The Beatles’ first performance in Wales took place at the Regent Dansette Ballroom in Rhyl.
Admission cost just five shillings (25p), and the night lasted from 8pm to 11.30pm. The Beatles were paid £4 for their performance.
They shared a bill with a local group, The Strangers. They were Jeff Sutton (guitar & vocals), Dennis Rothwell (guitar), Pat Shuttle (bass guitar) and Pete Williams (drums).
A mix of tourists and locals were in the audience, and were more likely to have been at the venue to dance than to listen to the live music. The stage was made from wood laid over billiard tables.
The Regent Dansette was a ballroom situated at 38 High Street above a branch of Burton’s tailors. The manager of the venue was Joe Young, whose wife worked on the cash desk. When she arrived she was surprised to hear John Lennon playing classical music on a grand piano kept in one of the rooms.
Prior to the concert The Beatles spent a few hours exploring Rhyl, including the local funfair.
The Beatles came to Rhyl in the early 60s just before they became famous, and to get a bit more cash they crossed the Foryd Bridge and came to The Clwyd Hotel (now The Harbour) and asked my dad, Haydn Davies, who was the first licensee on the North Wales coast to put on cabaret in a pub, for some extra work. But dad being dad turned them away saying ‘I’m not having long haired yobos like that in my pub!’ Oh if he only knew.
The Beatles never returned to the Regent Dansette, but they did perform again in Rhyl, on 19 and 20 July 1963.
Their other performances in Wales were in Prestatyn on 24 November 1962; Mold on 24 January 1963; Abergavenny on 22 June 1963; Llandudno from 12–17 August 1963; and Cardiff on 27 May 1963, 7 November 1964 and 12 December 1965.
Also on this day...
- 2014: Paul McCartney live: Pinnacle Bank Arena, Lincoln, Nebraska
- 2013: Paul McCartney live: Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis
- 2012: Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen silenced onstage in London
- 2011: Martin Scorsese’s George Harrison documentary to air in October
- 1992: US album release: Live In Japan by George Harrison
- 1964: Radio: Top Gear
- 1963: Live: ABC Theatre, Blackpool
- 1961: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (evening)
- 1961: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (lunchtime)
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.