The Beatles‘ fame exploded in the early 1960s shortly after they signed a deal with their first manager Brian Epstein. Almost overnight John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr went from playing in Liverpool’s legendary Cavern Club to dominating the British charts and becoming household names. Their fame brought new fans, one of which was Kirkby resident Russell Jamieson.
Russell was just four-years-old at the time but adored the Fab Four and their music after attending one of their gigs.
As revealed in Liverpool’s The Beatles Story museum, Russell became the youngest member of The Beatles Fan Club and was even given some gifts by the band themselves.
Before that, when the youngster decided he wanted to become a Beatle he attempted to run away from home and meet up with them to become their fifth member.
After the group heard about Russell’s attempt to leave his family for them, they asked the Fan Club’s secretary, Anne Collingham, to send him an honorary membership.
This was the only ever honorary membership awarded by The Beatles Fan Club.
The young fan received a handwritten letter confirming he had been inducted into the Fan Club from the band.
He was also gifted a set of autographs from each of the members.
Perhaps most importantly was a child-size leather jacket from the Fab Four.
The quartet made the jacket even more special by customising the garment for him by doodling lyrics to their hit songs onto its chest.
Russell was so well-loved by The Beatles and The Beatles’ community that he was nicknamed Russell Beatle.
He was also later given another piece of clothing from the band, a collarless corduroy jacket.
Operations Manager at The Beatles Story, Charlotte Kelly, said of Russell’s exhibit: “We are delighted to add this unique collection of artefacts to our exhibition, which now holds over 1,400 items.
“Fans of the band and musical history will enjoy this unique exhibit and the remarkable story it tells about young Russell Beatle – who is the youngest and the only honorary member of the Fan Club as far as we are aware.”
In 2015 Russell sold some of his Beatles memorabilia on auction.
He recalled: “What I remember about that first gig was the sound. It was very pure rock ‘n’ roll.
I was dancing in the aisles and I remember meeting them. At one point Ringo took me to his drum set and let me hit them and the crowd just went berserk.
“These items were very dear to my heart and I held onto them for a long time.”