The Beatles in Aldershot

The Beatles Play in Aldershot – 9th December 1961

The Beatles in Aldershot
The Beatles in Aldershot

From Debbie Greenberg’s book:

However, Brian Epstein was not the first candidate for the position of Beatles manager. A Liverpool-based promoter called Sam Leach, who regularly organised dances and live shows in local venues, frequently hired the Beatles. As he was giving them regular work and they were all very good friends, he suggested he should become their manager.

The group agreed and on the strength of a handshake with John Lennon, the group’s leader, he thought he’d secured the position as their first manager.

The Beatles Play Aldershot

Sam Leach, George Harrison, John Lennon and Dick Matthews
Sam Leach, George Harrison, John Lennon and Dick Matthews

On the 9th December 1961 Sam booked the Palais Ballroom in Aldershot, about forty miles outside London. He paid for a full-page ad in the Aldershot News and expected a good turnout for the gig. However, he had paid by cheque and the newspaper would not insert the ad until the cheque had cleared.

The cheque didn’t clear in time and on that night only 18 people turned up to see the Beatles.

George Harrison and John Lennon dancing together
George Harrison and John Lennon dancing together

After the hiccup at Aldershot everything was going very well for a few weeks until Brian Epstein stepped into the frame. The Beatles, ever eager to climb the ladder of success, were tempted by Brian’s obvious wealth and promises of fame and fortune. With a heavy heart John Lennon had to break the news to Sam that they had signed with “Eppy”.  

Cavern Club: The Inside Story

Find our more about Beatles history in Debbie’s great book – ON SALE NOW!

Cavern Club - The Inside Story
Cavern Club – The Inside Story

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