40,000 fans sent in to buy tickets to the pair of concerts. The Empire Theater had 2,300 seats and so only 4,600 people got to see the Beatles in Liverpool, leaving many upset fans. As with the Beatles return in July for the Hard Day's Night premiere, police were out on horseback to control the crowds out in the streets. Traffic was stopped as fans were running down the street to get to see the Beatles. After sneaking into a side door unnoticed, the Beatles stood on a balcony and waved to the over 1000 fans standing on the streets below. However, the police quickly told the Beatles that the fans outside were in danger of getting hit by a car and made them come inside.
Prior to the shows, a rare press conference was held and some silly photographs were taken of the Beatles.
The did their Beatle duty of meeting with some fans from Leicester (contest winners perhaps?) as well as picking a winner for some contest out of a police man's helmet.
Being in Liverpool, plenty of old friend were anxious to say hello to their old pals backstage. One friend was Bill Harry from the newspaper, Mersey Beat. Bill stayed backstage and talked to his buddies about the current music scene in Liverpool and they shared laughs about the old days (which really weren't that long passed in 1964). Also showing up were Bob Wooler and Ray McFall from the Cavern Club.
Plenty of family members were on hand for the show too. Paul's Dad, Jim was there along with one of John Lennon's cousins. Ringo's mum, Elsie wouldn't have missed the show and I would bet step-father Harry was also there.
And the Beatles must have been excited to play in Liverpool again and the fans were beyond excited to give them the welcome they deserved. One fan named Mike was lucky to get a ticket and recalls the concert, "We had seats a few rows from the back in the stalls. It was a good show, especially seeing Mary Wells. Seeing an American singer live onstage was quite something. But when the Beatles were introduced, it was mayhem. The vast majority of the audience were teenage and pre-teen girls, there weren't many boys like me and not many adults either. The noise was deafening. There were really loud screams and shrieks. It was loud all the way, but when The Beatles did something like shake their heads, it was absolutely deafening. You could just about hear their instruments, but you couldn't hear the voices at all. It was hard to tell what number they were doing, but i do remember "Twist and Shout," You couldn't mistake the into to that."
|I had this listed in my files as from this date, but John's hair doesn't look quite right....|
65 St. John audience crew members were on hand for the hysterics. They were barely needed during the first house, with only 2 girls fainting. However, they were quite busy during the second house with 22 fainter dropped out during the Beatles set.
It is interested to mention that John Lennon met up with Bill Harry in secret later that night in hopes t locate some of his old poetry books. They could not find the poems (I wonder if Bill was supposed to have it?) and they decided to call upon Pete Shotton. Pete had the idea to go visit Stu Sutcliffe's folks and so they went to talk to them. While they were there, Stu's parents asked John to pick out one of Stu's painting to keep for himself to remember his friend. John picked out a painting that Stu did while in Hamburg, during the time period that the Beatles were playing there (and most likely John remembered Stu working on it). John promised that he would find a special place in his home for this special painting.