10 November 1961
The Tower Ballroom
Photographer: Dick Matthews
Beginning on this date, local promoter Sam Leach began a series of shows
at The Tower Ballroom. The shows were called Operation Big Beat, lasted several hours, featured several bands and lasted throughout the end of 1961
to early 1962. Several photos have surfaced from this time period.
Previously, I had dated several of the Tower photos differently. However, further research and examination indicates the updated dates are more accurate. Further notes are placed on the other sets.
Photo 3 from this set was featured in the Nov 30 - Dec 14 issue of Mersey Beat with the implication that it was from this date. See also the previous section which features Rory Storm And The Hurricanes' performance that
preceded this Beatles performance.
Photo 2 is clearly the same session. Several things about photo 1 would place it at this session as well. Additionally, I have reference that the two photos with Sam Leach are also on this date (and Paul has the same V-neck shirt)
I'm totally guessing about photos 4 and 5. Sam Leach put on several
Operation Big Beat shows and the photos could come from any of them.
See a more readable black & white copy of the poster - here
On the reverse side of a vintage print of the photo above,
Dick Matthews wrote the notation, "Tower 1961" and his
impression of the photo, noting "On Stage. Often due to the
slapstick transport arrangements or other troubles, co-billed groups
might fail to arrive, and often the Beatles would have to fill in by
marathon performances of two, three or four hours non-stop."
Looks like it was a wild time backstage.
I've placed these last two 'group' photos (clearly from the same time)
on this date for a few reasons. First, one source places them on this date.
Indeed, the first Operation Big Beat was huge success and these photos
have a celebratory mood. Also, the left side of George's hair has a similar
messed-up look and Paul has the V-neck shirt on as in the stage photos.
Finally, Lu Walters has the same tie on as in the Hurricanes earlier set.