This was The Beatles’ fourth evening show at the Cavern Club on Liverpool’s Mathew Street.
They had given another performance earlier in the day for the lunchtime crowd. This was the third occasion on which they played both lunchtime and evening shows.
The Beatles supported The Blue Genes on this evening. Gerry and the Pacemakers and The Remo Four were also on the bill.
A friend of mine, Brian Harney, had been going to the Cavern and he told me that I had to see this band, who were the business. I was put off going to the Cavern because the girls in the office would come in from the lunchtime sessions and they had this terrible smell which permeated their coats. It was a smell of disinfectant, newly turned grave and a soupçon of sewage; a strange mix. If anybody walked past you in the street, you would know that they had been to the Cavern. Still, Brian persuaded me and I went to my first lunchtime session. We got to the Cavern and they were very deep steps: the pitch on the steps would not be allowed now. I stumbled on the stairs as it was dark. There was a red glow at the bottom and we turned left, and there were two or three more stairs and there was a table with this little red light. The noise was immense and I thought my chest was going to cave in with the bass drum sound. The band was playing Memphis Tennessee, a song I’d never heard before, and the band was The Beatles. I fought my way up through the arches and saw the band and all my senses were assailed by this fabulous band. John Lennon had his back against an upright piano and in between numbers he was picking his nose. I though, ‘Wow, this guy is being paid for picking his nose and the girls are screaming at him!’ Actually, the girls were screaming for Pete Best who was at the back and he didn’t seem peturbed at all, a very assured person, and he was knocking seven bells out of hius white pearl Premier drum kit. Paul McCartney was exactly as he is now and they had a fabulous sound. I consider the period from July 1961 and December 1961 to be the golden age for the Cavern. Things changed when Brian Epstien took over The Beatles. There was no alcohol, certainly no drugs, and yet you would come out flushed and hot and exhilarated.
The Cavern, Spencer Leigh
Also on this day...
- 2018: Paul McCartney live: Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, Liverpool
- 2011: Liverpool streets to be named after Pete Best and Casbah Coffee Club
- 2005: UK album release: Choose Love by Ringo Starr
- 1969: Recording: Sun King, Mean Mr Mustard, Come Together, Polythene Pam, She Came In Through The Bathroom Window
- 1968: Recording: While My Guitar Gently Weeps
- 1967: John Lennon and Ringo Starr go sightseeing in Athens
- 1964: Television: Juke Box Jury
- 1963: Live: Odeon Cinema, Weston-super-Mare
- 1962: Live: Cabaret Club, Liverpool
- 1962: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (evening)
- 1962: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (lunchtime)
- 1961: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (lunchtime)
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.