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The Beatles live: Granada Cinema, London – their second tour begins, with Chris Montez and Tommy Roe

Just five days after their tour with Helen Shapiro ended, The Beatles embarked on another. Their second theatre tour began at the Granada Cinema on Barking Road, East Ham, London.

The tour bill was topped by two American singers, Chris Montez and Tommy Roe. Unfortunately for them, The Beatles soon proved to be the acts that the audiences wanted to see. For the second performance the following day, The Beatles were at their rightful place at the top.

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In March we toured with Tommy Roe and Chris Montez, who were supposed to share equal top billing: one of them closing the first house and one the second house for the show. Chris Montez had a big hit, Let’s Dance, and Tommy Roe had Sheila.

The Beatles were getting more and more popular – unfortunately for Tommy and Chris. Barking in London was the opening night of the tour and there was a big huddled meeting after the show because Arthur Howes, the promoter, said The Beatles had better close the first half. I think Chris Montez was closing the end of the performance and Tommy Roe the end of the first half. We said, ‘No, no, Tommy and Chris close,’ because they still sounded like big names to us. I remember Tommy Roe getting all uptight, saying, ‘I’m contracted, and I’m going to leave if I don’t close the show!’

I felt sorry for Chris Montez; he was just a little Mexican bloke. He did a slow song on a chair, a Spanish tune, and the Teds were all shouting, ‘Boo, fuck off.’ He said, ‘Oh, you don’t like it, OK,’ and he stopped and put down his guitar and tried something else. It was sad really, but Beatlemania was coming on; ‘Please Please Me’ had been a hit and ‘From Me To You’ was on the way.

The Beatles played the following set on the tour: ‘Love Me Do’, ‘Misery’, ‘A Taste Of Honey’, ‘Do You Want To Know A Secret’, Please Please Me and ‘I Saw Her Standing There’.

Last updated: 25 January 2024
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