This was The Silver Beetles’ third concert at the Grosvenor Ballroom within a week, and one that didn’t pass without incident.
The group’s drummer Tommy Moore had had enough of their lack of earnings, and with John Lennon’s sniping wit.
The Silver Beetles met at Allan Williams’ Jacaranda Coffee Bar, before travelling to the Grosvenor together. When Moore didn’t turn up they piled into Williams’ car and drove to his house in Fern Grove, Toxteth.
Upon their arrival Moore’s girlfriend opened an upstairs window and shouted at them, saying he’d quit to take a more lucrative job working a night shift at the Garston bottle works.
The group went there to the factory to find Moore, but he refused to dismount his forklift truck. The Silver Beetles reluctantly drove to the Grosvenor Ballroom, where they performed with a vacant drum kit behind them.
The ballroom typically attracted rowdy crowds, and The Silver Beetles didn’t want to antagonise them by performing without a full band. John Lennon stepped up to the microphone and asked if anyone present was able to stand in.
The ploy backfired when a huge Teddy boy gang leader called Ronnie took to the stage and sat behind Moore’s kit, which was still being paid for on hire purchase. Ronnie had evidently never played the drums before, but nobody had the courage to ask him to leave.
In the interval Lennon frantically called Williams, who drove over and gathered the group and their instruments before any harm could come to them.
The Beatles performed at the Grosvenor Ballroom on 14 occasions between June 1960 and September 1961. The other dates were 4, 6, 18 and 25 June; 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 July; 24 December 1960; 24 February; 10 March; and 15 September 1961.
Also on this day...
- 2018: Ringo Starr live: Stadtpark, Hamburg, Germany
- 2015: Paul McCartney live: Stade de France, Paris, France
- 2014: Ringo Starr live: NYCB Theatre at Westbury, Westbury, New York
- 2009: Yoko Ono honoured by Mojo magazine
- 1979: US album release: Back To The Egg by Wings
- 1968: Recording, mixing: Blackbird, Revolution 9
- 1968: Paul McCartney and Mary Hopkin are filmed for Apple Records
- 1968: George Harrison films a second scene for Ravi Shankar’s Raga
- 1965: The Beatles to be awarded MBEs
- 1964: The Beatles arrive in Australia
- 1962: Radio: Teenager’s Turn – Here We Go
- 1961: Live: Top Ten Club, Hamburg
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.