The Beatles play in Aldershot
Sam Leach had gotten the Beatles a few presentations in the Palais Ballroom in Aldershot, Hampshire for December 1961. It was supposed to be “The Battle of the Bands”, between the Beatles from Liverpool and Ivor Jay and the Jaywalkers from London. This would be the first gig in the south of England for Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Pete Best.
They expected to attract the attention of record executives from London, but, Aldershot was a military town 37 miles outside of London. And to make things worse, Leach’s advertisements in the local newspapers did not appear.
We got in, unloaded the stuff, and the boys set up their amps and waited for the crowds to come flocking – and waited, and waited, and waited.
After a nine hour car ride from Liverpool, their posters were nowhere to be seen and what’s worse, the opponents never showed.
[Sam Leach] was stopping anyone passing by to tell them about the gig. Of course, they would come in, have a quick look, and say ‘boring,’ and clear off somewhere else.
On Decembre 9th, 1961 The Beatles played their music that night, to about 18 very bored people.