The Beatles – Original 1961 Aldershot Photograph

An original vintage photograph of The Beatles performing their legendary show at the Palais Ballroom, Aldershot for an audience of only 18 people. This gig, on December 9, 1961, has become part of Beatles folklore. Sam Leach, who aspired to manage the band, promoted this show–however it wasn’t properly advertised. In a mixup, the local paper, The Aldershot News, failed to publish the ad for the show, and no more than half a dozen people showed up. When the group took a break, Leach reportedly tried to round up more customers, rushing around to nearby pubs and coffee bars to recruit more audience members. It was all the more disappointing considering the Beatles had played the night before to a crowd of thousands, as part of a seven act bill, at the Tower Ballroom in New Brighton. Four hours after that show, they’d departed for Aldershot, a nine hour drive. This photograph, by Merseybeat photographer Dick Mathews, pictures the Beatles playing with two audience members oblivious to the band on stage. Note George Harrison is playing into a small amp sitting on a chair and the ‘backdrop’ is a number of album covers, hanging from the rafters. This vintage photograph was published in the mid 60’s in ’16 Magazine’ and comes from the archive of its late editor, Gloria Stavers. There are crop lines on the front (easily removed if you wish,) and Stavers copyright stamp and publication notes on the reverse. In excellent condition, 8′ x 10′.

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