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Did Paul McCartney play his electric guitar first in Neston?

Published: 12th April 2010 17:18

'The Silver Beetles' as The Beatles were then known, played six consecutive Thursday night shows from June 2nd 1960 at The Institute, on Hinderton Road,  Neston (now the Civic Hall).

An AboutMyArea visitor asks the following question:

Paul McCartney's Rosetti Solid 7 GuitarMy name is Xosé Crisanto Gándara. I'm a Doctor of Philology and Music from Spain and I'm currently writing an article about Paul McCartney's first electric guitar - his Rosetti Solid 7 guitar, bought in Liverpool on June 30th 1960.

The Silver Beetles - as they were named in those days - played at Neston Institute (today Neston Civic Hall) six consecutive Thursday night shows from 2 June 1960 until 7 July 1960, and I think it is very probable that he used the guitar for the first time at Neston Institute.

So, the point would be to find witnesses of those performances. People who could attend them should be now in their sixties. Could you help me?

I'd like to find people who can remember if  Paul was using that red coloured Rosetti Solid 7 guitar on those historical days. I have enclosed a picture of the guitar, but it seems there are no photos of the band playing there...unless your readers may know differently?

Next June 30 will be the 50th anniversary of the purchase, and I need all the sources available, witnesses of those performances being particularly valuable ones.

Can you help?

If so, please leave a comment below, or email the Editor and we will pass your information on to Xosé.

If you have any general recollections of the concerts that you would like to share with other website visitors, please also add your comments. If anyone has any images such as gig posters or ticket stubs that they would like us to reproduce on the website, please email us here.

BeatlesThe Beatles: taken at Indra Club in Hamburg on August 15, 1960 - the very day they arrived there for the 1st time. The drummer is not the one who played at Neston gigs, but the others - as well as their guitars and amps - were. Hopefully this could help to 'refresh' witnesses memories.

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At 13:09 on 12th April 2010, xcgandara commented:
Thank you very much Carrie!! I'm the author and I hope to find the relevant sources (=photos, witnesses, gig posters, ticket stubs, etc.) here.

BTW: the promoter for those conecrts was a certain Less Dodd, from Paramount Enterprises...

All the best,

At 21:44 on 12th April 2010, xcgandara commented:
Thanks again Carrie...

In fact, the Indra photo was taken on August 16. I made a mistake typing the date when I sent the photo to you...

Let's cross the fingers...

Samantha G
At 12:09 on 13th April 2010, Samantha G commented:

I too am researching stories of the Beatles coming to Neston in the 60s. We are hoping to use a story as a basis for a drama presentation that the lcoal youth theatre will devise for the Neston Village Fair. So any stories would be fascinating for us to read too.

Good luck

Samantha Giblin
Director - Little Actors Youth Theatre
At 14:37 on 13th April 2010, xcgandara commented:
Hi Samantha,

Nice project!! Hope we can get info from the people attending those historical gigs in June-July 1960...


roger f
At 16:56 on 13th April 2010, roger f commented:
Hi Being a musician myself, from the late 50`s up until 2007
I might be able to help to some extent on whether paul first played his six string Rosetti at the Institute in Neston in June 1960.
Well the dates were arranged by Alan Williams, the group were on tour in Scotland before they played at the Institute and Paul first played his Rosetti in Scotland.

The group were promoted by Les Dodd`s Paramount Enterprises, Les Dodd had been running events at The Institute, Neston since 1936.

Les Dodd paid the group £10 per gig at The Institute of which the group gave Alan Williams £1

Also Paul has been a bass player in the group for as long as I can remember.

At 17:33 on 13th April 2010, xcgandara commented:
Hi Roger,

Thanks a lot for your message!!

That's the point: Johnny Gentle says in his book that Paul first played his Rosetti Solid 7 in Scotland. Hire-Purchase agreement for the guitar -bought at Hessy's in Liverpool- clearly states June 30 as date of purchase. Johnny Gentle's tour in Scotland finished one month before (=28 May).

I contacted those seven villages in Scotland -where the tour was done in May 1960- asking for witnesses of the concerts, to find if anybody could remember the guitar, but no success so far...

So, the question is: when was the guitar really used for the first time?? At Johnny Gentle's tour in Scotland (=started on May 20), or at Neston??

That's the REAL info I need...

I apreciatte your comments...


P.S.: please, excuse my poor English!!
At 17:54 on 13th April 2010, xcgandara commented:
Johnny Gentle's tour in Scotland, May 1960:

20 Friday: Performance at Town Hall in Alloa, Clackmannanshire. Other acts are Tommy Steele, Alex Harvey and his Beat Band and Bobby Rankine.

21 Saturday: Performance at the Northern Meeting Ballroom in Inverness. Also performing are Ronnie Watt and the Chekkers Rock Dance Band.

23 Monday: Performance at Dalrymple Hall in Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire. Johnny Gentle crashes the van carrying himself and the Beatles. Tommy Moore is hit in the mouth by a guitar.

25 Wednesday: Performance at St. Thomas' Hall in Keith, Banffshire.

26 Thursday: Performance at the Town Hall in Forres, Morayshire. Also performing are Rikki Barnes and his All Stars with Lena and Stevie.

27 Friday: Performance at the Regal Ballroom in Nairn, Nairnshire.

28 Saturday: Performance at the Rescue Hall in Peterhead, Aberdeenshire. The tour ends.

The Silver Beetles Performances at Wirral Peninsula:

June the 2nd., Thursday: Neston Institute, Neston

June the 4th., Saturday: Corporation's Grosvernor Ballroom, Liscard, Wallasay

June the 6th., Monday: Corporation's Grosvenor Ballroom, with Gerry and the Pacemakers

June the 9th., Thursday: Neston Institute

June the 11th., Saturday: Corporation's Grosvenor Ballroom

June the 13th., Monday: Performance at Jacaranda Club, Liverpool

June the 16th., Thursday: Neston Institute. Also performing are Keith Rowlands and the Deesiders

June the 18th., Saturday. Corporation's Grosvenor Ballroom

June the 23rd., Thursday: Neston Institute

June the 25th., Saturday: Corporation's Grosvenor Ballroom

June the 30th., Thursday: Neston Institute. Official date of guitar purchase according to Hessy's Hire-Purchase receipt

July the 2nd., Saturday: Corporation's Grosvenor Ballroom

July the 7th., Thursday: Neston Institute

July the 9th., Saturday: Corporation's Grosvenor Ballroom

July the 16th., Saturday: Corporation's Grosvenor Ballroom

July the 23rd., Saturday: Corporation's Grosvenor Ballroom

July the 30th., Saturday. Corporation's Grosvenor Ballroom

So..., what??


At 23:35 on 1st June 2010, xcgandara commented:
Today is 50 years (=half a century!!) of those historical six consecutive Thursday night shows at The Institute started. Didn't anybody attend them?? 0_o
At 10:33 on 30th June 2010, xcgandara commented:
Today is half a century of Paul McCartney's HP for his first electric guitar: the Rosetti Solid 7...

See here: http://www.dmbeatles.com/forums/index.php?topic=10611.0

Samantha G
At 10:15 on 1st July 2010, Samantha G commented:
Little Actors Youth Theatre makes mention of this event in their show 'Imagine! Neston Yesterday...?' which can be seen at Neston Village Fair on Saturday 3rd July. They will perform in the Neston Parish Church at 2.15pm and 3.15pm. The show is about growing up in Neston in the 1960s and more than a passing reference is made to the Silver Beetles at Neston Institute.....
At 10:24 on 1st July 2010, xcgandara commented:
Dear Samantha,

How could I get your email address, please?? I'm interested in your work, as it is useful for my own research about Paul McCartney's first electric guitar. I would like to get a photo of your show..

Thanks in advance and best regards from Spain...
At 14:30 on 20th August 2010, xcgandara commented:
My article about Paul McCartney's Rosetti Solid 7 guitar was published in Dutch here:


Still waiting for the English publication. Unfortunately, no Neston witnesses of those historical Jun-July 1960 gigs attended my askings...
At 14:30 on 20th August 2010, xcgandara commented:
My article about Paul McCartney's Rosetti Solid 7 guitar was published in Dutch here:


Still waiting for the English publication. Unfortunately, no Neston witnesses of those historical June-July 1960 gigs attended my askings...
At 15:31 on 18th August 2012, Tonyd commented:
At a gig by the Beatles in Neston I am led to believe that someone was stabbed to death.
At 16:40 on 18th August 2012, xcgandara commented:

Do you have more info about that??

Thanks and best wishes!!
At 11:21 on 20th August 2012, DB commented:
'The Institute is now known as Neston Civic Hall. In the early 1960s it was a particularly rough venue, and The Silver Beetles witnessed a 16-year-old boy being brutally beaten at one of their shows.'

Taken from this site:


Ann A
At 03:46 on 26th September 2012, Ann A commented:
I was there, but don't remember one guitar from another... but I do remember the hand drawn and colored poster in the bakery window, where all the dances were advertised. There was a beetle in the bottom corner, and being teenage girls, we shrieked! Imagine what the poster would be worth today. I remember the beating death, a class mate, a nice boy, not a scrapper, we were all upset, that kind of thing didn't happen in Neston. The murderer died a couple of years later in a motorcycle accident outside Willaston. My soon to be husband came along shortly after, but the guy was dead. Poetic justice of some sort.
Ann A
At 04:50 on 26th September 2012, Ann A commented:
I have just read the beatlesbible report, it makes it sound like the beating happened during the dance while they were performing. I know it took place across Hinderton Road, corner of Olive Drive I believe. We went there the next day after school, so sad. Don't know how the Beatles saw it unless they were leaving. The format, as best I remember, was 2 groups each Thursday, I do remember Gerry and Pacemakers, also the Sundowners. To be honest, the groups didn't distinguish themselves... all good loud jive music. At that time lots of teenage boys were part of a group, jamming and hoping in a garage. Lots of pubs had a group every night, there were so many hoping to be discovered.
At 07:50 on 26th September 2012, xcgandara commented:
Great memories...

Think you very much!!

Katie Robson
At 10:45 on 19th November 2012, Katie Robson responded:
Message received from a reader:
Hi, There has been a certain amont of chat about the time that the Silver Beatles played at the Neston Civic Institute. My name is Peter Bolt and I played lead guitar with the Deesiders as a support group to the Beatles on 16th June 1960 - what a night that was.
At 11:46 on 19th November 2012, xcgandara commented:
Excellent... Thank you very much!!

Could you -please- ask him if he remembers Paul McCartney's Guitar on that night??

Best regards,

At 22:20 on 15th January 2013, xcgandara commented:
Hello Carrie,

Did you have any news from Mr. Peter Bolt??

Thanks in advance and best wishes!!

At 15:21 on 29th January 2013, Marshlander commented:
I wonder if there's any kind of recognition in the Civic Hall, that the greatest musical act of all time played there seven times in the summer of 1960? A wall plaque? ......An inscription? ...... Anything? Being British, I very much doubt we'd want to blow our own trumpet, although I'd love to be proven wrong!
Info please!
At 18:05 on 16th June 2013, jannos commented:
regarding the death of a local lad at the Civic Hall dance,
there seems to be some added folk lore.
As a witness to some of the events that night and as one who attended the inquest I can assure you that there was no stabbing and that the lad died as a result of a reaction to the anaesthetic during an operation to an eye injury received in the fight.
As with every confrontation there are two sides to the story and as a friend of both the lads I am compelled to speak out. I was one of the weekly fans of the Institute dances and yes they were great.
Geoff W
At 12:13 on 6th April 2014, Geoff W commented:
I was 15 at the time and I regret to this day I was too swotty at school doing O-levels to attend the Institute gigs. However, to add to the above comments, my (great-) aunty lived in Olive Drive and told me at the time that someone had died as a result of being kicked in the eye on the pavement in Olive Road. Ever after that she always made an excuse (dog dirt) to cross the road so as not to walk over the ill-lit spot where it happened. So I agree with others that the incident did not occur inside the Institute and wouldn't have been witnessed by the Beatles.
At 12:22 on 6th April 2014, xcgandara commented:
Excellent.. Thank you very much!!
Geoff W
At 09:45 on 19th April 2014, Geoff W commented:
I have been to Wirral archives in Birkenhead and copied the review of the Neston Institute performance of "The Beatles" on June 2nd 1960. It is the first time they appear in print with this name. It can be seen on Facebook page of Neston-Parkgate Memories.
At 09:56 on 19th April 2014, xcgandara commented:
Excellent... Thank you very much!!!
At 22:03 on 23rd July 2014, Rowlypoly71 commented:
Hello xose , my name is Kelvin and my dad is Keith Rowland from Keith Rowland and the deesiders, , my dad played guitar and was the singer , I have asked him If he can remember if he played the guitar on the night that he played with them but he can't remember if he did or not as its such a long time ago but he did remember that he had one tho, if you would like anymore info then please get in touch, regards Kelvin

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