Category Archives: Day in History

November 9th 1961 – Brian Epstein Meets the Beatles at the Cavern Club

On November 9th 1961, Brian Epstein went to the Cavern Club to see the Beatles, initially to ask about where to obtain the record they had made in Hamburg with Tony Sheridan. Accompanying Brian was Alistair Taylor, his personal assistant. In this exclusive interview with the London Beatles Fanclub magazine, conducted in 1995, Alistair told me about that day:

“We had imported the record by Tony Sheridan and the Beat Brothers (really the Beatles) and it sold like crazy. One day Brian came in and said, “Do you remember that record we sold by the Beatles?” I said ‘Yes, of course’, and he said, ‘Well, they are playing at the Cavern, today, at lunchtime, let’s go to lunch and call in at the Cavern’.

So we went to the Cavern. Ghastly place. We went in suits, like I’m wearing today, and there were these four ghastly youths up on stage, wearing black leather jeans, black jackets, smoking and drinking, and so loud. Brian and I sat at the back, we only heard about four or five numbers and they were just so charismatic and so exciting. What really struck us was the final number, which Paul announced they had written. It was ‘Hello Little Girl’. It was a damned good number. We didn’t like pop music, we just sold records for a living. I was a jazz and classics fan.

We went to lunch, and Brian asked me what I thought of them, and I said, ‘They were bloody awful, but absolutely incredible!’ We talked a bit more, and Brian said ‘I’m thinking of managing them!’. I said, ‘My god, you’re kidding’ – I thought it was great. He said ‘If I do manage them, would you come with me. Who do you work for, me or NEMS?’ I said ‘I work for you’ So he said, ‘If you come with me, I’ll give you 2.5% of the Beatles earnings. I replied, ‘I couldn’t accept that Brian’ I had no money to put up and I knew it would be very expensive. I said all I wanted was a better salary, that’s all.”

So Alistair turned down the chance of getting a very nice share in the Beatles, but remained a big part of their entourage, at NEMS with Brian, and later as general manager of Apple, until he was fired by Allen Klein.

Alistair passed away in June 2004.

Blogger Richard Porter, guiding a Beatles tour of London with Alistair Taylor

23 October 2010 – Yoko Unveils a Plaque to John at 34 Montagu Square

October 23rd 2010. Pics I took of Yoko Ono unveiling the English Heritage blue plaque to John Lennon, at their former apartment, 34 Montagu Square. The apartment was actually owned by Ringo, and he lived there for a time with wife Maureen and son Zak. He later let Paul McCartney use it as a recording studio, and after that, Jimi Hendrix lived there. It was then John and Yoko’s first place together.

We go to Montagu Square on my London Beatles Walks. For full details see http://www.beatlesinlondon.com

The full story of 34 Montagu Square is in my book ‘Guide to the Beatles London’ for full details see http://www.beatlesinlondon.com/#guideanddvd

My invite to the plaque unveiling
Yoko Ono unveiling the plaque to John Lennon at 34 Montagu Square

 

It was 60 Years Ago Today! Paul McCartney Debuts with the Quarrymen

On October 18th 1957. Paul McCartney played his first ever gig with the Quarrymen at New Clubmoor Hall in Norris Green, Liverpool. He had met band leader John Lennon, at St Peter’s Church in Woolton on July 6th, and soon after was asked to join the band. However, Paul’s debut with the band was delayed due to him going to a boy scout camp!

Paul’s big moment at the the gig was to play a solo, but nerves got the better of him.

“For my first gig, I was given a guitar solo on Guitar Boogie. I could play it easily in rehearsal so they elected that I should do it as my solo. Things were going fine, but when the moment came in the performance I got sticky fingers; I thought, ‘What am I doing here?’ I was just too frightened; it was too big a moment with everyone looking at the guitar player. I couldn’t do it. That’s why George was brought in.” Paul McCartney. 

The Quarrymen at Clubmoor Hall – a month after Paul’s Debut

October 18th 2013 – Paul McCartney Pops up in Covent Garden

October 18th 2013. I got a text about 11.30am saying Paul McCartney was doing a pop up concert in Covent Garden at lunchtime. I rushed out the house straight away and got to Covent Garden by 12.15. There weren’t that many people there yet so I got right to the front.
I had a problem though – I was supposed to do a tour at 2pm and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to stay for the show.
I was getting desperate when finally Paul onstage at about 1.30pm. He looked great and walked right in front of me to get to the stage.
Paul sang New, Everybody Out There, Save Us and Queenie Eye. As he had a bit of extra time, he repeated Queenie Eye. Here are some of my pics :>)

Paul McCartney in Covent Garden

October 17th 1967 – The Beatles Attend the Memorial Service for Brian Epstein

On October 17th 1967, The Beatles attended the memorial service for Brian Epstein at the New London Synagogue in Abbey Road, London, just a few hundred metres from EMI Studios.

The didn’t attend the funeral for Brian, as his family didn’t want ‘Beatlemania’ around it.

Here is footage of the Beatles arriving for the ceremony. http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/video/the-beatles-arriving-at-memorial-at-new-london-synagogue-news-footage/98865455

October 17th 1963 – A Busy Day at Abbey Road

October 17th 1963 was a busy day for the Beatles at EMI Studios, Abbey Road. They recorded both sides of their new single, ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ and it’s B Side ‘This Boy’

If that wasn’t enough, they also recorded a Christmas message to be sent to members of the Beatles Fan Club. They would continue to record these discs for the Fan Club for the next 7 years.

I Want to Hold Your Hand was written in the basement of 57 Wimpole Street, where Margaret Elliott, the mother of Jane Asher, had her music room. Paul McCartney had recently moved into the Asher’s house, as he was dated their daughter, Jane. John Lennon visited Paul here on a few occasions, and as he told ‘Playboy’ magazine in 1980:

We wrote a lot of stuff together, one on one, eyeball to eyeball. Like in ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand,’ I remember when we got the chord that made the song. We were in Jane Asher’s house, downstairs in the cellar playing on the piano at the same time. And we had, ‘Oh you-u-u/ got that something…’ And Paul hits this chord and I turn to him and say, ‘That’s it!’ I said, ‘Do that again!’ In those days, we really used to absolutely write like that — both playing into each other’s noses.

Of course I Want to Hold Your Hand became the Beatles first number one hit in the USA.

I Want to Hold Your Hand on the Ed Sullivan Show https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jenWdylTtzs

The Beatles 1963 Christmas Record https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZLYO0H65E0

The Beatles 1963 Christmas record
The Beatles 1963 Christmas record

October 13th 1963 – The Beatles at the London Palladium

On 13th October 1963, the Beatles appeared on a TV show called Val Parnel’s Sunday Night at the London Palladium. The Palladium was, and still is, London’s most famous theatre, and it was regarded as a highlight of a ‘showbiz’ career to play there. Sunday Night at the London Palladium had been going for several years, and was one of the most watched TV shows in the the UK. On March 2nd 1958, Buddy Holly and the Crickets appeared on the show – and very much influenced the youth of the UK, including John, Paul, George and Ringo, who were all glued to the TV that night!

The Beatles appearance on the show was very popular – about 18 million people watched this show. By then, the Beatles already had 3 number one hits, and been on TV many times, but all on shows geared towards teenagers. The Palladium show was the first time they had been on an ‘family’ show. They topped the bill on the show, which was presented by Bruce Forsyth. Forsyth whipped the audience into a frenzy by counting down to the Beatles appearance. They sang From Me To YouI’ll Get You, She Loves You and Twist and Shout. They also appeared, together with the rest of the cast, right at the end of the show, to wave goodbye to the audience on the Palladium’s revolving podium.

No film of the show remains, as TV bosses at the time did not think anyone would want to watch this performance of the Beatles after it was first shown. There is audio of the show though – which you can listen to here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6C_f9lvyFg

There is, however, footage of the Beatles coming out of the theatre. You can see that the street was packed with people. The Beatles come out, and there is no car waiting for them. They rush towards what they think is a taxi, but it turns out to be a police car, and policemen would not let them in. Ringo comes out first, then the other three follow, and there is nowhere for them to go. This confusion was probably because the stage door is around the back, and they came out of the front entrance. Maybe, that was deliberate, as all the press were outside here.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNYXilEvSo4

Throughout the day the theatre was besieged by several hundred Beatles fans. Next day all the UK newspapers were full of stories of the mayhem. Although screaming girls were a regular occurrence around the Beatles by then, the national newspapers had virtually ignored the Beatles and their fans up to this point. The Palladium show changed that; from now on the Beatles were hardly ever out of the newspapers. A couple of weeks after the Palladium show the term ‘Beatlemania’ was used for the first time to describe the scenes that now greeted the Beatles wherever they went.

Beatles books have often misstated that their famous 1963 appearance on the Royal Command Performance was held at the London Palladium, when it fact it was held at the Prince of Wales Theatre, a month after the Palladium concert. This confusion was no doubt brought about by a poster that was released at the time, of the Beatles standing in a doorway. The poster said: “The Beatles, Royal Command Performance 1963, London Palladium”. This is a mistake, and a strange one, as the poster was officially licensed by NEMS – Brian Epstein’s company! You would have thought someone would notice such an error!

The Beatles made a second appearance on Sunday Night at the London Palladium in January 1964, and, if anything, were greeted by more mayhem than their first appearance. They returned to the Palladium for the last time in July 1964 for a charity concert called The Night of a Hundred Stars.

The Beatles at the London Paladium

Blogger Richard Porter is a professional Beatles Tour Guide in London. For details of his tours, see http://www.beatlesinlondon.com His book, Guide to the Beatles London, is available at http://www.beatlescoffeeshop.com/shop/product.php/2/guide_to_the_beatles_london__guide_book_by_richard_porter

October 5th 1962 – The Beatles Release ‘Love me Do’

On October 5th 1962, the Beatles first single ‘Love Me Do’ was released. On the Parlophone ‘red label’, it featured the Beatles recording made on September 4th 1962, with Ringo Starr on drums. This was significant, as originally, the Beatles producer George Martin wasn’t happy with Ringo’s drumming that day, and had the Beatles remake ‘Love Me Do’ on September 11th with session drummer Andy White on drums. Ringo was given a tambourine to bang, much to his ever lasting chagrin.  When it came to the original release though, Ringo’s version was chosen.

Things became confusing months later when Parlophone changed its record label to a black one, and at the same time, substituted the Andy White version of  ‘Love Me Do’ as the single. This led to a big mistake decades later. On October 5th 2012, EMI were due to re-release  ‘Love Me Do’ on its 50th anniversary, in an identical packaging and recording to the original release. We were sent copies of the new single to sell in the Beatles Coffee Shop. However, just 2 days before the release date, we were send an email from EMI to say the release had been cancelled to a ‘production problem’ and that we should send the singles back. Curious to what the problem was, I took a copy home and played it. The ‘problem’ was obvious right from the first few seconds – it was the wrong version of  ‘Love Me Do’! They had used the September 11th with Andy White on drums.

Because of the problem, the re-release of  ‘Love Me Do’ was delayed for several weeks, so missed the 50th anniversary. Rather than send all the copies we had of the rejected version back, I kept a couple. (shhh, don’t tell anyone!)

The reject re-release of Love Me Do

On October 5th 1982, Paul McCartney made a surprise visit to Abbey Road Studios, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Love Me Do. Well, it was supposed to be a surprise – lots of Paul’s fans (including yours truly!) found out Paul was going there. There was a group of about 10 fans outside when Paul arrived. He was totally amazed we were there – but was great about it. We all shouted out ‘Happy Anniversary!’  to Paul, and he said thanks and stayed around to sign autographs.

Paul McCartney at Abbey Road Studios, October 5th 1982, the 20th anniversary of the release of Love Me Do

On the 30th anniversary, I was invited to a special party in Studio Two at Abbey Road. As well as celebrating the anniversary, the British Council launched its new Beatles exhibition, including a video that included a section of me and members of the London Beatles Fanclub having a meeting at the Liverpool Beatles convention.

At the party, Apple MD Neil Aspinall, and reps from EMI, cut the 30th anniversary cake, which had been baked by Paul McCartney’s ex, Jane Asher!

The cake to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Love Me Do – as designed by Jane Asher!

‘Abbey Anniversary’ to the Abbey Road album – released on September 26th 1969.

‘Abbey anniversary’ to the Abbey Road album – released on September 26th 1969.
On September 26th 1994, all those involved in the making of the album ( apart from the Beatles unfortunately) gathered at Abbey Road Studios to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the album.

Here is a picture I took that day – from left to right Geoff Emerick, Phil McDonald, Eddie Klein, Jeff Jarratt, Ken Townsend and George Martin

Sir George Martin on the steps of Abbey Road Studios – September 26th 1994
A rather famous album cover :>)

September 20th 1969 – John tells the others ‘I’m Leaving the Beatles!

On September 20th 1969, the Beatles held a meeting in the boardroom of Apple Corps at 3 Savile Row. The meeting was called to sign a new contract with EMI/Capital that Allen Klein had negotiated. Even though Paul McCartney hated Klein, he was happy to sign the new improved contract.

Things came to a head when the Beatles started talking about their plans for the future. Paul McCartney thought they should go back to basics, and go back to playing in small clubs and pubs. As Paul said said in the Beatles Anthology book:  “I’d said ‘I think we should go back to little gigs – I really think we’re a great little band. We should find our basic roots, and then who knows what will happen? We may want to fold after that, or we may really think we’ve still got it.’ John looked at me in the eye and said: ‘Well, I think you’re daft. I wasn’t going to tell you till we signed the Capitol deal’ – Klein was trying to get us to sign a new deal with the record company – ‘but I’m leaving the group!’ We paled visibly and our jaws slackened a bit.”

Everyone knew at that point the the dream was over. Even though both Ringo and George had walked about before, and came back, everyone knew that John wouldn’t change his mind. However, John was persuaded not to make his departure public, as deals were still being done.

After the meeting, Paul went up to his farm in Scotland with Linda, who was heavily pregnant with Mary, and hardly went to 3 Savile Row again. His absence was part of the reason the ‘Paul is dead’ rumour grew so quickly.

In the end Paul announced he was leaving the Beatles on April 10th 1970. As John remarked at the time, there was no Beatles to leave.