An authentic, rare Beatles in-person poster from the Grafton Ballroom in their native Liverpool on January 10, 1963.
What’s remarkable about this poster is that January 10, 1963 is the day before EMI/Parlophone released the Beatles’ “Please, Please Me” single, which would rocket them to national stardom in just a few short weeks.
But history aside, the first thing that strikes you about this beautiful Beatles Grafton Ballroom concert advertisement is the gorgeous Day-Glo colors. The bright red, orange and yellow/green really stand out against the black backdrop.
If you’re a graphic artist, it’s also interesting to note how white was used only for the important slug line directly above the Beatles’ name, and then in one little star down below. Interesting touch.
As was the standard of the day, this Beatles Grafton Ballroom window poster measures 20 by 30 inches. It was printed on thin paper, not cardboard or durable paper, so these things become very fragile after turning half-a-century old.
Gerry & The Pacemakers were also on the bill on this Beatles Grafton Ballroom ticket poster. Anyone who listened to Top 40 radio in the mid-’60s knows them for hits like “Ferry Cross the Mersey” and “Don’t Let the Sun Catch You Crying.” They were managed, in fact, by Beatles manager Brian Epstein.
And yet, at the beginning of 1963, nobody on this poster was actually famous yet, so the Pacemakers got no better billing than the other unknown acts listed. Even the M.C. got similar billing.
Focusing back on the headliners, you just have to love the way the Fabs’ name dominates this Beatles Grafton Ballroom tour poster… the big oval in the center, their name tilted at an angle, the huge lettering and catchy type used, and of course the coloring… you could see this thing from a block away!
Here is all the wording, just as it reads on the poster:
(Yellow stripe at top): The Grafton Ballroom (Also in yellow): Thurs. Jan 10th from 7:30 to 12:30
(In white): First 1963 Appearance on Merseyside of THE BEATLES
(And then the under-billed acts, all in red): Also Gerry & the Pacemakers, the Billy Ellis Trio, Sonny Webb & The Cascades, the Johnny Hilton Showband, and Master of Ceremonies – The One & Only Bob Wooler
Tickets 7’, In Advance 6’. From NEMS – Lewis’s – Cranes – Rushworth’s – Hessy’s – & the Grafton
Wooler’s name is interesting to see on this Beatles Grafton Ballroom concert announcement because all he did was introduce the boys to their future manager Brian Epstein in late 1961. He was the DJ at the famed Cavern Club, and quite a local music impresario at the time.
Wooler himself actually saved a lot of original Beatles concert posters, and sold most of them off before his death in 2002. I spoke with him on the phone a couple of times, but I don’t recall if he had this one or not.
In this video, I show you vintage photographs of a couple of the opening acts on this Beatles Grafton Ballroom appearance poster. Since the poster itself has no photos, I often like to enhance my videos with that kind of visual aid.
In fact, I also show you a picture of the Beatles on stage this week. Not this very night, I couldn’t find a photo of that, but one from 48 hours later (that Saturday night) in Kent, England.
So with great pleasure, this Beatles Grafton Ballroom street poster is discussed in depth by first-generation Beatles fan Pete Howard of San Luis Obispo, California – a long way from Liverpool! But that’s me, and I can be reached at 805-540-0020 or through the Internet at firstname.lastname@example.org. And I don’t own this poster so I will pay TOP DOLLAR IN THE WORLD, should you run across one for sale.
And to feast your eyes upon a couple more original Beatles English concert posters, just go see this page right here on my Web site: http://www.postercentral.com/beatles.htm