The Beatles Winter 1963 Helen Shapiro Tour

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Beatles Winter 1963 Helen Shapiro Tour
Tour by The Beatles
Start date2 February 1963
End date3 March 1963
No. of shows14
The Beatles concert chronology

The Beatles first English tour lasted from 2 February 1963 until 3 March 1963. The Beatles were fourth on an eleven-act bill headed by 16-year-old Londoner, Helen Shapiro. Other acts on the tour were the Red Price Band, The Kestrels, The Honeys(UK), Dave Allen, Kenny Lynch and Danny Williams.[1] They were also joined briefly by Billie Davis during the latter part of the tour.[2]

The tour was organised by the Arthur Howes Agency. This was the first time that the Beatles had worked with Howes.[3]


The programme for the tour[1] was:

  • Red Price Band
  • The Honeys
  • Dave Allen
  • The Beatles
  • Dave Allen
  • Danny Williams
  • Red Price Band
  • The Kestrels
  • Kenny Lynch
  • Dave Allen
  • Helen Shapiro

Set list[edit]

The Beatles typical set list[1] for the shows was as follows (with lead singers noted):[4]

  1. "Chains" (George Harrison)
  2. "Keep Your Hands Off My Baby" (John Lennon)
  3. "A Taste of Honey" (Paul McCartney)
  4. "Please Please Me" (John Lennon / Paul McCartney)

Two other songs were used as prepared alternatives during the tour:

  1. "Love Me Do" (John Lennon)
  2. "Beautiful Dreamer" (Paul McCartney)

Winter 1963 Helen Shapiro Tour dates[edit]

The Shapiro tour was split into two parts.

Part 1[edit]

The first part lasted from the 2nd to 10 February, although the Beatles did not play on the 10th, as they needed to be in London early on the 11th. The Beatles played two dates at the Cavern Club, Liverpool on 3 and 4 February, before joining the Shapiro tour again on the 5th.

Date City Country Venue
2 February 1963 Bradford England Gaumont
5 February 1963 Doncaster Gaumont
6 February 1963 Bedford Granada
7 February 1963 Wakefield ABC Cinema
8 February 1963 Carlisle Regal
9 February 1963 Sunderland Empire

All dates from Lewisohn[5]

On 11 February, the Beatles recorded the ten tracks that, together with their two previously released singles, formed their debut album, Please Please Me. From 12 to 22 February, they played a number of dates on their own, before joining the Shapiro tour again on the 23.

Part 2[edit]

The second part lasted from 23 February until 3 March. Travelling to Shrewsbury on 28 February 1963, Lennon and McCartney wrote the next Beatles single, "From Me To You".

Date City Country Venue
23 February 1963 Mansfield England Granada
24 February 1963 Coventry Coventry Theatre
26 February 1963 Taunton Gaumont
27 February 1963 York Rialto
28 February Shrewsbury Granada
1 March 1963 Southport Odeon
2 March 1963 Sheffield Sheffield City Hall
3 March 1963 Hanley Gaumont

All dates from Lewisohn[5]

Instruments and equipment[edit]

Instruments The Beatles had on the tour, shown here for each member of the group.[6]

John Lennon

Paul McCartney

George Harrison

Ringo Starr

  • Premier Mahogany drum kit[11]
    • 20x17" bass drum
    • 12x8" rack tom
    • 16x16" floor tom
    • 14x4" Premier Royal Ace wood-shell snare drum


  1. ^ a b c Lewisohn 1996, p. 98.
  2. ^ Lewisohn 1996, p. 101.
  3. ^ The Beatles 2000, p. 89.
  4. ^ Lewisohn 1996, pp. 361-365.
  5. ^ a b Lewisohn 1996, pp. 98-102.
  6. ^ Babuik 2002, p. 81.
  7. ^ a b Babuik 2002, p. 72.
  8. ^ a b Babuik 2002, p. 67.
  9. ^ Babuik 2002, p. 64.
  10. ^ Babuik 2002, p. 53.
  11. ^ Babuik 2002, p. 70.
  • Lewisohn, Mark (1996). The Complete Beatles Chronicle. London: Bounty Books. ISBN 978-1-85152-975-9.
  • The Beatles (2000). The Beatles Anthology. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. ISBN 0-8118-2684-8.
  • Babiuk, Andy (2002). Beatles Gear. San Francisco: Backbeat Books. ISBN 0-87930-731-5.