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03rd August, 2019

Memorabilia: the final Cavern ticket

On 3rd August 1963, The Beatles performed at Liverpool’s Cavern Club for the final time, after nearly 300 appearances at the legendary venue.

A rare ticket from the concert is currently on display at The Beatles Story, located in the attraction’s replica Cavern Club room, a part of the exhibition which pays tribute to the famous club and features a scale model of the original live venue. The ticket is the only one believed to be left in existence and on display to the public.

 

 

Originally a jazz club, The Quarrymen, a pre-curser to The Beatles, first played their brand of ‘skiffle’ at the Mathew Street venue on 7th August 1957, with The Beatles making their debut at the club several years later on 9th February 1961. Dated 3rd August 1963, the ticket marks the incredible achievement of the group’s 292nd and final performance on the world-famous Cavern stage.

 

By this time, it was a well-known fact that The Beatles had outgrown the Cavern and that their popularity could only be served by larger venues. The Cavern Club had played an important role during the group’s early development but by the time of their final show, just one month after they recorded ‘She Loves You’, The Beatles were destined for bigger tours, and soon, stadium concerts.

“The Beatles were very professional: there was no larking around and they got on with it. We all felt it was their swan song and that we would never have them at the Cavern again.” – Bob Wooler, Cavern Club DJ.

Tickets for the final show went on sale exclusively to Cavern Club members at 1:30pm on 21st July and sold out within just 30 minutes. The admission price was just under 10 shillings, which according to DJ Bob Wooler, meant that once the staff and bands had been paid the club made no profit that night.

 

The Beatles received £300 for the performance which lasted from 6pm - 11.30pm, a more generous fee compared to the £5 they received for their first performance in 1961. The Fab Four were joined on the bill that evening by The Mersey Beats, The Escorts, The Road Runners, The Sapphires and Johnny Ringo & The Colts.

During the gig a power cut silenced the band’s instruments and plunged the Cavern Club into temporary darkness. During the blackout Lennon and McCartney performed an acoustic version of ‘When I'm Sixty-Four’ – a song they wouldn't release until 1967 – while waiting for the electricity to return. Lennon was particularly displeased by the Cavern's primitive concert facilities.

 

 

The show was officially declared by the club's management to have been The Beatles' 292nd there, although the accuracy of that number has been disputed. Bob Wooler remembers Brian Epstein promising one day The Beatles would be back, but it was not meant to be. Sir Paul McCartney however returned to the club as a solo artist to perform live in 1999 and 2018.

 

Today the Cavern Club commands a slightly different position on Mathew Street, but it remains one of Liverpool’s most popular venues for visitors, with live music taking place everyday of the week from noon until late. Regarded as ‘the most famous club in the world’, the Cavern has played host to countless other well-known acts during its 60-year history, including The Rolling Stones, Elton John, Black Sabbath, Queen, The Who, Adele and the Arctic Monkeys.

The ticket from The Beatles’ final Cavern Club performance is on display until June 2020, see this and many other great items of memorabilia only on display at The Beatles Story, Liverpool.

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