8th August 1963
The Beatles played at Candie Gardens
The Beatles played two concerts at the Pavillion in Candie Gardens on 8 August 1963. They were in the middle of a four-concert run on Jersey at the time and had popped across to entertain their neighbours on Guernsey.
The “fab” four travelled between the islands by plane, trusting that their equipment would follow on the ferry. The Guernsey concerts kicked off at 7pm and 9.15pm respectively, and there were four tiers of tickets, all bookable through the Guernsey Press. They cost 17 shillings and sixpence, fifteen shillings, twelve shillings and sixpence, and ten shillings.
After the concert, John Lennon met up with his friend Royston Ellis, who he knew from Liverpool. Ellis was working as an engineer and had taken a flat on the island. Various accounts claim this moment was the origin of the Beatles song Polythene Pam, which appears on the Abbey Road album. Why? Some say that Ellis’ girlfriend, Stephanie, dressed in polythene for John’s amusement.
There is now a plaque commemorating the concert in Candie Gardens. The following year, the Rolling Stones also played St Peter Port.
The Beatles in 1963
1963 was a big year for the Beatles. Although they had been playing together for several years and had released their first single in 1962, it was the year they recorded and sold their first albums.
The band’s debut album, Please Please Me, was famously recorded in a single day but remained in the charts for more than six months. Their next seventeen singles reached the number one position in the UK charts.
After 30 months at the top of the album chart, Please Please Me was finally topped… by the group’s own follow-up album, With the Beatles, which had already attracted more than 270,000 advanced orders.
The tour of the Channel Islands thus came not only at the start of the band’s commercial career, but also at a moment of extraordinary commercial success.