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Beatles poster artist Tony Booth dies aged 83
Beatles poster artist Tony Booth dies aged 83
Jan 12 2017
Tony Booth was hired by Beatles manager Brian Epstein in the early 60s and hand-painted posters for the band's shows
The artist who created posters for The Beatles in Liverpool in the early 1960s has died aged 83.
Tony Booth, from Moreton, Wirral, made the iconic signs for the Fab Four and other Merseybeat bands in the 1960s.
He died on Wednesday at Wirral's Arrowe Park Hospital after a battle with cancer, his son Lee Booth said.
In recent years, Mr Booth made replicas of the posters for fans and had written a book about them which his son hopes will be "part of his legacy".
When the Beatles began to play at clubs in Merseyside, fans found out about their gigs through Tony Booth's posters
Mr Booth was hired by Beatles manager Brian Epstein and started off making "a few posters and show cards for his shops" before moving on to hand-painted concert posters.
In the days before the internet, the posters were the main way of telling fans of upcoming gigs.
A year after the Beatles formed in 1960, they were playing at the Cavern in summer 1961 although they were bottom billing
By 1962, The Beatles - with original drummer Pete Best - were topping the bill at the Cavern
Though few of the originals survived, one from 1962 advertising a night with Little Richard and The Beatles in The Tower Ballroom in New Brighton was uncovered during the refurbishment of Bidston train station in 2013.
It is now displayed in the Merseybeat room of The Beatles Story museum in Liverpool's Albert Dock.
In August last year, Mr Booth staged his first exhibition at View Two Gallery on Mathew Street after reproducing 40 of his favourite posters with the same materials he used more than 50 years ago.
One of Mr Booth's last projects was to produce posters for The Cavern club's 60th anniversary celebrations this weekend, which his son said was fitting as "one of the earliest posters" had been for its opening.
"He started his career with The Cavern club and finished his career with The Cavern club", he said.
"I've had posters around me all my life, they're part of Liverpool's history".
Tributes paid to Beatles poster artist Tony Booth
Mr Booth, 83, from Moreton, worked on the gig signs for the Fab Four and other Merseybeat gigs
11 JAN 2017
Tributes have been paid to the Wirral artist whose work helped put the Beatles on the map.
Tony Booth, who died today at the age of 83, trained as a poster artist after leaving school and started off creating promotional sales material for the Epstein furniture business and record shop.
Tony Booth at home with some of the posters he created for the Beatles in the 1960s
When Beatles manager Brian Epstein began signing up groups Tony, from Moreton, was given the task of working on the gig posters .
He went on to produce hand-painted gig posters for Merseybeat promoters including Sam Leach, Allan Williams and Cavern Club DJ, Bob Wooler.
Martin King, of Albert Dock attraction The Beatles Story, said: “We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Tony Booth.
“Our thoughts go out to his family at this sad time.”
A tribute on the Facebook page of Fort Perch Rock in New Brighton, which has hosted exhibitions of Merseybeat memorabilia, said: “Very sad to announce a good friend of the Fort, Tony Booth passed away this afternoon.
“It was his artwork on all the early Beatles posters, such a nice man. Going to miss him!”
Last year Tony held his first ever exhibition in Liverpool’s View Two Gallery, featuring recreations of his favourite posters created with the same materials he used over fifty years ago.
Beatles posters by artist Tony Booth at the View Two Gallery in Mathew Street (Photo: James Maloney)
At the time he told the ECHO: “I never imagined in a million years they would one day be so valuable. I wished I’d kept some myself, but they were simply thrown in the waste paper basket.
“I must have produced many hundreds of hand painted posters for Beatle gigs and shows by other popular groups. I was only paid five bob for each one, but it was non-stop work.
“I got to know Brian Epstein and the Beatles very well.
Tony Booth designed hundreds of posters for gigs in the 1960s (Photo: James Maloney)
“It was great to be part of what was happening in Liverpool when Merseybeat was born, though we never knew how big it would become.”
Few of Tony’s original posters have survived, but one from 1962 now takes pride of place in the Merseybeat room of The Beatles Story.
The brightly coloured advertisement was uncovered during the refurbishment of Bidston train station in 2013.
In 2014, Tony was asked to recreate posters from the Cavern Club for a TV drama about the life of Cilla Black.
He was recently commissioned by the Cavern to produce posters for its 60th anniversary later this month.