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The Beatles on Scottish television in Glasgow

Here is another thimbleful to add to the Everest that is Beatles history.

On January 8 1963 (Tuesday) the Beatles appeared on the children's tv show "Round-Up" on Scottish Television (STV) in Glasgow. (See "The Beatles Live!" by Mark Lewisohn, p143.) They mimed to their 2nd single "Please Please Me" which hadn't been released yet. It would be released a few days later, on January 11 1963.

In October 1997 I met the sound recordist, Len Southam, who worked on that show and he related to me his main memory of the event.

Len was in the control booth. The Beatles were in the green room waiting to come on. A call came up over the intercom from the green room to the control booth. One of the Beatles asked if they could be paid extra as their van was having mechanical trouble. They were worried about whether it would make it back to Liverpool.

Len passed the request on to higher authorities. The answer came back down and Len relayed it to the Beatles. "Sorry. You'll get your pay, but no extra."

Being the sound recordist, Len was the member of the sound crew responsible for "tapes & grams" (that is, gramophone records). He was the one who spun the "Please Please Me" 45 rpm record that the Beatles brought with them. He says the reason they mimed to the record rather than play it was that it was much more difficult to mix the live music.

There was no audience for "Round-Up". The show was broadcast live; there was no alternative, as the studio did not have a video recorder.

Len remembers the hosts well. They were Morag Hood and Paul Young. He says they are still going strong: Morag is an actress and Paul appears as a fishing expert.

Len was on another assignment out of town the next time the Beatles appeared on STV, April 30 1964. By that time they were huge, of course.


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