The Beatles’ diary -- December 1963

December 1963

Sunday, 1st December

‘The New York Times’ ran a three-page article on Beatlemania in their Sunday supplement.

Monday, 2nd December

Performance at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

There was also a recording session for the TV show ‘The Morecambe And Wise Show’ at the Elstree Studio Centre. This show was broadcast on 18th April 1964 (ATV) and featured music and interviews with John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. They played This Boy, All My Loving and I Want To Hold Your Hand.

The Beatles appeared on ‘The Morecambe And Wise Show’. You can hear their funny set on ‘Anthology 1’.

Tuesday, 3rd December

Saturday, 7th December

Performance at the Empire Theatre in Liverpool, attended by 2,500 people. They played From Me To You, I Saw Her Standing There, All My Loving, Roll Over Beethoven, Boys, Till There Was You, She Loves You, This Boy, I Want To Hold Your Hand, Money (That’s What I Want) and Twist And Shout.

There was also a recording session for the radio show ‘Top Pops Of 1963’ This show was transmitted on 25th December (BBC Light Programme) and featured interviews with John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.

A further session for ‘It’s The Beatles!’ took place later in the day at the Empire Theatre. The programme was broadcast live (BBC).

A further session for ‘Juke Box Jury’ took place later in the day at the Empire Theatre. The programme was broadcast live (BBC) and featured interviews with John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.

Sunday, 8th December

Monday, 9th December

‘The Beatles’ Christmas Record’ fan-club disc – front cover ReleasedUK fan-club disc. The Beatles’ Christmas Record

Performance at the Odeon Cinema in Southend-on-Sea, as part of their British Tour. They played I Saw Her Standing There, From Me To You, All My Loving, You Really Got A Hold On Me, Roll Over Beethoven, Boys, Till There Was You, She Loves You, Money (That’s What I Want) and Twist And Shout.

Tuesday, 10th December

This was the day that started Beatlemania in the States… If one little girl called Marsha Albert hadn’t been watching the telly that night, then who knows what might have happened… the whole thing might have fizzled out before it had even begun.

Wednesday, 11th December

Performance at Futurist Theatre in South Bay, Scarborough, as part of their British Tour. They played I Saw Her Standing There, From Me To You, All My Loving, You Really Got A Hold On Me, Roll Over Beethoven, Boys, Till There Was You, She Loves You, Money (That’s What I Want) and Twist And Shout.

Thursday, 12th December

Friday, 13th December

Saturday, 14th December

Performance at the Wimbledon Palais in Wimbledon, attended by 3,000 people.

The Beatles received their first major coverage in ‘Billboard’ magazine. A three-page article commented on Capitol’s acquisition of ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ and told the story of Beatlemania in the UK.

It was also on this day that the Beatles performed a concert behind a wire steel mesh, to stop the kids invading the stage. John joked that “if they press any harder, they’ll come through as chips.”

Sunday, 15th December

Recording ‘Thank Your Lucky Stars’Recording ‘Thank Your Lucky Stars’ – 15 Dec ’63Photo: David Redfearn

Recording session for the TV show ‘Thank Your Lucky Stars’ at the Alpha Television Studios. This show was broadcast on 21st December (ABC). They played I Want To Hold Your Hand, All My Loving, Twist And Shout and She Loves You.

Tuesday, 17th December

Recording session for the radio show ‘Saturday Club’ at the Playhouse Theatre This show was transmitted on 21st December (BBC Light Programme). They played All My Loving, This Boy, I Want To Hold Your Hand, Till There Was You, Roll Over Beethoven and She Loves You.

The WWDC disc jockey Carrol James finally got his hands on a copy of ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ and invited the little kid Marsha Albert to the station to introduce it.

Wednesday, 18th December

Recording session for the radio show ‘From Us To You’ at the BBC Paris Studio This show was transmitted on 26th December (BBC Light Programme). They played She Loves You, All My Loving, Roll Over Beethoven, Till There Was You, Boys, Money (That’s What I Want), I Saw Her Standing There and I Want To Hold Your Hand.

Friday, 20th December

Recording session for the TV show ‘Scene At 6.30’. The programme was broadcast live (Granada).

Saturday, 21st December

Performance at the Gaumont Cinema in Bradford.

Sunday, 22nd December

Performance at the Empire Theatre in Liverpool.

Monday, 23rd December

Capitol decided to bring forward ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’s release date to capitalise on the massive airplay. Their media blitz got under way with a four-page paper spread amongst the sales force (it was basically one big Beatles ad). It contained biographies on the band, photos and details of their upcoming releases. Unfortunately, it also contained three rather embarrassing mistakes – the photo of Paul was listed as John, John was George and George was Paul! But at least they got Ringo right.

Tuesday, 24th December

Performance at the Astoria Cinema in Finsbury Park, London, as part of their Christmas Show. They played Roll Over Beethoven, All My Loving, This Boy, I Wanna Be Your Man, She Loves You, Till There Was You, I Want To Hold Your Hand, Money (That’s What I Want) and Twist And Shout.

First night of ‘The Beatles’ Christmas Show’ at the Astoria Cinema, London. This was Brian’s attempt at showcasing as many NEMS acts as he possibly could in the confines of a Christmas panto.

Thursday, 26th December

‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ single – front cover ReleasedUSA single. I Want To Hold Your Hand Peak position: Billboard – #1; Cashbox – #1; Record World – #1

Performance at the Astoria Cinema in Finsbury Park, London, as part of their Christmas Show. They played Roll Over Beethoven, All My Loving, This Boy, I Wanna Be Your Man, She Loves You, Till There Was You, I Want To Hold Your Hand, Money (That’s What I Want) and Twist And Shout.

‘I Want To Hold Your Hand / I Saw Her Standing There’ was finally released in the States, accompanied by the biggest marketing campaign in Capitol’s history.

Friday, 27th December

Performance at the Astoria Cinema in Finsbury Park, London, as part of their Christmas Show. They played Roll Over Beethoven, All My Loving, This Boy, I Wanna Be Your Man, She Loves You, Till There Was You, I Want To Hold Your Hand, Money (That’s What I Want) and Twist And Shout.

Saturday, 28th December

Performance at the Astoria Cinema in Finsbury Park, London, as part of their Christmas Show. They played Roll Over Beethoven, All My Loving, This Boy, I Wanna Be Your Man, She Loves You, Till There Was You, I Want To Hold Your Hand, Money (That’s What I Want) and Twist And Shout.

Sunday, 29th December

A reviewer for ‘The Sunday Times’ got a little bit carried away, and called the Beatles “the greatest composers since Beethoven.”

Monday, 30th December

Performance at the Astoria Cinema in Finsbury Park, London, as part of their Christmas Show. They played Roll Over Beethoven, All My Loving, This Boy, I Wanna Be Your Man, She Loves You, Till There Was You, I Want To Hold Your Hand, Money (That’s What I Want) and Twist And Shout.

Tuesday, 31st December

Performance at the Astoria Cinema in Finsbury Park, London, as part of their Christmas Show. They played Roll Over Beethoven, All My Loving, This Boy, I Wanna Be Your Man, She Loves You, Till There Was You, I Want To Hold Your Hand, Money (That’s What I Want) and Twist And Shout.

George Martin made a little bit of history by producing more No.1 records in a single year than any other record producer: his songs accounted for 37 weeks-worth of number ones! As well as The Beatles, he also had big hits with Cilla Black, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Billy J. Kramer and Matt Munro. But did he get a pay rise? Did he fuck. And this would lead to him leaving EMI just a few years later.

“Sleep was something of a luxury that year,” he explained. “Because I was still recording a lot of my earlier artists. But the year definitely belonged to The Beatles, and the search for talent from the North became like a Klondike gold rush. Record companies are notorious for trying to hop onto a bandwagon, and if there’s a smell of anything new happening they all rush after it… every …

→  Read more in The Beatles: Day-by-Day, Song-by-Song, Record-by-Record


 
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