Former concert promoter Sam Leach had been suffering from cancer and died at his Liverpool home early this morning, just days after his 81st birthday. He was famous in the Liverpool area in the early 1960s for his concert promotions at venues such as New Brighton’s Tower Ballroom, where he put on shows including such rock ‘n’ roll giants as Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard.
Sam was once touted as a possible manager for the group before Brian Epstein took over the role.
The concert promoter staged more than 40 Beatles gigs in 1961 and ‘62. Famously, he organised one in the Hampshire town of Aldershot to which only 18 people turned up after a newspaper advert failed to appear.
After The Beatles rose to fame, Sam continued to devote his life to Merseybeat history and toured the world lecturing on his former proteges.
He was a regular sight at The Grapes pub in Mathew Street , where he signed copies of his book, and entertained tourists with tales of his days with the Fab Four.
He kept in regular touch with Paul and met him backstage when he played at the Echo Arena last year.
Johnny Hutchinson, a member of The Big Three who were Liverpool contemporaries of The Beatles, said: “It’s the end of an era. Sam kept us all going in those days. We used to get the same amount of money as The Beatles got. None of us would have made it without him, or without Brian Epstein.
“There was nobody like him and he kept the memory of those early years of The Beatles alive.”
Jon Keats, one of the directors of The Cavern , said: “It’s sad news as we’ve lost another part of the Cavern’s and the Liverpool family’s history. Sam was a key part of the early years of The Beatles and put on many of their shows in Liverpool before they hit the big time.”