An enormous, beautiful Beatles Liverpool concert advertisement dating to December 5, 1965… just a couple of days after the release of their landmark Rubber Soul album.
This is an absolutely genuine, authentic artifact that was printed before the event to help sell tickets. In small print down in the lower white margin, it states, “Electric (Modern) Printing Co. Ltd., Manchester 8.”
Of course, then there’s the matter of was this Beatles Liverpool in-person poster really needed to help sell tickets. The answer: absolutely not. The show would have sold out 20 times over with just one editorial radio mention, followed by word-of-mouth.
So I’m theorizing that it was largely a vanity piece, perhaps created by manager Brian Epstein to get his and the group’s name all over town at the height of their success, to remind everyone that just three years earlier, they couldn’t get arrested.
One thing’s for certain… this Beatles Liverpool concert poster certainly had an impact. Look at how large and dynamic the group’s name is, seemingly comprising half the square footage on there, with action lines and musical notes flying out in all directions.
And then the four faces… four famous faces… not facing the viewer, but looking at each other! Ringo facing Paul, George turned toward John. It all seems a bit fun and irreverent.
The very top of this Beatles Liverpool show poster reads, in prominent red lettering, “Empire Liverpool – Sunday, 5th December, 1965 – 5:40 – 8.0.” That’s an early evening show at 5:40, of course, followed by an 8:00 PM performance.
And then poor house manager Neil Brooks, with this name and phone number on there… he might have even taken his phone off the hook in the week leading up to this date. One report says 40,000 ticket requests were received for just the 2,500 seats… oy vey!
I love the colors of this Beatles Liverpool window display… big, bright blue and red colors on a crisp white background. No more hues were needed… it achieved maximum effectiveness with just the two ink colors (notice no standard black was used).
And speaking of blue, the revered Moody Blues in their earliest days were a big opening act at this time because they’d already scored their #1 hit “Go Now.” Denny Laine was in the band; he would later join Paul McCartney in Wings in the early 1970s.
The measurements of this Beatles Liverpool billboard is 30 by 40 inches, quite the commanding size. It was once quarter-folded down to fit somewhere conveniently, so if you look carefully you can see the folds, but they don’t affect the poster’s appearance in the least.
This is considered large because the much more standard size for a UK concert poster at the time was 20 by 30 inches. That was the size of the Beatles’ Grafton Ballroom concert poster which I’ve already blogged in this space.
What’s historic about this Beatles Liverpool event poster is that it was the boys’ final concert appearance ever in their hometown. They would never again play in the city where the Quarry Men were formed in 1957.
In fact, it was the Fab Four’s final little British tour as well. They only played nine dates on this trek, in late fall 1965, but would never tour England again before finishing in America in August 1966 and calling it quits from the road entirely.
Across the top of this Beatles Liverpool fence poster it prominently states, “Arthur Howes & Brian Epstein Present.” Epstein I’ve discussed; Howes was a huge British pop-concert promoter at the time.
And then below the Moody Blues’ name it says, “With Great Supporting Programme.” Among the support acts were The Paramounts, who would eventually morph into Procol Harum. Not a bad couple of acts to see opening for the Beatles… the Moody Blues and Procol Harum!
And it wouldn’t be a Beatles Liverpool ticket poster without prices somewhere on there, and sure enough, down in the bottom white margin it conveys, “Book Now! Prices: 15/- 12/6 10/6 7/6 Book Now!”
But “Now” was probably too late… this event must have sold out literally as fast as money could be handed over. Had computerized ticketing existed at the time, it would have sold out in minutes, if not seconds.
This historic and wonderful Beatles Liverpool street sign was shown to you today by Pete Howard, who saw the Fab Four on Ed Sullivan, owned all five of their LPs in 1964 and has been a major fan ever since. That’s me, and you can reach me via firstname.lastname@example.org or on  540-0020. I pay the VERY BEST PRICES IN THIS HOBBY for vintage 60s Beatles concert memorabilia such as this beauty.
To see a few more great examples of genuine Beatles concert posters both here and abroad, I’ve assembled a nice little set on this page: http://www.postercentral.com/beatles.htm
I agree with your assessment that it is probably a vanity poster….but wouldn’t the more-likely culprit be Arthur Howes? (By the way, if I’m remembering correctly, The Beatles deeply resented Arthur Howes, who had not shown them much respect in the early ballroom tours.) Especially since Arthur Howes’ name is first! Not Brian’s! I don’t think Brian would take second billing to Howes at this point!
Either way, it’s a fantastic poster!