General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 1 Mar 2021/6 Grass
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The ‘Aztec ceiling’ painted by John Lennon

The Beatles and the Aztecs

The link between the Beatles and the Aztecs is tenuous but real nonetheless. In their pre-Beatles line-up as The Quarrymen (John, Paul, George and Ken Brown) the group was signed up to be the first resident band and to play for the opening night (29th August 1959) of the Casbah Coffee Club, Liverpool - but on one condition: that they helped to finish decorating the place in time for its opening! All four painted the roof of the ‘Star’ room, Paul painted the ‘Rainbow’ ceiling, and John was asked by the owner Mona Best (mother of former Beatle Pete Best) to paint an ‘Aztec’ ceiling... (Compiled by Ian Mursell/Mexicolore)

John Lennon’s ‘Aztec’ ceiling, Casbah Club
John Lennon’s ‘Aztec’ ceiling, Casbah Club (Click on image to enlarge)

In fact it was John’s third attempt - the first two weren’t to Mona’s liking, and, knowing he had studied art at college, she asked him specially to create a ‘Mexican Aztec’ design. The result is part of pop culture’s history, in the place ‘where it all began’, Liverpool’s first rock-and-roll venue (in those early days the much more famous Cavern Club was jazz-only). John even began carving his name on a panel in the room before Mona came in, stopped and scolded him! The Quarrymen were paid £3 a night by Mona. The Club is very much still there, preserved as a monument to the Beatles, exactly as it was when it closed in 1962. Whether the Mexica would have turned in their graves, laughed at or approved of John’s efforts is anybody’s guess...

Picture sources:-
• Main pic: photo by Ryan Watterson (see his blog below)
• Pic 1: photo by Christie Walker (see her blog below)
NOTE: We have tried in good faith to track down and contact both sources of the photos, without success; we’re happy to link to their blogs, below).

This article was uploaded to the Mexicolore website on Apr 08th 2019

emoticon Q. Which would have been the Aztecs’ fave Beatles song?
A. ‘Here comes the Sun (God)’

Ryan Watterson’s blog
Christie Walker’s blog
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