Sunday, October 26, 2014

Belting it out in Brighton

While there is a shortage of photographs from many of the stops during the Autumn UK tour of 1964,  Brighton is not in that group.   This is thanks to "Johnny Dean" and Beatles book Monthly, who was backstage and onstage with the Beatles on October 25, 1964 to document the performance and chat with the Beatles.   

The Beatles snuck into the Brighton Hippodrome theater  through a nearby garage that lead up to the theater while before the fans started to que up in the front for the first show .   Besides Beatle Book Monthly being on hand, Chris Hayes from Melody Maker was there to find out musical equipment the Beatles liked the best.    It was during this brief interview that Paul played a bit of their newest song, "I feel fine" for both men and expressed some concern that it would not be a hit song.   The reporters assured him that it was a great song and would fair as well as the other Beatles hits, but all four Beatles were nervous about it's upcoming release.    This is something the Beatles talk about in Anthology (not necessary with the song, I feel fine, but in general) that when you are on top, you are expected to stay there and there was an overwhelming fear of failing and not being able to out do yourself.  

The workers at the Hippodrome were searching the theater for fans who had been hiding in various locations around the theater in an attempt to find a way into the Beatles' dressing room.   However, none of the fans made it to the Beatles and they were returned to their seats.  

BBM reported that the Beatles wore their black mohair suits and sang Twist and Shout, Can't buy me love, Things we said today, I'm Happy just to dance with you, I should have known better, If I feel, I wanna be your man, A Hard Day's night and Long Tall Sally.   Meanwhile the fans most likely did not hear much of those songs as they were screaming and throwing a variety of things onto the stage.  Items included jelly babies, dolls, programs, and a swarm of love letters for the boys.    The fans were also trying to throw themselves onto the stage along with those items, however the police had made a barrier out of themselves right in front of the orchestra pit and none of the fans were successful in making onto the stage.  The head of the police stated that they were there not to protect the Beatles, but to protect the fans from hurting themselves.    18 fans had to be removed from the theater to a nearby school that was set up for first aid due to fainting and hysteria.  

After that first show the Fabs had planned on going back to the dressing room for a meal and a little telly.  However,  visitor after visitor keep pouring into the dressing room.  The first being a fortune teller name Eva Petulengro who read George Harrison's palm.   Miss Eva refused to share what George's palm predicted, but it was all good things.

Then came film star, Richard Harris and his wife and children.   The Beatles were not in the mood for them at all and they were quick to show it.   George sat on the couch and pretended like he was asleep, John wrapped himself up in a green raincoat and fell on the floor.  Paul and Ringo spoke to them, but gave short, one-word answers to any questions.  Paul told the visitors that both John and George were very tired and quickly signed autographs for the children and sent them on their way. 

The guys then were finally able to turn on the television and eat their meal of steak, peas and chips.  Afterwards, they flipped through some issues of Beat Instrumental that "Johnny Dean" had brought along and then it was time to get back on stage once again.

For the second show of the night, the Beatles wore grey suits and performed the same set of songs to a similar screaming crowd.   One fan named Marilyn remembers,
"I went twice to see The Beatles and once queued 17 hours for tickets. I remember Tommy Quickly, the Fourmost being on one show and Mary Wells another time, but remember being hysterical and unable to hear much. Great times. Then they made it out of the theater and back to London, where they were to enjoy a few days off from touring. 


  1. Thanks for posting these up, Sara. The backstage pic you posted up in the Bradford (October 9th) section of George walking towards camera holding a gift (with Paul behind him) is now proven to be Brighton.

  2. Wow, ok, here's my takeaway right off: they were NERVOUS about the "I Feel Fine" single! Which to me sounds like instant hit!

    I still can't get over the fact that they played "I'm Happy Just To Dance With You" live, and that there isn't a circulating recording of it!!

    And interesting giving the cold shoulder to Richard Harris! Sounds like Madonna's treatment of Kevin Costner in that documentary she made of herself, whatever it was called......

    Would you accept a thank you from me, Sara?!!

    "Thank you!!!!"