Allan Williams (1930 - 2016)

Allan Williams, the first manager of the Beatles, died Friday, Dec. 30, 2016, according to multiple news sources. He was 86.

Williams was a longtime fixture of the Liverpool, England, music scene. He was the original owner of the Jacaranda Club, which opened in 1958. The coffee house became a meeting place for local musicians, including the young John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

Williams became their first manager, helping the Beatles secure gigs in the Liverpool area. In 1960, he took the band to Hamburg, Germany. During their time in Hamburg, the band played marathon shows featuring covers of their favorite American rock ’n’ roll acts. This time proved instrumental in the group’s development of their act and the development of Lennon and McCartney as songwriters.

In 1961, he broke business ties with the Beatles in a dispute over his management commission. They soon signed a five-year contract with manager Brian Epstein, who helped secure the recording contract that propelled them to worldwide superstardom.

“I was just glad to have been there in the ’60s, at the start of it all,” Williams told the Liverpool Echo in 2010. “I’ve always been proud of the Beatles and proud and happy to have been just a small cog in the wheel of the most famous group in the world.”

Click to get weekly celebrity death news delivered to your inbox. 

Williams co-wrote his memoir, “Allan Williams: The Man Who Gave the Beatles Away.” The book, first published in 1975, received Lennon’s endorsement.

In “The Beatles Anthology,” McCartney described Williams as “a great guy, a really good motivator.”

Williams also helped organize and stage Beatles conventions in Liverpool and became a regular speaker at fan conventions around the world.

Williams is survived by his wife, Beryl, and children Justin and Leah.

We invite you to share condolences for Allan Williams in our Guest Book.