Daytrippin' Beatles Magazine

The Latest Beatles News, Travel, Biography and Discography

Looking back at The Beatles’ spiritual journey in India

February and March 1968 marks the 50th anniversary of The Beatles legendary visit to India to study transcendental meditation with the Maharishi. Paul Saltzman who took famous photos of The Beatles during their trip has just released a new edition of his book, The Beatles in India.

Saltzman is also planning to direct a new documentary called The Beatles in India to be released in Fall 2018.

Daytrippin’ published a two-part in-depth article in Issues 14 and 15, Spring and Summer 2001 about The Beatles’ trip to India featuring insights from Saltzman when his first book, The Beatles in Rishikesh, came out.
We are reprinting the bulk of the two-part article below.



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Remembering The Beatles’ early days with the late manager Allan Williams and promoter Sam Leach

Not only did The Beatles’ community lose record producer, George Martin, in 2016, but also two businessmen that helped The Beatles in the early days of their career. Allan Williams, The Beatles’ first manager, died on December 30 at the age of 86 and Sam Leach, Liverpool concert promoter, died on December 21 at the age of 81. Both local Liverpool businessmen were involved in The Beatles career in the early 1960s just before Brian Epstein came onto the scene.

In the early days of The Beatles in Liverpool, John, Paul, George and Stuart Sutcliffe used to hang out at the Jacaranda club owned by Allan Williams. Stuart had painted murals for the basement of the club. Of all the lads, Stuart was closest with Williams, and as a result, he let the group perform and rehearse at the club.
In May 1960, Allan Williams became their first booking manager. He got them gigs often in rough parts of town where Teddy Boys used to frequent. In July 1960, they played at an illegal strip club owned by Williams.

In August 1960, Allan Williams got the Beatles their initial gig in Hamburg, Germany. Many groups from Liverpool were finding success in Hamburg, so the Beatles jumped at the chance.

“If it hadn’t been for Hamburg, there would be no Beatles,” Williams declared in a 1980s interview. “The work there was so fantastically hard. They would work 7 nights a week. Sometimes they would open at 7:00 (pm) and 3:00 in the morning, they’d still be on stage. And people say to me, ‘Alan, tell us the secret of how to be a Beatle.’ I say, ‘Go to Germany for 6 months, work 7 nights a week, 8 hours a night, and then come back and ask me the same question.”

However, during the time of The Beatles’ second trip to Hamburg in the Spring of 1961, their relationship with Allan Williams fell apart. Williams claimed that The Beatles never paid him his commission for booking them in Hamburg.

“The second time I sent them to Hamburg I got a phone call from Stu Sutcliffe,” Williams recalled. “He said ‘John has decided we shouldn’t pay you a commission because we got the job second time round’.

Since they had been able to arrange the gig at The Top Ten Club on their own, they told Williams they no longer needed his services. Williams was furious. He threatened to take legal action against them, but in the end, he let them go.

samleach-beatlescEnter Sam Leach. Leach was a Liverpool concert promoter. He would book over 40 gigs for The Beatles starting in early 1961 at clubs like The Cassanova Club and The Tower Ballroom. (Leach is pictured in the front with George and John)

“The first time I saw them, I realized how good they were,” Sam Leach recalled. “They were the best rock band on the planet at that time and I told them so. I said ‘One day you’ll be as big as Elvis’. John Lennon laughed and said ‘We’ve got a right nutter here, Paul’.”

Leach also sponsored “Operation Big Beat”, a mega-show that featured up to 5 rock and roll bands in one night. The Beatles first performed at Operation Big Beat in November 1961 as the headliner.

Sam Leach says he had a verbal agreement to be The Beatles manager, solidified with a handshake. But when Brian Epstein came into the picture, The Beatles decided to go with Brian instead.

“1961 was their [The Beatles] best year for rock and roll,” Sam Leach said, “because Brian sort of smoothed them up and changed their image a little bit and became more pop, but as a rock band they were supreme.”

Both Williams and Leach wrote books about their experiences with The Beatles:
The Birth of The Beatles by Sam Leach

Want to learn more about the history of The Beatles early days?
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The Early Beatles: How The Fab Four Came Together

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New online course traces The Fab Four’s origins from Quarrymen to Beatles

Universities around the globe are offering classes on The Beatles for hundreds and thousands of dollars per semester – but what about the rest of us? What are your options if you’re not in school, or you can’t attend the location where the class is being offered?

To solve this dilemma, Daytrippin’ School of Rock History now brings the college class into the homes of Beatles fans around the world in the form of an online community. Accessible 24/7 from your laptop, tablet or smartphone, music lovers can go deeper into the study of The Fab Four and how they created their music.

In a curriculum that spans a course of 6 weeks, Daytrippin’ is offering their first online course called The Early Beatles: How The Fab Four Came Together. The course offers detailed lectures that illustrate key insights into Beatles history, filled with in-depth reporting, audio and video examples and exclusive interviews with musicians, industry insiders and experts of music history.

Daytrippin’ publisher and course instructor Trina Yannicos is excited to offer Beatles fans a chance to share ideas and learn fascinating discoveries online for much less than it would cost to take a college class.

In The Early Beatles class, you’ll learn the history of the early Beatles from 1956 to 1962 — from the formation of The Quarrymen to The Beatles’ first recording session at Abbey Road Studios.

The Beatles recording career has been well documented but what about the period before The Beatles got a record contract and hit it big?

“Without Elvis, there would be no Beatles,” John Lennon stated matter-of-factly in a 1980 interview.

You love The Beatles’ music, but do you really know what inspired The Beatles and how the group was formed?

To truly appreciate The Beatles and their music, you need to understand the group’s origins and the impact that Presley and other rock and roll artists had on the group.

In The Early Beatles course, you’ll go back in time to the 1950s and watch the transformation of John, Paul, George and later Ringo take place from the formation of The Quarrymen to The Beatles’ first recording session at Abbey Road Studios.

Who were the key players in the early days of The Beatles? How did Stuart Sutcliffe and Pete Best change the course of Beatles history? Who were The Beatles managers before they met Brian Epstein?

Over a six-week period, we’ll explore in-depth the history of the early Beatles from 1956 to 1962 with fascinating insights from those who were there including John Lennon’s best friend, Pete Shotton; Beatles fan club secretary Freda Kelly; the boys’ close friend in Germany, Astrid Kirchherr; and more.

Elvis represented the pinnacle of success in rock and roll, and he set the model for The Beatles’ achievement of success. The goal of becoming “bigger than Elvis” helped propel the band into worldwide fame which in many ways surpassed The King.

In only 6 weeks, you can become an expert on The Early Beatles learning in-depth details about how the group was formed, what inspired them and what obstacles they faced along the way.

Get a sneak peak at the course with exclusive access to our FREE PREVIEW – where you can view a sample lesson from the course.

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This course is brought to you by Daytrippin’ Magazine, the most FAB Beatles journalism online! For over 18 years, Daytrippin’ has offered in-depth interviews and exclusive Beatles articles you won’t find anywhere else.