Sunday, June 1, 2014

Fans from Liverpool 1961

This is a really neat photo!   The search is on to identify the fans in this photo of the Beatles taken Liverpool in 1961.   I loved reading about the early Beatle fans in Mark Lewisohn's book "Tune In" and  I wonder if any of these girls are mentioned in the book.   Anyhow...if you know who these amazing fans are, please let us know!

Search for Beatles fans in Liverpool snap taken over 50 years ago 

By Nicola Bartlett

The search is on for six early fans of the Beatles captured in a photograph more than 50 years ago.

The six girls were pictured with the fab four at St John’s Hall in Tuebrook, Liverpool in 1961, the first date when the group returned from playing The Star Club in Hamburg.

The negative of this image was given to Stephen Bailey who has managed The Beatles Shop in Mathew Street for 28 years.

The shop is busy collecting memorabilia for the 23rd Annual Liverpool Beatles Auction which will be held at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts in August.

The annual event always turns out interesting pieces from the early days in Liverpool and Merseysiders are busy rummaging through their attics in anticipation.

This photo was one such find which was discovered when a man dropped off some negatives to The Beatles Shop in Mathew Street which he said had been taken half a century ago by his father who was a photographer.

Stephen got the pictures processed and found they were in perfect condition. One in particular stood out.

Stephen said: “It is a lovely photograph and so evocative of the relationship The Beatles has with their early fans. Pete Best was replaced by Ringo Starr the following year.”

Stephen now wants to invite the women to be VIP Guests of Honour at this year’s auction which is being held at the Paul McCartney Auditorium at LIPA.

Stephen said: “Beatles fans from those early Liverpool days are rummaging through their bottom drawers looking for memorabilia of the Fab Four. We started to receive lots for this year’s sale in November of last year.

“To date we have over 200 lots to be auctioned but there is always room for those special items from those early Beatles days in Liverpool.”

Previous auctions have seen rare items sell for thousands of pounds.

Last year retired civil servant Mrs Joyce McWiliams, 67, from Spital, received £3,100 for a black knitted tie given to her by John Lennon at the Cavern Club and £14,750 for five postcard sized photographs signed by the Beatles.

If you are one of the women pictured or you can help identify them please get in touch either at or call in to the Beatles Shop on Mathew Street or call Stephen on 0151 236 8066. 


  1. What a cool photo. George looks like such a kid, and John's hair cracks me up! So glad he got it cut a few months later. ;-) Just a small point, but the boys didn't play The Star-Club until '62, so they must have just played the Top Ten. Thanks for posting this... hope they find the fans and that they can share some cool memories.

  2. Cara, you made the same point I was going to make. The Star Club didn't even open until April 1962 and the Beatles were among the first acts to play the newly-opened venue. I actually have an original ticket to the Beatles' gig at St. John's Hall in Tuebrook on February 17, 1961. It was a show arranged by Mona Best through her Casbah Promotions and the Beatles played on the bill with Gene Day and the Jango Beats. This gig would have been one of the first they played after returning to Liverpool after their first tenure in Hamburg in 1960. Sara: Where did you get the information that this was taken at St. John's Hall in Tuebrook? This could have been taken the very night of the gig for which I have the ticket. I actually visited this church hall during a 2001 trip to Liverpool.

    1. Hi Mark! (Aren't you the fellow I have met at the Fest in Chicago?)
      I just copy and pasted the article from the Liverpool newspaper that was online yesterday. Although I am thinking that while the Star Club information is incorrect the date is correct. Way cool if this photo is indeed taken the same day as your ticket!

    2. Yes, Sara, we've met at the Chicago fest. I'd love to know if this photo was taken on February 17, 1961. The Beatles actually played St. John's Hall in Tuebrook on several occasions in 1961, but February 17th was the first time they played there. The church (of which the hall is a part) is located just a few blocks from the Casbah Club at Pete Best's family home (Haymans Green), which is the reason why Mona Best booked the Beatles there. It was near her house. They didn't list the date of this photo, did they? They only said it was at St. John's Hall in Tuebrook. If it was taken there, then the earliest date it could be would be February 17, 1961. Even at this date, it wasn't the first gig they had after returning home from Hamburg. They played several other venues around Liverpool between their return from Hamburg in 1960 and February 17, 1961. It was certainly one of the first places they played after that first Hamburg trip, but not THE first.

  3. The Beatles played Tuebrook on 13 July 1961, their first gig after returning from their second Hamburg trip.