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Beatles stages 1962 PDF Print E-mail

4 January 1962. 5,000 readers of the Mersey Beat newspaper name the Beatles Liverpool's greatest group. Gerry And The Pacemakers came second.

January - February - March 1962. From 3 January (when they had two gigs at the Cavern Club until the end of the month), the Beatles have wall-to-wall gigs and recordings on radio and TV.

24 January. The Beatles have their second meeting with Brian Epstein. A contract between them was signed resulting in Brian becoming the Beatles' manager. Alistair Taylor, Epstein's assistant at the N.E.M.S. shop, witnessed the signing of the contract between the Beatles and Brian Epstein. Brian himself didn't consider it necessary to sign the contract himself, reasoning that his word would be enough for the youngsters (i.e. the Beatles).

1 February - 7 April 1962. There are continuous, daily performances (often two a day) by the Beatles in Liverpool and the surrounding area. By the way, on 24 March they performed on stage for the first time in their famous collarless suits. This took place at Heswall Jazz Club (24.03.1962). They also played at the Cavern Club, attended by the official The Beatles Fan Club on 5 April 1962. There was a show called The Beatles For Their Fans, Or An Evening With George, John, Paul And Pete.

The third visit to Hamburg, West Germany

"The European Tour" - which is how Brian Epstein in Liverpool loudly proclaimed the Beatles' third visit to Hamburg

13 April - 31 May 1962. The Star-Club, Hamburg, West Germany (forty-eight nights). This was also a really triumphant return to Hamburg by the youngsters; not just to Hamburg or even to Germany. But the first thing awaiting them was some appallingly tragic news: two days before their arrival - 10 April 1962 - Stu - Stuart Sutcliffe died of a brain haemorrhage. This news was a dreadful blow for the Beatles. It was so shocking that when he first heard, at Hamburg airport, John immediately fainted.

Lennon later says that Stu was the best friend he had ever had. It subsequently emerged that Stu had died as a result of a head injury he had suffered during an attack on the Beatles by a gang of thugs which took place when, after completing a performance in a working-class district of Liverpool, the group was heading for a car park carrying their musical equipment. All the Beatles ran off but Stuart didn't manage to get away from the thugs and received a kicking.

John, who was the only one of the Beatles who could really stand up for himself in a fight, saw that Stu was being brutally beaten, turned back and, joined in the fight, managing to rescue Sutcliffe. However, Stu had been badly beaten, suffering many wounds and abrasions to his head. So, one of these injuries was also the cause of tumour which ultimately led to the death of the 22-year old Stu ... Stuart Sutcliffe, in whom so many hopes had been vested.

And so, to sum up, we can say that on this occasion the Beatles remained in Hamburg for seven weeks, performing as a rock group and playing with great success on the stages of the popular Hamburg Top Ten Club. At the same time, from 23 April to 27 April, under the temporary name The Beat Brothers, the Beatles backed the best-known British singer in Hamburg, Tony Sheridan while the latter was recording for the West German record company, Polydor.

Day after day at the Top Ten, the Beatles played songs by Little Richard, John Vincent, Buddy Holly, their own songs and those of many other writers/stars, fostering in the German audiences a love of Anglo-American rock music, until, on 9 May 1962, they received an urgent telegram from Brian Epstein which read as follows: Congratulations, lads. EMI wants to sign you. Prepare some new songs.

9 June - 30 August 1962. The Beatles perform continuously at the Cavern Club (often twice a day), Tower Ballroom, (Victory) Memorial Hall, Northwich, and at many other halls and clubs in Liverpool and the surrounding area. And in the meantime, on 23 June, Epstein creates the company NEMS Enterprises, the sole purpose of which is to handle the Beatles' affairs.

15 August 1962 - this is Pete Best's last performance with the Beatles at the Cavern Club. He performed two shows that day.

On 16 August 1962 Brian Epstein, on the instructions of the other Beatles, told Pete Best that the group no longer required his services. Pete was to be replaced by Ringo Starr, the drummer with Rory Storm And The Hurricanes, which he left shortly afterwards and returned to Liverpool.

Two days: 16 August 1962. Riverpark Ballroom, Chester and 17 August Majestic Ballroom, Birkenhead, Cheshire (evening), Tower Ballroom, New Brighton (late at night), Johnny "Hutch" Hutchinson appeared as drummer for the Beatles ...

18 August 1962. Horticultural Society Dance, Hulme Hall, Wirral, Cheshire. After a two-hour rehearsal, Ringo Starr appears for the first time as the Beatles' official drummer.

The next day - 18 August - in the yard outside the Cavern Club, the Beatles met countless fans of Pete Best. They chanted Pete - Forever! Ringo - Never!, Best equals Best, We want Pete! and so on, and so on. George Harrison, and he was thought to be the one behind the invitation to Ringo to join the group, was even hit in the face by one of these fans and supporters of Best when he entered the Cavern Club. He sported a black eye for a long time afterwards. (You can see this even now on one of the famous photographs of the Beatles taken back then). Every day after that - right up to the end of October 1962 - the Beatles were hard at work: gigs, TV appearances, interviews and yet more gigs. And among them were several important events:

23 August 1962. John and Cynthia Powell, his girlfriend from school, married at Liverpool's Mount Pleasant Register Office. It's interesting that this is where John Alfred (Freddy) Lennon and Julia Smith registered their marriage on 3 December 1938.

2 October 1962. The Beatles signed an official five-year contract with Brian Epstein under which the latter received 25% (!) of all income.

28 October 1962. Empire Theatre, Liverpool. Nine groups and artistes with a contract with N.E.M.S. - Epstein's company - take part in a concert at Liverpool's Empire Theatre. The Beatles and the famous Little Richard open this concert! It is a great acknowledgement!

The Beatles' fourth visit to Hamburg, West Germany

1-14 November 1962 . The Star-Club, Hamburg, West Germany (fourteen nights). The Beatles return to Hamburg to play for two weeks at the Star-Club, for the first time with Ringo Starr. On 15 November 1962 they return to London. Every single day after that, right up to their fifth visit to Germany, the Beatles are on the move: gigs, appearances, recordings, more gigs ... And among them is a significant event:

9 December 1962. Cavern Club, Liverpool. George Martin attends the Beatles evening session at the Cavern Club to find out whether it would be possible to record a live Beatles gig. His plan was to release the first Beatles album - Please Please Me. However, after the session Martin's verdict was as follows: "The acoustics in the tunnel-like, stone Cavern Club are completely unsuitable. It will therefore be impossible to make a recording there."

The Beatles' fifth visit to Hamburg, West Germany

18-31 December 1962 . The Star-Club, Hamburg, West Germany (thirteen nights). This is the Beatles last visit to Hamburg, which concluded on 1 January 1963. The youngsters again played at the Cavern Club. This was when a very important event in the Beatles's story occurred. On 31 December 1962 Ted Taylor of the Dominoes recorded a New-Year performance by the Dominoes and the Beatles at the Star-Club on a primitive two-channel tape recorder.

A few years after this, Taylor shows this recording to Brian Epstein who calls it useless and offers Ted just £20 for it. The insulted Taylor naturally declined this offer, and rightly so. No more than ten years pass and this tape or part of it, having fallen into the hands of experts, who had, where possible, removed the negative elements from it, and even put it in stereo (!), is turned into the historic archive double album called The Beatles. Live At The Star-Club, 1962, Hamburg, Germany. With thirty songs performed by the Beatles! The tape itself will sell in August 1992 at Sotheby's auction for an extremely good price ...

...So, the Beatles, who are already at the top of the British charts with the song Please Please Me, and a host of TV and radio interviews, and concert performances, find themselves in Hamburg for the fifth and final time. And, by then, everyone was beginning to sense that a new, triumphal chapter in the lives of the members of this group was just beginning ...

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