MSW launched at last! Guitar wave marks the sound of an era!

By Sean Fell, Music Editor, JMU Journalism

A wave of guitars has been unveiled on the banks of the Mersey to mark 50 years of Merseybeat music, a sound made famous by The Beatles.

100 donated guitars were hung at the Beatles Story to symbolise a wave of music by Liverpool artist and musician, Bill Hart, in the impressive Mersey Ferry terminal building, which is also home to the Beatles Story.

McCartney’s iconic Hoffner base guitar, which he used for much of his Beatles career, stood impressively at the centre of the guitar collection, with the River Mersey as a fitting back drop.

Hart said: “Guitars have been donated from all over the world as well as by a number of local artists and school children who have played a big part in getting this off the ground.

“It’s been a very hard year, but what a journey it’s been too.  It turned into a real community achievement, and I’ve made some amazing friends on the way to the Soundwave’s destination.”

The art installation is the product of a year of “following a dream”, building interest and finding a way to mark the half-century since the sound was born.

The Merseybeat was seen as England’s answer to 1950s Amercian music, but played with more energy and intensity. Other guitars of note

included in the wave was a white Fender played by Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys and another used by Status Quo.  The value of these guitars mean they’re on short-term loan from their home, The Cavern.

It wasn’t just about using other people’s pride and joys though. Bill included his prized, limited edition Fender Telecaster, which he bought to celebrate his 50th birthday.

Guitar donations were made from a host of Liverpool musicians, school children and even actor-turned-politician Ricky Tomlinson, who donated one of his beloved banjos.

Ken Shalliker played with Merseybeat band The Kingsize Taylor and the Dominos, who some say created the famous Merseyside sound. He designed and built a mandolin for the exhibition.

Ken said: “I remember playing all those years ago, especially before The Beatles took off… we’d be playing every night around the city.  A lot of people think The Beatles created the Merseybeat, but in actual fact it was the other way around.

“I was already making the mandolin when I heard about the Wave.  It already looked a little bit like a wave so I thought this has to be the sound wave mandolin, so I phoned Bill up and got involved… I want it back though, eventually,” jokes Ken.

Hart says that all that is left to do is wait for a reaction to his dream before deciding where the wave will break next.  Entry is free and will be in the Mersey Ferry Terminal building until 7 May, 2010.

Mersey Sound Wave to be launched this Thursday!

Guitars played by Paul McCartney, Arctic Monkeys and Status Quo will make guest appearances in a unique art installation celebrating 50 years of the Mersey Sound.

The Mersey Sound Wave will go on display at the Beatles Story’s Fab 4 Store at Liverpool’s Pier Head on Thursday, 1 April 2010 @ 5pm.

Up to 100 guitars that have all been played at the world famous Cavern Club will be hung to create a ‘floating’ effect, depicting a simple and gently flowing River Mersey wave.

Although some famous guitars will play a limited part in the installation, the majority come from the local area. This Merseyside based community project is the brainchild of local musician Bill Hart who wants to celebrate and commemorate the region’s world wide musical fame and influence.

Everyone from local school children to ex-Royle Family star Ricky Tomlinson, who has also lent his famous banjo to the exhibition, have added their support to the project.

Hart said: “This project draws on the region’s incredible musical legacy of the past fifty years. We’ve had an incredible response to this project.

“Guitars have been donated from all over the world as well as by a number of local artists and school children who have played a big part in getting this off the ground.”

As well as the unveiling of this fantastic exhibition, the launch night will include performances from local children from the Beacon CE Primary School, girl group The Cocabelles, the Dominoes and Bill Hart’s own band Something Catchy who will be performing their new theme tunes: ‘Mersey Sound Wave’ and ‘Making Waves’. A charity compilation MSW Album will also be released, commemorating the day.

The Mersey Sound Wave will run at the Beatles Story’s Fab4 Store at Pier Head from Good Friday 2 April – Thursday 6 May 2010.

The exhibition is open from 9am until 7pm and is free to visit.


All press are welcome to attend this launch event on Thursday, 1 April 2010 @ 5pm

For more information contact Hugh O’Connell

Phone: 07795 101 250


MSW at the The Beatles Story, Pier Head

Bill Hart paid a visit to The Beatles Story shop at Liverpool’s Pier Head as the anticipation for the arrival of the Mersey Sound Wave exhibit grows.

After months of searching, the fantastic exhibit of guitars that have all been played at the famous Cavern Club will go on display at the store, located rather aptly on the banks of river Mersey.

More details coming soon.

Work continues on MSW album

‘Something Catchy’ and the Domino ‘Effect’ bands have been busy in the studio lately, recording the Mersey Sound Wave Album…

The Cocabelles join the MSW project and surf the ‘Wave’.


Karina, Kelly & Carina are in rehearsal to record a song entitled ‘Mersey Sound’.

Specially written by Hart/Carney the song will feature on the forthcoming Mersey Sound Wave CD due for release on Good Friday 2 April 2010.

In addition to the Cocabelles, the CD will contain tracks from the Merseyside legends The Dominoes, The Wavers with The ‘BeaCles’ and ‘Something Catchy’ Party Band.

A run of 100 Special Edtion signed copies are to be made with donations made to local yet-to-be-named charities. Details released soon.

The latest MSW pictures

L-R: George Eccles (Dominoes): Bassman Ken (Dominoes) Jack Carney, MSW CD Producer/Director. Sam Hardy (Dominoes). Alan (Rocky) Turner MSW Director (Engineering): Bill Hart.

Jack Carney, Bill Hart & Alan Turner pose for a pic in the Shireshead Studio after recording the track ‘Go With The Flow’ for the Mersey~Sound~Wave CD.

Bassman Ken with MSW Guitar No9 Red/Black 1959 Framus Bass: Band: Kingsize Taylor & The Dominoes: Chris Rimmer Band. Ken is the designer and maker of the Spirit Of The Wave guitar.

Bill Hart with Horst Fascher in Liverpool promoting the new book of his life as the Beatles ‘minder’ in 60’s Hamburg. The pair discussed the possiblity of taking the Mersey~Sound~Wave to Germany after it’s showing in Liverpool.

The ‘Spirit of the Wave’ takes shape

Here is another tantalising glimpse of the ‘Spirit of the Wave’, the signature guitar for the Mersey Sound Wave project.

Stay tuned to this site for more exciting info about the Mersey Sound Wave soon.

Your chance to play at the Cavern Club and join the MSW!

On Saturdays, December 26 and January 2 the world famous Cavern Club will play host to you the members of the public who get a chance to participate in their Cave Dwellers event.

This gives anyone interested a unique opportunity to play or sing on the famous Cavern stage with the resident band.

Anyone who chooses to play a guitar will of course fulfill the criteria to enter their instrument into the Mersey Sound Wave project.

For more informaton visit The Cavern Club website and for details on submitting a guitar to the MSW, click here.

The Beacles lend support to MSW song!

Children from the Beacon Primary School in Liverpool lent their support to the Mersey Sound Wave project when they recorded backing vocals to the official MSW song which Bill Hart has just recently finished recording.

The theme song encapsulates the spirit of the project which is rapidly gathering pace.

But it couldn’t have been done without the magnificent help of the children from Beacon Primary or The Beacles as they are now known after their famous appearance at the Cavern Club last month!

Listen to the theme song!

UPDATE: The students were recently rewarded with copies of the song on CD and special certificates commemorating their excellent and vital contribution to the Mersey Sound Wave project.

Is This The ‘Spirit’ Of The Wave?

Bassman of Formby, ex Dominos and member of the Chris Rimmer Band is building a totally unique and ultraspecial bass guitar exclusively to exhibit in Bill Harts MSW exhibtion.

He carefully named the guitar ‘The Spirit Of The Wave. The guitars body, neck and in particular the head stock’s (see exclusive pic) design have been inspired by Bill’s concept of the formation of using 100 guitars as a Tribute To Merseysound: 50 Years On.

As work on the head stock was being carried out a spooky face began to appear as the holes for the tuning keys were being drilled. “Maybe this is a true apparition of the ‘Spirit’ Of The Wave?” thought Ken.

He wasted no time and contacted Bill and he agreed to release this early exclusive pic.

The main Spirit Of The Wave guitar is still under construction but strict security surrounds the final finished design. Bill says he as seen some of the early ‘takes’ of it and it simply blew his mind. “Just wait until you see THIS guitar. It is just so incredibly apt and astonishingly beautiful and now it boasts its very own exclusive ‘Spirit’ .

The Spirit Of The Wave is MSW Guitar No 100. For a full list of guitars so far pledged, click here. To find out about how to pledge your own guitar, click here.