The Racy Venues The Beatles Played Before Their Big Break

Monday, May 13, 2024

Before they were selling out stadiums for tens of thousands of adoring fans, the Beatles were performing in rather racy venues across the U.K. and Europe. Aside from the questionable sleaze of the clubs they were able to book, the young musicians dealt with meager pay, shoddy sleeping arrangements, and an overwhelmingly lukewarm audience reception.

But everyone has to start somewhere, right?  The Beatles’ First Racy Venue Was An Afternoon Strip Club Affair

Years before Ringo Starr would join the Fab Four fold, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison performed under the moniker the Silver Beetles with a rotating cast of percussionists. When they couldn’t find a drummer for hire, McCartney opted to sit behind the kit.

Harrison recalled the first and last professional gig where McCartney played drums in The Beatles Anthology. “It was in Upper Parliament Street where a guy called Lord Woodbine owned a strip club. It was in the afternoon, with a few perverts (five or so men in overcoats) and a local stripper. We were brought on as the band to accompany the stripper, Paul on drums, John and me on guitar, and Stuart [Sutcliffe] on bass.”

The dancer walked onstage and gave the band sheet music to a piece called “The Gypsy Fire Dance.” However, no one in the Silver Beatles could read sheet music, and they quickly began asking the stripper about the tempo and the melody before giving up on the number altogether. “We decided to do ‘Ramrod’ instead because we knew it,” Harrison said.

Source: Melanie Davis/


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