Live: The Beatles’ first Cavern Club show

The Cavern Club, situation in Mathew Street in central Liverpool, had played host to The Quarrymen before. On this day, however, The Beatles made their debut at the venue.

The Beatles swiftly became a regular fixture at the Cavern, attracting a loyal audience until their final appearance on 3 August 1963. For this first show, lasting from 1-2pm, they were given a £5 fee to share between them.

This was George Harrison‘s first time on the Cavern stage, as it was for Stuart Sutcliffe. Harrison arrived in blue jeans, which were banned from the club, but he managed to convince the bouncer, Paddy Delaney, that he was one of the performers.

They were different and they were very well rehearsed because they had come back from three months of torture in Hamburg. The other groups were like Cliff Richard and the Shadows, but The Beatles’ music was so vibrant… However, I didn’t like them wearing jeans which were taboo in the Cavern. Our doormen would stop anyone wearing jeans. I felt that if people were wearing good, clean clothes they would be more likely to behave themselves as they wouldn’t want them getting dirty and damaged.
Ray McFall, Cavern Club owner
The Cavern, Spencer Leigh

The precise number of The Beatles’ Cavern performances is not known, although they played at least 155 lunchtime and 125 evening shows between this date and 3 August 1963.

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Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.

4 responses on “Live: The Beatles’ first Cavern Club show

  1. Birgitte

    What was the opening number that The Beatles played at the lunchtime gig on 9th February 1961?
    And what was the set list?
    Please tell me if you can answer these questions :-) I’d really like to know the answers.

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