This was the first ad Bonici ran promoting the Beatles at his Elgin hall. Though two of his associates have been given credit for bringing the Beatles to Scotland, it was Albert Bonici through his booking agent, Jack Fallon of Cana Variety London, who handled contracts. It is presumed that Brian Epstein and Albert Bonici first met in January 1963 in Mr. Epstein’s office in Liverpool to hash out the terms for following engagements in Scotland. We know that the two had a strong business relationship and mutual respect that resulted in several of Brian Epstein’s acts to the Two Red Shoes and the north of Scotland. Brian understood that his groups would be looked after on the road. Besides those who Albert hired to perform various tasks, bands were often invited to a meal prepared by Betty Bonici in the Park Café, after a performance at the TRS Ballroom.
The first performance of the Beatles was originally planned for the 2nd of January to share a New Year’s Dance billing with Johnny and The Copycats, a young “beat” band managed by Mr. Bonici….
“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 1am. Tickets cost 5/- A bus will leave Buckie at 8pm going via the coast to Cullen and Deskford, another bus will run from Huntly via Dufftown”. The Banffshire Advertiser Dec 27 1962 http://www.multiplusbooks.com/630102.html [photo of hall]
“In the winter of 1962/63 The Copycats were due to appear at Keith Longmoor Hall with an upcoming band from Liverpool, The Beatles, who were promoting their new single “Love Me Do” in the north east of Scotland. In those days the far north had a climate that was quite predictable, winters were cold and summers were warm, on this occasion the wintry weather was against both the lads from the Pool and the Buckie Boys.
An audience of 300 packed into the hall only to be told the news that the Beatles were not going to make the gig, the wild conditions had claimed their victims, alas the only act appearing on that night were “The Cats”, who, put on a great gig (at no extra cost) and ensured that the crowd left satisfied, In those days it was just the done thing.
Despite the Beatles not making it to Keith the story did not end there, the paths of both bands were soon to cross again……..
A year or so later and into 1964, The Beatles were a household name, their music style was engrossing the nation and whilst still in their very early days they had already topped the charts with several tunes, the momentum of the Beatles was growing, not only in the U.K. but further afield in Europe and the united States. At the time, Albert Bonici, the Cats booking agent, held the exclusive rights to all the work the Beatles were to undertake in Scotland, an agreement that was not popular with Brian Epstein, the new Beatles manager.
Naturally, Mr Epstein needed to manage this situation as the fab four from Merseyside were gathering momentum on a weekly basis, and so contact was made with Albert Bonici with a view to “buying” the Beatles out of the exclusive right agreement that was agreed in the years prior.
After several negotiations a deal was struck, the deal being that the Beatles were no longer contracted to Albert in Scotland, provided his young and upcoming band, (The Copycats) were included as a support act when the Beatles next appeared in Scotland.
As a result, The Copycats were fortunate enough to appear with the “Fab Four” during sellout concerts in Glasgow and Edinburgh. With thousands of screaming fans, the hype and hysteria was unprecedented, and being part of this phenomena, the experience was truly mind blowing, something that the five young lads fae Buckie would never forget. During the tour the band personally met George, Ringo, Paul and John, a memory that will last forever.” http://copycats62.co.uk/page3.html
Early Beatles in Scotland posts: https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/05/07/fallonbonici/ https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/albert-bonici-promotes-the-beatles/ https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/roy-orbison-the-beatles-and-the-pacemakers/ https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/05/21/beatles-tour-contract-nov63/ https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/05/10/scottish-beatles-tour-1963/ https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/04/16/tommy-roe-with-the-beatles-circa-march1963/ https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/04/03/the-beatles-1963-advert/ https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/03/19/the-beatles-rolling-stones-and-arthur-alexander/ https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/the-beatles-first-visit-to-scotland/ https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/02/27/the-beatles-show/ https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/the-silver-beetles-1960-part-1/ https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/silver-beetles-part-2/ https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/johnny-gentle-and-the-silver-beetles/ https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/05/26/the-silver-beetles-in-fraserburgh/