A genuine, highly attractive Beatles hanging concert poster from their week-long engagement commencing July 22, 1963 at the Odeon Theatre in Weston-Super-Mare, England.
This miniature Beatles ticket poster comes from a time when the boys held down the #1 single and #1 LP in Britain, enjoying their initial explosion in popularity over there.
It’s pretty small compared to the usual concert poster, and was printed on card-stock material… thicker than paper, but still very flexible.
This Beatles Odeon poster represents a time when our beloved moptops were relying heavily on cover versions to flush out their albums. Just a few days before this engagement began, the Fab Four recorded “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me,” “Money,” “Til There Was You” and “Devil in Her Heart” – all slated to appear on their upcoming long-player, With the Beatles.
Some observers see cover versions as perhaps a sign of weakness, that a group is running short of good, new songs. But not me – the mix of repertoire the Beatles presented in this era was simply magical.
There are several notations at the top of this Beatles concert placard that might puzzle Americans, being so distinctly British.
For starters, the weird-sounding Weston-Super-Mare is a seaside resort in the southwest of England, beneath Wales, and a well-traveled tourist destination.
And then this Beatles tour poster proclaims one word, “Odeon.” in big red letters at the top, to signify the venue. The Odeon Theatres chain was a string of movie and performance theatres throughout England at the time, which the boys often performed in.
And take a look at that phone number – simply “1784.” Boy, does that ever indicate that this was an advertisement for locals only, and that the country’s population was sparse compared to today.
My favorite expression on this Beatles broadside is found in the sentence, “Arthur Howes Presents Britain’s Fabulous Disc Stars!”
Howes was a prominent English concert promoter at the time, and in fact, became the primary Beatles tour operator in Britain from 1964 until they stopped touring in 1966.
Another dated, but cool, design element of this Beatles fence poster is the way their four heads are arranged, floating together with no necks or bodies. This was a common technique at the time, on both sides of the Atlantic.
Notice the same method was used for the 2nd-billed act, Gerry and the Pacemakers. Not only that, but they got a song title on the poster, too – “I Like It.”
It’s a shame this Beatles event poster doesn’t have any of their song titles; how great would it be to see either of their recent smashes, “Please Please Me” or “From Me to You,” on there.
Gerry and the Pacemakers may have been second-billed, but they were keeping close pace behind the Beatles at this point in time. They had already logged a pair of number one hits thus far, the aforementioned “I Like It” plus “How Do You Do It,” and another was right around the corner, “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”
And then this Beatles in-person poster is rounded out by five lesser-known entertainers below, only one of which made any chart appearances (Tommy Quickly).
It was not unusual for a versatile comedian to act as the Master of Ceremonies at tourist resorts, and this engagement was no exception; notice how Billy Baxter was the “Star Comedy Compere” in big letters. Can you just imagine sitting through corny tourist jokes, in addition to FOUR unknown musical acts, waiting patiently for the Beatles to come on??
My personal favorite era in Fab Four history is actually represented by this Beatles telephone-pole poster. The boys were now making incredible music, topping all the charts, but Beatlemania hadn’t quite struck yet, so they were somewhat accessible if you were determined.
But all of that would soon change, within weeks even… “She Loves You” was their very next single, opening the floodgates and helping to create mayhem everywhere they went.
To show you how naïve things still were at the time of this Beatles concert poster, I show you a Dezo Hoffman photograph of the boys in old-timey bathing suits taken down at the beach. For heaven’s sake, remember those? Well, they were snapped on the very last day of this weeklong stand.
Now that’s what I would mark as “the end of the innocence.” Going forward, the Moptops would no longer kow-tow to any goofy request a photographer would make, just to get publicity. They were starting to rise above that.
Once again looking at the design, this Beatles concert announcement makes great use of light, almost pastel, shades of red, yellow and pink to great effect. (Blue would be the fourth color.)
Electric (Modern) Printing Co. Ltd. in Manchester, England did the printing, but I don’t know if they designed it or not; perhaps Arthur Howes’ people did.
This Beatles concert window hanging is enthusiastically discussed by collector Peter Howard, who’s based in California. That’s me, and please reach me either through firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 805-540-0020. And let it be known that I pay TOP DOLLAR IN THE HOBBY for a copy of this, or any vintage original, Beatles concert poster.
If you’d like to view some more historic, fun Beatles U.K. concert posters, just click over to this page right here on my Web site: http://www.postercentral.com/beatles.htm