The Public Ear - The Beatles

In February 1961, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Pete Best played their first gig at the Cavern Club as The Beatles. Just two years later, and after a change of drummer, they were the biggest band in the UK and global domination was just a few months away. Allan Scott meets friends and relatives of The Beatles to discover the roots of the band and learn more about their early years. Contributors include former drummer Pete Best and Millie Sutcliffe, mother of original band member Stuart Sutcliffe.

Note: this recording has been edited for copyright reasons.

The day before this programme was broadcast, the Daily Telegraph compared a Beatles concert to the Nuremberg rallies. This didn't seem to dent the band's reputation; two days later, on 4 November 1963, they appeared on the Royal Variety Performance in the presence of the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret. It was here that John Lennon made his infamous quip prior to their final number, Twist and Shout: "Will the people in the cheaper seats clap your hands... And the rest of you, if you'll just rattle your jewellery."

Pictured: The Beatles, with Pete Best as drummer, performing at the Cavern Club.

↗ Originally broadcast 03 November 1963.

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