The Beatles’ first UK Concert – 50 years
It was fifty years ago. The Beatles performed their first concert in the United Kingdom on the 17th of December 1960. The concert was in Liverpool at the Casbah Coffee Club. The Beatles returned from Hamburg (some returned, some were kicked out) George Harrison had to come back. The German authorities had realised he was under age to be performing in the night clubs of Hamburg. It may corrupt the poor boy. They had a 10.00pm curfew for people under 18, which George was. Only being allowed to play ’till 10pm and then not be allowed to join the lads for after show fun left George with no other alternative but to return home to Liverpool. 1 down 4 to go, leaving John, Paul Pete and Stuart with Tony Sheridan playing at the Top Ten Club. Back in Liverpool the homebound Beatles were floating, doing nothing. Pete spoke to his mother Mo. He told her The Beatles got really really good in Hamburg. He asked if she would throw them a lifeline by booking them and seeking bookings for them. Mo agreed. Pete wrote to John and Stuart. John replied, he was coming home. Stu replied, he would come home ,but not till January. He wanted to spend Christmas and New Year with his girlfriend Astrid Kirschherr. Pete asked Chas Newby, The Blackjacks Bass player if would he stand in for Stu. Chas agreed, and a date was set for their first concert in Liverpool, their first date in the UK, the 17th of December 1960 at the Casbah Coffee Club. But there is a problem. The Beatles have no equipment. It is still in Hamburg! Mo books Gene Day and the Jango Beats (who later became Earl Preston and the Tempest Tornadoes) to play . Will they lend their equipment to The Beatles? They agree.
The 17th of December 1960.
The Casbah is jammed to the rafters. The posters on the walls state “The Beatles – Direct From Hamburg Germany” will be playing. The Casbah crowd are excited. The Casbah has gone international – there is a German group coming to play!
Gene Day and the Jango Beats performed. They’re a good group and they are well received. It’s time for The Beatles.
John, Paul and George walk in and the Casbah crowd aren’t too pleased. These are the guys from The Quarrymen! They weren’t very good – and they are not German! Chas Newby walks in. It’s Chas from The Blackjacks! They were so so – and he’s not German! Pete walks in. That’s Pete, he lives and works here and like Chas he used to play for The Blackjacks – and he is definately not German! People want their money back. Where is the promised German group? The posters in the club mention a German group, i.e. “The Fabulous Beatles Direct From Hamburg Germany”! What’s going on? Where are they?
The reply from Mo was simple. Nobody had said The Beatles were German. The posters had stated “Direct from Germany”, which they are. They haven’t played anywhere else. So no refunds. Go and watch The Beatles. The Casbah crowd weren’t happy. Disgruntled they went into the band room to watch five guys they already knew who were now playing as The Beatles, who weren’t German.
The Beatles took the stage in front of an uninterested crowd and began.
“I’m gonna tell Aunt Mary” and so on and so forth.
Casbah crowd jaws agape wondered what had happened to the five guys they already knew who now called themselves The Beatles and weren’t German. They were sensational! The Casbah crowd had never heard the like. The place went nuts and Beatlemania began.
And the story continued, but we’re talking about the 17th of December 1960, which we are celebrating and recreating on the 17th of December 2010 at the Casbah Coffee Club.
Friday the 17th of December 2010 (50 years to the day)
Best of the Beatles – The Pete Best Band
Earl Preston and the TT’s
There are only 150 tickets going on sale for the show.
They are £20.00 pounds each.
The tickets are available at:
– The Beatle Shop, Mathew Street, Liverpool
– A Hard Days Night Shop, North John Street, Liverpool
Casbah Coffee Club 0151 280 3519
Kaze Promotions 0151 0151 220 1363