The Beatles played at the Riverpark Ballroom in Chester on four Thursdays in the summer of 1962. This was the first show.
It should have been a straightforward engagement, but earlier in the day Pete Best had been sacked from The Beatles by manager Brian Epstein. Although earlier in the day Best had said he would fulfil this booking, he understandably later changed his mind.
The Beatles drafted in The Big Three’s drummer Johnny Hutchinson as a temporary replacement, for this show and the following evening’s performances at the Majestic Ballroom in Birkenhead and the Tower Ballroom in New Brighton, Wallasey. Ringo Starr’s first official show with The Beatles was at Hulme Hall in Birkenhead on 18 August 1962.
The group’s other performances at the venue were on 23 and 30 August, and 13 September 1962.
The building, at 2 Union Street, Chester, was originally the King’s Arms Tavern. In the early 20th century it was enlarged and became the Grosvenor Skating Rink, then the Broadway Dancing Academy Ballroom, known as the Ack. In the 1950s it was renamed the Riverpark Ballroom, but closed in 1963 and was later demolished. It is now the site of a bank’s office.
Also on this day...
- 1968: Recording: While My Guitar Gently Weeps
- 1966: Live: John F Kennedy Stadium, Philadelphia
- 1965: John Lennon’s Mellotron is delivered to Weybridge
- 1965: Day off in New York
- 1964: Live: Opera House, Blackpool
- 1963: Live: Odeon Cinema, Llandudno
- 1962: Pete Best is fired from The Beatles
- 1961: Live: Cavern Club, Liverpool (evening)
- 1960: Travel: Liverpool to Hamburg
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.
Why was Pete Best sacked? George did not like Pete and the other two preferred Ringo to Pete too. Drumming wise, Pete was better at the high tempo stuff, and Ringo best when the material was low tempo ballads etc. Where Pete excelled was at connecting with the fans, while Ringo was gifted at connecting with the other Beatles. The best drummer the Beatles had was Norman Chapman. The best drummer for the Beatles though was Pete Best because he was loved by the fans and was well grounded as a person, and so compensated for the streak of madness in the other three. George Martin saw Pete as an asset despite preferring a session drummer to either Pete or Ringo if the truth be known. Ringo could only play the drums in a low key manner and has been vastly overrated because he remained a Beatle during the important years.