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03rd October, 2022

Rare photographs of The Beatles playing at Liverpool's Cavern Club uncovered

Two rare photographs of The Beatles playing at the Cavern Club in Liverpool have been discovered.

The images were captured in July 1961, over a year before the band released their debut single Love Me Do, which The Beatles Story has been celebrating throughout its 60th year.

The photographs show John Lennon and Sir Paul McCartney at the microphone, with George Harrison on guitar and a partially obscured Pete Best, the group's original drummer.

One of the recently uncovered photographs of The Beatles, July 1961. (Image: PA)

Beatles historian and author Mark Lewisohn said: "Set inside Liverpool's cramped and dank Cavern Club, these previously unseen photos capture The Beatles playing for a lunchtime or evening audience in July 1961.

"Just back from Hamburg - slogging 500 stage hours in 90 days - The Beatles are whippet-thin under-nourished lads of 20 (John), 19 (Paul and Pete), and 18 (George).

"So slender has this marathon made them, it's as if their heads and bodies are stranger. A look emphasised by the unusual clothes - leather trousers and cotton tops. No other photos show them dressed this way.

"Three months from here, John and Paul went to Paris and returned with what became known as 'The Beatle haircut'.

"Days later, Brian Epstein saw The Beatles in the Cavern, offered to become their manager and set them on (a) course that changed our world."

The Beatles, with original drummer Pete Best, playing at The Cavern Club in July 1961. (Image: PA)

The Beatles Story invites anyone with Beatles or Merseybeat memorabilia of their own to attend a free valuation event at the exhibition on Love Me Do’s 60th birthday, 5th October 2022 10am - 6pm. Attendees’ artefacts will be given free appraisal from the experts at Tracks Ltd, a specialist Beatles auction house based in Chorley, Lancashire. Fans seeking to value their pieces on the day will be treated to free entry to The Beatles Story exhibition.

One particularly notable piece of memorabilia was uncovered at the exhibition’s first Memorabilia Day in 2016. The owner brought along a telegram from John Lennon which he found within a record sleeve at a local car boot sale. The draft letter written by John to The Queen explained why he wished to return his MBE as an act of protest and was valued at an extraordinary £60,000.


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