Story by Zack Neckvatal
[pullquote quote="The boys were paid only three pounds for the show."]It was fifty years ago today on February 9, 1961 that the [lastfm]Beatles[/lastfm] played their first show at the famed Cavern Club in Liverpool, England. At the time the group already had a following in some nightclubs in Hamburg, Germany but had a hard time getting a gig in their hometown. Eventually they got their shot at the Cavern Club after Pete Best the original drummer for the band had his mother beg the club’s owner Ray McFall to let the band play which he eventually did but had them playing a lunchtime slot.
[lastfm]John Lennon[/lastfm] had played at the club before with his skiffle group [lastfm]The Quarrymen[/lastfm] in 1957. At that time the Cavern Club had a strict no rock n’ roll policy and when John Lennon played some Elvis covers the club’s owner sent a note up to John saying, “Cut out the bloody rock!” McFall, the club’s owner finally came to his senses in 1960 and opened his club to rock bands. There isn’t much known about the Beatles first gig at the club other than they got paid three pounds for the show.
The group soon began developing a loyal and enthusiastic fan base and played at the club for over two and a half years totaling 292 shows. Then in November of 1961 Brian Epstein saw the Beatles at the Cavern club and weeks later signed them, starting their legendary careers.
This story was originally published on WXRT.