Beatles At the Palais Ballroom Big Beat Sessions Flyer Hand Bill with Letter from Liverpool The Cavern Club
Beatles at The Palais Ballroom, Aldershot
Saturday, 9th December 1961, saw the Beatles make their first concert appearance in the south of England. Originally booked for 5 consecutive Saturdays, the Beatles were to appear only the once at The Palais Ballroom, Queens Road, Aldershot!!
Liverpool Promoter, Sam Leach, had made arrangements for the engagement to be titled the Battle of the Bands, Liverpool .v. London, with the Beatles representing Liverpool and billed as Liverpool's No. 1 Band, Direct from their German Tour .v. Ivor Jay & the Jaywalkers, representing London.
Unfortunately, Sam Leach was unaware that Aldershot was nearly 40 miles from London and the idea of the Battle of the Bands attracting agents and promoters from London backfired.
Despite advertising the event locally both with handouts and in the local newspaper, the Aldershot News, it was not until the entourage arrived in Aldershot, 9 hours after their departure from Liverpool, that they found out that the newspaper ad had not appear, as Sam Leach had paid by cheque, the newspaper only accepted cash from first time advertisers, and Sam had not left any contact details.
Due to the lack of promotion, initially only 4 people turned up, after a little tour of the town, offering free entry to the dance at the Palais, the audience was swelled to 18. The 5/- admission fee became null and void !!
When the doors opened there were no more than half a dozen people waiting to get in. The Beatles were reluctant to play, but Paul, ever the professional, tried hard to rally the others, saying “Let’s show them we’re professionals”. He let rip with ‘Long Tall Sally’, putting everything into it. John chipped in with ‘Memphis Tennessee’. The set continued with numbers the boys featured regularly in their act, plus rock ’n’ roll standards and even sea shanties as they let their hair down in front of their miniscule audience.
After the performance the Beatles consoled themselves by drinking Watney's brown ale and playing football using the bingo balls they had found in the hall.
The excessive noise had annoyed a local, who contacted the police and when the Beatles left the hall at 1pm, they were ordered out of Aldershot by the Police, and told never to return.
Reads: "Every Saturday commencing this Saturday 9th December Presenting a "Battle of the Bands" Liverpool V London Liverpool's No. "1" Band Direct from their German Tour The Beatles Versus Ivor Jay & the Jaywalkers pllus two other star groups 7:30pm to 11:30 pm buffet Admission 5 Everyone Welcome Tell your friends.
There is a letter of provenance which is typed on an actual piece of Cavern Stationary reads:
Cavern Club memorabilia of 35 years ago.. that the flyer handbill advertising the Beatles appearance at a jive dance held at the Palais Ballroom, Aldershot, England on Sat. 1961 is genuine and original, and was given to the owner at the time.. by Beatle George Harrison Signed Bob Wooler of Tracks England.
7" x 5" hand bill displayed in 11X18 frame. Condition is EX-VG with creasing in the corners. There is a small blemish on the left bottom corner of the handbill and there is typical aging of the paper.
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