Beatles Autographs
special-items
SI3. The Beatles 1961 Hambleton Hall Pay Receipt Books
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Here is the cover of the receipt book that contains the John Lennon and Paul McCartney signed pay receipts:







Here is the cover of the receipt book that contains the George Harrison signed pay receipt:





Here is a photograph of Hambleton Hall as it appeared when The Beatles played there in the early 1960's.
In later years, starting in 1974, it became a Probation Office and has since been demolished:



This is a very rare handbill from Hambleton Hall for the night of January 25, 1961.
This was the first time that The Beatles performed there:



Here is an advertisement for a show that The Beatles did at Hambleton Hall on November 26, 1961.
The George Harrison signed pay receipt in this offering was for this very night.
By the time the bands took the stage, the lineup had been completely altered, but by this time it didn't really matter
who the other bands were because it was quite clear that The Beatles were more dazzling than anybody else scheduled to perform,
and their act was described as the "Super, Colossal Presentation, The Beatles Beat Show!":

SI3. The Beatles 1961 Hambleton Hall Pay Receipt Books

There was a time when The Beatles earned just a few pounds a night and the venues were so rough, survival skills were as important as playing ability. In 1961, few places were as violent as Hambleton Hall in suburban Liverpool. Fights would routinely break out as groups of ‘teddy boys’ (roughnecks) settled their differences with chains, chairs, broken bottles, fists and fire extinguishers -- all while the band played on stage just a few feet away. But, for all its violence, this dingy dive was also an essential proving ground for every emerging Mersey band.

Beginning on January 25, 1961, The Beatles played a total of sixteen times at Hambleton Hall. By the time they played there for the last time - on January 13, 1962 - they had been discovered by Brian Epstein. Their new manager made it clear to them that this was not the type of place he wanted them to play.

Here are three of the earliest Beatles signed documents in existence: original 1961 pay receipt books used for three The Beatles gigs at Hambleton Hall in Fincham, Huyton on the outskirts of Liverpool !

After a wild, raucous evening of playing, it was customary for one designated member of the band to go into Hambleton Hall's makeshift business office to collect the band's pay for the night. The others would spend that time loading out their equipment. Vic Anton filled out each receipt page and, once it was signed by the band member, he would then pay the group's fee in cash.

Three of the pages in these books have been signed by members of The Beatles; John Lennon (as "J.W. Lennon") and Paul McCartney (as "J.P. McCartney") signed receipts for pay inside the larger of the books and George Harrison signed for their money in the smaller book.

The first appearance of a Beatles signature is on the receipt for Wednesday night, February 22, 1961, the band’s fifth appearance there. John Lennon signed for their pay of 10 pounds. Earlier that day, the group had played the Aintree Institute where they had received 7 pounds, two shillings. On the bill with The Beatles that night were Faron and The Tempest Tornadoes and Rory Storm and The Hurricanes (with Ringo on drums). The hall’s penchant for violence is evident in the fact that more than half of the receipts in each book were made out to bouncers and doormen. In some cases, several bouncers were required in one night. Eight bouncers were paid that evening, indicating a particularly rough night at the hall. As paltry as it may seem, a night’s pay of eight pounds or more for the band was actually quite good in 1961. This amount was split among all members, with Neil Aspinall usually receiving one pound for transporting their equipment to and from the gig having just been hired as their roadie.

On Monday evening, March 20, 1961, Paul McCartney (age 18) signed for their night’s pay of seven-pound-ten. The Beatles shared the stage that night with The Ravens (who received a mere four pounds).

The next appearance of The Beatles in these two books is Sunday, November 26, 1961. George Harrison (age 18) signed for their pay that evening. With their local popularity on the rise, the group received a whopping 15 pounds (which was more than the combined earnings of all the other acts that night: The Cyclones, The Strangers and The Jeanaros). This billing is a complete contradiction of the original advertised line-up, proving that bands often changed at the last minute.

The real beauty of these extraordinary documents is that they perfectly encapsulate the entire Liverpool beat scene of the early 1960s. In addition to The Beatles, they are signed by members of virtually all the major Liverpool bands from that remarkable era. Within these books, you'll find receipts signed by members of Gerry and The Pacemakers, Rory Storm and The Hurricanes, The Big Three, Derry and The Seniors, Kingsize Taylor and The Dominoes, Johnny Sandon and The Searchers, Ricky and The Red Streaks, Faron and The Tempest Tornadoes and Earl Preston and The T.T.s. They also feature several long-forgotten bands like Oggi and The Flintstones, The Galvanizers, Johnny Rocco and The Jets, Ray and The Del Renas and Dixie and The Daredevils.

According to reports, these receipt books were originally the property of the late Bob Wooler, legendary compere of the Cavern Club. Wooler, along with his business partner Vic Anton (a used car salesman by day) promoted shows at Hambleton Hall throughout 1961 and Wooler, in fact, also served as emcee at these shows.

More than likely, there were one or two other Hambleton Hall receipt books from that year as these two only cover six months (February-April and October until early December). While it was not the safest or most desirable setting, it is clear from the books that Hambleton Hall was still one of the more popular venues for beat shows in 1961.

This is a rare opportunity to own a pair of historically significant pre-fame artifacts – so ‘pre-fame’ in fact that they didn’t make the first U.S. trip until more than three years following the first Hambleton Hall gig – and three years is an eternity when it comes to early Beatles history. The books measure 6 ¾” x 3” (John and Paul) and 4 ½” x 1 ¾” (George), and are in very good overall condition considering the extensive use they had throughout 1961 and the fact that nearly 50 years that have passed since. These are the only known Beatles Liverpool pay receipt books that have ever been made available for sale. The Beatles’ signatures contained within them are among the earliest known examples, as very few pre-1962 signatures have ever been documented.

These pay receipt books are steeped in early Beatles history, and they are among very few similar items in existence that could have easily have been lost forever or destroyed. Instead, they survived and are ready to be at home within any significant collection of elite Beatles memorabilia.....$35,000


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