The Beatles played twice at the Majestic Ballroom in Crewe, Cheshire. This was the first date; the other came a week later on 20 August 1962.
These were the group’s only dates in Crewe. The Majestic Ballroom stood on the town’s High Street. It was owned by the Top Rank organisation, and the beat nights held there were billed as “The biggest rock since Blackpool Rock”.
The venue was built as a cinema and opened in 1933. It was converted in 1961 and reopened as the Majestic Ballroom, but became a bingo hall in 1965, with three cinema screens later added. The building was converted to the M Club in 2007, but the lease was acquired by Sainsbury’s supermarket and the club closed in 2010.
Also on this day...
- 2008: The Beatles’ contract with Brian Epstein to be auctioned
- 2008: John Lennon’s killer denied parole for fifth time
- 1969: Mixing: You Never Give Me Your Money
- 1968: Recording, editing: Sexy Sadie, Yer Blues
- 1966: KLUE radio in Texas organises a public Beatles bonfire
- 1966: Live: Olympia Stadium, Detroit
- 1965: Travel: London to New York
- 1965: US album release: Help!
- 1963: Live: Odeon Cinema, Llandudno
- 1962: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (lunchtime)
- 1961: Live: Casbah Coffee Club, Liverpool
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.
I now live in Australia but went back to Crewe in 2016 and saw the old Majestic building. It was demolished just a few months later. I played in several groups/bands in the Crewe area in the ’60s and ’70s and the Majestic was the one place I played at more than any other.
In the early ’60s, a group of friends and I (10 or 12 of us) used to regularly go to this ballroom on a Monday night to see the bands. Shane Fenton and the Fentones, Carl Fenn and the Mysteries, and The Emperors of Rhythm are three that I recall. In August ’62 I had a really bad cold and didn’t go. The girl I was going out with at the time called from the Majestic to say that there was a group on from Liverpool. The bass player, she said, was using a guitar that was shaped like a violin. I recognised this as being the Hofner 500/1. About 18 months earlier I’d bought my first bass, the Hofner 500/3, which was the single pickup version of the guitar that Stu Sutcliffe had used with The Beatles. I didn’t like the look of the violin bass! While she was on the phone to me she said that the group was playing and I could hear them in the background. I have no idea what song they were doing at the time but I did hear The Beatles before they became famous!
Anyway, this girl was a real extrovert (unlike me) and had been talking to the group members between sets. She said something along the lines of “They’re really arrogant. One of them told me “We’re going to be famous””. A few weeks later, after the release of Love Me Do, a photograph of The Beatles was in the New Musical Express and my girlfriend said, “That’s them”.
Looking back from all these years, I don’t understand how I missed seeing them. Sure, I was quite sick one night but they were at The Majestic on two consecutive Mondays; the first time with Pete Best, who was sacked two days later, and the second time with Ringo. I can only think that the band I was playing in at the time was on somewhere else that second night. Unfortunately, in those days I didn’t keep a diary.