What really happened when The Beatles visited Aldershot in December 1961

Official Monster Raving Loony Party leader Alan ‘Howling Laud’ Hope has finally revealed his part in the fateful night The Beatles played to just a handful of people in Aldershot.

The Fleet resident reveals all in his eagerly-awaited autobiography The Great White Hope: The Life and Times of Alan ‘Howling Laud’ Hope.

Mr Hope, who grew up in Cove, went to school in Farnborough in Hampshire and was a pub landlord in Yateley, was just 19 when the Beatles were booked to play at the Aldershot Palais in December 1961.

“Like lots of other people of my age I was chasing my big break whilst regularly performing as Kerry Rapid, the lead singer, with my group the Blue Stars every week,” he recalls.

Mr Hope said he was “particularly upset” when he first saw The Beatles’ Aldershot Palais poster and his band had not been asked to be one of the supporting groups at their favourite local venue.

“At the time I remember I was angry that this group who I had never heard of from Liverpool were coming onto my patch and throwing all of my plans and bookings up in the air,” he recalled.

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