Sunday, 20 July 2008
The Helen Shapiro Tour 7
A Coventry poster from ebay had different colours than the other posters I've presented here. Don't know if it's real or a fake.
"Brian telephoned Arthur Howes about booking the group. The Beatles had 'Love Me Do' on the charts at the time but were relatively unknown. Howes, one of Britain's leading concert promoters, offered the Beatles £30 a night for the Helen Shapiro tour and wouldn't pay them at all for a performance with Frank Ifield beyond traveling expenses. Brian responded by giving Howes first option on all future Beatle tours." (Lewisohn. Chronicle p. 62)
With their first prestigious British tour scheduled to start on February 2nd, The Beatles decided once more to improve the appearance of their stage equipment. Starr's name had to be taken off the front of his drum-head. After all, the group were going to be seen by thousands of new potential fans during their first real tour. They didn't want people walking away after the performance wondering what the band was called ... or thinking it might be The Ringo Starr Band. It was time to design a Beatles logo for the front of the bass drum.
Various drawings that McCartney made for a Beatles logo were published in his brother Mike's 1981 book, The Macs. These interesting documents show the preliminary sketches that would eventually become the group's "bug" logo. The ideas were taken to a local signwriter in Liverpool, Tex O'Hara, whose brother Brian was guitarist in another Epstein-managed band, The Fourmost.
Tex explains, "We played around with different ideas to find out. which ones they liked. I did about live to ten drawings - which I've slill got - and showed them to the group. They settled on one logo, which was put on a piece of linen and stretched across the front of the drum." 2 This second bass-drum head on Starr's Premier drum set was plain while, without the Premier brandname and with the new Beatle "bug" logo. This had a script-style "Beatles", the "B" of which was decorated with two bug-like antennae. It was simply drawn on a piece of cloth that was stretched across the drum head, and held down with the bass-drum's mounting hoops.
Here's a look at the drum head logo. This photo was taken during the taping of an episode of "Thank Your Lucky Stars" on February 17th, during the break in the Helen Shapiro Tour.
McCartney played his Hofner bass, Harrison and Lennon both used their Gibson J-160E acoustic-electric guitars, and Starr played his Premier drum set with the new "bug" Beatles logo displayed on the front drum head.
The Shapiro tour carried on, and the group continued to use their familiar equipment. But Lennon was again having problems with his Rickenbacker. The Homer volume knobs that he had put on the guitar when it was painted black started to fall off: first one, then another. Lennon used the Rickenbacker with two knobs missing for a while before he once again replaced them all with a new set of Burns knobs.