The Beatles started getting regular gigs and so needed transport. The ‘roadie’ is invented and it is Neil Aspinall. In this pre-Epstein ‘make over’ period they use Hamburg stage craft: smoking and swearing as well as singing and playing. On The 9th February the Beatles do their first gig at the Cavern. From April to June they return to Hamburg (The Top Ten Club) and while there, do a recording of My Bonnie/Ain’t She Sweet with Tony Sheridan and call themselves the Beat Brothers before going back to Liverpool. The Mersey Beat paper is started and Beatles coverage interests Brian Epstein.
On the 9th November one Brain Epstein listens in at a lunch-time Cavern session and is hooked. On 9th December, The Beatles do their fist gig in the south: less than twenty teenagers turn up. On 10th December the lads agreed Epstein’s contract and Epstein starts talking to Decca about a recording contract. Paul moves to Bass as neither John nor George want to do it.
“On Saturday 28th October 1961. I was asked by a young boy for a record by a group called The Beatles…I wrote on my pad: “My Bonnie”. The Beatles. Check on Monday’…..Before I had time to check, two girls came into the store and they too asked for a disc by this group. This contrary to popular legend was the sum total of demand for their disc at the time….I started talking to people…." Brian Epstein, The Anthology
Meanwhile: January: USA breaks off diplomatic relations with Cuba; August: Berlin Wall is built; December: contraceptive Pill available on NHS.
The Decca session is arranged for 1 January 1962: will they or won’t they? Well, you know what happens. But The Beatles are not deterred: destiny has something else in mind. George Martin.
That's another reason we love The Beatles.
A reminder: 1960