Sunday, November 9, 2014

Beatles in Sheffield

I could not locate any photographs from the Beatles tour stop in Sheffield on November 9, 1964, which is a real shame.  

As the tour was coming to an end,  and the late night in Liverpool the previous night, it was obvious that the Beatles were getting tired and run-down by November 9th.    They asked that no one come backstage before the shows so that they could just rest and relax and not be "on" for the press (this explains why photographs of them backstage could not be found).    This upset a lot of folks who were demanding to see the Beatles in person before they went on stage.  One such person was Olympic long jumper Sheila Parkin who was promised a meeting with the Beatles to present them with a reward that they won from the local newspaper.    She was quite upset that she was refused entry backstage and her people  took it up with Brian Epstein, who apologized profusely (as he was the one that promised a meeting) and made it up to her by allowing her a private meeting with the boys later in London, which she happily agreed to.    Some reporters from a hospital, who were told that they were going to be allowed backstage to record messages from the Beatles waited for hours to get in, only to be turned away five hours later and told that no one was coming inside to see the Beatles as they were just too tired.

When things with the press started to get a bit rowdy, Neil Aspinal was sent to talk to the press and explain that two of the Beatles were asleep and that he had told Paul about the award they had won and Paul responded by saying, "Hey, that's gear." 

All of this resulted in some negative publicity in the newspapers for the Beatle, which was a headache for Derek Taylor to try to sort thought the next morning.  

Some reports claim that the Beatles showed little energy when performing during this concert.  But the fans who were there remember the show with great joy.  Says one fan named Linda, "I saw them at the City Hall when I was 15, all I heard was Twist and Shout, the rest was drowned by screams. The roads around the stage door afterwards were choc-a-block and I went home to my Mum and Dad and cried, they thought I was crazy - I was for the Beatles. My Dad described them as long haired layabouts!!"   And Angela, "My mother and I saw The Beatles at the city hall,I remember we paid 17/6 each for two near front seats which seemed extravagant at the time. All we did was see them as it was impossible to hear a note they played so deafening was the screaming.I remember being thrilled when Paul seemed to look at me as he was singing. We went to quite a few pop concerts about that time including The Stones but I have never seen or rather heard anything like that night before or since. After the concert it was bedlam outside,a taxi with four young men in it drove away,I believe it was a decoy.The fans charged after it and I was almost knocked over,I fell against the wall and got chalk marks on my new coat."

I am not sure if the Beatles were in that taxi Angela saw or not, but I do know that they ended up getting into a helicopter that took them to the Park Hal Residential Country Club where they landed on the front lawn.    This is where they slept that night, ready to finish up one more concert and end the Autumn UK tour of 1964. 

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