Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (evening)

8.00pm, Sunday 1 July 1962 (51 years ago)

The Beatles’ 78th evening show at the Cavern Club took place on this date. The were second on a bill which was topped by Gene Vincent, who was backed by Sounds Incorporated. Also appearing were the Kansas City Five.

I only used to go to the lunchtime sessions with one exception when I went to see Gene Vincent. It was a really good show and I remember thinking, ‘Wow, this is Gene Vincent at the Cavern,’ while he was performing.
John ‘Duff’ Lowe, The QuarrymenThe Cavern, Spencer Leigh

The Beatles had become friendly with during their third Hamburg residency earlier in the year. They were all fans of the rock ‘n’ roll veteran; indeed, Paul McCartney had sung Vincent’s Be-Bop-A-Lula on the day he first met John Lennon.

Gene Vincent was top of the bill and knew our kid [Paul] was important. That is why he had his picture taken. He had full leathers and our kid had his full leathers, wow, and there is Gene the master, like Marlon Brando in The Wild One, he is on the Cavern stage and he is going ‘Be bop a lula, echo, echo, echo’ and you can see the fans bored out of their heads. ‘Gene Vincent? Excuse me. We’re waiting for The Beatles.’ The picture tells the story. One of them has a David Frost shirt. Our kid was going down to London and he had a couple of bob, doing well and he would buy David Frost shirts, very thick striped shirts. I got one and the fans got them. The photo is on my website and you wil see the girl with the David Frost Shirt.
Mike McCartney
The Cavern, Spencer Leigh

This was the Cavern’s first Sunday night without any jazz acts appearing. Overall this was The Beatles’ 189th appearance at the underground Mathew Street venue, including the lunchtime shows.

I was with Rory Storm in the audience and we were eagerly awaiting Gene Vincent. Rory pulled out a match and lit one and it immediately went out. There was no oxygen in the air at all. My wife collapsed, fainted, and it was just as Gene Vincent was starting and rather selfishly, Rory and I passed her over the top of the heads. We saw Paddy and he got the message and sat her outside. Gene was excellent. He was confined on that little stage but he was backed by Sounds Incorporated, who had a good drummer with dyed blond hair.
Colin Middlebrough, drummer, The Jaywalkers
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 9 February 1961 and 3 August 1963.

Gene Vincent asked me where he could get a drink and when I told him we didn’t sell alcohol he was horrified. I had a bottle of beer with me and he asked if he could buy it off me. I was so overawed with Gene Vincent that I gave him my beer for free and he said, ‘Thank you, sir.’
Billy Butler
The Cavern, Spencer Leigh

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