Following the success of The Beatles’ Christmas Show in December 1963 and early 1964, Brian Epstein decided the group should repeat the trick, this time at the Hammersmith Odeon in London.
The formula was much the same as the previous year’s, with music, pantomime sketches, comedy and a number of special guests. These included Freddie And The Dreamers, Sounds Incorporated, Elkie Brooks, The Yardbirds, Michael Haslam, The Mike Cotton Sound and Ray Fell. The compère was Jimmy Savile.
On each night, apart from the opening night and 29 December, there were two shows. There were no performances on 25 and 27 December or 3 and 10 January 1965. The final shows took place on 16 January 1965.
The show opened with The Mike Cotton Sound’s performance of Georgie Fame’s current single Yeh Yeh, before singer Michael Haslam joined them to sing Scarlet Ribbons.
The Yardbirds took to the stage next, followed by a pantomime sketch featuring The Beatles dressed as Antarctic explorers searching for the Abominable Snowman. They reportedly grew to hate this section so much that they vowed never to undertake anything similar again. The first half closed with Freddie And The Dreamers performing Rip It Up, Bachelor Boy and Cut Across Shorty.
Elkie Brooks opened the second half, followed by a short set from Sounds Incorporated. Jimmy Savile then introduced The Beatles, who closed the show with performances of 11 songs: ‘Twist And Shout’, ‘I’m A Loser’, ‘Baby’s In Black’, ‘Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby’, ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’, ‘Honey Don’t’, ‘I Feel Fine’, ‘She’s A Woman’, ‘A Hard Day’s Night’, ‘Rock And Roll Music’ and Long Tall Sally.
The programme featured a festive drawing by John Lennon on the back cover.
Also on this day...
- 2015: I want to stream your band: The Beatles’ music made available on streaming services worldwide
- 1969: John Lennon and Yoko Ono visit Rochester Cathedral
- 1963: The Beatles’ Christmas Show begins
- 1962: Live: Star-Club, Hamburg
- 1960: Live: Grosvenor Ballroom, Wallasey
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.
Wow, the setlist for these shows sounds really interesting!
I wish there was any footage or audio from them would surface
I was lucky enough to have been there and saw them twice on Xmas eve but I foolishly kept no memorabilia from the show. I would love to see some archive footage but I don’t remember seeing any cameras there at all.