London • Sunday, April 21, 1963

ConcertBy The Beatles • Part of the Spring 1963 UK Tour
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United Kingdom
Pigalle Club

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From Buskin with The Beatles on Facebook – Tonight in 1963, immediately after performing at the “New Musical Express 1962-63 Annual Poll-Winners’ All-Star Concert”, The Beatles fulfilled another, altogether more unconventional engagement: a Jewish charity event at the exclusive Pigalle supper club on Central London’s Piccadilly which, having only been advertised in the Jewish Chronicle newspaper, attracted a largely Jewish audience.
The main photo captures the Fab Four with their support act.

From Vantage Point: I was there when The Beatles played a Jew do – The Jewish Chronicle (, October 11, 2012:

[…] My most arresting memory of The Beatles dates not from 1962 but from the following year, when my school-friend Charles and I went to see them at a dance in a West End club. When we arrived, several other friends and acquaintances happened to be there, too. For this was a Jewish charity event — a “Jew do”.

In those days, young Jewish charity committees appeared to follow a rather shrewd strategy. In attempting to draw decent crowds, they would either book established acts past their peak, or up-and-coming outfits who might, or might not make it big.

The latter option particularly was a gamble but it could pay off handsomely, never more so than on April 21, 1963, at the Pigalle club in Piccadilly, central London. Between the well-in-advance booking of Brian Epstein’s boys, and their very-well-attended performance that night, The Beatles had progressed from a promising but middling rock group to a phenomenon.

That first, so-so single — Love Me Do — had been eclipsed. Their subsequent efforts had gone straight from recording studio to chart summit without pausing for breath. However, the group were still new enough to introduce themselves to the audience — “I’m Paul. That’s John, George, and Ringo.” Ringo?

It was quite a night at the Pigalle. If you Google it now, you will see, on the “Beatles Bible” website, the following, whimsical summary: “Although the Pigalle later became a fashionable destination for London clubbers, on this occasion the audience almost entirely consisted of Jewish people, as the concert had only been advertised — for reasons unknown — in the weekly Jewish Chronicle newspaper.”

While Eliot’s Waste Land famously opens by proclaiming that “April is the cruellest month”, that certainly wasn’t the case for young, club-going Jews in 1963. One of the other rising bands to be snapped up by a charity around that time was the Rolling Stones. I saw them at another shprauncy, West-End Jew do, where I recall the aforementioned friend Charles asking the lead singer: “Is it true that you went to the LSE?” (“Yeah” was the nonchalant answer from the young Mick Jagger as he made his way to the tiny hotel stage.)

It was a small window in time in which to be able to gyrate on a club floor to the live sounds of rock legends. And it was soon closed forever. The 1960s British bandwagon quickly rolled on. Brian Epstein showered New York with flyers announcing that “The Beatles are coming”, ensuring a 55,000 capacity crowd at the city’s Shea Stadium and, most astonishingly, the usurping of Elvis Presley’s crown. […]

Last updated on April 23, 2023

Pigalle Club

This was the 1st and only concert played at Pigalle Club.

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