Sadly, days after losing one important figure in the early part of the Beatles’ career - Sam Leach - the news has come through today that Allan has passed away at the age of 86.
Arnhem, Holland. The Beatles on their way to Hamburg. L-R: Allan Williams, Beryl Williams, Lord Woodbine (seated), Stuart Sutcliffe, Paul, George and Pete Best.
The long hours playing on stage in Hamburg transformed the 'bum group' so much that by thetime they returned to Liverpool in December 1960 they were noticeably better than any of the local bands, something Allan had already spotted when he visited the Beatles during their German residency. Stuart Sutcliffe would write a letter home noting We have improved a thousand fold since our arrival and Allan Williams, who is here at the moment, tells us that there is no band in Liverpool to touch us.
I obtained the above autograph when I was 15 (circa 1986)
It seems that every Liverpool based Beatles’ fan has their own Allan story. I met him several times over the years before the advent of camera phones, the most memorable being a drunken night in La Bodega, a Spanish bar in Temple Street (a door or two down from the old Iron Door).
My Dad had his own Allan Williams tale. In the late 1950s and probably slightly underage he tried to gain entry to the Blue Angel club with a group of mates. They just had to get past the little fella on the door who, unusually for Liverpool, was wearing a top hat. Pushing their oldest looking mate forwards he approached the door and tried to bluff his way in. The conversation went something like this:
Doorman: Who are you?
Dad's mate: It's alright squire, we're friends of Allan Williams and he said we could come in.
Doorman: Well I'm Allan Williams, and I don't know who you are, so F- off!
The Larry Parnes era photos were taken by Cheniston Roland.