Beatles Live


A new project photographing venues the Beatles performed in. Shot with a 1960s Hasselblad 500C, Distagon f4/50 and Kodak T-MAX 100.

The first image is the Grosvenor Ballroom, Wallasey. The Beatles played here on many occasions in 1960 and 1961. The venue had a reputation for rival Teddy boys fighting during gigs. I believe a piano, which is still at the ballroom, was used by the band.


Above is Gambier Terrace, Liverpool. The Beatles rehearsed here in John Lennon’s flat. The terrace is directly opposite Liverpool Cathedral where Paul McCartney failed an audition to get into the choir when he was 11. In more recent times his classical work has been played at the cathedral. John Lennon’s song Imagine was played on the cathedral bells in 2009 as part of the city’s arts festival.

Below is Barnston Women’s Institute, Heswall. The Beatles played the Institute 3 times and wore their stage suits here for the first time in 1962.


Β© Simon Howlett 2016. All rights reserved

14 thoughts on “Beatles Live

  1. Those are great! The only times I’ve been to Liverpool were once to catch the ferry to the Isle of Man and, the second time, to a Tall Ships Race – that would have looked great in black and white!

    • Hi Carol, thanks. Liverpool is a remarkable city and a lot of fun to explore. I have a long list of Beatles venues I’m planning to visit and photograph. Would love to see a Tall Ships Race – you’re right, they would look great in black and white.

    • Cheers Stephan. I’ve always been a fan of the Beatles, so combining this with photography is something I’m very happy doing. I enjoy the research involved and reading accounts of events at the gigs. A number of venues have sadly been demolished, including the ABC Cinema in Carlisle close to where I live. The Beatles famously gatecrashed and were ejected from a golf club function at the Crown and Mitre in Carlisle so will photograph that instead!

  2. This is such a cool project…the past and present while feeling so distant at times, it seems music and photography can mesh them into one. Great post, and especially so as while I was a generation away from the Beatles, they’ve been a big part of my imagination and the photos you have here incredible to keep such thoughts alive. Awesome.

    • Thanks for your kind words Randall, I really appreciate it. It’s a project I’m very much looking forward to continuing. Planning to spend 4 days exploring Liverpool and surrounding area in a few weeks time. I have a long list of venues the Beatles performed in, so I’ll be kept busy.

      • I want to join you… πŸ™‚ At the beginning of the year, back when I was in Seattle, I watched the Beatles Anthology DVD set over a week (seen it a few times, great background DVD for me), it really is good as it has a lot of the pre-fame years. πŸ™‚ Look forward to seeing more of your modern review, truly fascinating!

      • You’re right, it’s a great DVD. It’s been a while since I last saw it … will have to watch it again before I head to Liverpool πŸ™‚ Planning to make platinum prints from this series of images and will mail a few of them to Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.

    • Thank you, Jane. I’m hoping the prints will get through to them.

      Planning to visit the Casbah Coffee Club in Liverpool. It’s still owned by the Best family, Pete Best being the Beatles drummer from 1960-62. The band performed at this club many times and I’m hoping Roag Best, Pete’s brother, will be conducting the guided tour I’m booked on. Will take a few prints with me and ask him if he can pass them on to Pete.

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