New old Beatles photo

The Beatles visited the ABC Theatre in Great Yarmouth twice. This poster is from their final appearance there.

A 17 year old photographer’s assistant saved one of the negatives his boss was about to throw away. It was one of several publicity photos the photographer had taken of the Beatles, who played in a theatre above the photo studio.

The assistant took the negative home with him, but never got around to make a print of it in the 55 years that passed. Last week he gave the negative to his son, who recently had taken a course in black and white photography. The son printed and published this never-before-seen photo on February 5, 2019.

The Beatles on stage at the ABC in Great Yarmouth July 28, 1963.

The Beatles played the ABC theatre in Great Yarmouth only twice. First on June 30th, 1963, the day before they recorded “She Loves You” and again on this day, July 28, a couple of days before they recorded “All My Loving”.

Peter Harrison, 75, had salvaged the negative while working in Fisher’s photography studio under the ABC Cinema in the summer of 1963, when the Fab Four played in the town. Also on the bill were The Kestrels, The Trebletones, Freddie Starr and The Midnighters, Barry Barnett and Glenda Collins. The compere was comedian Alan Field.

The Beatles had already toured the UK three times in 1963 with a fourth tour to take place at the end of the year. That night The Beatles played two sets, at 6pm and 8.15pm, and tickets were priced at four shillings and sixpence, and nine shillings and sixpence.

Mr Harrison said that his manager, the photographer Mr Fisher, had taken some publicity shots of the band and was about to dump the negatives but instead the young apprentice took one home. “I could do my own black and white prints at home but I never got around to it,” he said. Mr Harrison, who now lives in Leeds, said he had heard of the Beatles but did not go to the concert that night.

“I was too busy working,” he said.

So for 55 years the negative had sat in one of Mr Harrison’s drawers until earlier this month his son completed a black and white photography course. “I said ‘I’ve got a negative you might be interested in’ so I sent it to him,” Mr Harrison said. His son, Richard, 43, then developed the negative and printed the photo.

The ABC Cinema was demolished in 1989 to make way for the Market Gates shopping district.

This story was first printed in The Great Yarmouth Mercury.

3 Responses

  1. Unknown says:

    John singing strong with an acoustic guitar. I wonder what song he's singing here.

  2. Gary Owen says:

    He’s playing third fret position “D7th” and- at that point in the song- is singing solo. Judging by the different setlists from that time, it could be many tunes.

  3. saleem says:

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