Thursday, October 23, 2014

Concert in London Town...

The Beatles did not have to travel far for their concert on October 23, 1964 because they were performing in London.  This performance was held at a large venue called the Gaumont State in Kilburn High Road.   Many of the major newspapers from London were there to take photos of the Beatles before the show. 

The reports say that the fans at this show were not as manic as other fans on this tour.  One reporter noted that during the first show, there weren't any fans trying to rush the stage or ripping their clothes in desperation.   However, there were plenty of screams, whistles and shouts for the boys from this well-behaved crowd at the first show.  The second show, however, was a slightly different scene.  As soon as the Beatles were seen on stage, the fans started to wave banners, scarves, or handkerchiefs in the air, trying to catch the eye of one of the four.    And then the fainting began.   One girl passed out during the song, "Can't Buy me Love" and another passed out only to come back to her seat 10 minutes later.   There were girls crying, laughing and one poor girl pounding her head into her arms that were resting on the seat in front of her  (I bet she wondered why she had a headache the next morning.)

After the first show, everyone stayed in their seats but there was a problem.   Fans weren't leaving their seats at all.   Even after the performance, some fans didn't budge out of their spots.   I guess that figured if they refused to leave, then they would get to see the Beatles concert again?    A small scuffle broke out and eventually I guess these fans were forced out so the next crowd could come in.

One fan who was there that night was David, who was 16 years old and his family owned a chip shop next door to the theater.    His family's shop actually supplied the fish and chips the Beatles had for supper that night and the escape plan for the Beatles if the first plan didn't work was for the guys to hide inside the shop until the crowd dispersed.  Unfortunately for David, the first plan of escape worked just find and he didn't get to hang out with the Beatles.    However, he did attend the concert that night and in Martin Creasy's book Beatlemania he has this to say:

"I was a Beatles fan, so this was a huge treat for me.  But it was a mental night.  Even just trying to get through the crowds was just mad.  The second house was so loud.  I was there to see Mary Wells, too, but you couldn't hear much over it all and we had pretty good seats, too.  I was a little upset because  I was already immersed in the music of Motown.  The only two songs I remember Mary doing that night were "You Beatle me to the punch" and "My Guy."

"I definitely remember the Beatles singing "Can't Buy me Love" and "A Hard Day's Night." Funny enough, I'd won a copy of the Hard Day's Night LP not long before in a school raffle.  I remember begging Mum to let me stay up that night just in case the Beatles ended up staying in our shop storeroom, but she said, 'I don't care if it's the Queen of England -- it's your bedtime!'"

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