The Beatles are a name so synonymous with music that it feels hard to extract the band from the legends they are naturally encased in. Therefore, it becomes quite difficult for us to imagine the group in their early stages but, just like any group of the time, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr were, at least for a time, fairly unsure of their burgeoning pop career. It’s why they were more than happy to get touring as soon as they could.
So, when the opportunity to tour Sweden popped up in 1963 they jumped at the chance. Let’s not get confused, The Beatles, at this point, had already started to become a global phenomenon. But only a few months down the line form their first release and the thought that the Beatles bubble might burst was prevalent in everyone’s mind. It meant that reestablishing themselves as the biggest pop group on the planet was a must—one way to do that was television.
Having completed their Swedish tour the night prior, The Beatles made their way back to Stockholm to be a part of the TV show ‘Drop In’. Shared on the Sveriges Television channel, the music show had become a smash-hit in Sweden and was the only destination for the Fab Four. The recording took place at Arenatearten, a small theatre in Stockholm’s Grona Lund amusement park.
The Beatles were always professional in those early days and arriving early to do camera rehearsals was just a part of their charm. The band had some company in tow when they eventually broke for lunch and welcomed Mal Evans, Neil Aspinall, Klas Burling, presenter Kersti Adams-Ray and a few photographs who happily snapped some of the most iconic images of the day.
The show was set to go off as usual when The Beatles treated the producer Klas Burling to something truly special — a rare acoustic performance of their new song ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’. Burling later said that as soon as he heard the song he knew it would be a hit.
The Beatles also took themselves shopping while in Stockholm but the real pleasure would come when the Fab Four took the stage and kept to their moniker, providing four songs for the audience despite only being scheduled for two. Initially only intending to perform ‘She Loves You’ and ‘Twist and Shout’ before the producer Burling convinced the band to make the audience happy and play one more song.
The Beatles rarely disappointed their crowds so delivered a chorus of ‘I Saw Her Standing There’, after which Kersti Adams-Ray attempted to start up the show’s theme tune. However, the band had other ideas. With the chance of one more song to round off the show, the band played ‘Long Tall Sally’ before joining in with the show’s hand-clapping theme tune.
If you ever wanted to see how and why The Beatles became such a pop phenomenon then watching clips like this will give you a hefty clue. Watch The Beatles perform on Swedish TV from way back in 1963.