“…a five night trip around various Scottish towns thanks to a contract signed between Brian Epstein and Albert Bonici [through Cana Variety Agency] in November of 1962. The original advert [12 Dec 62] billed the Beatles with the Dale Sisters [misspelled Dave Sisters] for 3 January 1963 but the Beatles shared the bill with Alex. Sutherland’s Two Red Shoes house band. By the end of the month, the Beatles song “Love Me Do” was becoming popular and Bonici then coined, “Love Me Do boys” to promote the band in Scotland… https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2016/09/09/beatles-tour-scotland/
John took the opportunity to fly back to Liverpool for a few hours, returning to Scotland early on the morning of the 3rd in time to get to the Elgin gig. The Elgin gig was noted for the L-shaped ballroom which meant that some of the audience couldn’t see the Beatles on stage…
‘”Modern Dancing Enterprises presents the boys of ‘Love Me Do’ fame, “The Beatles” in a Special New Year’s Dance in the Longmore Hall, Keith on Wednesday 2 January 1963 from 9pm until 1 am. Tickets cost 5/-“‘ The New Year’s Dance happened though The Copycats were the only band performing that night. https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/03/11/my-dear-watsonjohnny-and-the-copycats/
Beach Ballroom, Aberdeen
Thanks to Jimmy Russell and others who remember the ’60s music scene in Elgin, I’ve heard interesting stories about various entertainers such as Lulu, Pink Floyd, and the Beatles…
John, Paul, and George had a bit of history with NE Scotland as they had backed Johnny Gentle in 1960 when they were under fianced. This came to mind when Jimmy told me about their arrive in the Park Cafe which was attached to “Boots” [nickname for the 2 Red Shoes]. The Beatles knew that touring as nearly unknowns meant they’d need to budget themselves, if not “tightening their belts” along the way.
The account goes that Jimmy’s daughter was working in the sweetie shop and had called her dad when the Beatles arrived. Besides letting him know they were at the hall, she mentioned and that they had a funny smell about them. According to the story, the fab four had bathed in a nearby river and had the odor of weeds. The story goes that Albert had Jimmy take them over to his house for a proper bath before they performed and again the next day before they went on to Dingwall for their second performances.
Jimmy, recalling the night of the third, said that whilst there were only a few dozen in the beginning of the Beatles performance, there were about 200 by the end of the night. By cover band leader Alex Sutherland’s account there were about 80 there but Jimmy was taking tickets. Boots often had larger crowds since kids came from surrounding towns but it was decent considering the weather. The Dingwall gig was said to have a poor showing of less than 20 but the booking was in conflict with a traditional Irish band and it was a smaller hall.
After the performance in Elgin, Jimmy sat with the Beatles for an hour or so whilst they were treated with food and coffee. From what he could remember, they were dressed in black that night and were friendly young men though he didn’t think to get an autograph. Though ‘Love Me Do’ was just hitting the pop charts, most people didn’t suspect that they’d have two singles by the end of the month.” https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/05/21/beatles-tour-contract-nov63/ Dec 27 : “Modern Dancing Enterprises presents the boys of ‘Love Me Do’ fame, “The Beatles” in a Special New Year’s Dance in the Longmore Hall, Keith on Wednesday 2 January 1963 from 9pm until 1 am. Tickets cost 5/-
THE BEATLES: Those who listened to the top 20 song chart from Amsterdam had already heard The Beatles tune, “Love Me Do” which had hit number 17. Johnny and The Copycats, a teenage beat band from Buckie, were disappointed that The Beatles were unable to do their first gig in Keith. The following night at Elgin’s Two Red Shoes, 80 young people showed up on unusually snowy January evening to see the band. According to a ticket taker, there were 200 attendees for the second half as they rocked the house with their original tunes and thoughtful arrangements of popular songs. However, the next night didn’t go well for the band as the Scottish group, The Melotones, were playing four miles down the road to a packed house. The Beatles didn’t do their second set in Dingwall though they finished their four day tour in Scotland to a welcoming audience in Aberdeen.
Here’s another account about the Beatles coming to Dingwall:
Original Beatles Fans enjoy Dingwall Reunion Gig [by Jackie MacKenzie]
FIFTEEN of the “Dingwall 19” the meagre group of fans who turned out to hear The Beatles play the Town Hall in 1963 were reunited last Friday night at a concert in the same venue. But this time round it was a Beatles tribute band who were on the stage, The Upbeat Beatles, an event organised by the Dingwall Business Association to help promote the town as a shopping and visitor centre.The association tracked down 15 of the original 19 folk who turned out to hear the little-known Beatles on January 4 1963 while over 1,000 local lads and lasses were dancing to popular local band The Melotones just up the road in Strathpeffer. Just 10 days later The Beatles’ first No 1 hit was released, Please Please Me, and their careers went stratospheric and Dingwall’s snubbing of the biggest band of all time has become the stuff of local legend.
Business association member Billy Shanks, who traced the few fans who did attend the 1963 gig, said: “It was a great reunion and we tried to get all the people who attended the original gig sitting down the left hand side of the hall so they could all chat. What stories they had of back in the day, and then we got them all on the stage. “It was a great get-together and there was a lot of swapping of email addresses and phone numbers so it’s put a lot of local people back in touch which each other which is nice. “The concert itself was super you forget just how many good songs The Beatles had and there wasn’t a seat left in the hall. It was so encouraging to see such a good response from Dingwall folk and everybody had a terrific night.”Highland Councillor Margaret Paterson, whose idea it was to bring the Upbeat Beatles to Dingwall, said: “It was a fantastic concert and it was attended by more people than was at the original Beatles concert in 1963! “The tribute band was superb and had the whole place rocking. It was like a step back in time. People travelled long distances for the gig and it was tremendous for Dingwall.” Among the Dingwall 19 who got in touch with Billy following his appeal were Ian MacKenzie, now in New Zealand, and Stanley Ferguson who lives in South Africa.
A special plaque is now proudly installed on the wall of the Town Hall, telling of the venue’s association with the “Fab Four”. http://www.north-star-news.co.uk/News/Original-Beatles-fans-enjoy-Dingwall-reunion-gig-6774674.htm
“I remember The Beatles were late in arriving and when they came on stage one by one they were wearing three-quarter-length leather jackets, long scarves – one was trailing his on the ground behind him – and winkle pickers” Olive Lees, 64, was among the 19 audience members and stayed to the end of the gig even though her father Jimmy Stewart was band leader of the Melotones at the time. She said: “My father told me the mini bus to the Strath was full so I’d have to go to the town hall. I wasn’t bothered because the Melotones would come round to our house and play in the sitting room… I remember The Beatles were late in arriving and when they came on stage one by one they were wearing three-quarter-length leather jackets, long scarves – one was trailing his on the ground behind him – and winkle pickers.” Olive Lees One of the Dingwall 19 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-13004514
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. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-12757896
“Olive Lees, 64, was among the 19 audience members and stayed to the end of the gig even though her father Jimmy Stewart was band leader of the Melotones at the time.
She said: “My father told me the mini bus to the Strath was full so I’d have to go to the town hall.
“I wasn’t bothered because the Melotones would come round to our house and play in the sitting room.
“I remember The Beatles were late in arriving and when they came on stage one by one they were wearing three-quarter-length leather jackets, long scarves – one was trailing his on the ground behind him – and winkle pickers.”Everyone was laughing at them.”But they were brilliant and they chatted with the audience between songs.”http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-13004514 https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/08/19/the-melotones/
Dingwall [4 Jan 1963]: http://www.multiplusbooks.com/630104.html
A bus will leave Buckie at 8pm going via the coast to Cullen and Deskford, another bus will run from Huntly via Dufftown http://www.buckieheritage.org/pdf/1962.pdf