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David Bedford

Author of “Liddypool: Birthplace of The Beatles”, “The Fab one hundred and Four: The Evolution of The Beatles” and “Looking for the Fourth Beatle”. Also collaborated on Hunter Davies’ “The Beatles Book” and Associate Producer and historian of the TV documentary, “Looking for Lennon”

About David Bedford

I have grown up in working-class Dingle and attended the primary school that Ringo Starr had occasionally been educated at. I have spent the last 27 years living by Penny Lane, and my children attended the primary school that John Lennon and George Harrison also attended. For the last 15 years I have been studying, researching and writing about the early history of the Beatles in Liverpool, through the period 1956-1962, and know many of the musicians, promoters, and locations that appear in the story. I have written two books on the early history of The Beatles in Liverpool, and am currently writing a third, with three other books planned. I am also working on three television documentaries/ films based around John Lennon and The Beatles, and have just had a book published alongside the only ever authorised biographer of The Beatles, Hunter Davies.

As a fan of Sherlock Holmes as a teenager, and every television detective of the last 30-40 years, this was the natural next step. My research is compared to detective work, so why not write the detective novel, but basing it around the period I know so well. I have to write it.

Inspector Rocke - The Setting

Liverpool in the 1960s became the place to be, because of The Beatles. From late 1963 onwards, anything Liverpool was en vogue, from the accent to comedians and singers. Brian Epstein created this super pop group from working-class Liverpool who took on and conquered the world. Their music and personalities became infectious, so that 50 years later, they are still the biggest name in popular music.

But before they became famous, they went through dozens of different musicians, played anywhere that would pay them, including coffee bars, church halls, community centres and the occasional strip club. Liverpool had a music scene unlike any in the country, and not just around pop music. There was jazz, country and western, folk, doo-wop and even calypso music from a steel band from Trinidad, as well as rock ‘n’ roll and rhythm and blues. Not even London could compare to Liverpool’s music scene, with hundreds of venues and a similar number of groups on Merseyside.

Liverpool had a cosmopolitan mix of cultures, from the Chinese, Scandinavians, Italians to the visiting US servicemen based at Burtonwood Airbase. Rocke, like so many Liverpudlians, has Irish roots, which brings out the strengths of music and family, plus the religious differences between the Catholics and the Protestant Orange Lodge, similar to Belfast and Glasgow. With historical links to the slave trade, Liverpool has a multi-cultural heritage which isn’t always a positive one. With a large Afro-Caribbean population too, every conflict that can be imagined exists within Liverpool.  

With a background like this, there is an infinite scope of possibilities for fights, conflict, racial tension, religious animosity, jealousy and drama unlike anywhere else at that time.