It started as an idea, casually tossed out in a conversation between three friends with a shared passion.
“Hey, we should get together sometime and play some Beatles’ songs.”
But, they were two singer/guitarists and a drummer.
“I know a guy who plays bass and sings,” one of the singer/guitarists said. “Want me to give him a call?”
The first get-together was on December 12, 1990: Bob Squires (guitar & vocals), Eric Sinclair (guitar & vocals), Les Harris, Jr. (drums & vocals) and Andy Inzenga (bass guitar & vocals). As they played that day, it sounded good: “Please Please Me,” “I Saw Her Standing There,” “A Hard Day’s Night.” They got together again on December 28. This was fun. They were having a great time together, singing and playing this incredible music and starting to sound really good.
It was so much fun, they decided to keep at it.
Through January and February of 1991, they rehearsed often, building up a repertoire. By March, they had a name: “Merseyside.” According to several books about the Beatles, the word, in the 1960s, referred to an area in Northern England that bordered the Mersey River and included the city of Liverpool. For Bob, Eric, Les and Andy, the name fit three criteria: it was one word, obviously-but-not-blatantly Beatle-ish and it had a letter near the middle that could be extended down when printed on the head of a bass drum like the original Fab Four did with the “T” in Beatles.
Merseyside performed for the first time on the afternoon of Monday, April 8 in the gymnasium of the Exeter (NH) Area Junior High School. The next day, Tuesday, April 9, they gave an evening concert down the street in the Assembly Hall at Phillips Exeter Academy.
From then until their last gig on February 12, 1994, at Dover (NH) High School, Merseyside played throughout the New Hampshire seacoast (in Exeter at the IOKA Theatre, the Loaf & Ladle Restaurant and for PEA’s Summer School; in Portsmouth at Market Square Day, the Pressroom and Rosa’s Restaurant; in Dover at the Cochecho Arts Festival and the Firehouse Restaurant) and mountains (Waterville Valley, Gunstock and Attitash), with occasional visits down into Massachusetts (Newburyport and Cape Cod), once each to Maine and Connecticut (the night club “Boppers” in Hartford), and a most-important and memorable trip to South Fallsburg, NY for the Good Day Sunshine 1992 “Beatles Weekend Getaway” at the Pines Resort Hotel.
During that weekend in South Fallsburg, besides being the featured “house band,” Merseyside performed one evening as the back-up band for special guest Tony Sheridan. Tony was the British singer who the Beatles played back-up for on a 1961 recording session in Hamburg, Germany that produced rocking versions of “When The Saints Go Marching In,” “Sweet Georgia Brown” and “My Bonnie.”
Along the way, towards the end of their run, Merseyside directly inspired the formation of two other “Beatles Bands” that continue performing to this day: Beatle Juice (originally led by Brad Delp, lead singer for the mega-popular Rock band Boston) and All Together Now.
From the start, Merseyside’s main goal was to accurately reproduce the recorded music of the Beatles live, on stage, and to fulfill to their audience, and themselves, the promise of a splendid time guaranteed for all.