The Manager Who Never Was

By Bill Harry  

Allan Williams“Liverpudlian Allan Williams, a stockily-built opportunist who, from May 1960 until April 1961, became the group's occasional booking agent or, as he still claims 'Their first manager' (Even now more than twenty years on, the Beatles strongly dispute Williams' claim).” —MARK LEWISOHN, 'The Beatles Live!' 1986

This is an astute comment on Allan Williams' association with the Beatles, even though, possibly due to the passage of time, Paul McCartney eventually and generously referred to him as their 'first manager' in the 'Anthology' video, although other members of the close Beatles circle still accurately maintain that Brian Epstein was their first manager.

When Allan was booked to appear as a special guest at Beatlemania 2000 in November 2000, the convention brochure read: "Liverpool-Welsh club owner often mistakenly described as the Beatles first manager; this is in no way meant to detract from Allan's genuine participation in the local Liverpool scene in creating the opening for the Liverpool-Hamburg association or his position as a Liverpool club-owner, but he never assumed any management responsibilities for the Beatles."

Williams, who was actually reared in Litherland, Merseyside, was never more than 'An occasional booking agent' to the group.

The claims that he managed the group originated in the book 'The Man Who Gave The Beatles Away', which is almost a work of fiction.

Williams, or rather his collaborator, William Marshall, writes: "I was their first manager. I still have their contracts, ragged and burnt from being involved in a fire - contracts dating from the time when you could have hired the Beatles for ten quid a night, and they'd have provided their own transport, and would have said a big thank you besides."

Reading the sentence one would get the impression that he retained management contracts with the group. This isn't so, because they never signed a management deal with him as he never managed them. The contracts he refers to are the contracts for the Beatles to appear at Bruno Koschmider's venues in Hamburg. Williams signed them as an agent. They are ragged and burnt because they were singed in the fire at his ill-fated Top Ten Club in Soho Street, Liverpool.

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