Thursday, October 30, 2014

Last gig in Bournemouth

Bournemouth is a place that the Beatles were very familiar with.    They had played there for a full week in 1963 plus a handful of other dates.  If you want to read a great book about the Beatles connection to Bournemouth, I highly recommend the book "Yeah Yeah Yeah The Beatles & Bournemouth" by Nick Churchill.

October 30, 1964 was the Beatles very last time to perform in the town.  This performance was at the Gaumont Theater.   The big news about this concert seemed to have been that (gasp!)  There were one or two empty seats during the first show!!   It wasn't a sell-out concert!   Oh no!   And come to find out, as one fan named Vanessa learned later, not all of the seats had been paid for, "  I was almost 11 years old when I saw the Beatles with my friend Linda.  My mum came with us as we were so young and took us right to our seats.  I found out afterwards she didn't buy any tickets, so we watched the Fab Four for free!"

As was true with some of the other stops on this tour, the Beatles practiced their new song, I feel Fine, during a sound check.  It appears that this song was a major concern for them and they knew they were going to be playing it live in the near future, so the sound check was a good time to rehearse it.   Although I have to ask---what was the point of the sound check during this tour when no one could hear the Beatles play?

Between the two performances, the chief sound technician, Tom Mellor  snapped a few photographs of the Beatles being interviewed backstage.   Tom's daughter recalls, "Dad went into the dressing room to get some photos and the heavies appeared to try to stop him until someone told them it was a good idea to let him in as he was the man who could make or break the show with the sound."

photos by Tom Mellor

The newspaper reported that the screams weren't as loud as they were during previous performances of the Beatles and you could almost make out which song they were singing.   Vanessa recalls, "I remember Mary Wells and there was a lot of screaming.  The St. John's ambulance first-aiders were throwing water over some very excited girls-- my friend and I amongst them -- to calm us down.  I'm not sure it worked!"

An older fan, Brian, who was 26 years old in 1964, was also in the audience.  "The two things that I remember was that the compere deliberately stoked up the women to scream when he kept mentioning the names of the Beatles in the first half of the show.  And appearing in the first half was a young singer who sang three songs, had a great voice, but was not given a chance because the females were chanting for The Beatles"

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the info about, among other things, them rehearsing "I Feel Fine"! I'm a drummer and a guitarist, it's not their easiest song! (though, I suppose Ringo, who is doing his "What I'd Say" beat, something that helped endear him to the other three in the Pete Best era, probably had no problem, he certainly SOUNDS relaxed and breezin' right through it on the record!).

    So funny, I just told someone that if two cats are fighting, to throw water on them. I guess they tried the same thing with the Beatle girls (Beatle Cats!).