recalls that despite the disappointment of Aldershot, the night ended on a high
for the Beatles.
“I said let’s go up to London, it’s not far away. So we headed off to the
Blue Gardenia Club, run by an old mate, Brian Cass of Cass and the Cassanovas.
We used to call it the all-nighter because when people finished playing their
gigs they used to end up there. They’d all meet up and jam on stage. I think
Georgie Fame was in that night.
“We had a great time. People said that George Harrison didn’t join in, but I
seem to recall he did because someone noted ‘that’s a fine guitar player
you’ve got there’ and that would have been George.
“Anyway, they really enjoyed it and stayed until about 3am or so and then it
was straight into the van and the drive back to Liverpool.”
Then came yet another setback as the group ran out of petrol on the way back:
Terry managed to complete the journey only by dipping into his pocket for the
very last fiver.
“The boys never knew I had it, otherwise I wouldn’t have still had it! They
would always be borrowing your last anything – ciggies, two bob, whatever.”
When they finally arrived back in Liverpool, Terry dropped each Beatle back at
his own home.
The Beatles had been due to play three consecutive Saturdays at the Palais, but
they had had enough of Aldershot and never returned. However, Sam did return the
following weekend with another Liverpool group – Rory Storm and the
Hurricanes, and on drums that night was a certain Ringo Starr!
Before that, Sam had yet another trip down to Aldershot, visiting the newspaper
offices - in the Grove in those days - to complain about the non-appearance of
the advert. Forgiving chap that he is, Sam also booked a new advert for that
Friday’s newspaper to advertise the next night’s dance with Rory Storm.
Terry said: “Sam had the car on hire for about a month so he got good use out
of it with those Aldershot trips. I’d had enough by then, so Dave Johnstone
would have driven Sam down that midweek and again on Saturday for Rory’s
Terry did all right for himself. He married a beauty queen and went on to work
for the George Cooper Agency. He also worked for Butlins and Pontins before
being given his own camp to run. He eventually settled in the West Country,
where he still lives, now retired at the age of 67.
looks back fondly on those early days when he drove an Aston Martin – an exact
copy of the famous James Bond-mobile.
Sam also recalled that looking desperately at the under-peopled dance floor, he
pleaded with the jivers to spread out to make the place look busy. It didn’t
“Unfortunately, their dancing resembled a dead man’s shuffle. I couldn’t
get the record player to work either, so the Beatles’ break was cut to just 15
Typically, it was Lennon who was the most cutting. “Eh Leachy, isn’t this
supposed to be a battle of the bands? Where’s the f…..g local group then?”
Sam said: “I’d never given it a thought, but I was pleased in a way. After
all, it was four less people to pay.”
Sam maintains that though the Beatles were hardly on top form that night in
Aldershot, they stuck at it and won enthusiastic applause from those who stayed
until the bitter end.
“Those few punters were thrilled and promised to return the following week,
bringing their mates with them. I often wonder what happens when those
youngsters now talk about the night the Beatles came to Aldershot and hardly
anyone turned up to see them. I can just hear it. ‘Oh, there we were, all 18
of us, watching the Beatles on stage… and they did an encore’.”
Whether the few present that night were impressed or not, word certainly got
around. The Palais ballroom was packed seven nights later when Rory Storm and
the Hurricanes came to town.