in writing or performing songs of his own which is probably one of the reasons Brian Epstein would not manage him as Brian wanted musicians as a self contained unit of writers and performers.

Only two singles were released by the band. The first ‘Dr Feelgood/I Can Tell’ and ‘America’ from West Side Story, (this single was actually produced by Brian Epstein).

The band members had changed fairly frequently but the final line up became Rory, John Byrne, Ty Brian, Walter Eymond Lu Walters and Ringo Starr. (Starr left the Hurricanes in August 62 to join The Beatles).

Gene Vincent played Liverpool Stadium in May 1960 and Rory was lucky enough to get the support spot. In July they were playing a residency at Butlin’s Holiday camp in Pwllhelli, Wales, for which Ringo had to give up his day job. In October Alan Williams contracted them to play at The ‘Kaiserkeller’ club in Hamburg for 2 months where they caused more than a storm as the stage collapsed during one of their performances.

On their return to Liverpool they played the normal gigs with summer season work at the holiday camps. Then Ringo left and Rory told Epstein in no uncertain terms how annoyed he was.

But, soon forgotten, the bands continued performing with the only difference being Rory stayed in Liverpool and The Beatles played everywhere else in the world.

Rory had always been a keen athlete and would run the distance home after gigs rather than travel by car. He was also a good skater and footballer and never missed a Liverpool match.

In September 1972 while in Amsterdam he was informed of his father’s death and returned home to Broadgreen. On September the 28th 1972 Rory Storm and his mother were both found dead at their home from an overdose of sleeping pills