The Beatles Show

Beatles Edinburgh 1964

Beatles fans Edinburgh 1964 

The Beatles Show

After backing Johnny Gentle and club gigs in Hamburg and Liverpool, the band began touring as “The Beatles” the name agreed upon in December 1960. Ringo joined the group in mid ’62 and shortly after, promoter Epstein sent a group photo to International Photo-Cast [1963] to help them get gigs around the UK. Albert Bonici [who signed a contract for the band in November] flew to Liverpool to negotiate for return engagements in Scotland shortly after their first tour in Jan-1963

This is part of a brochure with descriptions of groups that Bonici and Epstein agreed upon as the featured acts at “The Beatles Show” which took place on the 29 and 30th of April ’64 in Edinburgh and Glasgow. There were four shows in this last Beatles tour of Scotland. There was a 6 PM and a 8:30 PM on both nights.  The Copycats opened the shows and Charlie Simm was the announcer who told jokes between acts… According to the Copycats “potted history”, Mr. B agreed to strike exclusive rights to promote Beatles tours in Scotland [Nov/62 contract] to get the Copycats on the bill. Note: The program was developed with metal etched blocks that were used to print programs [which are part of the Bonici Archives].img052

Johnny and the Copycats [aka My Dear Watson] were managed by Albert Bonici who was intent on boosting the careers of Scottish bands he worked with. AA Bonici agreed to cancel a clause for exclusive rights to promote the Beatles in Scotland to make sure that The Copycats were on the bill when The Beatles came to Edinburgh.

Johnny and the Copycats [aka My Dear Watson] were managed by Albert Bonici who was intent on boosting the careers of Scottish bands he worked with. AA Bonici agreed to cancel a clause for exclusive rights to promote the Beatles in Scotland to make sure that The Copycats were on the bill when The Beatles came to Edinburgh.


The Beatles last shows in Scotland were in 1964 and Bonici agreed to pay £1000 per night to host them.

beatles backstage


Brian Epstein and Albert Bonici promoted The Beatles return to Scotland on STV 29 April ’64 the day after another television appearance  Also, “In their dressing room at the ABC, The Beatles gave an interview to BBC Scotland radio reporter Bill Aitkenhead, which was broadcast this same evening on the Scottish Home Service News.” Note: Their first appearance on STV was 8 January ’63 (Tuesday) when the Beatles appeared on “Round-Up” a children’s show on Scottish Television (STV) in Glasgow.
Bill Cameron of  The Copycats has  memories of jamming with  The Beatles during a sound check on the final night of The Beatles Show. Bill described it as “a highlight in his music career” with the Copycats.  Originally, they were to have done a gig with The Beatles on January 2, 1963 as  Love Me Do hit number 17 on Luxembourg’s top 20. The Beatles missed the gig because of  ice and snow on the roads into Keith and the newly formed Johnny and The Copycats did the show alone.   They got their chance to share a bill with the Liverpool group, the following year, just weeks after The Beatles appeared on  the Ed Sullivan Show in New York and whilst they were working on the last scenes for their first feature film, A Hard Day’s Night [Walter Shenson production].

In the afternoon of their first show, The Beatles watched the teenage group from Buckie before they exchanged thoughts with the Copycats about guitars and music.  Bill said that George [with ciggy in mouth] seemed nervous at their first encounter, though realized why later in the evening when hoards of screaming  fans, some throwing “jelly babies”, made it hard for The Beatles to hear themselves playing.  The second night, they showed up again as the Copycats were doing their sound checks. This time George came up with his guitar to jam with them, followed by Paul on drums, John exchanging vocals, and Ringo with a tambourine. When 17 year old Bill Cameron watched the Beatles from the wing of the stage, it was “like a dream” when the lights came up on the Beatles from complete darkness on stage. It was a memorizing experience for him, having been a fan since first hearing, “Love Me Do” on Dutch radio. Unfortunately for the Beatles, it was difficult hearing themselves sing at some of their concerts as girls screamed whilst the odd “jelly babies” were thrown on stage. One of the funny moments was when Peter Jay [Jaywalkers] shook a broom handle out the window to get the Beatles fans going from the street…

Bill still has a signed copy of the flyer from each of the Beatles though his sister tore off Paul’s signature and sold it as a child. Fortunately, part of Paul’s signature, “Pau” is above Ringo’s photo as Bill had pointed out that he was signing the wrong photograph. Here’s a snippet from the flyer.

The McKinleys, “… started a new career, singing with the leading Scottish bands, which has taken them to the top of the booming beat scene north of the border.”
“Johnny and the Copy Cats are probably the youngest fully professional rock group in the country, their average aage being somewhere between 16 and 16 and a half years of age. They have been playing together now for approximately two years and have been professional for the last four months.” Here they are, fifty years later…

Two of Brian’s acts who played on the 29th and 30th were The Remo Four and Tommy Quickly who Bonici booked in north of Scotland the week before [April 23rd]

More Beatles tickets to be given away.

More Beatles tickets to be given away.

In an effort to stimulate more excitement and buzz over the next set of Beatles shows in Scotland [April/63 in Glasgow and Edinburgh], promoter Bonici gave out free tickets in January 1964, one year after he first introduced the Beatles in Scotland.

“Dance bands/Groups mentioned this week- Susy Cope with Alexander Sutherland Sextet, Tommy Quickly and the Remo Four, The Trends, Neil Landon and the Burnettes, Johnny Auger and the Wild Ones, Echo Sounds (Kilmarnock) All of these bands/groups will be playing at either the Two Red Shoes in Elgin, the Fishermen’s Hall in Buckie , the Public Hall, Craigellachie or the Town Hall, Cullen and have been booked by Modern Dancing Enterprises of Elgin. (Mr Bonici)”

 Tommy Quickly with Remo Four:

Peter Jay [The Jaywalkers] had a drum set that lit up and was a showman.  At one point he stuck a mop head out a window and shook it around to tease girl fans who were lining up to see the Beatles…

The Beatles performed in Scotland several times under a contract between Brian Epstein and Albert Bonici. The two developed a working relationship and several of Brian’s acts performed in Scotland and at the Two Red Shoes until Brians death. The Beatles in Scotland [The Beatles, Scotland Holiday 1964] [Beatles in Scotland Autumn tour 1964

3 January 1963 Elgin Scotland Two Red Shoes
4 January 1963 Dingwall Town Hall
5 January 1963 Bridge of Allan Museum Hall
6 January 1963 Aberdeen Beach Ballroom

To secure The Beatles for future shows in Scotland, AA Bonici went through negotiations with Brian Epstein that resulted in Bonici gaining exclusive rights to present The Beatles in Scotland.

7 June 1963 Glasgow Scotland Odeon [with Roy Orbison]
5 October 1963 Glasgow Scotland Odeon
6 October 1963 Kirkcaldy Carlton
7 October 1963 Dundee Caird Hall
29 April 1964 Edinburgh Scotland ABC Cinemas
30 April 1964 Glasgow Odeon Cinemas

Other posts on The Beatles:


My research began in 2007 as a visitor to the north of Scotland. Growing up a few miles from San Francisco, I would frequent the active music scene on weekends besides being a fan of British BEAT music and never missing Shindig! on television. When first visiting the small community of Elgin in 2007, I was surprise to learn how the Beatles and many other vocalist and musicians came to perform during the early days of their careers. In the early 1950s, Albert Bonici began promoting dances though it had been an ambition since his teenage years. When he and Henry Robertson co-organized a string of jazz dances in the north Scotland, they could not have predicted the enormous success of the venture. Albert Bonici became one of the most respected promoters in the UK having arranged a high volumn of music venues throughout the north of Scotland which delighted music lovers during the height of the jazz and beat music era. Whilst known for booking the Beatles at the beginning of their 1963 tours, Albert Bonici brought most of the top British acts to north-east Scotland besides working with Scottish musicians to boost their careers. SCOTBEAT was created to share a bit of history about the BEAT years in Scotland and also a tribute to a man with a vision who, with the help of his family and staff, created a happening that is still fondly remembered by those who attended dances and concerts. Albert A Bonici hosted many up and coming bands who went on to gain international acclaim for their contributions. Besides other local resources and interviews, SCOTBEAT presents exclusive photos, adverts, and documents from the A Bonici Archives [circa 1960s]. Unless otherwise agreed, materials are not to be used for financial gain and ask that you respect the terms below. Materials presented are not to be used for financial gain without consent. © 2014-2019 All rights reserved. No part of this web site may be copied, redistributed, broadcast or published in any form without crediting this blog and/or copyright websites mentioned. All correspondence, flyers, programs, and photos from the Bonici Archives are not to appear in print other than through the propietor of SCOTBEAT. Use of the site signifies your agreement to all of these terms without condition. Please reference when sharing materials found here as the site is continuously updated to present the subject matter accurately and as a historical resource. Thank you.

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Posted in 1960's pop music
One comment on “The Beatles Show
  1. scotbeat says:

    In 1964, the British groups that were popular in San Francisco were The Beatles,the Animals and Peter and Gordon. We were listening to Roy Orbison and The Beach Boys when The Beatles began their tour at the Cow Palace [which looked like a gym with bleachers to me]. I was only 12 at the time and it was another year before we got a better range of music thanks to “underground radio” when FM began to surplant AM.

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