Allan Williams, the Beatles’ first manager and booking agent during the band’s time in Hamburg, Germany in 1960, died Friday at the age of 86.
Liverpool’s Jacaranda, the Williams-founded coffeehouse/music venue that was frequented by John Lennon when he was a student at the Liverpool Art College, confirmed Williams’ death on Facebook, the Guardian reports.
“His legacy has allowed us to remain at the heart of the Liverpool music scene for almost 60 years, and his memory will live on through every band that plays our famous stage,” the venue wrote. “Allan, you will be missed. All of our thoughts and wishes go to his family and his wife Beryl.”
From May to August 1960, the Beatles – then John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and bassist Stuart Sutcliffe – played occasional gigs at the Jacaranda and the Blue Angel, another venue owned by Williams.
“I was just glad to have been there in the 60s, at the start of it all. 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,” Williams told the Liverpool Echo in 2010. “A lot of people have told me ‘I would have loved to have been there’ and it was a lot of fun – but we didn’t know we were making history. It was such a good time, though, and I’ve got no regrets – they were exciting days. But no one knew the Beatles would go on to achieve what they did.”