The Beatles 56th Anniversary

February 1st 1963. 56 years ago The Beatles played Tamworth Assembly Rooms

As work progresses on the redevelopment and the next phase of Tamworth Assembly Rooms future, we take the time to reflect on one of the venues most celebrated past memories, the night of February 1st 1963 when The Beatles played the historic venue.

The end of January, early February 1963 saw Britain hit by the 'Great Freeze'. It had started at Christmas time and lasted through to early March, with record low temperatures at night, regular snowfalls and the country brought to a standstill. Then...on the night of Friday February 1st 1963, a live band appeared in Tamworth to get all teenagers in the area sweating with excitement - The Beatles appeared at the Assembly Rooms.

The Beatles, although a big act, at this point were not yet the household name that we know today. Three weeks earlier, on 11th January 1963, 'Please, Please Me' The Beatles second 45rpm single had been released, entering the charts on 17th January 1963, it reached No. 2 and spent 18 Weeks in the charts.

An advert first appeared in the Tamworth Herald on 18th January , enticing local youngsters with the line 'Stars of T.V., Radio and Stage - The Beatles'. The advert appeared again a week later on the 25th: 'Three Groups - Rock and Twist Sensational Dance and Show to Stars of T.V., Radio and Stage - The Beatles'. And then finally, on the night of the gig the Herald carried the advert showing the full line-up for the show: The Beatles plus the Midlands top professional group Gerry Levene and the Avengers (from Birmingham including Roy Wood on guitar) also full supporting group The Rebels ( A local band from Tamworth).

In December 2017, during work on the redevelopment, an internal wall was discovered that showed Gerry Levene had signed the wall on their visit. Rumours have it that The Beatles also signed a wall on their visit, but sadly to this day no evidence has been found.

The Gerry Levenne scribble found in the Props Room, Dec 2017.

The main doors were shut before 9.30pm and hundreds of fans turned away, including several coach loads from Sutton and Birmingham. The Beatles took to the stage at 11:45pm and played a 30 min set, finishing at 12:15am. The man responsible for bringing them to Tamworth was Vince Baker, a local promoter who was behind most of the high profile concerts held in the town during the 1960’s.

Were you there?....do you know somebody who was?...please get in touch as we'd love to hear from you.

In 2013 the Tamworth Arts & Events team celebrated the 50th anniversary of The Beatles visit by hosting a weekend of local bands and tribute bands performing their favourite Beatles songs. The staff got in the spirit too with some fancy dress.....

 

Arts & Events Staff celebrating the 50th Anniversary of The Beatles visit in 2013.

The main corridor, aka 'Abbey Road'

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