THE Beatles were one of the most modest rock groups of all time, according to a rare US tour contract which has been unearthed after almost 40 years.

Instead of ordering champagne and far-fetched snacks and perks on their rider, the Fab Four simply requested adequate security, "four cots, mirrors, an ice cooler, portable TV set and clean towels".

The inner world of The Beatles has been exposed by website THESMOKINGGUN.COM, after editors stumbled across an August 1965 contract for a show at the Coliseum in Portland, Oregon.

Signed by manager Brian Epstein, the official papers come from a two-show stint at the Coliseum, for which fans paid top ticket prices of $6 (GBP3.20).

But it's the rider requirements that make the most interesting reading - no blue candy, no condoms, no exotic animals; just sensible backstage and showtime needs.

Epstein demands 150 uniformed police officers provide security "from the time the doors open for this engagement... until the place of engagement is entirely empty" and "a high-fidelity sound system with adequate number of speakers".

He also requests "two super trouper follow spotlights" and "a first-class sound engineer". The Beatles' manager also stipulates exactly how big the stage should be ("10' x 6' and 4' high") and asks for "a platform for Ringo Starr and his drums".

The group members also weren't fussy when it came to transportation - insisting on sharing two seven-passenger limousines.

20/04/2005 21:40