McCartney Times

Rushworth & Dreaper’s Music Store

Rushworth & Dreaper’s Music Store

Rushworth & Dreaper’s Music Store

72 St Anne Street, Liverpool, L3 3DY UK


Rushworth and Dreaper’s store was originally primarily an organ building company which began creating organs for International places of worship, from little Parish Churches to Cathedrals in the 1800’s, In later years, they progressed to being a general supplier of musical instruments. Today it is the home of Henry Willis & Sons, still aninstrument manufacturer.

In fact, I once attended a course in Jazz Piano Music there at The Billy Mayerl School of Music in my teens. It was a very old fashioned place, almost like a church in those days, with a very prim receptionist inside the front door, who would direct you to the department of your choice. She always spoke in hushed tones, and made you feel as though you should genuflect before speaking to her. Or at least look around for a holy water font. She must have been shocked when someone, seeking the piano department, asked her:

Where do I go to get felt?” 

Jim McCartney bought a trumpet from Rushworth’s, then Europe’s largest music house, and also somewhere that would allow him to exchange the instrument for a £25 German guitar.

“The story goes that he couldn’t play it because he was left handed so he had to turn the strings round the other way”, Jonathan Rushworth, great-great grandson of Rushworth’s founder recalls.

The Beatles’ connection with the store continued when, in September 1962, having just secured their first recording contract, John Lennon and George Harrison bought 2 Gibson guitars, imported from Chicago. Never a man to miss an opportunity, Jonathan’s father, James Rushworth ensured a camera was on hand to capture the presentation. The photograph, in which Harrison sports the remnants of a black eye sustained in a Pete Best-related Cavern scuffle, hung on the shop wall for decades.

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