•Beatles Ltd., divided equally to each Beatle, was a receptacle
for the net earnings from concerts during 1963.
Each Beatle would receive money from this fund.
•The Silver Beetles backed Johnny Gentle at Forres Town
Hall, Scotland on May 26, 1960. Entrance fee was 5 shillings. Also,
the Silver Beetles had run out of money and left the Royal Hotel
in Forres the following morning without paying their bill (Porter,
A. Before They Were Beatles, p. 108).
•Ted Taylor, of Kingsize Taylor and the Dominoes taped the
Beatles on New Year's Eve '62. He offered to sell the tapes to Brian
in '63. Brian offered twenty pounds for the tapes (although the
tapes could have technically belonged to EMI because of the recording
contract) . Brian turned him down. Taylor gave the tapes to a recording
engineer to see if he could clean up the sound. The tapes were forgotten
about until '72 when Allan Williams tried unsuccessfully to sell
them to George and Ringo.
•May 14 1960: The Beatles play an "audition set"
in Lathom Hall in Liverpool. They play during a gap in between sets
of another band. Several promoters used this method to audition
bands.The bands were not paid for the audition, but were considered
for a future paying gig. The Beatles were booked by Brian Kelly
for 21 May as a paying gig (Porter, A. Before They Were Beatles,
•Ringo would also have half-understood conversations with
Brian about Beatle finance and why he didn't get as much as even
George. But at least he was no longer on a hireling's wage (Clayson,
•Although the idea of playing for money was important, the
mere fact that they could play for an audience and create electricity
between themselves and everyone else who heard them in those early
days was more than enough to satisfy their young egos (Lennon, C.
•John: "Well, we'd been playing 'round in Liverpool
for a bit without getting anywhere, trying to get work, and the
other groups kept telling us, 'You'll do alright, you'll get work
someday.' (Beatles Ultimate Experience).
•In early 1961 the Beatles had just three guitars, three
amplifiers (sometimes), and one drum kit. More often than not they
would use microphones supplied by the promoter which he, in turn,
would hire if he couldn't afford to own them himself (Lewisohn.
•Although the Beatles were Roy Orbison fans, they still
asked to close the show. Orbison recalled: "I was earning three
times there money. They approached me and said, 'Let us close the
show' (Mackenzie. Every Little Thing, p. 97).
A List of Performances and the Fees:
•Alan Williams paid "a few quid" at the Jacandara.
But Williams said that they also collected money from
the dole (Williams).
•The Silver Beatles were paid 36 pounds for two weeks work
for the tour with Johnny Gentle(Goldsmith, M. The Beatles Come to
America, p. 41).
•Beatles played for one week backing a stripper for 10s
(50p) each per night. Sutcliffe suggested a quid
per man and Williams agrees but checks with his partner. The final
accepted offer is 10s per man. (Miles).
•Bob Wooler convinced Brian Kelly to put the Beatles on
as an extra at a show. They argued over the fee.
Wooler suggested eight pounds. The normal fee was one pound per
musician. Wooler explained that there
were five Beatles and one driver...they received six pounds that
•The Beatles didn't show up at a gig in May '60 while on
tour in Scotland. The same promoter of the
canceled gig agreed to book them at Litherland Town Hall for £6.
Entrance fees were 3s (15p).
•Beatles first professional gig was for £10. Alan
Williams and a bouncer each received £1 with the £8
divided among the rest of the group.
•After the Litherland gig the promoter (Brian Kelly) booked
for 36 more shows at £6-8 per night.
•Beatles were earning £800 week playing one night
stands in Britain in late '63.
•The Beatle's first fee on Granada TV was £12 each.
Years later £1000 was paid for a program about the
songs of Lennon and McCartney.
•Litherland Town Hall. Jan 5 '61. Paid £7 10s (£7.50).
This performance was booked on December
•Beatles earned £30 for a gig at the Royal Lido. The
contract stated that they were not to play within a
10 mile radius 10 weeks prior to the engagement (Lipack).
•Les Dodd paid Allan Williams £10 (£2 each)
for the Silver Beatles at Grosvenor Ballroom for June 6, 1960 (Lewisohn.
Chronicle p. 38).
•St. John's Hall. January 6 1961. £6 10s (£6.50)
(Lewisohn. Chronicle p. 38).
•Dec 18-31. Star Club, Hamburg. 750DM (£67) per week
per man (Lewisohn. Chronicle p. 86).
•Sam Leach: I peeled three £5 notes from my back pocket
and stuck them on Pete's bass drum. Pete grabbed them in a flash
and stuffed them down his t-shirt. [After the show] Pete handed
me the three £5 notes he stuffed down his t-shirt and I pulled
another fiver from my pocket. 'And here's a bonus', I said happily.
'You're right Paul. You were something else tonight'. The extra
cash meant more to Paul than the compliment. 'Great! Twenty quid
is twice what we get anywhere else' (Leach. p. 77 and 79).
•Brian telephoned Arthur Howes about booking the group.
The Beatles had 'Love Me Do' on the charts at the time but were
relatively unknown. Howes, one of Britain's leading concert promoters,
offered the Beatles £30 a night for the Helen Shapiro tour
and wouldn't pay them at all for a performance with Frank Ifield
beyond traveling expenses. Brian responded by giving Howes first
option on all future Beatle tours (Lewisohn. Chronicle p. 62).
•The Institute. June 2 '60. The Silver Beetles received
£10 from Les Dodd. £1 went to Alan Williams
(Lewisohn. Chronicle p. 28).
•Hambleton Hall. January 25. £7 10s ( £7.50)
(Lewisohn. Chronicle p. 39).
•Played Thistle Cafe, West Derby, ten miles from Liverpool,
£18. February 1, 1962. This may be the first engagement as
an artist contracted by Brian Epstein.
•People and Places TV program: £35.
•August 6 and 7. Springfield Ballroom. Channel Islands.
£1000 (Lewisohn. Chronicle p. 118).
•June 15 '63. City Hall. Salisbury, Wiltshire. Arranged
in April '63 for £300. Brian Epstein offered Jaybee
Clubs £200 to cancel the agreement because of his concern
for the groups' safety at this venue. Mr.
Epstein was turned down and the group performed (Lewisohn. Chronicle
•Grosvenor Rooms. Norwich, Norfolk. May 17 '63. £250.
Arranged in mid-April through London promoter Barry Clayman (Lewisohn.
Chronicle p. 109).
•Bob Wooler called Brian Kelly (12/7/60 @ Litherland Townhall)
to arrange the Beatles to play for £8.
Kelly says £4. They settle on £6.
•Beatles earned 75 s (Epstein says 68s) per night at Cavern.
This was more than most groups who played
there at the time.
•Some of the Beatles' early gigs barely covered expenses
because they played for the fee that was
agreed upon months earlier (Norman, P. 195).
•A '62 performance: £25 at the Barnston Institute.
•Cavern Club sessions paid the Beatles £15 evenings
and £5 lunchtime (Lewisohn. Chronicle.
•The Silver Beatles were booked for £18 per week per
man (plus part expenses paid: Lewisohn.
Chronicle p. 19) for two weeks as the backup group for Johnny Gentle
(Brown p. 37).
•In January the Beatles began to play some evening gigs
at the Cavern, as well as at lunchtime, and soon
they were considered the house band. The lunchtime session, a steady
booking, paid them 25 shillings a
day each (Brown, p. 49).
•PAUL: "That was when we felt we were..."
JOHN: "...on the way up."
PAUL: "...gonna make it in Liverpool."
PLAYBOY: "How much were you earning then?"
JOHN: "For that particular night, 20 dollars."
JOHN: "For the group! Hell, we used to work for less than that."
PAUL: "We used to work for about three or four dollars a night."
RINGO: "Plus all the Coke we could drink. And we drank alot.
(Playboy Interview. Beatles Ultimate
•The Beatles were back at the Cass for the Valentine's Night
Rock Ball on the Tuesday following their first appearance. Tickets
were just 4s 6d (22p) and with them on the bill were The Big Three,
Rory Storm and
The Hurricanes, Mark Peters and The Cylones and Tommy 'Elvis' Jordan
(Leach p. 52).
•So, launching my usual advertising blitz, I introduced
lunchtime sessions (at the Iron Door), with no less
than three groups playing each day. Entry was just a shilling (5p)
for members. On that first Monday,
I kept up the pressure by putting on six bands in the evening: The
Beatles, ... (Leach p. 53).
•I had the Beatles booked again for a lunchtime session
at the Cass the next day, and as you would expect,
Ray McFall and Bob Wooler were livid at my move on their afternoon
trade. The tide had turned and Ray's response was all too predictable.
The previous weekend, Ray had offered the lads three lunchtime sessions
at the Cavern on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, which was a great
financial lift for them. Although
McFall wouldn't book them of a night, they were free four afternoons
a week, he insisted he would ban
them for life if they played for me again during the day. I'll repeat
that. The Cavern threatened to ban The
Beatles for life! Obviously this presented the lads with an impossible
dilemma as they were about to start
playing for me six times a week. And for twice the money! (Leach
•Sam Leach: Open-mouthed and worrying what mischief Terry
had been up to, I collared George and
asked him what had happened. "Somebody lobbed a load of stink
bombs around the Cavern and Ray's
had to close down for the day. Rather than pay us for not playing,
he said we could come here-just this
once. I was amazed that anyone would notice the smell in that dungeon
of a place (Leach p. 55).
•Debut as the Beatles at the Cavern. Lunchtime £5.
(Lewisohn. Chronicle p. 38).
•Aintree. Feb 22 '61. £7 2s (£7.10) (Lewisohn.
Chronicle p. 38).
•St. Paul's Presbyterian Church Youth Club. Church Hall.
Tranmere, Birkenhead. March 10 '62. The Beatles were paid £17
and £6 went to the support act (the Searchers). There was
an attendance of 357 and a profit of £11 (Lewisohn. Chronicle
•YMCA, Hoylake, Wirral, Cheshire. £30. Feb 24 '62.
This engagement was booked by Mona Best.
Charles Trantner arrived at the Best home with the offer of £30.
Mr. Trantner had first asked them to
play Sept 8 '61 but the group was already booked. The YMCA audience
"booed them off stage".
•Cabaret Club. Duke St. Liverpool. £15. July 25 '62.
An unadvertised performance (Lewisohn.
Chronicle p. 74).
•The Beatles tour of Sweden in October '63 paid them £140
per night (Lewisohn. Chronicle p. 126).
Relay of Info on Some of the Performances:
•Bill Harry: "Most of the promoters at the time were
con men who didn't pay the bands their money".
•Allan Williams: Those days were known as 'Rock and Dole'.
•Millie Sutcliffe: [Stuart] didn't like it at all, but he
needed the money, even though it was only five shillings
they were getting at the time.
•Aintree Institute. The promoter pays them in change (£15).
Brian walks out and demands a check.
•Arthur Howes booked the Beatles for £80 before Please,
Please Me went #1. Brian did not renege and
could have asked for ten times that amount (Norman, p. 177).
•After John's appearance on Juke Box Jury, he was driven
to Battersea Heliport and flown to Penypund
football ground in order to make it in time for that evening's engagement
at the Ballroom, Town Hall in
Abergavenny, Monmouthshire. The cost of the chartered helicopter
was £100. The group received
£250 for the engagement (Lewisohn. Chronicle p. 113).
•The Beatles were to play the Rialto in September of '62.
Brian did not want to because the Rialto was a
rough place and there was the Pete Best backlash to deal with. The
Beatles were to receive £30. Leach
gives Brian £11 with the rest being promised the next day.
Brian stated that there would be no show if he
did not get the £19 remaining immediately. The Beatles wanted
to play on Leach's terms...and they did
•George describes an instance that led to the Beatles playing
the Cassanova Club for promoter Sam Leach: "Somebody lobbed
a load of stink bombs around the Cavern and Ray's had to close down
for the day.
Rather than pay us for not playing, he said we should come here-just
this once (Leach, p. 55).
•Lord Woodbine invited the Beetles to play in New Colony
to play when they had nothing better to do in the afternoon. They
could drink free, banter with the girls...For their trouble they
would split four pounds among
the four of them for a couple hours of work (Flippo, p. 51).
•When were you aware that there was something special about
You can write your own entry for Who's Who, and Paul McCartney has
written, "Made first important
appearance as the Beatles at Litherland Town Hall near Liverpool
in December 1960". They had come
back from Hamburg and they had no work. Mona Best had given them
work at the Casbah but she couldn't
sustain them as a residency and I got them in on Brian Kelly's circuit.
It was Tuesday 27th December
1960 - a Beekay, Brian Kelly, dance. I am pleased that I got them
the booking. I asked for £8 and
Brian nearly collapsed because he was a tight wad but then most
of the promoters were. He offered
£4 and we compromised on £6, which is £1 a man,
five Beatles, and £1 for the driver. I didn't take my
10 per cent. The impact was so tremendous on that Tuesday evening
that Brian Kelly got his diary out
and he signed them for a string of dates for £7.10s, 30 bob
(£1.50) a man. He posted a bouncer on the
door that led backstage to stop any other promoters getting to the
Beatles (Record Collector magazine,
July 1998 (No 227).
•What do you remember of the Beatles' final appearance at
the Cavern on 3rd August 1963?
That only came about because Epstein couldn't pull them out of a
booking at the Grafton Ballroom the
night before. Les Ackerley said, "No, I have got them under
contract", and Epstein was furious because, by then, he had
other things in mind for them. They were coming to Liverpool for
the Friday, so we were offered them on Saturday. We only had them
because he couldn't get them out of the Friday booking. I rather
resented this as he was doing it to get at Ackerley, to steal his
•The Beatles were paid £300, which was quite a bit
of money then. We made no money out of it because Brian restricted
the audience to 500 and as the admission price was ten shillings,
that meant £250 on the door. All the staff had to be paid,
and the other groups on the bill too. I can't blame Brian as he
had seen how crowded the Cavern got when we had 800 in. The Beatles
were very professional that night, there was no larking around and
they got on with it. We all felt it was their swan song and that
we would never have them again. As it happens, Brian Epstein still
owes the Cavern about six dates for the Beatles as he kept pulling
them out of lunchtime and evening bookings by saying, "You
wouldn't stand in the boys' way, would you, Bob?" (Record Collector
magazine, July 1998 (No 227).
•Wednesday. March 7 '62. Rehearse and record their debut
BBC radio appearance. The Beatles each had a bag with a £40
grey, brush-tweed lounge suit, with pencil-thin lapels and matching
tie all bought from bespoke tailor Beno Dorn in Grange Road West
in Birkenhead, for which they were measured and paid £3 deposit
on Jan 29 '62 (Lewisohn. Chronicle. p. 52).
•Ritz Ballroom. Birmingham. This was a rearranged engagement
from one postponed on Jan 11 '63. The same fee was charged to the
promoter, but the Beatles were now featured in the top three of
the singles charts (Lewisohn. Chronicle. p. 100).
•Through most of '63 a London promoter could still get the
Beatles for £30 per evening.
•Plaza Ballroom. St Helens, Lancashire. Brian, in an effort
to inspire the group, wrote on a note before this performance that
Whetstone entertainment "controlled 16 venues in the Northwest".
He did not inform them that 13 of the 16 were bingo halls. The group
was paid £25 (Lewisohn. Chronicle p. 73).
•Sid Bernstein: We made the deal for $6,5000 for two shows
after he (Brian) told me he was getting top dollar in England-equivalent
to $2,000 a show. I topped that by saying $6,500 for two shows,
meaning $3,250 per show. He said, "Wait till I tell the guys
at lunch". I said, "I'd like to bring them to Carnegie
Hall". And he said, "Oh,my, wait till I tell the boys:
Then he told me, "If our group doesn't mean anything by the
end of the year , don't hold me to the deal".
•Yankel Feather in Liverpool (a basement club) would not
consider booking the Beatles because John Lennon would not be allowed
in the club for looking too "rough" (Coleman).
•The village of Port Sunlight, where the Beatles played
on four occasions at Hulme Hall, was created by Viscount Leverhulme
in 1888 for the employees of the soap business (now it is Unilever)
(Lewisohn. Chronicle. p. 73).
•Johnny Gentle: We went out and bought a shirt for George
Harrison. We were so broke we couldn't afford to buy a shirt for
the drummer so he wore white.
•As tickets went on sale for the 19 city tour in '63 the
Beatles were second on the bill. But it was soon evident that the
Beatles were more popular than the other acts.
•The Beatles played all of the previously scheduled £25,
£50, and £60 bookings even though they had reached a
much higher bracket by the time of some of these performances were
•The Beatles played the Cabaret Artists' Social Club owned
by Allan Williams and Lord Woodbine.
Lord Woodbine commented: "The Beatles weren't interested in
the strippers or the music. They just
did it for the money".
•It has been reported that Larry Parnes wanted Stuart Sutcliffe
dropped from the group on the condition
that he would pay The Beatles £100 per week. Parnes denies
this report. He did offer £18 per member.
•Dick James said that Brian would go into his office and
state that the Beatles had just been offered £200 for one
night. James told him to ask for double that amount. When Brian
came back and said that the increased figure had been agreed upon,
James told him to go back and ask for double that again.
•Larry Parnes booked the Beatles for October 1960 on a two-week
tour with Johnny Gentle. Mr. Parnes stated that he got a call from
John on the opening day of the tour asking, "Where's the bloody
•Upon returning from Scotland Alan Williams had arranged
for the Silver Beetles to play at £10 a night at the Grosvenor
Ballroom (Lewisohn. Chronicle p. 20).
•102 private security guards were hired for the Dodger Stadium
performance in Los Angeles.
•Grosvenor Ballroom. Saturday. December 24 '60. Derry and
the Seniors and The Beatles each receive £10.50 (Lewisohn.
Chronicle p. 29).
•The Beatles were booked into a strip club, by Alan Williams,
run by Lord Woodbine because "they were around and they were
cheap" (Harry, B. Lennon Encyclopedia, p. 66).
•The Beatles first venue where Brian took a commission was
Feb 1 '62 at the Thistle Cafe. £18 was his 10% for gas, oil,
and miscellaneous expenses. This 10% rate was reduced for this special
occasion. Brian convinced the people who leased the hall to call
it "The Beatle Club". The Beatles would never play the
club again, however (Lewisohn. Chronicle p. 64).
Swedish Tour '63:
•The Beatles got about $ 400 a day + free location, food
and travels during these five October days. They did nine concerts.
$100 went to the English booking manager and the rest to Brian Epstein
•One of the biggest problems was the huge equipment. They
had several loudspeakers! Normally a band would hire a big American
car, but The Beatles had to hire a wagon too.
•Brian Epstein was in a bad mood. He didn't like the fact
that the English booking agency received 100 pounds a day during
the tour. "Much to much", he said.
•Duncan McKinnon, Larry Parnes' Tour Manager, wanted the
Beatles sacked from the Scottish tour because their appearance was
"scruffy". Johnny Gentle donated matching black shirts
to the group and the issue was resolved (Porter, A. Before They
Were Beatles, p. 108).
•The Beatles very first concert in Nya Aulan at a Sundsta
school took place at 7:00pm and their second concert started off
at 9:00pm. The place was built for 750 people but was only 3/4 filled
during both of the shows. The cheapest tickets could be bought for
12 SKr (about $1.50) and the exclusive ones for 20 SKr (just under
$3.00) and at that time, that was thought to be very expensive.
•When the Silver Beetles returned from the Scottish Tour
they were asked by Alan Williams to play every Monday night at his
Jacaranda Club. Payment was to be free Coke to drink and plates
of beans on toast (Porter, A. Before They Were Beatles, p. 110).