Fab Four’s ‘Holy Grail’ performance takes centre stage

Liverpool’s British Music Experience (BME) is set to screen astonishing missing-believed-wiped tapes from television performances from The Beatles and other legendary acts.

On Saturday 24 August, the Cunard Building venue will showcase what has been hailed as the ‘Holy Grail’ of lost tapes which contains footage of the only ever live appearance of The Beatles on Top of the Pops on 6 June 1966.

The screening has been made possible thanks to a partnership with the Kaleidoscope Archive which specialises in recovering video and TV shows Coinciding with International Beatles Week, this will be the first showing in the city for more than 50 years, after the footage was recently unearthed and restored.

It was believed only an 11-second, silent clip existed which was discovered in April this year by a collector in Mexico. However, another collector and music enthusiast, David Chandler, contacted Kaleidoscope, and handed over a series of 8mm film reels.

The footage, which includes a 92-second performance by The Beatles playing Paperback Writer, lasts nine minutes in total and also shows Dusty Springfield singing Goin’ Back, Tom Jones singing Green, Green Grass of Home, The Hollies performing Bus Stop, and other performances by The Spencer Davis Group, Ike and Tina Turner, and Cliff Richard and the Shadows.

The BME will screen two sessions on 24 August:

Session one – 11am to midday This screening will feature a highlights package of material found by Kaleidoscope and will be followed by the Top of the Pops footage.

Session two – 3pm to 4pm This screening will show performances by acts such as Elton John, T-Rex, Pan’s People and The Sweet and will once again culminate with the recently discovered footage.

For more information visit www.britishmusicexperience.com Shirley and Melody McLean (of music company SMPRC) facilitated the Liverpool screenings after working closely with Kaleidoscope on their own theatrical archive which included Ken Dodd.

Chris Perry, Chief Executive of Kaleidoscope, said: “Kaleidoscope thought finding 11 seconds of Paperback Writer was incredible, but to then be donated 92 seconds — and nine minutes of other 1966 Top of the Pops footage — was phenomenal.

“Finding lost television is like forensic archaeology. You find the clues and follow the trail. Found in Austria, this missing videotape is pure Top of the Pops magic. However, Kaleidoscope didn’t expect to uncover a ‘lost’ original cutting copy of the Beatles promotional film for Something, buried deep within it.

“Shown only once on Top of the Pops, this previously unknown promo edit is a truly remarkable treasure for Beatles fans everywhere.

“We are delighted to work in partnership with the BME to showcase the lost tapes. There’s no point in finding the material unless people get the chance to see it again. We hope this is the first of many collaborations between us in the future.”

Harvey Goldsmith CBE, Chair of the BME Trustees, said: “We are delighted to be working with Kaleidoscope and to be part of screening these exciting glimpses into our musical past. There is no better place to do it than in the heart of Liverpool at the BME surrounded by artefacts, stage outfits and memorabilia from 70 years of our shared popular music history.” 

Kevin McManus, Liverpool’s Head of UNESCO City of Music, said: “The legacy of The Beatles should never be underestimated and the fact this showcase will take place during International Beatles Week is bound to make the sessions hugely popular. It’s a real coup for BME and we’d like to thank Kaleidoscope and SMPRC for choosing Liverpool to host this must-experience event for Beatles fans.”

Melody McLean from SMPRC, said: “When Chris Perry told us about the lost tapes we immediately suggested that they be screened in Liverpool – back to where they once belonged! We are delighted that the BME will be playing host to the event. We are proud to be associated with this exciting discovery!”