|The tape. Photo: © Johnnie Hamp|
The recording was done because the sound quality on the original TV footage was so bad. Granada sent their sound engineer Gordon J. Butler back to the Cavern just to record audio, which was to be dubbed onto the film. At the August session with a TV crew present in the club, only one microphone had been used, but at the September session Butler recorded, the sound engineer had set up three microphones to get a better quality recording. Two of the microphones were individually placed on Lennon and McCartney's microphone stands. Butler returned to Manchester's Granada TV with the audio of a full concert by the fabs, but only "Some Other Guy" and "Kansas City/Hey Hey Hey Hey" seem to have survived.
The press release goes on to say that due to legal issues with other acts on the show, the programme was not screened. That may be true at the time, but Granada TV did finally screen the programme more than a year later, as part of their new magazine series "Scene at 6:30" on 6 November 1963.
The Beatles' manager Brian Epstein was so impressed with the recording that he asked for five acetate discs to be pressed from the tape to use as promotion. At least one of these discs were two-sided and contained the other surviving song on the flip side, "Kansas City/Hey Hey Hey Hey".
That disc was sold at auction in 1993 for £16,000 to Apple Records, and portions of it used in The Beatles Anthology TV series. Surprisingly, the full audio version of "Kansas City/Hey Hey Hey Hey", seemingly from another source, turned up on video sharing site DailyMotion in 2013. The accompanying video just shows an acetate disc being played.
The tape kept by former Granada TV producer Johnnie Hamp is of course in a better condition than the acetates made from it, and will be sold by auctioneer Adam Partridge. With the help of Beatles historian Paul Wilde, Hamp listened to the tape on a reel-to-reel tape machine and found that it was "crystal clear" even after all of these years.
The tape will be sold as part of Adam Partridge's next specialist Rock & Pop Memorabilia auction on 4th November and Johnnie Hamp will be donating all of the proceeds to charity.
Johnnie Hamp and Adam Partridge will together be holding a press launch where the tape will be played in public for the very first time. Aptly taking place in the Cavern Club in Liverpool, the tape will be played with the help of Beatles historian Paul Wilde. The launch will take place at 12pm on the 8th October (the day before what would have been John Lennon’s 75thbirthday) and entry is by invitation only. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org in order to enquire entry.