Tickets for Paul McCartney’s UK arena tour went on sale this morning (October 13) at 9am and the ten-date tour is expected to sell out in no time. Let Hg2 take you on a trip down memory lane to look at some of the famous places around the world the Fab Four have performed.
Cavern Club, Liverpool
Arguably the most famous of them all is the iconic Cavern Club. Tucked away in one of Liverpool’s most popular night spots, Mathew Street, you could easily walk past the Cavern and miss it if it wasn’t for all the tourists posing with the club’s sign. Opened in the late 1950s, the Cavern Club became a cool venue for aspiring musicians, but it was The Beatles, upon their return from Hamburg in the winter of 1960, who became club favourites. Although the original entrance isn’t in use, the club is still one of the best places to enjoy a gig in Liverpool and once you travel down the winding staircase, you feel as though you’ve travelled back to the time. A must-see for any Beatles fan.
Royal Command Performance, London
On 4 November 1963 The Beatles were the seventh act out of 19 to play at the Prince of Wales Theatre. This was the only time the band played in front of the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret. By this time, Beatlemania had truly kicked in and this appearance was highly anticipated. Despite the success of the performance, The Beatles turned down all subsequent invitations to play despite repeated attempts to lure them back.
The Beatles spent a lot of time touring in Hamburg during the early 1960s, and it is thought that this is where they honed their skills. This led to their first ever recording as a group. It wasn’t all easy going from there. The band broke their contract with club operator Bruno Koschmider by playing at a different venue, Harrison was deported because he was under age (17), and McCartney was arrested and deported for attempted arson after he set fire to a condom in their lodgings.
Indra Club, Hamburg
Before all this, the band played their first Hamburg gig at the Indra Club, a run-down strip club. They were too poor to afford rent so they slept in the storeroom of a small local cinema, the Bambi Kino. “We were put in this pigsty. We were living in a toilet, like right next to the ladies’ toilet. We’d go to bed late and be woken up next day by the sound of the cinema show and old German fraus [women] pissing next door.” – John Lennon, talking about their unfavourable accommodation.
As part of the Beatles tour of Sweden in 1963, the fab four played five different locations, the second of which was Kungliga tennishallen, a tennis venue built to hold 5,000 people. The band weren’t an immediate hit in Sweden and it wasn’t until their tour here that they managed to secure a number one record in the charts. Their fourth release, She Loves You, reached the top spot on 5 October 1963 and stayed in the Top 10 for 14 weeks.
Odeon Cinema, Cheltenham
“Beatlemania! It’s happening everywhere … even in sedate Cheltenham.” This was the headline in the Daily Mirror following the Beatles’ first gig of their fourth British tour in November 1963. They played at the Odeon Cinema alongside five other acts: The Rhythm & Blues Quartet, The Vernons Girls, The Brook Brothers, Peter Jay & The Jaywalkers and The Kestrels.
Olympia Theatre, Paris
From 16 January to 5 February 1964, the band performed 18 days of concerts, often playing more than one set a day. They only had two days off during the whole run. Their set list included hits such as Roll Over Beethoven, This Boy, and Long Tall Sally and although the Olympia was an impressive music hall, it still was not prepared for Beatlemania. During one of their shows, the venue’s fuses blew three times due to its electricity system not being equipped for 1960s amplifiers. “They had overloaded all the amps, and they all went ‘Bomf!’ They like the wilder stuff over there, so we stuck in a wilder number to finish off with.” – Paul McCartney
New York, USA
On 7 February 1964, The Beatles waved goodbye to 4,000 fans at Heathrow Airport and boarded their flights from London. They arrived at JFK some hours later with 3,000 fans to greet them. Their first live US television performance was on The Ed Sullivan Show two days later. More than 74 million viewers tuned in, more than 40 per cent of the population.
Washington Coliseum, USA
Two days after their appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Beatles performed a gig in Washington DC. They played just two songs to the smallish audience of 8,092: From Me to You and I Want to Hold Your Hand. The songs went on to sell 1.5 million copies in the following three weeks. This propelled them to international stardom, but it wasn’t all smooth sailing. George Harrison’s microphone wasn’t working during their first song and he was given a faulty replacement. The over-excited audience responded by throwing sweets at the guys. “That night, we were absolutely pelted by the f*****g things. They don’t have soft jelly babies there; they have hard jelly beans.” – George Harrison
Shea Stadium, New York City
The Beatles set plenty of world records in their time and one such event was the performance at Shea Stadium in August 1965, to more than 55,600 fans. This became a world record not only due to the number of attendees but also in terms of gross revenue. They were introduced by Ed Sullivan and began their 12 songs with Twist And Shout and ended with I’m Down which is when Lennon played his Hammond organ with his elbow and John aimed his guitar like a machine gun at a plane flying overhead.
The Apple Offices, London
It was a cold afternoon 42 years ago that The Beatles played their impromptu gig on the top of the Apple Offices at Saville Row. On 30 January 1969, almost five years after their last live gig, The Beatles (with a helping hand from keyboard player Billy Preston) ran through a selection of five potential songs for their next album. Unfortunately, the gig was cut short by a local policeman who objected to the noise disturbance. Little did he know he was cutting short the band’s last ever gig.
Hg2 would like to thank Cheapflights.co.uk, the UK’s leading flight comparison site for this article.