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January 1

The Beatles' engagement at the Star-Club ended and they flew from Hamburg to London.

January 2

The group flew from London to Scotland but the plane, due to land in Edinburgh (where Neil Aspinall was waiting for them with the van), was diverted to Aberdeen. Their first night's booking at the Longmore Hall in Keith had to be cancelled because snowdrifts had blocked the roads and so, with nothing to do until the following evening, John flew back to Liverpool for a brief reunion with his wife (and aunt).

January 3

Two Red Shoes Ballroom, Elgin, Morayshire. John flew from Liverpool to Scotland, arriving barely in time for the show.

January 4

Town Hall, Dingwall, ROSS and Cromarty.

The Beatles' chart success with 'Love Me Do' won them 111th place in the annual survey of the previous year's most successful acts, published by the New Musical Express.

January 5

Museum Hall, Bridge of Allan, Stirlingshire. The group were billed for the night as "The Love Me Do Boys".

January 6

Beach Ballroom, Aberdeen.

January 8

The group appeared live on Scottish TV's Round-Up, transmitted locally from The Theatre Royal, Glasgow, and presented by Paul Young and Morag Hood. The band mimed 'Please Please Me'.

January 10

Grafton Rooms, Liverpool, where they headed a bill of five acts.

January 11

The Cavern (lunchtime) with Kingsize Taylor & The Dominoes, and Plaza Ballroom, Old Hill, Staffordshire.

The single 'Please Please Me'/'Ask Me Why' was released in the UK as Parlophone 45-R 4983. It was given a favourable review in the country's leading pop paper, the New Musical Express, where DJ Keith Fordyce wrote: "I can't think of any other group currently recording in this style. I shan't be in the least surprised to see the charts invaded by Beatles."

The Beatles appeared on ABC TVs Thank Your Lucky Stars, performing 'Please Please Me'.


Though no evidence remains on tape, The Beatles' original arrangement of 'Please Please Me' was apparently closer to a Roy Orbison ballad than a beat group number. It was attempted during the group's second EMI session in September 1962, George Martin remembering it as "a very dreary song". He suggested that the group soup up the arrangement - something that was done to such effect that it became their first No. 1 at the end of February 1963.

In up-tempo form, it became an overt sexual invitation on Lennon's part, and a clear sign that The Beatles were more than just another pop group. Their harmonies, the opening harmonica riff, and Ringo's accomplished drumming testified to a remarkable surge in confidence since their first EMI sessions.

As with 'Love Me Do', there are two different versions of this song on EMI releases. The stereo mix, unavailable on CD, utilised an alternate take on which Lennon and McCartney messed up their vocals. Quite how that blatant a mistake escaped the notice of George Martin remains to be answered.


Unlike Paul McCartney, John Lennon took time to slide into the conventions of pop songwriting. 'Ask Me Why' illustrated what happened before he acquired the knack. From the difficult rhythm of the opening lines to the cut-and-paste structure of the middle section, it was a song that seemed to have been constructed painfully, bar-hy-bar, rather than flowing naturally like McCartney's early efforts. Careful study of his role models, like Smokey Robinson and Arthur Alexander, soon rewarded Lennon with a keen grasp of the essentials of composing, though not in time to prevent this number being consigned to theflipside of 'Please Please Me'.

January 12

Invicta Ballroom, Chatham, Kent. This was their first South of England performance since signing their recording contract six months earlier.

January 13

Alpha TV Studios, Birmingham, where the group recorded an appearance on ABC TV's Thank Your Lucky Stars. They closed the first half of the show miming to 'Please Please Me'.

January 14

Wolverham Welfare Association Dance, Civic Hall, Wirral.

January 16

Granada TV Centre, Manchester. Rehearsal for a live appearance on the People And Places programme to be broadcast later in the day.

Playhouse Theatre, Manchester, to rehearse for a session on the BBC Radio programme Here We Go.

Granada TV Centre, for the People And Places transmission, for which they mimed to 'Please Please Me' and 'Ask Me Why'.

Playhouse Theatre, Manchester to record their spot on Here We Go, for which they sang 'Chains', 'Please Please Me', 'Three Cool Cats' and 'Ask Me Why'. 'Three Cool Cats' was edited out when the programme was broadcast.

January 17

The Cavern (lunchtime) and Majestic Ballroom, Birkenhead, where 500 disappointed fans had to be turned away. 'Please Please Me' entered the charts.

January 18

Floral Ballroom, Morecambe, Lancashire.

Roadie Neil Aspinall went down with flu so Les Hurst, Gerry & the Pacemakers' roadie, stood in for him.

January 19

Town Hall Ballroom, Whitchurch, Shropshire. Once again, Les Hurst stood in for Neil Aspinall. Thank Your Lucky Stars was broadcast.

January 20

The Cavern with Pete Hartigan's Jazzmen, The Dennisons, The Merseybeats and The Swinging Blue Genes.

Neil, sweating and feverish, hauled their gear. He explained to Brian Epstein that he just could not do the drive to London the next day. Fortunately, he bumped into Mal Evans on the stairs of the Cavern where he worked and asked, "Mal, can you run the boys to London and back for me?"

Mal, a GPO telephone engineer who had taken to dropping into The Cavern on his way back to the Post Office after lunch, agreed. After a while he extended his visits to include the evenings and got to know George Harrison. They left the club together one day and Mal invited him back to listen to some records. George suggested that Mal should work on the door of the Cavern; that way he would hear the music free and get paid in his spare time. Mal, an imposing 6 feet 2 inches, was gentle and polite, but had the outward appearance of a tough bouncer.

January 21

EMI House, London, to record EMI's plug show Friday Spectacular for Radio Luxembourg hosted by Shaw Taylor and Muriel Young with an audience of 100 teenagers. They were interviewed, and 'Please Please Me' and 'Ask Me Why' were played.

The Beatles were signed in the US by Vee Jay Records, who made immediate plans to release 'Please Please Me'.

January 22

BBC Paris Studio, London, where they were interviewed live on the radio programme Pop Inn to promote their new single 'Please Please Me'.

Playhouse Theatre, London, to rehearse and record their first appearance on the BBC pop radio programme Saturday Club, presented by Brian Matthew. They recorded 'Some Other Guy', 'Love Me Do', 'Please Please Me', 'Keep Your Hands Off My Baby' and 'Beautiful Dreamer'.

BBC Paris Studio, London, to record a BBC Light Programme show The Talent Spot, presented by Gary Marshall. They sang 'Please Please Me', 'Ask Me Why' and 'Some Other Guy' before a studio audience.

January 23

The Cavern (evening), with The Fourmost, Ken Dallas & The Silhouettes and Freddie Starr & The Midnighters.


The Beatles drove back to Liverpool from London for the gig in freezing temperatures. The windscreen of the van shattered and their stand-in roadie Mal Evans drove with no glass. The group were so cold they lay huddled on top of each other in the back.

John Lennon told Neil Aspinall what had happened: "You should have seen Mal. He had this paper bag over his head with just a big split in it for eyes. We were all in the back of the van doing the same thing. It was freezing. The windscreen shattered. Mal had to knock out the rest of the broken glass and just drive on. It was perishing. Mal looked like a bank robber."

The Beatles had a Cavern gig the next lunchtime and an out of town gig that evening. Mal showed up at Nell's with the van in perfect condition, windscreen replaced. Neil: "We never knew how he'd managed to get it fixed again so quickly and, even if we didn't say so, it was something we remembered. Ten out of ten to Mal for not just bringing back the van and leaving it for someone else to get a new windscreen put in." Mal's efficiency was to lead him to a career with The Beatles which lasted out the decade.

January 24

Assembly Hall, Mold, Wales.

Earlier, The Beatles signed copies of 'Please Please Me' at NEMS record shop in Liverpool and gave a short acoustic performance to the assembled fans.

January 25

Co-operative Hall, Darwen - a local Baptist Church youth club event billed as 'The Greatest Teenage Dance', with supporting acts The Electones, The Mike Taylor Combo and The Mustangs with Ricky Day.

The Beatles session on BBC Radio's Here We Go was broadcast, presented by Ray Peters.

Radio Luxembourg's Friday Spectacular broadcast.

January 26

El Rio Club, Macclesfield, Cheshire, with Wayne Fontana & The Jets, and King's Hall, Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire.

John and Paul began work on 'Misery', intended for Helen Shapiro, backstage at this gig. They completed the song en route to the following night's performance in Manchester.

The Beatles' first appearance on the BBC's Saturday Club was broadcast.

January 27

Three Coins Club, Manchester.

January 28

Majestic Ballroom, Newcastle upon Tyne.

January 29

BBC's Talent Spot broadcast.

January 30

The Cavern (evening) with Johnny Sandon & The Remo Four and The Dakotas.

January 31

The Cavern (lunchtime) and two shows (because of demand for tickets) at the Majestic Ballroom, Birkenhead.

February 1

Assembly Rooms, Tamworth, Staffordshire, and Maney Hall, Sutton Coldfield, Warwickshire.

New Musical Express printed the word "Beatles" on the cover for the first time, as reporter Alan Smith interviewed the group. He complimented them on their "clipped negro sound".

February 2

Gaumont Cinema, Bradford.

The first gig on their nationwide tour with Helen Shapiro, where they were effectively bottom of the bill. The programme opened with The Red Price Band, followed by The Honeys, compere Dave Alien, The Beatles, Dave Alien and Danny Williams who closed the first half. The Red Price Band again opened the second set, followed by The Kestrels and Kenny Lynch, and then David Alien introduced 16-year-old Helen Shapiro. The Beatles wore burgundy suits with velvet collars, designed by Paul, and their hair brushed forward "French style".

John: "We don't really bother about what we do on the stage. We practise what we call 'Grinning at nothings'. One-two-three, and we all grin at nothing! When we go out with Helen Shapiro I don't know how we'll manage. I thought I might lie on the floor like Al Jolson."

Their set was 'Chains', 'Keep Your Hands Off My Baby', 'A Taste Of Honey' and 'Please Please Me'.

John and Paul finished 'Misery' on the coach but Helen's management didn't even bother to show it to her. Kenny Lynch, however, was interested and has the distinction of being the first outsider to record a Lennon and McCartney song. It was also on the coach that John and Paul came up with the idea of running up to the microphone together and shaking their heads and singing, 'Whooooooo!', even though 'She Loves You' was not yet out.

'Please Please Me' entered the Music Week charts at number 16.

February 3

The Cavern (evening), an eight-hour "Blues Marathon" with The Fourmost The Dominoes, The Hollies, Earl Preston & The TT's, The Merseybeats, The Swinging Blue Genes and The Roadrunners.

February 4

The Cavern (last lunchtime session).

February 5

Gaumont Cinema, Doncaster (Helen Shapiro tour).

February 6

Granada Cinema, Bedford (Helen Shapiro tour).

February 7

Regal Cinema, Wakefield (Helen Shapiro tour).

February 8

ABC Cinema, Carlisle (now in Cumbria) (Helen Shapiro tour).

The tour received national press publicity, when "a member of one of the supporting groups" (actually Ringo Starr, though neither he nor The Beatles were named in the press accounts) was banned from a dance after the show because he was wearing the uniform of the young tearaway, a leather jacket.

February 9

Empire Theatre, Sunderland (Helen Shapiro tour).

February 11

Abbey Road. All ten new tracks needed to make the Please Please Me album were recorded in one ten-hour session (the other four tracks were already out as sides A and B of their two singles). The tracks were chosen by George Martin from their Cavern set in an attempt to re-create the atmosphere of the group's live performance.

The marathon session was made all the more remarkable by the fact that John was suffering from a severe head-cold, and was in imminent danger of losing his voice - as a cursory listen to the rendition of 'Twist And Shout' that closed their debut album will reveal.

Paul: "We'd been playing the songs for months and months and months before getting a record out. So we came into the studio at ten in the morning, started it, did one number, had a cup of tea, relaxed, did the next one, a couple of overdubs ... we just worked through them, like the stage act. And by about ten o'clock that night, we'd done ten songs and we just reeled out of the studios, John clutching his throat tablets!"

John: "My voice wasn't the same for a long time after. Every time I swallowed, it was like sandpaper. We sang for 12 hours, almost non-stop. We had colds and we were concerned how it would affect the record. And by the end of the day, all we wanted to do was drink pints of milk."

February 12

Azena Ballroom, Sheffield, and Astoria Ballroom, Oldham.

February 13

Majestic Ballroom, Hull.

February 14

Locarno Ballroom, Liverpool - a St Valentine's Day dance.

February 15

Ritz Ballroom, King's Heath, Birmingham.

The Beatles racked up another showbiz milestone when New Musical Express subjected them to a 'Lifelines' questionaire, which revealed John and Paul's joint ambition to be "to write a musical".

February 16

Carfax Assembly Rooms, Oxford.

February 17

Teddington Studio Centre, Middlesex, to record an appearance on ABC TVs Thank Your Lucky Stars where they sang 'Please Please Me'.

February 18

Queen's Hall, Widnes - two sets, promoted by Brian Epstein.

February 19

Cavern Club (evening) with Lee Curtis & The All-Stars, The Pathfinders and Freddie Starr & The Midnighters.

The queue began to form two days before the doors opened. Bob Wooler announced from the stage that The Beatles' 'Please Please Me' now occupied the No. 1 position in the NME charts. It was also, apparently, the last time that any of The Beatles saw Pete Best, though they took great pains to ensure that their paths crossed at no time during the evening. Afterwards The Beatles drove through the night to London.

February 20

St James St Swimming Baths, Doncaster.

Earlier, the group appeared live on the BBC Light Programme's Parade Of The Pops, presented by Denny Piercy, singing 'Love Me Do' and 'Please Please Me'. This was their first live BBC transmission.

February 21

Majestic Ballroom, Birkenhead.

February 22

Oasis Club, Manchester.

The eagerly awaited publication of this week's New Musical Express, the first pop paper to reach the news-stands, confirmed that 'Please Please Me' had now reached the No. 1 position in the sales chart - albeit sharing that honour with Frank Ifield's 'The Wayward Wind'.

The music publishing company Northern Songs was set up by Dick James to control the rights to all compositions by John and Paul.


Northern Songs Limited was set up to control John and Paul's songwriting copyrights. John and Paul naively thought that they would own 100 per cent of the company, but it turned out that Dick James and his accountant Charles Silver took 51 per cent, John and Paul had 20 per cent each and Brian Epstein owned 10 per cent. Dick James and Charles Silver always had the controlling vote. They both became multi-millionaires on the strength of a negligible investment.

Paul: "We just signed this thing, not really knowing what it was all about, that we were signing our rights away for our songs. That became the deal and that is virtually the contract that I'm still under. It's draconian!"

February 23

Granada Cinema, Mansfield in Nottinghamshire (Helen Shapiro tour). 'Please Please Me' reached No. 1 in its own right in the Disc singles charts.. ABC Television transmitted The Beatles on Thank Your Lucky Stars.

February 24

Coventry Theatre, Coventry (Helen Shapiro tour).

February 25

Casino Ballroom, Leigh in Lancashire, for Brian Epstein's NEMS Enterprises "Showdance".

The single 'Please Please Me'/'Ask Me Why' was released in the US as Vee Jay VJ 498, The Beatles' first American record under their own name.

February 26

Gaumont Cinema, Taunton in Somerset, with Danny Williams heading the bill in place of Helen Shapiro who had a cold and Billie Davis standing in to complete the line-up (Helen Shapiro tour).

February 27

Rialto Theatre, York (Helen Shapiro tour, still without Helen Shapiro).

February 28

Granada Cinema, Shrewsbury (with Helen Shapiro back on stage).

In the tour coach on the way to this gig, John and Paul wrote 'From Me To You', which later became their next single, in preference to the original choice of 'Thank You Girl'.

March 1

Odeon Cinema, Southport (Helen Shapiro tour).

March 2

City Hall, Sheffield (Helen Shapiro tour).

Didsbury Studio Centre. After their second set, The Beatles drove to Manchester to be interviewed live with Brian Epstein by David Hamilton for ABC TV's evening talk show, ABC At Large. A short clip of them playing 'Please Please Me' was shown.

March 3

Gaumont Cinema, Hanley, Staffordshire.

The last show on the Helen Shapiro tour. The Beatles now closed the first half of the show.

March 4

Plaza Ballroom, St Helens.

March 5

Abbey Road. The group recorded 'From Me To You', 'Thank You Girl' and one of the earliest Lennon/McCartney compositions, 'The One After 909'. They also took part in a photographic session at the EMI headquarters in Manchester Square, posing on a balcony in a shot that was subsequently used on the cover of their Please Please Me LP.

March 6

Playhouse Theatre, Manchester. The Beatles recorded another session for the BBC Light Programme's Here We Go, singing 'Misery', 'Do You Want To Know A Secret' and 'Please Please Me'.

March 7

Elizabethan Ballroom, Nottingham, with Gerry & The Pacemakers, The Big Three and Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas.

Everyone on the bill of this 'Big Beatle Show' was managed by Brian Epstein, who also promoted the event. This was the first of six "Mersey Beat Showcase" events promoted by NEMS, where the artists accompanied by 80 paying fans were taken by coach to venues across the country. Bob Wooler, DJ from The Cavern, was compere.

March 8

The Royal Hall, Harrogate.

March 9

Granada Cinema, East Ham, London.

Their second package tour, this time supporting visiting American stars Tommy Roe and Chris Montez. The Beatles wiped the stage with them at the early show on this first night and took over top billing for the day's second performance. Their set for this tour was 'Love Me Do', 'Misery', 'A Taste Of Honey', 'Do You Want To Know A Secret', 'Please Please Me' and 'I Saw Her Standing There'.

March 10

Hippodrome Theatre, Birmingham (Roe/Montez tour).

March 11

This was the group's first day without a concert appearance in more than a month, but The Beatles still had career obligations, as they attended EMI House to record their last interview for Friday Spectacular to be broadcast on Radio Luxembourg.

March 12

Granada Cinema, Bedford (Roe/Montez tour).

The strain of the group's relentless schedule took its toll, as John came down with a cold and was unable to play this concert. George and Paul took over all the singing for the night, fronting a three-man Beatles.

The Beatles appeared on BBC Light Programme's Here We Go, presented by Ray Peters.

March 13

Abbey Road. John was considered well enough to take part in an over-dub session to put harmonica on to 'Thank You Girl', but not to sing, which meant he was unable to take part in the group's appearance that evening at the Rialto Theatre, York (Roe/Montez tour).

March 14

Gaumont Cinema, Wolverhampton (Roe/Montez tour, again without John).

March 15

Colston Hall, Bristol, with John back on stage to play both sets (Roe/Montez tour).

March 16

Broadcasting House, London. The Beatles performed live on the BBC Light Programme's Saturday Club presented by Brian Matthew. They sang; 'I Saw Her Standing There', 'Misery', 'Too Much Monkey Business', 'I'm Talking About You', 'Please Please Me' and 'The Hippy, Hippy Shake'.

City Hall, Sheffield (Roe/Montez tour).

March 17

Embassy Cinema, Peterborough (Roe/Montez tour).

March 18

Regal Cinema, Gloucester (Roe/Montez tour).

March 19

Cambridge (Roe/Montez tour).

March 20

ABC Cinema, Romford (Roe/Montez tour).

March 21

BBC Piccadilly Studios, London, to record 'Misery', 'Do You Want To Know A Secret' and 'Please Please Me' for BBC Light Programme's On The Scene. ABC Cinema, West Croydon (Roe/Montez tour).

March 22

Gaumont Cinema, Doncaster (Roe/Montez tour).

The album Please Please Me was released in the UK as Parlophone PMC 1202 (mono) and PCS 3042 (stereo). Side A: 'I Saw Her Standing There', 'Misery', 'Anna (Go To Him)', 'Chains', 'Boys', 'Ask Me Why', 'Please Please Me'; Side B: 'Love Me Do', 'P.S. I Love You', 'Baby It's You', 'Do You Want To Know A Secret', 'A Taste Of Honey', 'There's A Place', 'Twist And Shout'.


It requires a leap of the imagination to return to the innocent days of 1963, when The Beatles recorded and released their first two long-playing albums. The common currency of teenage pop was the three-minute single, or at a stretch the two-for-the-price-of-two 45rpm extended player (EP). Albums, or LPs as they were universally known in the early Sixties, were regarded as being beyond the financial reach of most teenagers; and with the oldest of The Beatles themselves no more than 22 when their first album was recorded, the teen audience was definitely EMPs target.

Only adult performers like Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald were allowed to use the 30- or 40-minute expanse of the LP as a personal artistic statement. For the rest, the LP was unashamedly a cash-in - either for a film, or else for die-hard supporters entranced by a hit single or two. Hence the full title of The Beaties' debut album, which defined its selling points precisely: Please Please Me, Love Me Do and 12 Other Songs.

Much has been made of the fact that 10 of the record's 14 tracks were recorded during one day; but that was the way the pop business operated in 1963. This haste was proof of The Beatles' junior status at EMI, and also of the company's desire to rush an LP onto the market before teenage Britain found a new set of heroes. Remember that the band had yet to score their first No. 1 when the album was recorded: the extended session represented a commendable act of faith on the behalf of producer George Martin.

Four of the album's titles were already in the can, via their first two singles, 'Love Me Do' and 'Please Please Me'. The rest - a mix of originals and covers -was a cross-section of their typical concert fare, with one exception: the group's penchant for covers of Chuck Berry and Little Richard rock'n'rollers was ignored, presumably because George Martin believed the era of rock'n'roll was past.

Recorded on two-track at Abbey Road, the album was mixed into mono and very rudimentary stereo - the latter format claiming only a tiny proportion of the market in 1963. Until 1968, The Beatles regarded the mono versions of their albums as the authentic representation of their work; and if they'd been asked, they would no doubt have agreed with George Martin's decision to prepare the CD mix of Please Please Me in mono. But stereo-philes, particularly in America, regarded this decision as barbarism in disguise, and continue to lobby for the release of the CD in stereo. Those tracks which didn't appear on singles are as follows:


With a simple count-in, Paul McCartney captured all The Beatles' youthful exuberance in the opening seconds of their debut album. Lyrically naive, melodically unpolished, 'I Saw Her Standing There' was still classic Beatles' rock'n'roll - Lennon and McCartney trading vocals as if they were chewing gum between syllables, the falsetto 'ooos' that soon became a Beatles trademark, the rising chords of the middle eight that promised some kind of sexual climax, and the tight-hut-loose vigour of the playing. And the record ended with a triumphant clang of a guitar chord matched by a whoop from McCartney. No doubt about it, The Beatles had arrived.


Right from the start of their recording career, The Beatles were encouraged by manager Brian Epstein to work as a songwriting factory, turning out hits to order for other artists. By February 1963, their reputation hadyet to acquire its later power, and fellow performers more often than not turned them down. Helen Shapiro was offered this Lennon composition the week before The Beatles recorded it themselves, but her management declined. Unabashed, Lennon and McCartney romped through what was supposed to be a declaration of lovelorn anguish like two schoolboys on half-day holiday. Never has a song about misery sounded so damn cheerful.

Trivia note: the sheet music for this song, as copied by Kenny Lynch's early cover version, gives the first line as: "You've been treating me bad, misery." Lennon and McCartney sang something much more universal: "The world's been treating me bad".


If The Beatles had been allowed more than a day to make this album, they would no doubt have re-recorded the instrumental backing for this rather laboured cover of an Arthur Alexander R&B hit. But there was no faulting Lennon's vocal, which had already hit upon the mixture of romantic disillusionment and supreme self-interest that became his trademark when tackling a love song. It was almost sabotaged, though, by the pedestrian nature of McCartney and Harrison's backing vocals.


At The Beatles' Decca audition in January 1962, George Harrison threatened to surface as their prime lead vocalist. A year later, he'd already been relegated to cameo appearances, as on this charmingly cheerful cover of The Cookies' New York girl-group hit, which The Beatles had only recently added to their repertoire.


If George was restricted to cameos, Ringo Starr's vocal contributions to The Beatles' recording career were purely tokens, to keep his fans from causing a fuss. He bawled his way through The Shirelles' 1960 US hit with enthusiasm if not subtlety, nailing the song in just one take. Presumably nobody in 1963 stopped to wonder why Ringo was singing a lyric that lauded the joys of boys, rather than the opposite sex. The song had been a Beatles standard fora couple ofyears, Ringo having inherited the number from former drummer Pete Best.


Lennon may have sounded slightly ill-at-ease on his own songs, but with covers, he already had the confidence of a born interpreter. The group's boyish harmonies didn't distract him from giving another Shirelles hit a commanding vocal performance that marked him out as The Beatles' most distinctive voice.


Given away simultaneously to fellow Brian Epstein protege Billy J. Kramer (for a hit single), and to George Harrison (for this LP), 'Do You Want To Know A Secret?' was a Lennon composition - inspired by a line he remembered from a Disney song that his mother used to sing. "I thought it would be a good vehicle for George because it only had three notes and he wasn't the best singer in the world," Lennon explained charitably in later years.


In Hamburg and Liverpool, The Beatles were required to work up a sheaf of ballads and standards, which would melt the hearts of even the most anti-rock audience they would be forced to entertain. McCartney was the Beatle with the heritage in pre-Elvis pop, and it fell to him to perform the group's token demonstration of'sophistication - an American song recorded most notably by Lenny Welch, but fast becoming a favourite among sedate jazzmen and big bands around the world.

In retrospect, the inclusion of this song seems laughable - the Stones would never have made such a blatant cop-out - but in McCartney's capable hands, 'A Taste Of Honey' became another slice of Beatle music. The group didn't much care for the song, though: when they performed it live, Lennon invariably changed the chorus to 'A Waste Of Money'.


Forget the theory that John Lennon only started singing about himselfwhen he started taking drugs. Listen to the words of this cheery beat tune, and you'll find his first piece of self-analysis: "There's a place where I can go, when I feel low, when I feel blue. And it's my mind, and there's no time when I'm alone." No one - not even Bob Dylan - was writing songs like that in 1963. But nobody told John Lennon that. The result: the first self-conscious rock song, beating The Beach Boys' equally self-obsessed 'In My Room' by several months.


"I couldn't sing the damn thing, I was just screaming." So said John Lennon, about the first take of the final song recorded during The Beatles' marathon 11 February session. His voice shot by the rigours of the day's schedule, and unable to fall upon the twin crutches of pills and booze which had fuelled The Beatles on their night-long gigs in Hamburg, Lennon simply shredded his vocal cords in the interests of rock'n roll.

Until McCartney matched it with 'Long Tall Sally' a year later, this was the supreme Beatles rocker - a cover, ironically enough, of a tune that the Isley Brothers had rescued from an abysmal original recording by Phil Spector's charges, The Top Notes. In that one take, Lennon cut Britain's best rock'n'roll record to date, and the band kept pace with him, right down to Ringo's exultant flourish on the drums as The Beatles reached home.

March 23

City Hall, Newcastle upon Tyne (Roe/Montez tour).

March 24

Empire Theatre, Liverpool (Roe/Montez tour).

March 25

The Beatles spent the day being photographed and filmed by Dezo Hoffmann. Among the photos which resulted from this session were the famous 'bombsite' shot which was later used on the cover of the Twist And Shout EP.

March 26

Granada Cinema, Mansfield (Roe/Montez tour).

March 27

ABC Cinema, Northampton (Roe/Montez tour).

March 28

ABC Cinema, Exeter (Roe/Montez tour).

The Beatles' recording for the BBC Light Programme's On The Scene was transmitted.

March 29

Odeon Cinema, Lewisham, London (Roe/Montez tour).

March 30

Guildhall, Portsmouth (Roe/Montez tour).

March 31

De Montfort Hall, Leicester. The last night of the Roe/Montez tour.

April 1

BBC Piccadilly Studios, London. The group recorded two shows for the BBC Light Programme's Side By Side, presented by John Dunn, in which the resident act, The Karl Denver Trio, invited a guest group each week. For the first show, The Beatles sang 'Side By Side' with The Karl Denver Trio, followed by 'I Saw Her Standing There', 'Do You Want To Know A Secret', 'Baby It's You', 'Please Please, Me', 'From Me To You' and 'Misery'. For the second show they once more sang 'Side By Side' with The Karl Denver Trio followed by 'From Me To You', 'Long Tall Sally', 'A Taste Of Honey', 'Chains', 'Thank You Girl' and 'Boys'.

April 3

Playhouse Theatre, London, to record a session for BBC Radio's Easy Beat, presented by Brian Matthew, before a teenage studio audience. The Beatles performed 'Please Please Me', 'Misery' and 'From Me To You'.

April 4

BBC Paris Studio, London, to record a third Side By Side broadcast. The Beatles performed 'Too Much Monkey Business', 'Love Me Do', 'Boys', 'I'll Be On My Way' and 'From Me To You'. The BBC already had two tapes of The Beatles playing the theme tune with The Karl Denver Trio.

Roxburgh Hall, Stowe School, Bucks. After the recording session The Beatles went to play an afternoon session at the boys' public school in Stowe, where the all-male audience sat in neat rows and did not scream. The booking had been made by one of the schoolboys, David Moores; Brian Epstein was so impressed by the professionalism of his approach that he agreed to this unusual request.

April 5

EMI House, London. During an award ceremony in which they were presented with their first silver disc for 250,000 sales of the single Tiease Please Me', the group gave a private performance for executives of EMI.

Swimming Baths, Leyton, London.

April 6

Pavilion Gardens Ballroom, Buxton, Derbyshire.

April 7

Savoy Ballroom, Portsmouth. The Beatles' appearance on Easy Beat was aired by the BBC.

April 8

John and Cynthia's son, John Charles Julian Lennon, was born at 6am, at Sefton General Hospital, Liverpool.


It was three days before John went to visit Cynthia and his new son. Cynthia:

"Years later, John said something in an interview which was to hurt me very much. He told Playboy magazine: 'Julian was born out of a bottle of whisky on a Saturday night.' John was with Yoko Ono then but I was still offended and so was Julian. It was so untrue. I could tell that John said it to impress the interviewer but it still hurt. For a start we didn't even drink whisky in those days, but the worst part was the implied denial of our love. We were very much in love and very happy - Julian truly was a love child."

Nevertheless, John was an absent father for much of Julian's childhood but behind the machismo that John displayed on the outside was a deep sense of regret that was only apparent when his second son, Sean, was born in 1975. For the first five years of Sean's life, John rarely left his side.

Julian's birth left Cynthia in the awkward position of having to look after a Beatle's son, while his father was out on the road, and she was living with John's Aunt Mimi. Worst of all, she was forced to conceal the birth from Beatles' fans, for fear that the knowledge that one of the group was married, and a father, might damage their collective popularity.

April 9

BBC Paris Studio, London, to do a live interview for the BBC Light Programme lunchtime show Pop Inn, during which their forthcoming single 'From Me To You' was played.

Associated-Rediffusion's Wembley Studios for a live appearance on the children's programme Tuesday Rendezvous. They mimed 'From Me To You' and 'Please Please Me'.

The Ballroom, Gaumont State Cinema, Kilburn, London.

April 10

Majestic Ballroom, Birkenhead.

John sneaked in to see Cynthia and Julian at Sefton General Hospital before the evening's show.

April 11

Co-operative Hall, Middleton in Lancashire.

The single Trom Me To You'/'Thank You Girl' was released in the UK as Parlophone R 5015.


Like many of their early songs, The Beatles' third single was deliberately built around heavy use of personal pronouns - the idea being that their audience could easily identify with the 'me' and 'you' in the title.

The opening harmonica solo was George Martin's suggestion, and proved to be a major part of the record's appeal. Equally commercial was the simple melody line of the chorus, which leaves Trom Me To You' as one of the less durable Beatles 45s.


Songwritingfor The Beatles in 1963 was less about self-expression than it was about a constant search for hit records. John Lennon's 'Thank You Girl' was one of the attempts that didn't quite make it, despite all the usual ingredients - his harmonica showcase, an easy-on-the-ear melody and a vocal gimmick. This time simplicity was taken a step too far, and 'Thank You Girl' wouldn't have withstood the constant airplay that every Beatles single was treated to in the Sixties.

April 12

Cavern Club, for a Good Friday, eight-hour "R&B Marathon", with The Fourmost, The Dennisons, The Nomads, The Panthers, Faron's Flamingos, The Flintstones, The Roadrunners and Group One.

April 13

Studio E, Lime Grove Studios, London, for extensive rehearsals and the recording of an appearance on BBC Television's The 625 Show. They performed 'From Me To You', 'Thank You Girl' and were joined by the rest of the cast to close the show with 'Please Please Me'.

At a party held that evening by Shadows' guitarist Bruce Welch at his house in North Harrow, The Beatles met Cliff Richard for the first time. The meeting was regarded as a significant event by the British pop press, who saw the two acts as bitter rivals. In fact, despite some occasionally acerbic public comments in later years, The Beatles and Cliff Richard seem to have indulged in a mutual appreciation society in the initial years of the group's success.

April 14

ABC Television's Teddington Studio Centre, Teddington. The Beatles mimed to Trom Me To You' for an edition of Thank Your Lucky Stars.

That evening, The Beatles saw The Rolling Stones play at the Crawdaddy Club in the Station Hotel, Richmond. The Beatles appeared at the club identically dressed in long suede leather jackets with matching hats acquired in Hamburg. It was an intentionally intimidating image, later described by Jagger as a "four-headed monster".

April 15

Riverside Dancing Club, Bridge Hotel, Tenbury Wells in Worcestershire. The Beatles' interview on Friday Spectacular was broadcast on Radio Luxembourg.

April 16

Granada TV Centre, Manchester. The Beatles mimed live to 'From Me To You' on Scene At 6.30.

BBC screened The 625 Show at the same time.

April 17

Majestic Ballroom, Luton.

April 18

Royal Albert Hall, London, with Del Shannon, The Springfields, Lance Percival, Rolf Harris, The Vernon Girls, Kenny Lynch, Shane Fenton & The Fentones and George Melly.

A two-part concert, the second half of which was broadcast live by BBC radio as Swinging Sound '63. In the first half The Beatles played 'Please Please Me' and 'Misery' and in the second 'Twist And Shout' and 'From Me To You'. The show closed with a fade-out from the entire cast performing Kurt Weill's 'Mack The Knife'.

After the concert, The Beatles taught American star Del Shannon the chords and lyrics to 'From Me To You', prompting him to record the song as a US single on his return. Shannon thereby became the first overseas act to cover a Lennon/McCartney composition.


During rehearsals The Beatles met 17-year-old Jane Asher m the Green Room. She was writing a celebrity piece about them for Radio Times magazine and was posed as a screaming fan by the BBC photographer. After the show, Jane returned with them to the Royal Court Hotel where they were staying and afterwards they all went to NME journalist Chris Hutchins' apartment on the King's Road. Jane and Paul started a relationship which would continue until 1968.

Paul: "We knew her as the rather attractive, nice, well-spoken chick that we'd seen that year on Juke Box Jury. We all thought she was blonde because we'd only ever seen her in black and white on television, and we went mad for blondes. Then she came backstage afterwards and so we all immediately tried to pull her. At the end of all that, I ended up with Jane. Maybe I'd made the strongest play, or maybe she fancied me, I don't know."

The Rolling Stones had received front-row tickets from The Beatles and back-stage passes. After the gig, Brian Jones and The Stones' then manager Giorgio Gomelsky helped Mal Evans and Neil Aspinall load the van with The Beatles' stage gear. Some fans mistook Brian for one of The Beatles and mobbed him for autographs. He was overwhelmed, and Gomelsky remembered Brian walking away afterwards in a daze, down the big steps at the rear of the building, saying: "That's what I want, Giorgio. That's what I want!"

Before the concert, Giorgio Gomelsky asked Jazz News reporter Peter Clayton to come and meet The Beatles at his Bayswater apartment in London, so they could discuss collaborating on a film project - which Gomelsky hoped to direct, with Clayton as screenwriter.

Peter Clayton: "I found The Beatles to be extremely intriguing people. I remember John picking quietly at a mandolin all the time we talked. It wasn't rudeness, but he accompanied his own conversation with these fragments of tunes. I found it impossible to know what to do with Paul McCartney at first, because until I knew him better he was a closed book."

April 19

King's Hall, Stoke-on-Trent. The second of Brian Epstein's "Mersey Beat Showcase" events.

April 20

Ballroom, Mersey View Pleasure Grounds, Frodsham, Cheshire.

April 21

Empire Pool, Wembley, for the NME's '1962-63 Annual Poll-Winners' All Star Concert', starring Cliff Richard and The Shadows.

As the poll had been conducted in 1962, The Beatles hadn't actually won anything, but they were included because of their two recent number one singles. They played 'Please Please Me', 'From Me To You', 'Twist And Shout' and 'Long Tall Sally' to an audience of 10,000 people, and were regarded by media observers as having stolen the show from the headliners.

Pigalle Club, Piccadilly, London. The Beatles travelled into London's West End after their NME concert for a performance at this more select venue.

The BBC Light Programme broadcast the first of The Beatles' Side By Side programmes.

April 23

Floral Hall, Southport.

April 24

Majestic Ballroom, Finsbury Park, London.

Another of Brian Epstein's "Mersey Beat Showcase" promotions, with Gerry & The Pacemakers, Billy J. Kramer and The Big Three, to an audience of 2,000 people.

Writer Peter Clayton held another meeting with the group before the show, discussing further ideas for a possible feature film.

Peter Clayton: "The film never came to pass because of what happened when Giorgio Gomelsky and Brian Epstein got together. I remember seeing Brian backed against a brick wall in a rear passage. There was Giorgio with one hand firmly on the wall, as if to imprison Epstein, while the other hand gesticulated wildly like a lunatic. Clearly the man was telling Epstein what brilliant ideas the two of us had, and just as clearly Brian was terrified of, and utterly baffled by, the way Gomelsky was behaving. After I watched Gomelsky spluttering all over Epstein, I knew the two would never meet again."

April 25

Ballroom, Fairfield Hall, Croydon.

Another "Mersey Beat Showcase" evening, with Gerry & The Pacemakers, Billy J. Kramer and The Big Three.

April 26

Music Hall, Shrewsbury.

April 27

The Victory Memorial Hall, Northwich in Cheshire.

April 28

George, Paul and Ringo flew to Santa Cruz, Tenerife for a 12-day holiday.

At Brian's expense, John and Brian Epstein flew to Torremolinos, Spain, for a vacation together, leaving Cynthia and her new born baby in Liverpool. That decision alarms and hurts Cynthia, while the news that Lennon and his overtly gay manager had holidayed together prompted much amusement and gossip amongst the Merseybeat community.


John: "I was on holiday with Brian Epstein in Spain, where the rumours went around that he and I were having a love affair. Well, it was almost a love affair, but not quite. It was never consummated. But it was a pretty intense relationship. It was my first experience with a homosexual that I was conscious was homosexual . . . We used to sit in a cafe in Torremolinos looking at all the boys and I'd say, 'Do you like that one? Do you like this one?' I was rather enjoying the experience, thinking like a writer all the time: I am experiencing this." While John was there, he wrote 'Bad To Me' for Billy J. Kramer, one of Brian's artists.

May 9

The two parties of holidaying Beatles returned to Liverpool after their separate vacations.

May 11

Imperial Ballroom, Nelson. A record 2,000 attendance.

May 12

Alpha TV Studios, Birmingham, for another recorded Thank Your Lucky Stars appearance. They mimed 'From Me To You' and 'I Saw Her Standing There'.

The BBC Light Programme broadcast the second of The Beatles' Side By Side programmes.

May 14

Rink Ballroom, Sunderland.

May 15

Royal Theatre, Chester.

May 16

Television Theatre, London, for their second appearance on national BBC TV. They shared the bill with a glove puppet, Lenny the Lion, The Raindrops and Patsy Ann Noble on the children's programme Pops And Lenny which went out live before an invited audience. With the puppet, The Beatles performed 'From Me To You', a short version of 'Please Please Me' and then joined Lenny the Lion and the rest of the cast for a version of 'After You've Gone'.

May 17

Grosvenor Rooms, Norwich.

May 18

Adelphi Cinema, Slough, on tour with Gerry & The Pacemakers, Tony Marsh, Erkey Grant, lan Crawford, The Terry Young Six, Daiv Macbeth, Louise Cordet and, initially heading the bill but rapidly demoted to second spot, Roy Orbison.

The Beatles' set for this tour was 'Some Other Guy', 'Do You Want To Know A Secret', 'Love Me Do', 'From Me To You', 'Please Please Me', 'I Saw Her Standing There' and 'Twist & Shout'.

Thank Your Lucky Stars was broadcast by ABC TV.

May 19

Gaumont Cinema, Hanley in Staffordshire (Roy Orbison tour).

May 20

Gaumont Cinema, Southampton (Roy Orbison tour).

May 21

Playhouse Theatre, London, to record the BBC Light Programme's Saturday Club. They were interviewed by presenter Brian Matthew and performed 'I Saw Her Standing There', 'Do You Want To Know A Secret', 'Boys', 'Long Tall Sally', 'From Me To You' and 'Money (That's What I Want)'.

They also recorded a session for a new radio programme Steppin' Out, for which they did 'Please Please Me', 'I Saw Her Standing There', 'Roll Over Beethoven', 'Thank You Girl' and 'From Me To You' before a live audience.

After the recordings were completed, writer Peter Clayton held his final discussion with The Beatles about a proposed film project, which was abandoned soon afterwards.

May 22

Gaumont Cinema, Ipswich (Roy Orbison tour).

May 23

Odeon Cinema, Nottingham (Roy Orbison tour).

May 24

Studio Two, Aeolian Hall, London, to record the first programme in their own BBC Light Programme series: Pop Go The Beatles. The programme began and closed with a rocked-up version of 'Pop Goes The Weasel' recorded by The Beatles with the aid of their guests for this programme, The Lome Gibson Trio. The Beatles performed 'From Me To You', 'Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby', 'Do You Want To Know A Secret', 'You Really Got A Hold On Me', 'Misery' and 'The Hippy Hippy Shake' as well as bantering with presenter Lee Peters.

Granada Cinema, Walthamstow, London (Roy Orbison tour). The Beatles were now officially billed as the headliners for the tour, Roy Orbison having graciously bowed to public opinion.

May 25

City Hall, Sheffield (Roy Orbison tour). The Beatles appear on the BBC Light Programme's Saturday Club.

May 26

Empire Theatre, Liverpool (Roy Orbison tour).

May 27

Capitol Cinema, Cardiff (Roy Orbison tour).

The single 'From Me To You'/'Thank You Girl' was released in the US as Vee Jay VJ 522, where it competed with Del Shannon's recently issued version of the song.

May 28

Gaumont Cinema, Worcester (Roy Orbison tour).

May 29

Rialto Theatre, York (Roy Orbison tour).

May 30

Odeon Cinema, Manchester (Roy Orbison tour).

Future Beatles and Apple press officer Derek Taylor reviewed the show for the Daily Express newspaper: "I thought it was magnificent... Indecipherable, meaningless nonsense, of course, but as beneficial and invigorating as a week on a beach at the pierhead overlooking the Mersey... I suppose there is not - yet - a first-class musician among them ... Their stage manner has little polish but limitless energy, and they have in abundance the fundamental rough good humour of their native city ... Nobody could hear themselves trying to think. The act was largely drowned, but it didn't matter at all."

May 31

Odeon Cinema, Southend-on-Sea (Roy Orbison tour).

June 1

BBC Paris Studio, London. The Beatles recorded the second and third programmes in their Pop Go The Beatles series. On the second programme they sang 'Too Much Monkey Business', 'I Got To Find My Baby', 'Youngblood', 'Baby It's You', 'Till There Was You' and 'Love Me Do'. Their guests were The Countrymen. For the third programme they performed 'A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues', 'Memphis, Tennessee', 'A Taste Of Honey' and 'Sure To Fall (In Love With You)' with Carter-Lewis & The Southerners as their guests. Granada Cinema, Tooting, London (Roy Orbison tour).

June 2

Hippodrome Theatre, Brighton (Roy Orbison tour).

June 3

Granada Cinema, Woolwich, London (Roy Orbison tour). The Beatles on BBC Radio's Steppin' Out was broadcast.

June 4

Town Hall, Birmingham (Roy Orbison tour).

The first of the Pop Go The Beatles programmes was broadcast by the BBC Light Programme.

June 5

Odeon Cinema, Leeds (Roy Orbison tour). Girls from local high schools were noticeably 'absent' during the few days preceding this event as they queued in shifts, day and night, in order to be sure of tickets.

June 7

Odeon Cinema, Glasgow (Roy Orbison tour).

June 8

City Hall, Newcastle upon Tyne (Roy Orbison tour).

June 9

King George's Hall, Blackburn. The last concert of the Roy Orbison tour.

June 10

The Pavilion, Bath, with The Colin Anthony Combo and Chet & The Triumphs.

June 11

The BBC Light Programme broadcast the second programme in the series Pop Go The Beatles.

June 12

Grafton Rooms, Liverpool. A charity event in aid of the NSPCC at which The Beatles played for free.

June 13

Palace Theatre Club, Stockport, and Southern Sporting Club, Manchester.

June 14

Tower Ballroom, Wallasey.

Another of Brian Epstein's "Mersey Beat Showcase" promotions.

June 15

City Hall, Salisbury.

June 16

Odeon Cinema, Romford, with Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas, The Vikings with Michael London, Gerry & The Pacemakers, and compere Vic Sutcliffe. The last of the "Mersey Beat Showcase" concerts.

June 17

BBC Maida Vale Studios, London, to record the fourth of the Pop Go The Beatles programmes, this time with The Bachelors as "guests". The Beatles recorded 'I Saw Her Standing There', 'Anna (Go To Him)', 'Boys', 'Chains', 'P.S. I Love You' and 'Twist And Shout'.

Dezo Hoffmann photographed the session and did a separate photo session afterwards in Delaware Road.

The group drove to Liverpool.

June 18

Paul's 21st birthday party was held in a marquee in the back garden of his Aunt Jin's house at 147 Dinas Lane, Huyton.


The Beatles' old friend Bob Wooler teased John about his trip to Spain with Brian Epstein but John was drunk and in a belligerent mood. He leapt on Bob Wooler and beat him up. John said, "He called me a queer so I battered his bloody ribs in." Next John attacked a woman who was standing nearby. When Billy J. Kramer intervened, Lennon yelled, "You're nothing, Kramer, and we're the top." Brian Epstein drove Bob Wooler to the hospital to get his eye treated and to check for broken ribs.

John: "The Beatles' first national coverage was me beating up Bob Wooler at Paul's 21st party because he intimated I was homosexual. I must have had a fear that maybe I was homosexual to attack him like that and it's very complicated reasoning. But I was very drunk and I hit him and I could have really killed somebody then. And that scared me . . . That was in the Daily Mirror, it was the back page ..."

The BBC Light Programme broadcast the third edition of Pop Go The Beatles.

June 19

Playhouse Theatre, London, to record their second appearance on BBC Radio's Easy Beat before a live, screaming audience. They performed 'Some Other Guy', 'A Taste Of Honey', 'Thank You Girl' and 'From Me To You'. Derek Taylor of the Daily Express travelled to Liverpool to interview Brian Epstein.

June 20

Acting on orders from Brian Epstein, John sent Bob Wooler a telegram reading: "Really sorry Bob. Terribly worried to realise what I had done. What more can I say?"

The Beatles Limited was formed, as a corporate device to handle the group's legal and business affairs.

June 21

Odeon Cinema, Guildford.

News of John's assault on Bob Wooler belatedly reached the back cover of the Daily Mirror newspaper - the first negative press coverage the group ever received.

June 22

Television Theatre, London: John taped a BBC TV Juke Box fury, hosted by David Jacobs, with fellow jurors Katie Boyle, Bruce Prochnik and Caroline Maudling. Unbowed by his villainous role in the previous day's press, John outspokenly voted every one of the records presented as a "miss".

Afterwards he was driven to the Battersea Heliport where he flew by specially chartered helicopter to join the others in Wales, landing at the Penypound Football Ground, in Abergavenny.

Ballroom, Town Hall, Abergavenny. A civic reception in which the group met the Mayor and Mayoress, Councillor and Mrs J.F. Thurston, was held when Paul, George and Ringo arrived in Abergavenny with Neil Aspinall in the group's van.

After the show, the group signed autographs at three pence each, proceeds going to the local committee of the Freedom From Hunger Campaign.

June 23

Alpha TV Studios, Birmingham, to tape a session for Summer Spin - the summer name for Thank Your Lucky Stars. The whole show was a celebration of the Mersey scene. The programme was presented by Pete Murray. The group mimed 'From Me To You' and 'I Saw Her Standing There'.

The Beatles' appearance on Easy Beat was transmitted.

June 24

Playhouse Theatre, London, for another recording session for BBC Radio's Saturday Club presented by Brian Matthew. The Beatles sang 'I Got To Find My Baby', 'Memphis, Tennessee', 'Money (That's What I Want)', 'Till There Was You', 'From Me To You' and 'Roll Over Beethoven'.

June 25

Astoria Ballroom, Middlesbrough. The BBC Light Programme broadcast the fourth Pop Go The Beatles programme.

June 26

Majestic Ballroom, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Before this show Paul and John began to write their next single, 'She Loves You', in their room at Turk's Hotel.

June 27

Taking advantage of a rest day in The Beatles' schedule, Paul flew to London to attend Billy J. Kramer's recording session at Abbey Road, and to watch him cut John's 'Bad To Me' and 'I Call Your Name'.

June 28

Queen's Hall, Leeds, with Acker Bilk and his Paramount Jazz Band to an audience of 3,200.

June 29

The Beatles appeared on the BBC Light Programme's Saturday Club.

The Beatles' appearance on ABC TV's Summer Spin Mersey Beat special was aired. John's appearance on BBC TV's Juke Box Jury was broadcast, clashing with ABC TV's Summer Spin.

June 30

ABC Cinema, Great Yarmouth.

The first of a ten-week series of seaside concerts. They played 'Some Other Guy', 'Thank You Girl', 'Do You Want To Know A Secret', 'Misery', 'A Taste Of Honey', 'I Saw Her Standing There', 'Love Me Do', 'From Me To You', 'Baby It's You', 'Please Please Me' and 'Twist And Shout'.

July 1

Abbey Road. The Beatles recorded their next single, 'She Loves You'/'I'll Get You', and posed for another official EMI photographic session.

July 2

Maida Vale Studios, London, to record the first of 11 new Pop Go The Beatles programmes, this time presented by Rodney Burke. The Beatles performed 'That's All Right (Mama)', 'Carol', 'Soldier Of Love (Lay Down Your Arms)', 'Lend Me Your Comb', 'Clarabella' and 'There's A Place'. Their first guest act was Duffy Power with The Graham Bond Quartet.

July 3

Playhouse Theatre to rehearse and record a session for BBC Light Programme's The Beat Show with the NDO (Northern Dance Orchestra) and The Trad Lads. The show's host was Gay Byrne and The Beatles performed 'From Me To You', 'A Taste Of Honey' and 'Twist And Shout'.

July 4

The BBC Light Programme broadcast The Beat Show.

The Beatles, accompanied by Jane Asher's brother Peter, saw The Rolling Stones play the Scene Club, Soho.


Plaza Ballroom, Old Hill, Dudley, with Denny & The Diplomats.

July 6

Northwich Carnival, Verdin Park. That afternoon The Beatles attended the carnival and Paul crowned the Carnival Queen.

The Victory Memorial Hall, Northwich.

July 7

ABC Theatre, Blackpool.

July 8

Winter Gardens, Margate.

The Beatles' set: 'Roll Over Beethoven', 'Thank You Girl', 'Chains', 'Please Please Me', 'A Taste Of Honey', 'I Saw Her Standing There', 'Baby It's You', 'From Me To You' and 'Twist And Shout'.

July 9

Winter Gardens, Margate.

July 10

Aeolian Hall, London, to record two more Pop Go The Beatles shows. For the sixth programme they did 'Sweet Little Sixteen', 'A Taste Of Honey', 'Nothin' Shakin' (But The Leaves On The Trees)', 'Love Me Do', 'Lonesome Tears', 'In My Eyes' and 'So How Come (Nobody Loves Me)' and had Carter-Lewis & The Southerners as their guests.

For the seventh programme they recorded 'Memphis, Tennessee', 'Do You Want To Know A Secret', 'Till There Was You', 'Matchbox', 'Please Mister Postman' and 'The Hippy Hippy Shake' with The Searchers as their guests. After the recording session they drove back to Margate in time for the first house.

Winter Gardens, Margate.

July 11

Winter Gardens, Margate.

July 12

Winter Gardens, Margate.

The EP Twist And Shout was released in the UK as Parlophone GEP 8882 (mono only): Side A: 'Twist And Shout', 'A Taste Of Honey'; Side B: 'Do You Want To Know A Secret', 'There's A Place'.

As a spoiler for this release, Polydor chose the same day to issue My Bonnie, a four-track EP taken from The Beatles' Hamburg sessions with Tony Sheridan. The EP was released as Polydor H 21-610 (mono only): Side A: 'My Bonnie', Why'. Side B: 'Cry For A Shadow', 'The Saints'.

John was forced to deny press rumours that he regarded Ringo Starr as "ugly". He also vowed that the rest of the group were not deliberately keeping the drummer in the background: "Ringo is still rather shy. But in six months, he will really be playing a major part in the act."

July 13

Winter Gardens, Margate.

July 14

ABC Theatre, Blackpool.

July 15

Paul was fined £17 at Birkenhead Magistrates Court for speeding. He did not attend.

July 16

BBC Paris Studio, London. Programmes eight, nine and ten of Pop Go The Beatles were recorded and stockpiled in one long session. For programme eight they recorded 'I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Cry (Over You)', 'Crying, Waiting, Hoping', 'Kansas City'/'Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey', 'To Know Her Is To Love Her', 'The Honeymoon Song' and 'Twist And Shout'. They had as their guests The Swinging Blue Jeans.

The ninth programme featured 'Long Tall Sally', 'Please Please Me', 'She Loves You', 'You Really Got A Hold On Me', 'I'll Get You' and 'I Got A Woman' and would have The Hollies as guests when it was broadcast.

Programme ten featured 'She Loves You', 'Words Of Love', 'Glad All Over', 'I Just Don't Understand', '(There's A) Devil In Her Heart' and 'Slow Down', with guests Russ Sainty & The Nu-Notes.

July 17

Playhouse Theatre, London, to record a BBC Light Programme Easy Beat. They performed four numbers before the usual live teenage audience: 'I Saw Her Standing There', 'A Shot Of Rhythm And Blues', 'There's A Place' and 'Twist And Shout'.

July 18

Abbey Road. The Beatles worked on material for their second album: 'You Really Got A Hold On Me', 'Money (That's What I Want)', '(There's A) Devil In Her Heart' and 'Till There Was You'.

July 19

Ritz Ballroom, Rhyl.

July 20

Ritz Ballroom, Rhyl. Afterwards, The Beatles drove back to Liverpool.

July 21

Queen's Theatre, Blackpool.

Four thousand fans blocked the streets of Blackpool before the concert, an early intimation of Beatlemania to come.

The Beatles met with Don Haworth from BBC TV Manchester to discuss the possibility of a serious half-hour documentary on The Beatles and the Mersey scene. They were interested and plans went ahead. The recent Easy Beat recording was transmitted by the BBC Light programme.

July 22

Odeon Cinema, Weston-super-Mare. The opening of a six-night engagement.

Dezo Hoffmann spent the day with the group on the beach at Bream Down, where he got them to pose in Victorian swimming costumes, ride donkeys and also made an amateur film of them cavorting on the beach. Dezo Hoffmann: "I had the idea of hiring bathing huts, old-fashioned swimming costumes, etc. They loved dressing up in silly costumes. John kept his on back at the hotel long after the session was over." On the way back they stopped at a Go-Kart track.

July 23

Odeon Cinema, Weston-super-Mare. Pop Go The Beatles was broadcast by the BBC Light Programme.

July 24

Odeon Cinema, Weston-super-Mare.

July 25

Odeon Cinema, Weston-super-Mare.

July 26

Odeon Cinema, Weston-super-Mare.

The album Introducing The Beatles was released in the US as Vee Jay VJLP 1062 (mono) and SR 1062 (stereo). Side A: 'I Saw Her Standing There', 'Misery', 'Anna (Go To Him)', 'Chains', 'Boys', 'Love Me Do'; Side B: 'P.S. I Love You', 'Baby It's You', 'Do You Want To Know A Secret', 'A Taste Of Honey', 'There's A Place', 'Twist And Shout'.

July 27

Odeon Cinema, Weston-super-Mare.

July 28

ABC Cinema, Great Yarmouth.

July 30

Abbey Road. The Beatles recorded 'Please Mister Postman' and 'It Won't Be Long' in a morning session.

Playhouse Theatre, London, for two BBC Light Programme recordings: an interview with Phil Tate for the "Pop Chat" spot on Non Stop Pop, and a session for Saturday Club where they played 'Long Tall Sally', 'She Loves You', 'Glad All Over', 'Twist And Shout', 'You Really Got A Hold On Me' and 'I'll Get You'.

Back at Abbey Road for an evening session, The Beatles worked on 'Till There Was You', 'Roll Over Beethoven', 'It Won't Be Long' and 'All My Loving'.

Pop Go The Beatles was broadcast by the BBC Light Programme.

July 31

Imperial Ballroom, Nelson.

August 1

Playhouse Theatre, Manchester, to record two more sessions for the BBC Light Programme's Pop Go The Beatles. For the 11th show in the series, they recorded 'Ooh! My Soul', 'Don't Ever Change', 'Twist And Shout', 'She Loves You', 'Anna (Go To Him)' and 'A Shot Of Rhythm & Blues' and their guests were Cyril Davies' Rhythm & Blues All-Stars with Long John Baldry. The 12th show featured Brian Poole & The Tremeloes as guests and The Beatles playing 'From Me To You', 'I'll Get You', 'Money (That's What I Want)', 'There's A Place', 'Honey Don't' and 'Roll Over Beethoven'.

The first issue of The Beatles Book was published by Beat Publications Ltd. publisher Sean O'Mahony, in collaboration with Brian Epstein. The A5 magazine continued to provide exclusive photographs of the group, plus detailed (and uncritical) news coverage of their activities, every month until the end of 1969.

August 2

Grafton Rooms, Liverpool.

August 3

Cavern Club.

The Beatles' last performance at the club - officially documented by the Cavern management as their 292nd, although the complete accuracy of that figure has since been questioned. Tickets for the show understandably sold out within half an hour of going on sale.

August 4

Queen's Theatre, Blackpool.

The Beatles had to enter the theatre through a trap door on the roof, reached through scaffolding in the next-door builder's yard, because the normal entrances were totally blocked by fans.

August 5

Urmston Show.

An annual bank holiday show held in a giant marquee. The Beatles topped a four-act bill, which included Brian Poole & The Tremeloes. David Hamilton was the compere.

August 6

Springfield Ballroom, St Saviour, Jersey.

The Beatles relaxed by go-karting and swimming. It was while in the Channel Islands that John Lennon met up again with Royston Ellis and Ellis introduced him to a late-night party attended by a strange woman called 'Polythene Pam'.

August 7

Springfield Ballroom, St Saviour, Jersey.

August 8

Auditorium, Candie Gardens, Guernsey. The Beatles flew to Guernsey in a 12-seater plane.

August 9

Springfield Ballroom, St Saviour, Jersey.

August 10

Springfield Ballroom, St Saviour, Jersey.

August 11

ABC Theatre, Blackpool.

Mal Evans met the group in the van when they arrived at Manchester Airport after their week in the Channel Islands. It was his first day as a full-time employee of the group. The pressure of work and the need for personal security had led Brian Epstein to ask Mal to work as a combined roadie/bodyguard for the group.

August 12

Odeon Cinema, Llandudno. The first night of a six-night season at the seaside, with two houses each night.

August 13

Odeon Cinema, Llandudno.

After the second show the group returned to Liverpool for the night. EMI confirmed that The Beatles' Twist And Shout EP had now qualified for a silver

disc, for more than 250,000 sales - the first EP release to achieve this distinction.

August 14

Odeon Cinema, Llandudno. In the morning they drove to Granada TV Centre, Manchester, to record two songs;

'Twist And Shout' and 'She Loves You' for Scene. The first was transmitted that night.

August 15

Odeon Cinema, Llandudno.

August 16

Odeon Cinema, Llandudno.

August 17

Odeon Cinema, Llandudno.

August 18

Alpha TV Studios, Birmingham, to record an appearance for ABC TV's Lucky Stars (Summer Spin) presented by Pete Murray. They mimed 'She Loves You' and 'I'll Get You', the A- and B-sides to their next single Princess Theatre, Devon.

August 19

Gaumont Cinema, Bournemouth, with Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas and Tommy Quickly. Another summer seaside residency.

The Beatles held a 20th birthday party for Billy J. Kramer in their dressing room between the two houses.

Granada transmitted The Beatles singing 'She Loves You' on Scene.

August 20

Gaumont Cinema, Bournemouth.

August 21

Gaumont Cinema, Bournemouth.

August 22

While in Bournemouth, The Beatles stayed at the Palace Court Hotel where, probably on this day, Robert Freeman shot the famous monochrome photograph for the With The Beatles album.


Robert Freeman: "I suggested a black and white photograph . . . The boys liked the idea and the session was set up for noon the following day in the hotel dining room. The large windows let in a bright sidelight and the dark maroon velvet curtains were pulled round as a backdrop . . . We decided to use the black turdeneck sweaters which they wore at the time, to keep the picture simple." Ringo was placed in the bottom right corner as he was the last to join the group and had to kneel on a stool to be comfortable in the right position for the shot. Freeman received £75 for the cover, rather than the £25 EMI originally proposed.

Paul: "He arranged us in a hotel corridor: it was very un-studio-like. The corridor was rather dark, and there was a window at the end, and by using this heavy source of natural light coming from the right, he got that very moody picture which people think he must have worked at forever and ever. But it was an hour. He sat down, took a couple of rolls, and he had it."

After lunch, The Beatles and Robert Freeman drove to the Southern ITV Centre, Southampton, where they recorded an appearance for the Day By Day programme, miming 'She Loves You', which was broadcast that evening. Gaumont Cinema, Bournemouth.

August 23

Gaumont Cinema, Bournemouth.

The single 'She Loves You'/'I'll Get You' was released in the UK as Parlophone R 5055. Demand for the new single was so great that EMI pressed over a quarter of a million copies in the four weeks before its official release.


"People said at the time that this was the worst song we'd ever thought of doing," Paul McCartney mused in 1980, and the reviews of their fourth single were a trifle sniffy, suggesting that the group were struggling for new material. Instead, 'She Loves You' proved to be the anthem of Beatlemania. It's not the strongest song they recorded in 1963, or perhaps the most important (that honour must go to 'I Want To Hold Your Hand', which broke them in America), but more than anything else, it conjures up the exuberance which so entranced the nation in the latter half of1963.

George Martin regarded the final vocal harmony as a cliche, which it may have been in classical terms, but to the pop audience it was a revelation. What sold the record, and The Beatles, though, was the sheer inane appeal of the chorus. Even now, repeat the phrase 'yeah, yeah, yeah' to almost anyone in the country, and they'll catch the reference to The Beatles.


Like 'Thank You Girl' this Lennon number came straight off the production line, though this time the melody line wasn't quite catchy enough for a single. Take note of the middle eight, however, where John demonstrated that he was every bit as strong a tunesmith as McCartney.

August 24

Gaumont Cinema, Bournemouth.

The Beatles' July 30 recording for Saturday Club with presenter Brian Matthew was transmitted by the BBC Light Programme. The Beatles performing on Lucky Stars (Summer Spin) was broadcast by ABC TV.

August 25

ABC Theatre, Blackpool.

August 26

Odeon Cinema, Southport.

Another one-week seaside residency. The Beatles set consisted of 'Roll Over Beethoven', 'Thank You Girl', 'Chains', 'A Taste Of Honey', 'She Loves You', 'Baby It's You', 'From Me To You', 'Boys', 'I Saw Her Standing There' and 'Twist And Shout'.

Paul received his third speeding conviction this year and was fined £31 and disqualified from driving for one year.

August 27

Odeon Cinema, Southport.

The Beatles were filmed playing 'Twist And Shout' and 'She Loves You' on stage, but with no audience, at The Little Theatre in Southport as part of the BBC TV Manchester documentary being made by Don Haworth. After a change of clothes to suggest a different occasion, they played 'Love Me Do'. Audience shots were then dubbed in from the previous night's concert. In the end their commercial recordings of these songs were used in the "documentary", which finished up about as close to reality as their movie A Hard Day's Night.

The BBC Light Programme broadcast edition 11 of Pop Go The Beatles.

August 28

Odeon Cinema, Southport.

The Beatles were interviewed at the BBC's Manchester studios and also filmed as if backstage making up before a concert, and waiting in the wings with their instruments, all for Haworth's The Mersey Sound documentary.

August 29

Odeon Cinema, Southport.

The Beatles acted an airport arrival for the "documentary" and also took a Mersey ferry between the Pier Head and Wallasey, signing autographs and meeting fans.

August 30

Odeon Cinema, Southport. Ringo was filmed pushing his way through extras outside his childhood home at 10

Admiral Grove in the Dingle for Don Haworth's film. The BBC Light Programme broadcast the "Pop Chat" interview on Non Stop Pop. Another Brian Epstein signing, The Fourmost, began their professional career with

the release of a Lennon/McCartney song, 'Hello Little Girl'.

August 31

Odeon Cinema, Southport. The final show in Southport.

September 1

ABC TV's Didsbury Studio Centre, Manchester. The group recorded an appearance on the variety show Big Night Out presented by comedians Mike and Bernie Winters. They mimed 'From Me To You', 'She Loves You' and 'Twist And Shout' before a studio audience of 600 (broadcast September 7).

September 3

Aeolian Hall, London, to record the last three programmes in the Pop Go The Beatles series, presented by Rodney Burke. For the 13th edition The Beatles recorded 'Too Much Monkey Business', 'Love Me Do', 'She Loves You', 'Till There Was You', 'I'll Get You' and 'The Hippy Hippy Shake'. Their guests were Johnny Kidd & The Pirates. For the 14th they played 'Chains', 'You Really Got A Hold On Me', 'Misery', 'A Taste Of Honey' (which was later edited into the preceding programme), 'Lucille' and 'From Me To You'. The Marauders were their guests. For the 15th and final session they played 'She Loves You', 'Ask Me Why', '(There's A) Devil In Her Heart', 'I Saw Her Standing There', 'Sure To Fall (In Love With You)' and 'Twist And Shout'. Their guests were Tony Rivers & The Castaways.

The BBC Light Programme broadcast edition 12 of Pop Go The Beatles.

September 4

Gaumont Cinema, Worcester.

September 5

Gaumont Cinema, Taunton.

September 6

Odeon Cinema, Luton.

The EP The Beatles' Hits was released in the UK as Parlophone GEP 8880 (mono only). Side A: 'From Me To You', 'Thank You Girl'; Side B: 'Please Please Me', 'Love Me Do'.

September 7

Playhouse Theatre, London, to rehearse and record a session for the BBC Light Programme's fifth birthday edition of Saturday Club. The Beatles performed 'I Saw Her Standing There', 'Memphis, Tennessee', 'Happy Birthday Saturday Club', which was written especially for the occasion by John, 'I'll Get You', 'She Loves You' and 'Lucille'.

After the recording, Paul did an interview with Rosemary Hart for the BBC Home Service series A World Of Sound.

Fairfield Hall, Croydon.

'She Loves You' reached number one in the charts where it stayed for seven weeks.

The Beatles' appearance on Mike and Bemie Winters' Big Night Out was broadcast by ABC TV.

September 8

ABC Theatre, Blackpool.

September 10

John and Paul attended a Variety Club of Great Britain luncheon at the Savoy Hotel where they received the award for 'Top Vocal Group of the Year'.


That afternoon. The Rolling Stones' manager, ex-Beatles publicist Andrew Oldham, was walking down Jermyn Street when a taxi pulled up beside him, waiting for traffic lights. The window rolled down and a Liverpudlian voice said, "Get in, Andy". It had been only a few months since he had stopped working as The Beatles' press agent.

In the cab were John and Paul, returning to their hotel after lunch. Knowing that The Beatles liked The Rolling Stones, Andrew told them that he was looking for songs for them to record. John and Paul immediately suggested that he might like to hear one they had just written, called 'I Wanna Be Your Man', which they thought might be suitable.

Andrew was on his way to meet the Stones at Ken Colyer's Studio 51 in Great Newport Street, Soho, and John and Paul said they would join him. At the club they borrowed a couple of guitars from Brian and Keith and launched into the number. There was only one problem: the song didn't have a middle eight.

After a quick conference John and Paul told them that if they really liked the song, they would finish it off for them. They disappeared into a side room and reappeared a few minutes later. "Forget something?" asked Bill Wyman.

"No," said Paul. "We've just finished the middle eight. How does this sound?"

It became the Rolling Stones' first Top 20 hit.

September 10

The BBC Light Programme broadcast edition 13 of Pop Go The Beatles.

September 11

Abbey Road, to continue work on the With The Beatles album. They worked on 'I Wanna Be Your Man' (Paul has no memory of it being intended as anything other than a vehicle for Ringo), 'Little Child', 'All I've Got To Do' and 'Not A Second Time'. Finally, they made a number of takes of George's 'Don't Bother Me'.

September 12

Abbey Road. In preparation for their Australian tour they recorded three message clips for Bob Rogers, an important DJ on Sydney station 2SM, and an open message to be used by any radio station. After this they continued work on 'Hold Me Tight', 'Don't Bother Me', 'Little Child' and 'I Wanna Be Your Man'.

September 13

Public Hall, Preston.

Imperial Ballroom, Nelson, Lancashire. After the Preston show Paul drove to Nelson to take his place on the panel of judges at the "Miss Imperial 1963" contest, part of an annual "Young Ones Ball" promotion by local newspaper The Nelson Leader.

September 14

Press interviews at NEMS Liverpool offices. The Victory Memorial Hall, Northwich.

September 15

Royal Albert Hall, London.

This was the annual "Great Pop Prom" promoted by Valentine, Marilyn and Roxy magazines in aid of the Printers' Pension Corporation. The Beatles appeared with 11 other acts. The compere was Alan Freeman.

The Beatles did a photo session with The Rolling Stones, who were also on the bill, on the steps to the rear of the hall. Paul: "Standing up on those steps behind the Albert Hall in our new gear, the smart trousers, the rolled collar. Up there with The Rolling Stones we were thinking, "This is it - London! The Albert Hall! We felt like Gods!"

The single 'She Loves You'/'I'll Get You' was released in the US as Swan 4152.

September 16

John and Cynthia flew to Paris on holiday, where they were joined later by Brian Epstein. George and his brother Peter visited their sister Louise in Benton, Illinois, USA - George thereby becoming the first of the Beatles to travel to America.

Paul, Jane, Ringo and Maureen went to Greece: Paul: '"We used to go to Greece because in Greece they never recognised us. Everywhere else, in Germany, in Italy, in the south of France, it was 'There's The Beatles!' and we had to run for our bloody lives. So we'd go to Greece, and then one year everyone recognised us in Greece too. So we figured, Whoa, this is the point of no return'. But then you learn either to get out now or realise that this is fame, this is what happens with fame. This is celebrity. We thought, Well, we'd better get on with it, come to terms with if."

Ringo: "I did a lot of swimming during the day while Paul had a bash at the water skiing. During the evenings we used to join in with the local Greek group called The Trio Athenia. 'Cause they didn't play pop stuff - not until we turned up at any rate. Now they'll have a go at half our Top Ten."

September 17

The BBC Light Programme broadcast the 14th edition of Pop Go The Beatles.

September 24

The BBC Light Programme broadcast the final edition of Pop Go The Beatles.

October 2

Paul and Ringo arrived back in England via Zurich and Frankfurt. John, Cynthia and Brian flew direct from Paris.

October 3

Abbey Road. Ringo overdubbed his vocal on 'I Wanna Be Your Man' and John and Paul put theirs on 'Little Child'.

George flew in from the USA in time to join the others in an interview with Michael Colley for the BBC Light Programme's The Public Ear.

Ringo drove to Southend, Essex, to see The Everly Brothers, Bo Diddley and The Rolling Stones play the Odeon Cinema.

October 4

Associated-Rediffusion's studios at Television House, London, to record their first appearance on Ready, Steady, Go! They mimed 'Twist And Shout', 'I'll Get You' and 'She Loves You' live and were interviewed by Keith Fordyce and Dusty Springfield.

October 5

Carnegie Hall, Glasgow.

The first of three Scottish gigs.

The special fifth birthday edition of Saturday Club was broadcast by the BBC Light Programme.

October 6

Carlton Theatre, Kirkaldy. A total of 3,000 fans crowded into the two performances.

October 7

Caird Hall, Dundee.

October 9

BBC Paris Studio, London, to record 'She Loves You' for the BBC Light Programme comedy show, The Ken Dodd Show.

Don Haworth's BBC television "documentary", The Mersey Sound, was broadcast to great acclaim.

October 11

Ballroom, Trentham.

October 12

The Beatles rehearsed for their appearance the following night on Sunday Night At The London Palladium.

October 13

London Palladium.

The Beatles topped the bill at ATV's Val Parnell's Sunday Night At The London Palladium, transmitted live from the theatre to an audience of 15 million viewers. They played 'From Me To You', 'I'll Get You', 'She Loves You' and 'Twist And Shout', and joined the other acts, which included Brook Benton and Des O'Connor, as well as compere Bruce Forsyth, to wave goodbye to the audience and viewers from the revolving stage which traditionally ended the show.


Outside the Palladium, fans blocked Argyll Street and spilled over into Great Marlborough Street, stopping traffic. Fans in the audience screamed so much that John yelled for them to "Shut up!" It was this manifestation of Beatles fans' adulation that led the following day's newspapers to coin the term "Beatlemania". The event was covered by the late news on ITV.

October 14

The British press discovered Beatlemania with headline coverage of The Beatles' appearance on Sunday Night At The London Palladium and the mass hysteria that the group caused in its fans. The Daily Herald, for example, reported: "Screaming girls launched themselves against the police - sending helmets flying and constables reeling."

Unaware that similar scenes had been surrounding the group's performances for many months, the press dated this event as the birth of Beatlemania, and later came to believe that they had invented the phenomenon themselves.

October 15

Floral Hall, Southport.

It was announced that The Beatles had been invited to appear on the Royal Variety Show, prompting the London press to follow the group to Southport in anticipation of another 'riot'.

October 16

Playhouse Theatre, London, to record their final session for BBC Light Programme's Easy Beat. They played 'I Saw Her Standing There', 'Love Me Do', 'Please Please Me', 'From Me To You' and 'She Loves You'.

The Beatles were interviewed about the Royal Variety Show announcement by Peter Woods for BBC Light Programme's Radio Newsreel.

October 17

Abbey Road. The Beatles recorded both sides of their next single - 'I Wanna Hold Your Hand' and 'This Boy' - using EMI's new four-track machine for the first time. (EMI was very backward technologically and it is entirely typical that they were only just installing four-track equipment when American studios, such as Atlantic Records in New York, had been using eight-track equipment since the Fifties.)

The Beatles also worked on You Really Got A Hold On Me', and made 'The Beatles' Christmas Record' for their fan club members.

Fans blocked Bond Street when Paul arrived to take a girl out to lunch who had won a "Why I Like The Beatles" magazine competition.

October 18

Granada Television Centre, Manchester, to mime 'She Loves You' for that evening's edition of Scene at 6.30.

October 19

Pavilion Gardens Ballroom, Buxton. The performance was preceded by another frenetic struggle between fans and police.

October 20

Alpha TV Studios, Birmingham, to record a headline appearance for ABC TV's Thank Your Lucky Stars. They mimed 'All My Loving', 'Money (That's What I Want)' and 'She Loves You' while 3,000 fans blocked the streets and attempted to storm the studios.

The BBC Light Programme broadcast the final appearance by The Beatles on Easy Beat.

October 23

Abbey Road. The Beatles completed work on 'I Wanna Be Your Man', Ringo's track for the new album.

That afternoon The Beatles flew BEA to Stockholm International Airport, Arlanda, arriving to a scene of screaming fans and uncharacteristic Swedish chaos. Bouquets of flowers were thrust at them from all directions as they posed for pictures in their overcoats on the tarmac. Hundreds of girls had taken the day off school to be there to welcome them, and the press later described the scene as "The Battle of Stockholm Airport". On the state radio station, Sveriges Radio, a DJ called Klas Burling (the Swedish Brian Matthew) played nothing but Beatles records.

The police managed to escort the group to the Hotel Continental where the girls took up their position outside. Many of them managed to get inside The Beatles' suite as well, and everyone partied late into the night.

October 24

The Beatles held a chaotic press conference. Surrounded by heavy security because of the crowds of fans, they attempted to do a little sightseeing, and were taken, rather unnecessarily, to an English-style pub.

Karlaplansstudion, Stockholm, to record (without rehearsal) an interview and a live set for Klas Burling's Sveriges Radio show, Pop '63, which for this edition was renamed The Beatles pupgrupp fran Liverpool pa besok i Stockholm (The Beatles pop group from Liverpool visiting Stockholm). The group played a lively seven numbers: 'I Saw Her Standing There', 'From Me To You', 'Money (That's What I Want)', 'Roll Over Beethoven', 'YOU Really Got A Hold On Me', 'She Loves You' and 'Twist And Shout'. The local group Hasse Rosen & The Norsemen also appeared on the show.

That night they visited the Nalen, the main teenage dance hall. It happened to be celebrating its 75th anniversary, so all the local celebrities were there.

Ringo: "A bit more elegant than the Cavern."

George: "But I sense the atmosphere here too. You know, you can always tell the places where they've got living people."

October 25

Nya Aulan, Karlstad, with local group The Phantoms.

This venue was a secondary school hall and the group played two performances of their standard set for the tour: 'Long Tall Sally', 'Please Please Me', 'I Saw Her Standing There', 'From Me To You', 'A Taste Of Honey', 'Chains', 'Boys', 'She Loves You' and 'Twist And Shout'. As in England, their performance was almost entirely drowned by screams.

October 26

Kungliga Tennishallen, Stockholm, where The Beatles were billed second to Joey Dee & The Starlighters for the two shows. The audience clearly thought otherwise.

ABC TV's Thank Your Lucky Stars premiered 'All My Loving' and 'Money (That's What I Want)'.

October 27

Cirkus, Gothenburg. The Beatles played an afternoon show as well as two houses in the evening.

October 28

Waidele record shop, Boras, where they spent half an hour signing records. Borashallen, Boras.

October 29

Sporthallen, Eskilstuna, with Jerry Williams, The Violents, Trio Me' Bumba, The Telstars and Mona Skarstrom.

In London, Brian Epstein signed an agreement with United Artists for the Beatles to star in a full-length feature film. Hearing the news, John responded: "After this film, they'll find out that we're not actors and that will be that".

October 30

Narren-teatern, Stockholm, to record an appearance on the Sveriges Television show Drop In before a live audience in a small theatre in the Grona Lund amusement park. They were persuaded by presenter Klas Burling to extent their set from two to four numbers and performed 'She Loves You', 'Twist And Shout', 'Long Tall Sally' and 'I Saw Her Standing There'. Also on the bill were Gals & Pals and the young singer Lill-Babs who appeared in many photographs with the group.

October 31

The Beatles flew SAS back to London where hundreds of screaming teenage girls had gathered on the roof of the Queen's Building at Heathrow Airport to welcome them back to Britain. The scenes are broadcast on national TV news, heightening the media frenzy about 'Beatlemania'. By coincidence, Ed Sullivan happened to be passing through the airport at that time and witnessed the scene. It impressed him very much and led him to book the group for his show when they were still virtually unknown in the USA.

November 1

Odeon Cinema, Cheltenham.

The first night of The Beatles' Autumn Tour, their first series of concerts as unchallenged headliners, with support from The Rhythm & Blues Quartet, The Vernons Girls, The Brook Brothers, Peter Jay & The Jaywalkers and The Kestrels. The compere was Frank Berry. The Beatles' standard set for the tour was 'I Saw Her Standing There', 'From Me To You', 'All My Loving', 'YOU Really Got A Hold On Me', 'Roll Over Beethoven', 'Boys', 'Till There Was You', 'She Loves You', 'Money (That's What I Want)' and 'Twist And Shout'.

The EP The Beatles (No. 1) was released in the UK as Parlophone GEP 8883 (mono only). Side A: 'I Saw Her Standing There', 'Misery'; Side B: 'Anna (Go To Him)', 'Chains'.

The single 'I Wanna Be Your Man' by The Rolling Stones, written by Lennon & McCartney, was released in the UK as Decca F 11764.

November 2

City Hall, Sheffield (Autumn Tour).

The Daily Telegraph responds to the recent outbreak of 'Beatlemania', with a leader column decrying the rampant hysteria of their fans, and drawing parallels between Beatles concerts and Hitler's Nuremberg rallies.

November 3

Odeon Cinema, Leeds (Autumn Tour).

The Beatles appeared on The Ken Dodd Show, broadcast by The BBC Light Programme.

The Beatles' interview on The Public Ear was aired by the BBC Light Programme.

November 4

Prince Of Wales Theatre, London, for the Royal Command Performance, in the presence of Their Majesties the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret, accompanied by Lord Snowdon.

Bernard Delfont risked offending the crustier members of the establishment and press by inviting The Beatles to appear at the Royal Variety Performance along with more traditional acts. The Beatles were seventh to perform but were clearly the headline act. On the bill were Marlene Dietrich, Max Bygraves, Harry Secombe, Buddy Greco, Wilfred Bramble & Harry H. Corbett, Charlie Drake, Michael Flanders & Donald Swann, Joe Loss & His Orchestra, Susan Maughan, Nadia Nerina, Luis Alberto Del Parana & Los Paraguayos, Tommy Steele, Eric Sykes & Hattie Jacques, The Clark Brothers, Francis Brunn, the Billy Petch Dancers, Pinky & Perky and The Prince of Wales Theatre Orchestra.


The Beatles wore fancy new black outfits for the occasion: high V-necks, black ties and blindingly white shirts. The curtains opened and they went straight into 'From Me To You' with not one scream from the audience. This was followed by 'She Loves You", and then Paul announced that they would sing something from The Music Man: "This one's been covered by our favourite American group - Sophie Tucker," he cracked and they played 'Till There Was You'. John introduced 'Twist And Shout' with his famous remark: "In the cheaper seats, you clap your hands. The rest of you, just rattle your jewellery," a comment which had worried Brian Epstein a great deal in rehearsal, when John had said, "rattle your fucking jewellery". No encores were allowed but the applause went on so long it delayed Dickie Henderson's announcement of the next act.

Afterwards they met the Queen Mother, who asked them where they would be playing next. When told their next concert was in Slough, she remarked, "Oh, that's near us" (meaning Windsor Castle, just two miles from Slough). Later the Queen Mother announced that she found them "most intriguing".

November 5

An Associated-Rediffusion television crew filmed The Beatles in the back of a car driving around London for a documentary called 'The Beatles and Beatlemania', to be included in their current affairs programme This Week.

Adelphi Cinema, Slough (Autumn Tour). Watched by 30 policemen waiting to cope with the expected crowds, Ringo led an on-stage jam session with George and several Jaywalkers before the concert.

EMI claimed that 500,000 advance orders had been received for The Beatles' forthcoming single, 'I Want To Hold Your Hand', in a single day.

November 6

ABC Cinema, Northampton (Autumn Tour).

November 7

The Beatles flew to Dublin, for their only appearance in Ireland. They were interviewed at the airport by Frank Hall for Radio Telefis Eireann's television programme In Town, shown that evening. They were accompanied by playwright Alun Owen, who remained with them for three days, making notes for their projected first film. At that time, it still had not been decided whether the film should be fact or fiction, nor did it have a name. The resulting film was fiction but based so completely on their lives that it had a strong documentary feel. Alun Owen: "It's most important to get to know The Beatles, to find out exactly what makes them tick. And also to ascertain which things cause those fantastic crowd receptions."

Adelphi Cinema, Dublin (Autumn Tour). Peter Jay wrote in Record Mirror: "Dublin was fantastic. The fans there really do go mad. Girls who fainted in the crowds outside the theatre were carried into their seats by attendants. Outside there was the biggest riot yet. It's a fact that cars were overturned and the police had to make several arrests. Inside it was incredible for noise and appreciation."

November 8

The Beatles filmed an interview with Jimmy Robinson of Ulster TV near the Irish border which was included in that evening's edition of Ulster News.

Broadcasting House, Belfast to record an interview with Sally Ogle for that evening's Six Ten programme.

November 9

Granada Cinema, East Ham, London (Autumn Tour).

The crowds outside the venue were so great that when The Beatles sent out for food, it had to be given a police escort to reach them. They watched through the windows as it was marched across the road through the crowd.

November 10

Hippodrome Theatre, Birmingham (Autumn Tour). So thick was the crowd of fans outside the Hippodrome that The Beatles had to don police uniforms to make their way into the theatre.

The Royal Variety Show was transmitted by ATV and on the radio by the BBC Light Programme.

November 11 The Beatles pupgrupp fran Liverpool pa besok i Stockholm was broadcast on Sveriges Radio.

During a meeting in New York, Brian Epstein persuaded American TV mogul Ed Sullivan to book The Beatles for two performances on his national variety show in February, despite the fact that they have yet to score a hit record in the US.

November 12

Paul had gastric flu, which caused their Portsmouth Guildhall concert to be postponed until December 3.

They were interviewed at the Guildhall by Jeremy James for Southern TV's Day By Day programme that evening.

BBC TV's South Today programme broadcast an interview with the band by John Johnston recorded at their hotel, The Royal Beach in Southsea.

November 13

Westward TV Studios, Plymouth. The Beatles were interviewed by Stuart Hutchison for Move Over, Dad (a local teenagers' programme). So many fans blocked the streets outside that an ingenious route, using interconnecting tunnels, had to be devised to get them to the studio.

ABC Cinema, Plymouth (Autumn Tour).

November 14

ABC Cinema, Exeter (Autumn Tour).

November 15

Colston Hall, Bristol (Autumn Tour).

The Fourmost followed up their debut hit with 'Hello Little Girl' by releasing another new Lennon/McCartney song, 'I'm In Love'.

November 16

Winter Gardens, Bournemouth (Autumn Tour).

The three rival American television networks - NBC, CBS and ABC - were permitted to film the hysterical audience and part of the show. Paul and John were interviewed by John Darsa for the CBS coverage. Life magazine photographer Terence Spencer with his assistant also arrived at their hotel, the Branksome Towers, outside Bournemouth and was quickly accepted into the inner circle. Brian Epstein was particularly keen on the publicity that a large spread in Life would produce. However, The Beatles did not turn up for the shoot that would have given them the January 31, 1964 cover, which went to Geraldine Chaplin instead. Terence Spencer: "The Beatles must be the only people in showbiz ever to have turned down a Life cover."

The Beatles interview on Move Over, Dad was transmitted by Southern TV.

November 17

Coventry Theatre, Coventry (Autumn Tour).

November 18

EMI House, London, to receive silver discs for Please Please Me and the not yet released With The Beatles from EMI Chairman Sir Joseph Lockwood. They also received silver EPs for Twist And Shout from George Martin and a silver EP and single for Twist And Shout and 'She Loves You' from Gerald Marks, the editor of Disc. After the presentation there was a cocktail party followed by a formal lunch in the boardroom with company executives and their guests.

That afternoon, Brian Epstein agreed to meet a South African promoter, who was keen to book a Beatles tour in his country, but Epstein rejected the offer when he discovered that the group would be expected to play to racially segregated audiences.

November 19

Gaumont Cinema, Wolverhampton (Autumn Tour).

November 20

ABC Cinema, Manchester (Autumn Tour).

Backstage at the ABC were news crews from Pathe News, Granada TV and BBC Radio. Pathe filmed part of the concert to be screened in British cinemas as The Beatles Come To Town during Pathe News. The Granada TV crew filmed the group at the same time and interviewed them about their forthcoming tour of the US.

Michael Barton did a two-minute interview broadcast that same evening on the BBC North Home Service programme Voice Of The North, Barton also interviewed George about the Liverpool and Hamburg rock scenes for a North Home Service programme called Wacker, Mach Schau.

Another visitor backstage was Daily Express reporter Derek Taylor, who had a brief conversation with George.

November 21

ABC Cinema, Carlisle (Autumn Tour). Paul's interview on The World of Sound was broadcast by the BBC Home Service.

November 22

Globe Cinema, Stockton-on-Tees (Autumn Tour).

The album With The Beatles was released in the UK as Parlophone PMC 1206 (mono) and PCS 3045 (stereo). Side A: 'It Won't Be Long', 'All I've Got To Do', 'All My Loving', 'Don't Bother Me', 'Little Child', 'Till There Was You', 'Please Mister Postman';

Side B: 'Roll Over Beethoven', 'You Really Got A Hold On Me', 'I Wanna Be Your Man', '(There's A) Devil In Her Heart', 'Not A Second Time', 'Money (That's What I Want)'.


By the time their second album was released. The Beatles were the hottest product in British show-business. Second time around, there was no need to sell the album on the reputation of a recent hit single: with Christmas on the horizon, EMI knew the fans would buy anything The Beatles released. What they didn't realise, though, was that With The Beatles would prove to be such a giant step beyond their hastily assembled debut.

The cover artwork immediately revealed that more thought had gone into this album than its predecessor. Whereas Please Please Me used the standard smiling pop pose as its cover design, With The Beatles boasted a much artier Robert Freeman photo, with the group's heads arranged in careful line, shot in half-light. It emerged later that this trick was simply borrowed from much earlier pictures of the group, taken by the German photographer Astrid Kirchherr. But as far as the public was concerned, the artwork was stardingly new.

Musically, too. With The Beatles announced that the revolution had arrived. The Beatles kept faithfully to the same mix of originals and outside songs that had filled their first long-player, but they were already beginning to play the studio as an instrument. On Please Please Me, they'd briefly discovered the potential joys of overdubbing. Now, with more time on their hands, they went to town.

"The first set of tricks was double-tracking on the second album," John Lennon admitted many years later. '"We were told we could do it, and that really set the ball rolling. We double-tracked ourselves off the second album." And they did it without sacrificing an ounce of the freshness and exuberance that had become The Beaties' hallmark - audible most clearly on the mono mix of the record, which was again favoured by George Martin for the CD release.


Throughout their career, The Beatles never lost sight of the importance of having hit singles. Certainly in 1963, their continued production of hits was their passport to the future, and they blatantly concocted potential chartbusters as and when required. Lennon and McCartney competed for the honour of winning an A-side, with only pride and prestige at stake - the songwriting royalties for all their songs were split equally between them, after all.

Like 'She Loves You', the single they recorded a month earlier, Lennon's 'It Won't Be Long' was built around a 'yeah, yeah' chorus. Two singles with the same gimmick would have become a straitjacket, so 'It Won't Be Long' was 'relegated' to the position of lead track on the album, where it was every bit as effective a hook as 'I Saw Her Standing There' had been on 'Please Please Me'.


Compare this song to 'Ask Me Why', written around a year earlier, and the rapid maturity in Lennon's songwriting is immediately apparent. John singled out Arthur Alexander (the man who'd written 'Anna', plus several other Beatles stage favourites) as his prime inspiration for this soulful ballad. He stretched the word 'I' over seven syllables in the opening line, using all the melismatic flair of Sam Cooke orJackie Wilson, and proved how well he understood the power of melody by shifting into a higher register for the final chorus as a cry of passion. It was a remarkably assured performance, which would have been beyond anyone else in the group at this early stage of their career.


While Lennon was converting emotion into music, McCartney was writing unforgettable melodies. Classical students claim there's a tune of Tchaikovsky's buried in 'All My Loving', but it's an irrelevant point, as the finished song is pure Beatles - the most commercial song they recorded in 1963 that wasn't issued as a single. Often maligned as musicians, The Beatles prove their worth on this song: Harrison's lead break is beautifully tidy and restrained, while Lennon's lightning rhythm guitar playing is the powerhouse of the arrangement.


"That was the first song that I wrote, as an exercise to see if I could write a song," George Harrison confessed in his autobiography, I Me Mine. "I don't think it's particularly good. Faced by two prolific bandmates, Harrison was envious of their ability and their royalty cheques. Liverpool friend Bill Harry nagged George on the subject while he was ill in bed during a Beatles tour, and Harrison responded by turning his reaction into a slightly clumsy but reasonably accomplished song. Interestingly, it didn't sound anything like his own musical heroes, Carl Perkins or Goffin and King, but came out as a facsimile of what Lennon and McCartney were writing - just as beat groups across the country were doing in their bedrooms.


Even The Beatles occasionally sounded like tired hacks, though this early in their career, they could always summon the enthusiasm to hide their lack of inspiration. Five years later, this contrived but chirpy pop tune would have been classed as bubblegum. But on With The Beatles, Lennon and McCartney's dynamic vocals and Lennon's chest-expanding harmonica solo turned a piece of hackwork into 106 seconds of pure energy.


Standards time again, as Paul filled the 'A Taste Of Honey' slot with the hit song from the Broadway musical, The Music Man. He sang the song as if he meant every word, and George Harrison contributed an accomplished acoustic guitar solo - so accomplished, in fact, that some cynics have questioned whether he actually played it. But the solo on the rendition they recorded onstage in Hamburg was equally dextrous, so unless they'd smuggled a session man into the Star-Club, George was the man.


During 1963, the American stable of Motown labels, owned by Berry Gordy, began to enjoy regular distribution for their youthful soul records in Britain. The Beatles were instant fans, to the extent that three of the tracks on With The Beatles' were covers of recent Motown hits.

On their first album, 'Chains' and 'Anna' had been enthusiastic renditions of outside songs, without threatening to become definitive. On 'Twist And Shout', however, and again with The Marvelettes' 'Please Mister Postman', Lennon's performance was so magical that it made the original sound like an imitation. The Beatles tightened up The Marvelettes' vocal arrangement, while Lennon's lead dripped with authority and self-confidence. It was athrilling conclusion to the first side of the album, which had already seen the group tackling everything from soul to rock to balladry with ease.


Even before there was a Beatles, Lennon, McCartney and Harrison had been performing this Chuck Berry rock'n'roll standard from 1956. During 1961, the song passed from John's hands to George, who also had to double as lead guitarist - fine in the studio, when he could overdub the solo, but prone to being more erratic on stage. Despite their heritage as a rock'n'roll band, The Beatles sounded strangely uncomfortable the first time they cut an authentic American rock song in the studio, hurrying the pace to the point that George had problems fitting all the words into each line.


During the sessions for their first album, The Beatles had taped and then abandoned a version of this self-composed beat number - and the tape was subsequently destroyed. If the take that was considered good enough for release is anything to go by, the original must have been disastrous, as this remake has a McCartney vocal that strays way off key, to the point that neighbouring dogs are likely to howl with distress. Only a handful of Beatles recordings can be said to be below par, but this is one of them.


Not so 'You Really Got A Hold On Me', Lennon's second brilliant hijacking of a Motown song. Sublime though The Miracles' original is, it's easily outclassed by The Beatles' effortless interpretation. John's vocal could be used as a dictionary definition of reluctant infatuation, while the decision to dramatise the phrase 'tied up' with a repeated break in the rhythm was a stroke ofgenius. The response vocals challenged George's limited range to the hilt, but sheer enthusiasm won the day, as The Beatles stole another American song for their own.


By the time The Beatles finished work on this song, they knew that The Rolling Stones were issuing it as their second single. The Stones played the song as an R&B tune; The Beatles gave it to Ringo, whereupon it became his usual concert showcase for the next three years. Amusingly, on the road Ringo usually managed to forget that the song had all of two verses, and ended up repeating the first one over and over again.


Aficionados of the American girl-group sound, The Beatles borrowed this tune from The Donays - probably the most obscure song they ever covered in the studio. It was George Harrison's choice, and he responded with an energetic if not always convincing lead vocal, backed by the superb chorus harmonies of Lennon and McCartney.


'Not A Second Time' reinforced John Lennon's status as the most adventurous of The Beatles when it came to composing. The rhythm of this piano-based song seemed to be on the verge of imminent collapse, but whereas this was a flaw on 'Ask Me Why', it suited the emotional disruption of the lyric this time around. Usually, John sounded completely in control of every romantic situation, even when the lyrics asserted otherwise, but everything about 'Not A Second Time' announced that Lennon was simply a pawn in her game -predating the more blatant emotional masochism of 'Norwegian Wood' by two years.


The third and last of the Motown classics moulded into pure John Lennon songs, Barrett Strong's hit 'Money' took on a new life in this interpretation. The tentative delivery of the original was knocked off the pavement by Lennon's steamroller vocal, every bit as tonsil-shredding as 'Twist And Shout'had been. As on 'I Wanna Be Your Man', George Martin came into his own on keyboards: on the earlier track, he'd played Hammond organ, while this time he supplied the piano which was the root of the song.

But the piano wasn't the only difference between this performance, and the far less convincing version of the same tune at The Beatles' January 1962 audition. At Decca, Lennon had simply been singing Barrett Strong's song. At EMI nearly two years later, he was living it, howling the lyrics as a piece of psychotherapy. And as many critics have noticed, he widened the context of the song by adding a single, throwaway phrase to the final choruses: "I wanna be free", he cried, a prisoner to the passion that the rest of the song denied.

Trivial note: mono and stereo mixes of this song once again have slightly different Lennon vocals. And once again, the definitive version is included on the mono-only CD.

November 23

City Hall, Newcastle upon Tyne (Autumn Tour).

November 24

ABC Cinema, Hull (Autumn Tour).

November 25

Granada TV Centre, Manchester. The Beatles mimed 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' and 'This Boy' and were later interviewed with Ken Dodd by Gay Byme for Granada's Scene and Late Scene Extra programmes.

November 26

Regal Cinema, Cambridge (Autumn Tour).

Jean Goodman interviewed The Beatles in their dressing room for the local BBC TV show East At Six Ten. "How long do you think The Beatles will last?", Lennon was asked. "About five years", he replied. "Will the group stay together?" "Don't know."

Between their two performances, producer Peter Yolland recorded the group delivering the dialogue intended to be broadcast over the PA during The Beatles' Christmas Show, rather than forcing the group to shout their lines over the screams of their fans every night.

The group spent the night at the University Arms Hotel, three miles outside Cambridge, where they were interviewed by US journalist Michael Braun, who was researching a book on their rise to fame.

November 27

Rialto Theatre, York (Autumn Tour). All the lights in the theatre fused and the curtains would not work and had to be

parted manually. Before the first show, The Beatles were interviewed by two female


The BBC North Home Service programme Wacker, Mach Schau was broadcast. Granada's Late Scene Extra with The Beatles miming to 'I Want To Hold Your Hand'

was broadcast.

November 28

ABC Cinema, Lincoln (Autumn Tour).

Ringo had earache and had to cut short rehearsals to go to hospital and have his ear syringed but was back in time for the show.

After the show, the group were driven to a hotel near Doncaster. Their chauffeur's driving proved to be so erratic that The Beatles rang Brian Epstein when they arrived at the hotel, insisting that he was replaced.

November 29

ABC Cinema, Huddersfield (Autumn Tour).

Between sets The Beatles gave individual interviews to Gorden Kaye for Music Box, a record request show for local hospitals.

The single 'I Want To Hold Your Hand'/'This Boy' was released in the UK as Parlophone R 5084. Advance sales passed the million mark before it was released, the first time this had ever happened in Britain.


"We wrote that together," John admitted after The Beatles split up, in a rare nod of the head to his ex-partner. "It's a beautiful melody - the kind of song I like to sing. "And it broke The Beatles as a worldwide phenomenon, becoming their first No. 1 in America, and indeed topping the charts in almost every part of the globe. Cunningly structured, with a drop in tension in the middle section leading to the climactic "I can't hide" (memorably misheard by Bob Dylan as "I get high"), the song was the culmination of a solid year of experimentation and learning by The Beatles' creative axis.


The first great three-part harmony vehicle in The Beatles catalogue was written by John Lennon around the standard doo-wop chord changes that had fuelled hundreds of hit records in the Fifties. What made the song was not just the tightness of the harmonies, but the sheer liberation of the middle section - Lennon stretching out the final syllable over several bars. The Beatles accentuated the drama of the moment less on record than they did subsequently on stage, where it rivalled the two-heads-shaking-at-one-microphone routine for audience response. 'This Boy' made an ideal underbelly for the 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' single.

November 30

Empire Theatre, Sunderland (Autumn Tour).

The Beatles made their escape from the theatre by running from the stage into the fire station next door, and then down the firemen's poles into a waiting fire engine. At their hotel, they carried out a telephone interview with a disc jockey in Melbourne, Australia.

December 1

De Montfort Hall, Leicester (Autumn Tour).

The supporting cast on the tour acted as decoys after the show, as fans chased their coach away from the theatre, leaving The Beatles free to return to their hotel by police


December 2

Elstree Studio Centre, Borehamwood, to record an appearance on Associated-Rediffusion's Morecambe And Wise Show. The group sang 'This Boy', 'All My Loving' and 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' live before a small studio audience and did comedy sketches with Eric and Ernie. The Beatles, Eric and Ernie, all dressed in striped blazers, closed the show with 'Moonlight Bay'. "The show won't be aired for a couple of months," the TV producer was heard to mutter to a colleague. "Let's hope they're still popular then."

The Ballroom, Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, in aid of a charity for the handicapped. The group was part of a cabaret-style floor show and the audience wore evening dress - which didn't prevent them rushing the stage as The Beatles' performance ended.

December 3

Guildhall, Portsmouth (Autumn Tour). The concert that had been postponed in November because of Paul's gastric 'flu.

December 7

Empire Theatre, Liverpool. George and Ringo travelled to Liverpool by train, while John and Paul flew from Heathrow Airport.

The Beatles comprised the entire panel for a special edition of BBC TV's Juke Box Jury before an audience of 2,500 members of The Beatles' Northern Area Fan Club. As usual, the compere was David Jacobs:

The Chants: 'I Could Write A Book' [Liverpool group]

John: "It's gear. Fabulous. Fab. It's it."

Paul: "I talked to The Chants recently about the disc. They said it's powerful. It is."

Ringo: "I'll buy it."

George: "It's great. Enough plugs and they've got a hit."

David Jacobs: "Are they being too generous?"

Unanimous hit.

Elvis Presley: 'Kiss Me Quick'

Paul: "What I don't like about Elvis are his songs. I like his voice. This song reminds me of Blackpool on a sunny day."

Ringo: "Last two years Elvis has been going down the nick."

George: "If he's going back to old tracks, why not release 'My Baby Left Me'? It'd be a number one. Elvis is great, his songs are rubbish."

John: "It'll be a hit. I like those hats with 'Kiss Me Quick' on."

Unanimous hit.

Swinging Blue Jeans: 'Hippy Hippy Shake'

Ringo: "Good, but not as good as the original by Chan Romero."

George: "It's a popular song around Liverpool. We used to do it. Could be a hit."

John: "The boys nearly made it before. I like Bill Harry's version as well!"

Paul: "Doesn't matter about Chan Romero's disc. Nobody remembers. It's as good as a new song."

Unanimous hit.

Paul Anka: 'Did You Have A Happy Birthday?'

George: "Yes I did, thank you."

Paul: "I don't like people with a crack in their voice."

John: "It's in his head."

Unanimous miss.

Shirley Ellis: 'The Nitty Gritty Song'

John: "I like it."

Paul: "I like this kind of record, but it doesn't say anything."

Ringo: "We all like this sort of thing but it won't be a hit."

George: "Won't be a hit in England. We haven't got around to that sort of thing yet."

David Jacobs: "You mean British teenagers are behind the Americans?"

George: "We've liked this type of thing for years but it hasn't really caught on."

Unanimous miss.

Steve and Eydie: 'I Can't Stop Talking About You'

Paul: "People will whistle this one."

Ringo: "SHE carries him, actually!"

George: "It could easily make the twenty. So relaxed."

John: "They're relaxed because they're getting on a bit. I don't like it."

Three to one hit.

Billy Fury: 'Do You Really Love Me?'

Ringo: "Not for me. I've never bought one of his records."

George: "Okay. But I wouldn't buy it. Guitar phrasing is like that on Cliff's latest."

John: "Tune's not bad, but I don't like gallop tunes."

Paul: "I quite liked it."

Unanimous miss.

Bobby Vinton: 'There, I've Said It Again'

George: "Quite nice, but I don't think the public will buy it."

John: "Get an old song and everybody does it again at the same time."

Paul: "Secretly, teenagers don't want old songs brought back."

Ringo: "Nice and smooth, 'specially if you're sitting in one night - and not alone."

Unanimous miss.

The Orchids: 'Love Hit Me'

John: "Just a big con - a pinch from The Crystals and Ronettes."

Paul: "It's good for a British record."

Ringo: "It'll sell a few, but not many."

George: "I'd rather have British groups pinch from The Crystals than the other stuff."

A three to one miss. Then it was revealed that The Orchids were there in the audience.

John: "A lousy trick."

The Merseybeats: 'I Think Of You'

[No time for discussion, only a vote. Unanimous hit.]

Next, the Fan Club audience saw a special concert, shown later the same day as It's The Beatles! For this they played 'From Me To You', 'I Saw Her Standing There', 'All My Loving', 'Roll Over Beethoven', 'Boys', 'Till There Was You', 'She Loves You', 'This Boy, 'I Want To Hold Your Hand', 'Money (That's What I Want)', 'Twist And Shout' and 'From Me To You'.

The BBC Light Programme then recorded a two-minute interview to use on their Christmas Day special Top Pops of 1963.

Finally, protected by a police cordon, they made a dash to the nearby Odeon Cinema.

Odeon Cinema, Liverpool (Autumn Tour).

December 8

Odeon Cinema, Lewisham, London (Autumn Tour).

December 9

Odeon Cinema, Southend-on-Sea (Autumn Tour). A BBC TV news crew interviewed the group in their dressing room.

December 10

Gaumont Cinema, Doncaster (Autumn Tour).

Backstage, The Beatles gave an interview to the Australian radio journalist Dibbs Mather for the BBC Transcription Service, during which John recited his poem, 'Neville Club', and announced his intention to publish a collection of his humorous writing.

December 11

Futurist Theatre, Scarborough (Autumn Tour).

December 12

Odeon Cinema, Nottingham (Autumn Tour).

December 13

Gaumont Cinema, Southampton, the last concert on the Autumn Tour.

December 14

Wimbledon Palais.

The Beatles' Southern Area Fan Club concert. An afternoon performance, after which The Beatles sat behind the Palais bar and shook hands with all 3,000 of their SFC members. Most of them stood in an orderly line to shake hands with the group but a few girls fainted. They very soon had to stop giving autographs as the line grew too long. Some girls managed to tousle their hair or kiss their hands.

Their live performance was completely drowned out by screams. Worried that the fans might cause damage to their stage, the Palais management enclosed it in a steel cage, prompting John to quip, "If they press any harder they'll come through as chips."

December 15

Alpha TV Studios, Birmingham, to record ABC TV's Thank Your Lucky Stars. The group arrived at the studios during a snowstorm, but several hundred fans still gathered to greet them. An all Merseyside show. The Beatles mimed 'I Want To Hold Your Hand', 'All My Loving', 'Twist And Shout' and 'She Loves You' and were presented with two gold discs.

The Beatles' Christmas flexi-disc was sent out to the 28,000 members of their fan club.

December 17

Playhouse Theatre, London, to record a Christmas edition of Saturday Club for the BBC Light Programme. They played 'All My Loving', 'This Boy', 'I Want To Hold Your Hand', 'Till There Was You', 'Roll Over Beethoven' and 'She Loves You'. Then they parodied Dora Bryan's recent hit 'All I Want For Christmas Is A Beatle' with 'All I Want For Christmas Is A Bottle'. This was followed by a half-minute medley entitled 'The Chrimble Mudley' which combined 'Love Me Do', 'Please Please Me', 'From Me To You', 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' and 'Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer'.

December 18

BBC Paris Studio, London, to record From Us To You, a two-hour Beatles Boxing Day bank holiday special for the Light Programme. 'From Me To You' was recorded as 'From Us To You' as the signature tune to begin and end the programme, and the show was hosted by Rolf Harris. Guests were Susan Maughan, Jeanie Lambe, Kenny Lynch, Joe Brown & The Bruwers, The Kenny Salmon Seven and Alan Elsdon's Jazzband with Mick Emery. The Beatles and Rolf Harris joined together for a version of 'Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport' and the group performed 'She Loves You', 'All My Loving', 'Roll Over Beethoven', 'Till There Was You', 'Boys', 'Money (That's What I Want)', 'I Saw Her Standing There' and 'I Want To Hold Your Hand'.

Proof of The Beatles' increasing cultural acceptance into the mainstream came when Mods And Rockers, a ballet based around their music, opened at the Prince Charles Theatre in London's West End.

December 21

Gaumont Cinema, Bradford.

The first of two special previews of The Beatles' Christmas Show, performed as a concert without costume or comedy sketches.

Chris Charlesworth, who in 1970 would become a music writer on Melody Maker, attended this show with his father: "There were very few boys in the audience. It was almost all girls and they just screamed like crazy. Rolf Harris was the compere and he had to come on for ten minutes just before The Beatles closed the show because, unlike the other acts, they used their own equipment and it had to be set up behind the curtains. Harris was completely drowned out by the screams but he asked for it by drawing sketches of the four Beatles on his easel pad. The Beatles were only on for about 25 minutes and they were also drowned out. I couldn't hear a note they sang or played, even though I was quite near the front, on Paul's side, but it was the most exciting thing I'd ever seen in my life - an unbelievable experience. The next day all I could think about was getting a guitar."

The Christmas Special edition of Saturday Club was broadcast by the BBC Light Programme.

December 22

Empire Theatre, Liverpool. Second of The Beatles' Christmas Show previews.

December 23

It's The Beatles, a 15-part weekly series of 15-minute spots presented by Peter Carver, began transmission on Radio Luxembourg.

December 24

Astoria Cinema, Finsbury Park, London, with The Barron Knights & Duke D'Mond, Tommy Quickly, The Fourmost, Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas, Cilia Black and Rolf Harris.

The show ran for 16 nights, with two houses per night, finishing on January 11,1964, and was seen by almost 100,000 people.


Peter Yolland designed the show for children. It opened with a speeded up film made from stock clips while the soundtrack announced: "By land, by sea, by air, come the stars of The Beatles Christmas Show ..." The curtains parted to reveal a large cardboard helicopter landing on the stage. Compere Rolf Harris played the role of airline ticket collector and introduced each member of the cast individually as they stepped off. Naturally, the final passengers to leap out were The Beatles, carrying BEA tote bags and wearing glasses.

In one sketch, a follow spot picked up four men in white coats on a blacked out stage. Three of them hurried away as the commentator, imitating a current toothpaste advertisement, said, "Three out of four doctors . . ." The remaining "doctor" was John Lennon who completed the phrase, ". . . leaves one doctor!" This was the level of scriptwriting and The Beatles were very disappointed with it.

Tommy Quickly threw cotton wool stage snowballs at the audience and The Fourmost played a version of 'White Christmas', at one point doing a Beaties imitation by switching one of their guitars to the left hand.

One awful sketch was called What A Nighf, written by Peter and Ireland Cutter who wrote most of Laurel and Hardy's material. John played Sir John Jasper, a moustache twirling, top hatted, whip carrying villain who threw Ermyntrude, the pathetic heroine, played by George in drag, into the path of an express train, named the "Beeching Express" after the current transport minister, infamous for cutting most of the branch line services in Britain. Ringo danced across the stage and sprinkled everyone with paper snow before George was saved by the timely arrival of Fearless Paul the Signalman.

Fortunately, the producer had allowed room after this pantomime parade of sketches for a full concert performance by the group. The Beatles were finally announced by a roll of drums from Ringo. They played 'Roll Over Beethoven', 'All My Loving', 'This Boy', 'I Wanna Be Your Man', 'She Loves You', 'Till There Was You', 'I Want To Hold Your Hand', 'Money (That's What I Want)' and ended, as usual, with 'Twist And Shout' sung by John. This show was repeated 30 times.

December 25

The Beatles flew home to Liverpool for Christmas.

December 26

The Beatles flew from Liverpool to London. Astoria Cinema, Finsbury Park, London. The Beatles Christmas Show. From Us To You, a two hour Beatles Boxing Day bank holiday special was broadcast

by the BBC Light Programme. The single 'I Want To Hold Your Hand'/'I Saw Her Standing There' was released in

the US as Capitol 5112.

December 27

Astoria Cinema, Finsbury Park, London. The Beatles' Christmas Show.

In his review of the year's musical highlights, the classical music correspondent of The Times saluted John and Paul as "the outstanding English composers of 1963".

December 28

Astoria Cinema, Finsbury Park, London. The Beatles' Christmas Show.

December 29

In an excess of post-Christmas hyperbole, the classical reviewer of The Sunday Times outdid his daily rival by pronouncing the Beatles as "the greatest composers since Beethoven".

December 30

Astoria Cinema, Finsbury Park, London. The Beatles' Christmas Show.

December 31

Astoria Cinema, Finsbury Park, London. The Beatles' Christmas Show. (One house only, to allow time for New Year celebrations.)

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