On 9 February 1961, The Beatles played their first gig at The Cavern Club and the rest is history, as they say.

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of this iconic performance, Spencer Leigh has put together a detailed list of all their appearances, their dates and any important facts about the shows for us. Were you lucky enough to see The Beatles in the Cavern? Are any of the dates in an old diary? Let us know if you have any stories from visiting The Cavern on our socials @VisitLiverpool. 


IT WAS 60 YEARS AGO TODAY


On 9 February 1961, the Beatles played their first gig at the Cavern. In the mid-60s, the sign over the door proudly declared that the Beatles had played there 292 times. The Cavern DJ Bob Wooler admitted that he only guessed the figure over a drink in the Grapes. Was he right? Was he even near the mark? Spencer Leigh investigates the story of the Beatles in the Cavern.

This is a list of appearances that the Beatles made at the Cavern. Even deciding what qualifies as an appearance is debatable, but I would say:

  • We exclude the two Quarrymen appearances.

  • We exclude the four appearances on the Royal Iris, even though the dances were sponsored by the Cavern and the club itself was closed on those nights. (25 August 1961, 6 July 1962, 10 August 1962, 28 September 1962)

  • The four all-nighters each count as one evening performance. This is because it was a continuous show. (5 August 1961, 21 October 1961, 23 December 1961, 3 February 1963)

  • The final total is 279 appearances. If however, you include the Quarrymen, the Royal Iris shows and perhaps count the all-nighters as two appearances, you get very close to Bob Wooler’s total of 292.


A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CAVERN CLUB 


Wednesday 16 January 1957 – The Cavern opens in Mathew Street, owned by 21-year-old Alan Sytner. No sign of Beatles, Quarrymen or even beat music: the Cavern is a jazz club.

Wednesday 31 July 1957 – The debut of Eddie Clayton Skiffle Group, and their drummer, Richie Starkey, became the first Beatle to play the Cavern.

Wednesday 7 August 1957 – A skiffle group, The Quarrymen debut at the Cavern. During their set John Lennon said, “We’ve had a request!” He read the note, “Cut out the bloody rock and roll, Alan Sytner”. No Paul McCartney as he was at scout camp in the Lake District.

Friday 24 January 1958 - The Quarrymen were back, this time with John and Paul. Alan Sytner remarked, “McCartney was as arrogant as Lennon, no doubt he caught it from him.”

In 1959 Alan Sytner sold the Cavern and Ray McFall took over, realising that beat, not jazz, was the way forward. Early in 1961, he put on the Shadows and he found local talent in Kingsize Taylor and the Dominoes.

For a more detailed history of the most famous club in the world have a read of our History of The Cavern Club blog here.


APPEARANCES


Appearance 1 - Thursday 9 February 1961 – Luncheon beat with the Beatles at the Cavern – John, Paul, George, Stuart Sutcliffe and Pete Best, five musicians sharing £5. Paul took time out from coil-winding at Massey and Coggins: the job didn’t last.


Appearance 2 - Tuesday 21 February 1961 – Another lunchtime appearance and Paul got a warning from Massey and Coggins. They played two evening gigs – the Cassanova Club in London Road (billed in the ECHO as the Boppin’ Beatles) and Litherland Town Hall.


Appearance 3 - Tuesday 28 February 1961 – Paul bunked off again and this time was sacked. He was now a professional musician. Ray McFall didn’t like the Beatles playing in jeans – in his book, jeans meant trouble.


Appearance 4 - Monday 6 March 1961 – Freda Kelly who became their fan club secretary says, “The lunchtime sessions were the best. You could communicate with the groups and shout up for what you wanted to hear.”


Appearance 5 - Wednesday 8 March 1961 – Busy lads: lunchtime at the Cavern followed by Aintree Institute and Hambleton Hall, Huyton.


Appearance 6 - Friday 10 March 1961 – Their third lunchtime show in the week. When the workers returned to their offices, everybody knew where they’d been because of the Cavern’s pungent smell.


Appearance 7 - Monday 13 March 1961 - Lunchtime.


Appearance 8 - Tuesday 14 March 1961 – A fan John Booker saw them for the first time at a Cavern lunchtime. “I walked in and paid ninepence and the Beatles were so good. Nobody else was doing ‘Your Feet’s Too Big’ or ‘Besame Mucho’.”


Appearance 9 - Wednesday 15 March 1961 – A Cavern lunchtime session followed by a 2pm appearance at a rival club, the Iron Door. Ray McFall was not amused.


Appearance 10 - Thursday 16 March 1961 – Their third Cavern lunchtime of the week.


Appearance 11 - Monday 20 March 1961 – Lunchtime.


Appearance 12 - Tuesday 21 March 1961 – The Beatles’ first evening appearance at the Cavern as Ray McFall booked them for the Swinging Blue Genes’ (sic) guest night. The Genes played a showbizzy mixture of jazz and popular music. Ray Ennis recalls, “The Beatle fans had annoyed our fans by getting there early and sitting in the front rows. They watched us and it was like, ‘What’s all that?’ they wanted the Beatles.”


Appearance 13 - Wednesday 22 March 1961 – Lunchtime.


Appearance 14 - Friday 24 March 1961 - Lunchtime.

On Sunday the Beatles went to Lime Street Station to make their way to Hamburg for three months at the Top Ten. They took the long hours in their stride and learnt many new songs: they became unbeatable. When they returned home, they found that Bill Harry had founded a newspaper, Mersey Beat, to cover (and name) the new music: all of a sudden, beat groups were everywhere.


Appearances 15 & 16 - Friday 14 July 1961 – Welcome home, Beatles with lunchtime and evening performances. The Beatles wore black leather and were supported by Ian and the Zodiacs.


Appearance 17 - Monday 17 July 1961 – Lunchtime.


Appearances 18 & 19 - Wednesday 19 July 1961 – Lunchtime and evening shows.


Appearance 20 - Friday 21 July 1961 – Lunchtime


Appearances 21 & 22 - Tuesday 25 July 1961- Lunchtime and back with the Swinging Blue Genes on their guest night. The Beatles now had a van, bought on hire purchase and driven by Neil Aspinall.


Appearance 23 - Wednesday 26 July 1961 – The start of a Wednesday residency, the Beatles Guest Night, although with the Beatles, who needed guests?


Appearance 24 - Thursday 27 July 1961 – Lunchtime, and Terry McCusker recalls, “The noise was immense and I thought my chest was going to cave in with the bass drum sound. I fought my way up through the arches and all my senses were assailed by this fabulous band. There was no alcohol and certainly no drugs, and yet you would come out flushed, hot and exhilarated.”


Appearance 25 - Monday 31 July 1961 – Lunchtime. Joey Shields: “The Beatles walked on in leather jackets and opened with ‘Rockin’ Robin’. They were knockout. They appealed to boys as much as girls because of their rebellious attitude.”


Appearances 26 & 27 - Wednesday 2 August 1961 – Lunchtime and evening. The evening session was with Dale Roberts and the Jaywalkers. Dave Williams of the Jaywalkers says, “We had the same equipment as them but they turned it up loader. They had to because Pete Best was a very loud drummer. Everything was four to the bar on that bass drum.”


Appearance 28 - Friday 4 August 1961 – Lunchtime. George had bought a second-hand Gretsch guitar from a merchant seaman and he loved it so much that friends renamed him “George Gretsch”.


Appearance 29 - Saturday 5 August 1961 – A handbill for the all-nighter with Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen was sold for over £1,000 at a Beatles auction. Kenny Ball: “I had never seen guys in all-leather suits before. It can’t have been much fun for them as it was very damp down there. The fellers liked us and the girls loved them and I thought there must be something wrong with us.”


Appearance 30 - Tuesday 8 August 1961 – Lunchtime.


Appearance 31 - Wednesday 9 August 1961 – Evening. The Beatles now had an official fan club, started by Bernie Boyle.


Appearance 32 - Thursday 10 August 1961 – Lunchtime.

Appearance 33 - Friday 11 August 1961 – Evening.

Appearance 34 - Monday 14 August 1961 – Lunchtime.

Appearance 35 - Wednesday 16 August 1961 – Evening.

Appearance 36 - Friday 18 August 1961 - Lunchtime.

Appearance 37 - Monday 21 August 1961 – Lunchtime.


Appearances 38 & 39 - Wednesday 23 August 1961 - Lunchtime and an evening show with the Rockin’ Berries from Birmingham. Geoff Davies, who founded Probe, recalls, “I worked in a tailor’s, Hepworth’s, in London Road. It was a five and a half day week with a half-day off on Wednesday so I went down with a mate and saw the Beatles. I stood close to the stage and it was one of the finest things that I have ever seen in my life. It wasn’t just the music, it was the whole attitude they created, the style, the couldn’t-care-less attitude, the jokes between the songs. Most of the songs were from Chuck Berry, Fats Domino and Little Richard but they gave them such life.”


Appearance 40 - Friday 25 August 1961 – Lunchtime and a Cavern promotion on the Royal Iris in the evening topped by Acker Bilk and his Paramount Jazz Band. “It was a great night,” says Pete Best, “The cabin at the back of the stage was crammed with beer and we had a great drinking session with Acker and his band.”


Appearance 41 - Monday 28 August 1961 – Lunchtime.


Appearance 42 - Tuesday 29 August 1961 – Lunchtime. Bob Wooler writes an extraordinary article about the Beatles for Mersey Beat. An outsider reading it would think that this was the biggest and most original group in the country. He end, “Such are the fantastic Beatles. I don’t think anything like them will happen again.”


Appearance 43 - Wednesday 30 August 1961 – That’s livin’ alright on an evening show with Joe Fagin and the Strangers.


Appearances 44 & 45 - Friday 1 September 1961 – Lunchtime and evening.


Appearance 46 - Tuesday 5 September 1961 – Lunchtime but evening performance cancelled.


Appearance 47 - Wednesday 6 September 1961 – Evening.

Appearance 48 - Thursday 7 September 1961 – Lunchtime.

Appearance 49 - Monday 11 September 1961 – Lunchtime.

Appearances 50 & 51 - Wednesday 13 September 1961 – Lunchtime and evening.

Appearance 52 - Friday 15 September 1961 – Lunchtime.

Appearance 53 - Tuesday 19 September 1961 – Lunchtime.


Appearance 54 - Wednesday 20 September 1961 – Evening show with Karl Terry and the Cruisers and Ian and the Zodiacs.


Appearance 55 - Thursday 21 September 1961 - Lunchtime.


Appearance 56 - Monday 25 September 1961 – Lunchtime.


Appearance 57 & 58 - Wednesday 27 September 1961 – Lunchtime and in the evening, the Beatles invited Gerry and the Pacemakers to their guest night.


Appearance 59 - Friday 29 September 1961 – Lunchtime. In the evening, the Beatles played the Village Hall in Knotty Ash and then took a fortnight’s holiday, which include John’s 21st birthday.


Appearance 60 - Monday 16 October 1961 – Lunchtime. They’re back – John and Paul have been in Paris and have “Beatle haircuts”. George quickly follows but Pete’s hair is too curly for a moptop.


Appearances 61 & 62 - Wednesday 18 October 1961 – Lunchtime and evening.

Thursday 19 October 1961 – The Beatles see Gerry and the Pacemakers doing the lunchtime session at the Cavern. Over a few pints they decide to play together at Litherland Town Hall that evening. It was probably not too successful as they never did it again.


Appearance 63 - Friday 20 October 1961 – Lunchtime


Appearances 64 - Saturday 21 October 1961 – All-nighter and a mixed bag with three beat groups and three jazz bands.


Appearance 65 - Tuesday 24 October 1961 - Lunchtime.


Appearance 66 - Wednesday 25 October 1961 – Evening.


Appearance 67 - Thursday 26 October 1961 – Lunchtime.

Saturday 28 October 1961 – A Beatles fan Raymond Jones goes into NEMS record store and orders a copy of the Beatles’ German single, ‘My Bonnie’: Brian Epstein is intrigued.


Appearance 68 - Monday 30 October 1961 - Lunchtime.


Appearances 69 & 70 - Wednesday 1 November 1961 – Lunchtime but with Ringo on drums as Pete Best is in court on a driving offence. John, Paul, George and Pete in the evening.


Appearance 71 - Friday 3 November 1961 – Lunchtime.


Appearance 72 - Saturday 4 November 1961 – Evening.


Appearances 73 & 74 - Tuesday 7 November 1961 – Lunchtime and an evening double with the Cavern and the Merseyside Civil Service Club.


Appearance 75 - Wednesday 8 November 1961 - Evening.


Appearance 76 - Thursday 9 November 1961 – One of the most important dates in the cultural history of the world! Brian Epstein goes to the Cavern and knows immediately that he wants to manage them.

Ray Ennis of the Swinging Blue Jeans, “I’d met Brian Epstein before and I asked him what he was doing at the Cavern. He said, ‘I’ve come to watch the Beatles. I believe they’re very good.’”


Appearance 77 - Monday 13 November 1961 – Lunchtime.


Appearance 78 - Tuesday 14 November 1961 – An evening double with the Civil Service club. Those at the Cavern would have also heard the Blue Genes, Gerry and the Remo Four.


Appearance 79 & 80 - Wednesday 15 November 1961 – Lunchtime and evening.

Appearance 81 - Friday 17 November 1961 – Lunchtime.

Appearance 82 - Saturday 18 November 1961 – Evening.

Appearance 83 - Tuesday 21 November 1961 – Lunchtime.


Appearance 84 - Wednesday 22 November 1961 – Evening. “I had started to write songs”, says Earl Preston, “and I did ‘Sweet Love’ with the TT’s. Paul McCartney said, ‘That was good – we’ve written a few but we don’t think they’re good enough to do on stage’.” They were getting there.


Appearance 85 - Thursday 23 November 1961 – Lunchtime. Alan Stratton of the Kansas City Five: “It was so exciting to watch Pete Best setting up his drums as we knew what was coming.”


Appearance 86 - Monday 27 November 1961 – Lunchtime.


Appearance 87 & 88 - Wednesday 29 November 1961 – Lunchtime and evening.


Appearance 89 - Friday 1 December 1961 – Lunchtime.


Appearance 90 - Saturday 2 December 1961 - Evening.


Appearance 91 - Tuesday 5 December 1961 - Lunchtime. After their show, the Beatles went to see Brian Epstein at NEMS.


Appearance 92 - Wednesday 6 December 1961 – Evening.


Appearance 93 - Friday 8 December 1961 – Lunchtime. The Beatles were joined by the black rock and roll singer, Davy Jones, whom they had met in Hamburg. Bob Wooler, knowing of their shared love of Preludin, said, “Who’s travelling by tube today?”.


Appearance 94 - Monday 11 December 1961 – Lunchtime.


Appearance 95 & 96 - Wednesday 13 December 1961 – Lunchtime and evening. Billy Hatton of the Four Jays, later the Fourmost. “It would take us a month to learn a new song and do it well. They already knew ‘Please Mr Postman’ .and were doing it great.” They impressed Mike Smith, an A&R man for Decca, who was checking them out on Brian Epstein’s recommendation.


Appearance 97 - Friday 15 December 1961 – Lunchtime.

Appearance 98 - Saturday 16 December 1961 – Evening.

Appearance 99 - Monday 18 December 1961 - Lunchtime.

Appearance 100 - Tuesday 19 December 1961 – Lunchtime.

Appearance 101 - Wednesday 20 December 1961 – Evening.

Appearance 102 - Thursday 21 December 1961 – Lunchtime.


Appearance 103 - Saturday 23 December 1961 – All-nighter at the Cavern. “I felt as though I was in a youth club because the Cavern wasn’t licensed and it was halfway between a youth club and the adult world,” says Arthur Johnson, “It was good to stay up all night. You felt slightly naughty without doing anything naughty.”


Appearance 104 - Wednesday 27 December 1961 – Evening show billed as The Beatles Christmas Party with Gerry and the Pacemakers and Kingsize Taylor and the Dominoes. Pete wasn’t well and Ringo stood in. Ringo was about to go to Hamburg to play with Tony Sheridan. John, Paul, George and Ringo worked really well.


Appearance 105 - Friday 29 December 1961 – Evening.


Appearance 106 - Saturday 30 December 1961 – Evening show with the White Eagles Jazz Band from Yorkshire. John Cook: “I know now that John Lennon didn’t like jazz but he wouldn’t have dared say it to our faces. I’m an ex-Commando, Bob was ex-para. and Martin was a rugby league professional with a short fuse.”

The Beatles weren’t available New Year’s Eve. They were travelling to London in bitterly cold weather to audition for Decca Records, unsuccessfully as it happens.


Appearances 107 & 108 - Wednesday 3 January 1962 – Lunchtime and evening.

Appearance 109 - Friday 5 January 1962 - Lunchtime.

Appearance 110 - Saturday 6 January 1962 – Evening.

Appearance 111 - Tuesday 9 January 1962 – Lunchtime.

Appearance 112 - Wednesday 10 January 1962 - Evening.

Appearance 113 - Thursday 11 January 1962 – Lunchtime.


Appearance 114 - Friday 12 January 1962 – The Beatles had a standard evening gig at the Cavern but got out quickly to play the 11.30pm spot at the Tower Ballroom, New Brighton. Not easy as you had to carry your gear through a packed audience.


Appearance 115 - Monday 15 January 1962 – Lunchtime.

Appearances 116 & 117 - Wednesday 17 January 1962 – Lunchtime and evening.

Appearance 118 - Friday 19 January 1962 – Lunchtime.

Appearance 119 - Saturday 20 January 1962 - Evening.


Appearance 120 - Monday 22 January 1962 – Lunchtime shows now reduced to an hour. First artists, the Beatles. Admission one shilling (5p).


Appearances 121 & 122 - Wednesday 24 January 1962 – Lunchtime and evening.

Appearances 123 & 124 - Friday 26 January 1962 – Lunchtime and again doubling with the Tower Ballroom in the evening.

Appearance 125 - Tuesday 30 January 1962 – Lunchtime.

Appearance 126 - Wednesday 31 January 1962 – Evening show with Liverpool’s Fendermen, the Remo Four.

Appearance 127 - Thursday 1 February 1962 - Lunchtime.

Appearance 128 - Saturday 3 February 1962 – Evening.


Appearance 129 - Monday 5 February 1962 – Lunchtime. The Beatles got £12 for a lunchtime session and played two half-hour sets. Pete Best was unwell and Ringo stepped in.


Appearances 130 & 131 - Wednesday 7 February 1962 – Lunchtime and evening.


Appearances 132 & 133 - Friday 9 February 1962 – Lunchtime and doubling in the evening at Birkenhead Technical College.


Appearance 134 - Tuesday 13 February 1962 – Lunchtime.

Appearance 135 - Wednesday 14 February 1962 – Valentine’s night with the Beatles.

Appearance 136 - Thursday 15 February 1962 – Lunchtime.

Appearance 137 - Saturday 17 February 1962 – Evening show with two jazz bands.

Appearance 138 - Monday 19 February 1962 – Lunchtime.

Appearances 139 & 140 - Wednesday 21 February 1962 – Lunchtime and evening.

Appearance 141 - Friday 23 February 1962 - Lunchtime.


Appearance 142 - Saturday 24 February 1962 – Doubling in the evening at YMCA in Hoylake and booked as “The Beetles”.


Appearance 143 - Tuesday 27 February 1962 – Lunchtime.


Appearance 144 - Wednesday 28 February 1962 – Evening. This was also Johnny Sandon’s last appearance with the Searchers. He was leaving them for the Remo Four who were playing US military bases in France.


Appearance 145 - Thursday 1 March 1962 – Lunchtime. Beryl Marsden says, “The Beatles’ lunchtime sessions were more informal than the evening ones. You could shout up numbers and talk to them.”


Appearance 146 - Saturday 3 March 1962 – Evening.


Appearance 147 - Monday 5 March 1962 – Lunchtime.


Appearance 148 - Tuesday 6 March 1962 – Blue Genes guest night with the Beatles and Gerry & the Pacemakers.


Appearance 149 & 150 - Friday 9 March 1962 – Lunchtime and evening.

Appearance 151 - Tuesday 13 March 1962 – Lunchtime.

Appearance 152 - Wednesday 14 March 1962 – Evening.

Appearance 153 - Thursday 15 March 1962 – Lunchtime.

Appearance 154 - Friday 16 March 1962 – Evening with jazz band Pete Haslam’s Collegians.

Appearance 155 - Tuesday 20 March 1962 – Evening.

Appearance 156 - Wednesday 21 March 1962 – Lunchtime.


Appearance 157 - Thursday 22 March 1962 – Evening show with Peppy and the New York Twisters. “Shortly after Peppy and the New York Twisters did their set, the Beatles said that they had written a song in the bandroom called ‘The Pinwheel Twist’, “ says Dave Dover of the Cordes, “It was a one four five, C-F-G song, not much more than ‘Come on, do the pinwheel twist’. I liked the spontaneity of it all and it was another first for the Beatles.”


Appearances 158 & 159 - Friday 23 March 1962 – Lunchtime and evening

Appearance 160 - Monday 26 March 1962 – Lunchtime

Appearances 161 & 162 - Wednesday 28 March 1962 - Lunchtime and evening

Appearances 163 & 164 - Friday 30 March 1962 – Lunchtime and evening

Appearance 165 - Monday 2 April 1962 - Lunchtime

Appearance 166 & 167 - Wednesday 4 April 1962 - Lunchtime and evening


Appearance 168 - Thursday 5 April 1962 – Evening. A special fan club appearance with the Four Jays. This was an informal show and Ray McFall sang ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’ with them: “How could they refuse me? I owned the club.” Billy Hatton of the Four Jays (later the Fourmost) says, “We were chuffed about it: it was the Beatles fan club night and the only bands were the Beatles and the Four Jays. I remember doing ‘Mama Don’t Allow’ with the Beatles. Paul was on piano, John stayed on guitar, I played guitar, we had two drummers with Ringo and Dave Lovelady, and Brian O’Hara brought out an old violin. George Harrison found an old trumpet and he was blowing that.” The Beatles played their ‘Pinwheel Twist’ with Paul on drums and Pete twisting in the audience.


Appearance 169 - Friday 6 April 1962 – Lunchtime


Appearance 170 - Saturday 7 April 1962 – Doubling with the Casbah. George had German measles and they played as a trio. The Beatles then went to Hamburg for the opening of the Star-Club.

Wednesday 6 June 1962 – Cavern had planned a Welcome Home for the Beatles but it was moved to 9 June as EMI wanted them in London on that day.


Appearance 171 - Saturday 9 June 1962 – Evening. As many as 900 excited fans were crammed into the Cavern to welcome the Beatles home. The first part of the Cavern now is the same size as the old one, so could that possibly have been sensible? Bob Wooler: “I thought they might have been tired after the travelling and their strenuous sessions in Hamburg, but not a bit of it. This was one of their finest performances.”

On 11 June 1962, the Cavern hired a coach and took club members to see the Beatles record a show for the BBC Light Programme in Manchester.


Appearance 172 & 173 - Tuesday 12 June 1962 – Lunchtime and evening

Appearance 174 & 175 - Wednesday 13 June 1962 – Lunchtime and evening

Appearances 176 & 177 - Friday 15 June 1962 – Lunchtime and evening

Appearance 178 - Saturday 16 June 1962 - Evening

Appearances 179 & 180 - Tuesday 19 June 1962 – Lunchtime and evening

Appearances 181 & 182 - Wednesday 20 June 1962 – Lunchtime and evening

Appearances 183 & 184 - Friday 22 June 1962 – Lunchtime and evening

Appearance 185 - Monday 25 June 1962 – Lunchtime

Appearances 186 & 187 - Wednesday 27 June 1962 - Lunchtime and evening

Appearance 188 - Friday 29 June 1962 – Lunchtime


Appearance 189 - Sunday 1 July 1962 – Sunday was usually jazz night at the Cavern but this time it was Gene Vincent with the Beatles in support. They had met him at the Star-Club. Mike McCartney: “There is photo of Gene Vincent on stage and you can see the fans are bored out of their heads. They’re waiting for the Beatles.”


Appearance 190 - Tuesday 3 July 1962 - Lunchtime


Appearance 191 - Wednesday 4 July 1962 – Evening

Friday 6 July 1962 – Second Beatles appearance on the Royal Iris, promoted by the Cavern with the star turn being Acker Bilk.


Appearance 192 - Sunday 8 July 1962 – Evening. Willy Russell: “”Tommy Evans and I were only 14 but we got into the Cavern and we were supposed to be home by 9.30pm. we were blown away with the warm-up acts and then at 9.15, this guys in black walked onto the stage and we were seeing the Beatles for the first time. The Beatles kicked into ‘Some Other Guy’ and a whole new life began from that very moment.”


Appearance 193 - Tuesday 10 July 1962 – Lunchtime

Appearance 194 - Wednesday 11 July 1962 – Evening

Appearance 195 - Thursday 12 July 1962 - Lunchtime

Appearance 196 - Sunday 15 July 1962 – Evening

Appearance 197 - Monday 16 July 1962 – Lunchtime


Appearances 198 & 197 - Wednesday 18 July 1962 – Lunchtime and evening. Not yet 16, Edwina Currie was going to the Cavern: “I used to go to the Cavern in my lunchtime from school as I was at Blackburne House, up on Hope Street. I had permission to be off the premises as I ate kosher food. Of course I went to the Cavern and I would wore a black, polo-neck sweater over my school uniform. I knew that the Beatles were bound to be very, very big – they were seriously talented - and I loved Billy J. Kramer – I thought he was gorgeous.”


Appearance 200 - Friday 20 July 1962 – Lunchtime

Appearance 201 - Sunday 22 July 1962 - Evening

Appearance 202 - Tuesday 24 July 1962 – Lunchtime

Appearances 203 & 204 - Wednesday 25 July 1962 – Lunchtime and doubling with the Cabaret Club in Duke Street in the evening.


Appearance 205 - Saturday 28 July 1962 – Doubling in the evening with the Majestic Ballroom in Birkenhead. Joe Flannery: “Sometimes the Beatles would rehearse in the afternoon in the Cavern. I heard them rehearsing ‘Hey! Baby’ and ‘Twist and Shout’. I was impressed by both the Beatles and the venue. The acoustics were fantastic.”


Appearance 206 - Monday 30 July 1962 – Lunchtime. Alex McKechnie of Up and Running: “The thing I liked best about the Beatles was their stage presence and their lack of respect. They were the first punk band.”


Appearances 207 & 208 - Wednesday 1 August 1962 – Lunchtime and evening


Appearance 209 - Sunday 5 August 1962 – Evening


Appearance 210 & 211 - Tuesday 7 August 1962 – Lunchtime and evening

Wednesday 8 August 1962 – Lunchtime appearance cancelled as they needed a break and were in Doncaster that evening.


Appearance 212 - Thursday 9 August 1962 – Lunchtime

Friday 10 August 1962 – The Beatles’ third Riverboat Shuffle, this time with Johnny Kidd and the Pirates


Appearance 213 - Sunday 12 August 1962 – Evening.


Appearance 214 - Monday 13 August 1962 – Lunchtime


Appearances 215 & 216 - Wednesday 15 August 1962 – Lunchtime and evening. The last appearances of Pete Best with the Beatles although he didn’t know that.


Appearance 217 - Sunday 19 August 1962 – Evening.

Tuesday 21 August 1962 – Granada TV wanted the filming of the Beatles switched to Wednesday and the Beatles’ performance for that day is dropped.


Appearances 218 & 219 - Wednesday 22 August 1962 – Lunchtime and evening. Granada TV film the Beatles with Ringo Starr performing ‘Some Other Guy’ and ‘Kansas City’. You can hear the shouts, “We want Pete!” George got a black eye from an irate fan. TV producer Johnny Hamp: “The grainy quality of the film doesn’t matter. If you had film of the sinking of the Titanic, it wouldn’t matter than you couldn’t hear the band. It is history.”


Appearance 220 - Friday 24 August 1962 – Lunchtime


Appearance 221 - Sunday 26 August 1962 – Evening with the Beatles supporting Mike Berry and the Outlaws.


Appearance 222 - Tuesday 28 August 1962 – Evening

Wednesday 29 August 1962 – Evening performance cancelled as the Beatles have a date in Morecambe.


Appearance 223 - Thursday 30 August 1962 – Lunchtime


Appearance 224 - Sunday 2 September 1962 – Evening. Alex Young: “I remember George Harrison singing ‘I Remember You’. That wasn’t within his range, especially the falsetto.” Dennis Conroy: “George Harrison was my hero – he could do all the Chuck Berry licks.”


Appearance 225 - Monday 3 September 1962 – Lunchtime


Appearance 226 - Wednesday 5 September 1962 – Lunchtime was cancelled as they were recording in London. The evening performance was also cancelled but they turned up and joined the Dennisons and Gus Travis and the Midnighters.


Appearance 227 - Thursday 6 September 1962 – Lunchtime


Appearance 228 - Sunday 9 September 1962 – Evening show with Clinton Ford


Appearance 229 - Monday 10 September 1962 – Lunchtime


Appearance 230 - Wednesday 12 September 1962 - Evening. As well as their own set, the Beatles accompanied Simone Jackson. Bob Wooler: “I recall the Beatles backing a new girl from Manchester, Simone Jackson, who was with Kennedy Street Enterprises, but this was Brian’s doing as he had done some deal to give her exposure.”


Appearance 231 - Thursday 13 September 1962 – Lunchtime


Appearance 232 - Sunday 16 September 1962 – Evening


Appearance 233 - Monday 17 September 1962 – Lunchtime

Tuesday 18 September 1962 – Lee Curtis and the All-Stars at the Cavern with their new drummer, Pete Best.


Appearance 234 - Wednesday 19 September 1962 – Night

Appearance 235 - Thursday 20 September 1962 – Lunchtime

Appearance 236 - Sunday 23 September 1962 – Evening

Appearances 237 & 238 - Wednesday 26 September 1962 – Lunchtime and evening

Appearance 239 - Friday 28 September 1962 - Lunchtime plus another evening on the fish and chip boat, the Royal Iris.

Appearance 240 - Sunday 30 September 1962 - Evening

Appearance 241 - Tuesday 2 October 1962 – Lunchtime. In the evening, Pete Best with Lee Curtis and the All-Stars.

Appearance 242 - Wednesday 3 October 1962 – Evening

Appearance 243 - Thursday 4 October 1962 – Lunchtime


Appearance 244 - Sunday 7 October 1962 – Evening show with the Swinging Blue Genes, themselves back from the Star-Club. Ray Ennis says, “That would be the first time I heard the Beatles play ‘Love Me Do’. It wasn’t rock’n’roll, and it sounded quite skiffley to me.

Monday 8 October 1962 – Things are hotting up. Lunchtime appearance cancelled so that they can record a Radio Luxembourg programme in London.


Appearances 245 & 246 - Wednesday 10 October 1962 – Lunchtime and evening


Appearance 247 - Friday 12 October 1962 – Lunchtime. In the evening they headline with Little Richard at the Tower Ballroom in New Brighton. They meet the black a cappella group, the Chants and agree to accompany them on a lunchtime session at the Cavern.


Appearance 248 - Saturday 13 October 1962 – Evening


Appearances 249 & 250 - Wednesday 17 October 1962 – In between lunchtime and evening performances, the Beatles appear live on Granada TV performing their first Parlophone single, ‘Love Me Do’.


Appearance 251 - Friday 19 October 1962 – Lunchtime


Appearance 252 - Sunday 21 October 1962 – Evening


Appearance 253 - Friday 26 October 1962 – Lunchtime

After a show at the Empire Theatre with Little Richard on Sunday 28 October, the Beatles return to the Star-Club for a fortnight. They are now chart names as ‘Love Me Do’ is in the Top 20.


Appearance 254 - Sunday 18 November 1962 – Another ‘Welcome Home’ at the Cavern


Appearance 255 - Monday 19 November 1962 – Lunchtime


Appearances 256 & 257 - Wednesday 21 November 1962 – Lunchtime and evening

Friday 23 November 1962 – Lunchtime cancelled as Beatles go to London for an audition with BBC-TV. They fail.


Appearance 258 - Sunday 25 November 1962 – Evening


Appearance 259 - Wednesday 28 November 1962 – An evening double with the 527 club for Lewis’s staff. Lewis’s had a record department and was promoting ‘Love Me Do’.


Appearance 260 - Friday 30 November 1962 - Lunchtime

Sunday 2 December 1962 – Beatles cancelled an evening performance as they had been added to a Frank Ifield show in Peterborough.


Appearances 261 & 262 - Wednesday 5 December 1962 – Lunchtime and evening


Appearance 263 - Friday 7 December 1962 – Lunchtime


Appearance 264 - Sunday 9 December 1962 – Evening. Their producer, George Martin, came to the Cavern with a view to recording a live album, but decided that their sound wouldn’t come over well.


Appearance 265 - Monday 10 December 1962 – Lunchtime


Appearances 266 & 267 - Wednesday 12 December 1962 – You’d have to brave a blizzard to catch the Beatles at the lunchtime or evening performance.


Appearance 268 - Sunday 16 December 1962 – Evening.

The Beatles spent the last two weeks of December at the Star-Club in Hamburg.


Appearance 269 - Friday 11 January 1963 – Celebrating the release of ‘Please Please Me’, the Beatles have a lunchtime session with Kingsize Taylor and the Dominoes.


Appearance 270 - Thursday 17 January 1963 – Lunchtime


Appearance 271 - Sunday 20 January 1963 – Evening


Appearance 272 - Wednesday 23 January 1963 – Evening. Faith Brown “I can remember John Lennon swearing when he broke a string on stage. It horrified me at the time as nobody swore in our house.”


Appearance 273 - Wednesday 30 January 1963 – Lunchtime


Appearance 274 - Thursday 31 January 1963 - Lunchtime


Appearance 275 - Sunday 3 February 1963 – An eight hour marathon with the Beatles, the Fourmost, Kingsize Taylor and the Dominoes (with “Swingin’ Cilla”), the Hollies, the Merseybeats, the Roadrunners, Earl Preston and the TTs and the Swinging Blue Jeans. Sue Evans kept a diary: “Danced with four gorgeous beat types. Sat on one’s shoulders to see the Beatles. They are the most FAB fellows – heavenly time.”


Appearance 276 - Monday 4 February 1963 – Last lunchtime appearance


Appearance 277 - Tuesday 19 February 1963 – There is a break in their tour with Helen Shapiro and they return to the Cavern. A rare occasion where the Beatles encountered Pete Best on the same bill – and they were never to see him again. The queue for the show had formed the night before and to make it worse for Pete, Bob Wooler read out a telegram sent c/o The Cavern Club just as the Beatles were going on stage. It confirmed that ‘Please Please Me’ had climbed to No.l on the New Musical Express’ chart. The audience went quiet: they sensed that the Beatles no longer belonged to them.


Appearance 278 - Friday 12 April 1963 – A Good Friday ‘R&B marathon’ from 4pm to midnight with the Beatles, Fourmost, Dennisons, Nomads, Panthers, Flintstones, Roadrunners, Group One and Faron’s Flamingos. Eddie Parry of the Dennisons: “You had to wait about five hours before you went on stage but I didn’t mind as I was watching my idol, John Lennon.”


Appearance 279 - Saturday 3 August 1963 – Their final appearance at the Cavern. Bob Wooler “That August appearance only came about because Brian Epstein couldn’t pull them out of an appearance at the Grafton the night before. Les Ackerley had a barring clause preventing the Beatles appearing in Liverpool before but not after that appearance, so Brian asked us to take the Beatles for the Cavern on the following night. The Beatles were paid £300, , and Brian restricted the audience to 500. I can’t blame Brian as he had seen how crowded the Cavern got and he had to think of the Beatles’ safety. The admission price was 10 shillings and so that meant that we collected only £250 on the door. All the staff had to be paid, and the other groups on the bill too, so we made no profit that night.”

And there was a power cut. Billy Kinsley: “John and Paul were singing ‘When I’m 64’ while they were waiting for the electricity to come back on and they didn’t record it for another four years.”

Bob Wooler: “Brian Epstein still owes the Cavern six dates for the Beatles as he kept pulling them out of bookings by saying, ‘You wouldn’t stand in the boys’ way, would you, Bob?’”


Friday 25 October 1968 – Paul and Linda visit the Cavern.

Sunday 13 September 1992 – Ringo filmed on the Cavern stage for a Disney documentary.

Tuesday 14 December 1999 – Get back to where you once belonged – Paul McCartney plays the Cavern.

Saturday 31 March 2003 – Paul McCartney hosts an end of tour party at the Cavern. He sang ‘We Are Family’ with the band.


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