Monday, November 10, 2014

Last stop Bristoll

It is really difficult for me to think back to 1964 and a time when everyone did not carry a camera with them.     Even in the 1990's, when we still had to get film developed, my friends and I always had cameras with us.   You just never know when a Kodak moment might pop up and a camera-worthy moment sure did happen on the last night of the Beatles Autumn UK tour of 1964 in Bristol!  It is such a huge shame that not a single person took a photo of it, because today if something like this happened, it would be all over TMZ and youtube and facebook.   

Actually there are not any photographs of the Beatles in Bristol for the same reason that their weren't photos the previous night:  The Beatles requested that no one was allowed backstage and photographs weren't allowed inside of the theater.  

It was another sell-out show and fans were photographed waving their tickets before entering the theater.  17 girls who were unable to secure tickets snuck through a door in the back of the venue that had been left open for the cleaners.   The girls hid in the loo and tried to be as quiet as they could until the show began, however one of the 17 girls coughed, and a security guard heard it.   The girls were found hiding and were promptly removed from the theater, much to their disappointment.

The opening acts were full of energy for the last night of the tour.   Mary Wells was very well received yet again.   Once the Beatles came onstage, the fans began to scream, as was expected.  However, it was noted that they were a bit quieter than in years past in Bristol and at times bits of music could be heard.   It was also noted that more adults had been in attendance at this show and while teenagers highly outnumbered the grown-ups, it showed an interesting change in the Beatles fan basis.   The teenagers were throwing jelly babies, stuffed animals and love letters onto the stage.  Two girls tried to throw themselves onto the stage, but they were tackled by security before they could make it.  And 12 fans missed out on the show due to "emotional stress."

My files says this is from November 1964 so I am adding it just to have a photo in this post. 

But what was the event that happened during this concert that I wish I could see a photo of?   Well---picture this:   The Beatles are performing for the last house of the tour and they are singing "If I Fell."   Just as they get to the very last notes of this beautiful song,  someone overhead pours bags of flour on top of them!    Flour is now everywhere!   It is in Ringo's drums, on the floor, in their moptops, in the guitars, etc etc.    And what are the Beatles doing?

According to the newspaper reports, "The Beatles collapsed in fits of laughter, pointing at each other and dancing around the stage in stitches.  There was flour in their hair, on their suits, in their eyebrows, in their guitars and all over Ringo's drums.  Ringo turned his tom-tom upside down and banged it in a vain attempt to get rid of the flour.  Paul, bent double with laughter, grabbed the mike and shouted, "It's the last night of the tour, you see."  Then they broke into giggles again.  The audience just sat roaring and shrieking with laughter until the Beatles recovered enough to launch into "I wanna be your man."

Wouldn't you have LOVED to have seen this?   Their reaction must have been hilarious!

So who did such a thing?   In an article in the newspaper the following days, a story called "How we Bombed the Beatles" was published which was written by the supposed culprits.   Three young men and a policeman's daughter confessed that they shimmy's up a drainpipe in the back of the building, ran across the roof and dropped down through a trapdoor into the lighting department and waited for the right moment to drop the flour.     And everyone believe that it was a prank by these four individuals until a writer at the Post investigated further and discovered that it was a stagehand that did the deed.   Whoever dumped the flour of the Fab 4, sure knew how to end the tour on a funny note! 


  1. A photo DOES exist of the flour bombing - John and Paul are laughing their heads off. I can say no more!

  2. Yes a photo indeed does exist and its from the culprits and a birds eye view from the lighting gantries. I also can say no more!