Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Beatles play Leeds

The Beatles traveled back to England for a performance in Leeds on October 22, 1964.   After the riots in Glasgow the day before, they were ready for some peace and quiet.   Well---they weren't going to get it in Leeds!    No one is sure how many fans were in the streets that evening, but estimates say that it was 1,000 screaming girls.   

Not a whole lot is known about what the Beatles did backstage, but we do know that John doodled on the back of a photograph some ideas for the cover of the 'Beatles for Sale' album.       And apparently, the lads had some drinks and popcorn while posing for photographers.

The first concert was wild!   When the Beatles came on stage, fans ran up to the front of the stage and all 2,500 there tried to cram into the area in front of the orchestra pit  (well...maybe not EVERYBODY).    Security interviewed afterwards said that they never had seen anyone as determined to get on stage as much as these fans.  Six brave girls broke through the line of security and climbed over the organ and jumped up onto the stage.  One of the six was just an inch away from Paul before one of the security men dragged her away.    She was kicked out of the concert, but she ran around to the front of the theater and begged one of the police to let her back inside.     Fans were hurling all sorts of items onto the stage, including a cigarette lighter than bonked Paul right on the head.

Four unhappy concert going adults were outraged by the fact that they could not hear or see the Beatles because people were jumping in front of them and screaming.  They refused to leave the theater and the management allowed them to stay in a circle aisle seat for the second show.

Here are a few memories that I found.   The first one is funny.

I remember attending that concert. I was only 11 and my elder sister had to take me with her, in order that my mother paid for her ticket! I remember not being able to hear them at all for all the screaming. Also remember getting bored towards the end of the concert.

I was lucky enough to play for a rugby club who's members acted, as the crowd control in those day. I was only 16 when I attended the first concert.  Wonderful memories of being pushed, screamed at and cursed by the young girls trying to get onto the stage.
--John B.

1 comment:

  1. Ha! Well, I guess if I was a little boy and couldn't hear the music, I'd get pretty bored watching a half hour of girls screaming!

    The Beatles Live At Leeds! (had to say that, for all you Who fans!).

    Great reporting again, Ms. Beatle! Love that first photo, also, of the theatre!!