A previously unheard, hour-long recording of The Beatles playing live in 1963 has just surfaced, capturing the band’s earliest known audio of the four-piece playing in the UK.
The live show was originally recorded on April 4 1963 in Buckinghamshire by a then 15-year-old schoolboy named John Bloomfield at the private, all-boy Stowe boarding school.
The Beatles performed after another pupil named David Moores wrote to The Beatles’ manager, Brain Epstein, requesting that the band play at the school. Epstein then asked for a £100 GBP fee, and Moores raised the money by selling tickets to his schoolmates.
Bloomfield only released the recording upon the 60th anniversary of the show and part of the tape was then played for the first time on the BBC Radio 4 show, Front Row.
Performing in front of a majority-male audience, a lot of the tape is drowned out by screaming and audience reaction. However, from what can be heard, the recording captures The Beatles performing a mixture of R&B covers along with some of the band’s earliest songs such as “Please Please Me,” which had only been released two weeks before the gig. The show also started with “I Saw Her Standing There,” before going into Chuck Berry’s “Too Much Monkey Business.”
The band is even heard taking requests from the schoolboys, who all shout out the names of songs that had been heard from the band’s debut album. John Lennon can also be heard mimicking joke voices of fellow band member Ringo Starr, who was unable to sing due to a lost voice.
You can check out a snippet from the BBC 4 Front Row broadcast below.
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