The Beatles: December 1963 - July 1964

As indicated on the intro page, photos show that The Beatles received their AC50s at some point after the 21st December 1963 and possibly before 24th:

The Beatles, Wimbledon 14th December 1963, with AC30s
The Beatles, Christmas Show 1963, with AC50s

Left, The Beatles at the Wimbledon Palais, 14th Dec. 1963, with their standard set up: two AC30s and an AC30 head for Paul's T60 bass cab. These amps were evidently used at the Gaumont, Bradford, on 21st December too. See the pic on the site.

John Lennon's AC50

Above, a detail of The Beatles on stage at the Astoria, Finsbury Park, last week of December 1963 - the first shots of the AC50s. Note that John has his "back-to-front" on the riser steps (to allow for the connectors sticking out).

1964

The Beatles at the Olympia Theatre, Paris, January 1964

The Beatles at the Olympia Theatre, Paris, 16th January, 1964. Their residency in Paris lasted until 4th February. Colour film and a radio broadcast of one of the concerts can be found on YouTube.

The Beatles at the Olympia Theatre, Paris, January 1964, AC50s from rear
The Beatles at the Olympia Theatre, Paris, January 1964, AC50s from rear

Backstage at Olympia. The Celestion blue speakers in the AC50 cab are clearly visible.

The Beatles at the Theatre with Sylvie Vartan. Note the red/maroon covers of the AC30 head and cab (the amp is too tall to be an AC50). These may have been spares. Sylvie Vartan's band had different amps on stage, as did Trini Lopez, who was also on the bill.

The Beatles at the Washington Coliseum, February 1964, the AC50s on stage
The Beatles at the Washington Coliseum, February 1964, the AC50s on stage
The Beatles at the Washington Coliseum, February 1964, the AC50s on stage

Above, the Washington Coliseum, 11th February 1964. Apple released the remastered film of this concert a couple of years ago - well worth watching.

  • The Beatles, February 1964, the Ed Sullivan Show rehearsals
  • The Beatles, February 1964, the Ed Sullivan Show rehearsals
  • The Beatles, February 1964, the Ed Sullivan Show rehearsals

Left to right: 13th February 1964, rehearsals in Miami for the Ed Sullivan Show. Note that the mains inputs of the AC50s were Cannon LNE-11s - one can see the red rubber grommets in the colour pics. The pic. from Blokker further below shows the connector in more detail. The controls of one of the amps are visible above: volume at 12 o'clock, bass and treble right down.

During the Sullivan show the amps were tucked well away in the wings, as the picture above shows.

The Beatles' AC50s during the filming of A Hard Day's Night

Theatre scene from "A Hard Day's Night", filmed at the Scala Theatre, Charlotte Street, London, 23rd-30th March, 1964. George's cab in view on the stand, Paul's AC80/100 to its right, being moved.

The Beatles' AC50s during the filming of A Hard Day's Night

The baggage car scene: amps and cabs in their specially made covers in the background.

The Beatles' AC50s during the filming of A Hard Day's Night

Another pic. from the set, one of the amps in the immediate foreground - perhaps the AC80/100 again.

The Beatles, Glasgow, April 1964

A great shot of the Beatles at the Concert Hall, Glasgow, 30th April 1964. The cab stands are still of the standard AC30 type.

New stands for the AC50 cabs

The Beatles, Prince of Wales Theatre, May 1964, new trolleys for the AC50 speaker cabinets

Above, rehearsing for the performance at the Prince of Wales Theatre, London, 31st May, 1964. The new chrome stands are just visible.

The Beatles in June 1964
The Beatles in June 1964

The Beatles with Jimmy Nichol in Studio Two shortly before the Dutch Tour. Right: on stage at Blokker, Holland, 6th June 1964 - picture taken by Ronald Sweering. Note that the Cannon LNE-11 mains connectors are mounted "sideways" on the backboard - also the case for Paul's AC80/100. Vox normally mounted them vertically - ie. longest side vertical.

The Beatles in Adelaide, June 1964, AC50s in their new trolleys

Live in Adelaide, 12th June 1964 - the AC50s and AC80/100 bass immediately in front of the riser.

The Beatles, Blackpool Night Out, July 1964, last public view of the AC50s

Blackpool Night Out, 19th July 1964, the last public sighting of the AC50s on stage. John's trolley has evidently lost two of its casters.

1965

It is clear from the scene in "Help!", shot in Twickenham studios, that the Beatles still had at least one early AC50 in April 1965.

Click as ever for larger images. The AC50 is on top of the bass cab. In the rear view from the "control room" one can just about make out the closeness of the power and speaker cables. On the AC80/100s they were much further apart.