A true original Beatles concert poster from Aldershot, England on a historic date in Beatles folklore: December 9, 1961.
The Beatles’ 1961 Aldershot dance-show is remembered to this day because only 18 paying punters made it in the door to this cold, winter event. Thankfully, photographer Dick Matthews was along for the ride to take pictures of the Aldershot debacle, and I show you several of his photos in this presentation.
Many years later, in an interview, Paul McCartney himself would recall the Beatles’ Aldershot show as “the time we couldn’t get arrested.” Aldershot was a little ghost-town military outpost Southwest of London, and to add to their misery, there were stormy winter conditions that night.
This Beatles Aldershot window card is not very big, it was printed on card stock with black & orange letters, and the typesetter used a few different fonts to get the message across. This exact Beatles Aldershot poster of mine is dry-mounted to a backing material. Despite its humble appearance, I think it’s just about the most important and coolest Beatles concert poster ever made. Why, you ask? Because it’s for the entertainment world’s biggest act ever on their smallest night ever, with great photographic documentation to back it up. I just love the heck out of it, but that’s just my opinion, and perhaps you’d prefer something from after they became famous.
Underscoring my point, however, this exact poster has been displayed to the general public in both the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, CA and at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & Museum in Cleveland, OH. Adding to its cache, it’s also the same poster photographed for Mark Lewisohn’s book The Beatles Live!, which was also a great reference source for my research.
The entire script found on this Beatles Aldershot concert placard, just as it reads from the top to bottom:
BIG BEAT SESSIONS at The Palais Ballroom – (switch to black ink): Queens Road – Aldershot
EVERY SATURDAY Commencing This Saturday December 9th (without the year, but 1961) – Presenting a “Battle of the Bands” – LIVERPOOL v LONDON
(Then in much smaller print): Liverpool’s No. “1” Rock Outfit – (in italics): Direct from Their German Tour – The Beatles – Versus (the solitary orange word here) – One of London’s Top “Beat” Groups – Ivor Jay & the Jaywalkers – Plus Two Other Star Groups
Rocking 7-30 p.m. to 11-30 p.m. Bar – (then a big space) – Buffet – Admission 5/- (and then the ultimate irony): Everyone Welcome – Tell Your Friends (but… nobody did!)
None of the other groups mentioned on this Aldershot broadside even bothered to show up, aside from the Beatles… Ivor Jay & The Jaywalkers were total no-shows, as were “two other star groups.” The Beatles, pros that they were, were left to entertain the 18 troops all by their lonesome.
It’s really funny the way this Beatles Aldershot billboard proclaims, “Direct from Their German Tour.” LOL! All that means is, they had slaved away in Hamburg the previous spring. Hyperbole has always been a key ingredient of rock ’n’ roll.
But in this case, the hype was not necessarily without merit: Just five years hence – on December 9, 1966 – the Beatles would be busy recording no less than Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Wow, did things ever move quickly in the 1960s!
This Beatles Big Beat concert sign is educationally discussed and enthused over by long-time collector Pete Howard (phone 805-540-0020 or firstname.lastname@example.org). I’ve had several of my Beatles concert posters in museums, and I pay TOP DOLLAR for this or any original Beatles concert advertising window card / poster.
To see other scarce, collectible Beatles concert posters, including a big, pretty one from their home town of Liverpool just 16 days after Aldershot, visit this page right here on my Web site: http://www.postercentral.com/beatles.htm