A man well known among Beatles fans made a rare appearance at this year's International Beatles Week in Liverpool, Charles F. Rosenay told Beatles Examiner. It was Allan Williams, the author of the book “The Man Who Gave the Beatles Away.” Williams booked gigs for the group from May 1960 to April, 1961.
Rosenay met up with Williams while leading his Magical History Tour group to Liverpool. “The great news is that Allan Williams is alive and his daughter brought him to the Liverpool convention today to see old friends and meet new ones. The Beatles first manager hadn't been to the International convention since 2011 but was in a senior health facility getting back his strength after being sick for a while,” Rosenay said.
“He was in great spirits and sat for a while in the Adelphi Hotel grand ballroom, where he signed a few autographs next to original Quarrymen Len Garry. We reminisced about his old friend, Cavern DJ Bob Wooler, about him coming to my U.S. Beatles Conventions in the 80s and we caught up on families and friends. Fans never expected to ever see Allan at a fan convention, so this was a pleasant surprise.
Willliams was the owner of the Jacaranda Coffee Bar which was frequented by John Lennon and Stuart Sutcliffe. According to Bill Harry's “The Beatles Encyclopedia,” Williams, who had promoted a show at the Liverpool Stadium, was asked by Sutcliffe why he hadn't booked his group. Williams suggested they get a drummer, and Tommy Moore was hired. Williams arranged for the Silver Beatles to audition for Billy Fury, and it resulted in them being hired to back Johnny Gentle during a tour of Scotland.
“One bit of unpleasant news,” Rosenay said. “Earlier in the day at the same convention, Allan's Mersey contemporary, Sam Leach, who promoted many of The Beatles' earliest gigs, took a serious fall on the way to his vendor table there. He was rushed to the hospital and it is believed he has a broken hip and possibly at least one bruised or broken rib.”
International Beatles Week continues through Aug. 26. A British Invasion tribute show takes place Monday at the Royal Court Theatre. The final night will feature a concert by Chris Montez and Tommy Roe, who both performed with the Beatles, at the Cavern Club.