Highlands & Islands

Bid to reunite 'rubbish' Beatles gig audience

The Beatles
Image caption The Beatles played in Dingwall Town Hall in 1963

An effort is being made to reunite 19 people who watched The Beatles play in a town hall before the band had their first hit.

Billy Shanks is helping to lead the search for the audience members of the 1963 gig in Dingwall, Ross-shire.

He said others who went to see The Beatles thought their music was rubbish and left to join an audience of 1,200 watching a local band in Strathpeffer.

A reunion event has been planned for 8 April this year.

Members of the original audience will also unveil a plaque on the town hall recalling The Beatles gig.

Mr Shanks, of Dingwall Business Association, said eight of the 19 had been traced so far.

He told the BBC Good Morning Scotland programme a performance by local band, the Melotones, in nearby Strathpeffer had been a bigger attraction on the night.

Mr Shanks said: "The Wilson brothers, who were the Melotones, were a big band here at the time.

"People had heard there was this new band visiting, but they thought their music was rubbish and went away up to Strathpeffer to watch the Melotones.

"They say The Beatles later packed it up and went to Strathpeffer to listen to the Melotones."

Mr Shanks went to the town hall himself to look in on The Beatles, but had second thoughts after doorman David Murray told him the music was not good.

In the weeks following the Dingwall gig, The Beatles went onto have their first top 10 hit with Please Please Me.

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