Friday, December 4, 2015

Newcastle memories

There isn't a whole lot available in terms of photos or stories about when the Beatles were in Newcastle on December 4, 1965.   Opening act Steve Aldo in the book Beatlemania says this about performing in Newcastle:  "  Newcastle was weird.  It was a big hall--like a big Masonic hall -- but with a huge, round stage and you would come up these steps and walk up to the stage in full view of the crowd.   It's not so unusual now, but it was the first time I'd seen anything like" that.

The most information about this date we have from a book called All Our Loving by Carolyn Mitchell (which I have only mentioned 1000 times before on this blog).   Carolyn's friend, Barbara, was at this show and shared her memories for the book.

When Linda and I got into the City Hall we could literally feel the incredible electricity that was in the air.  It was as thought we were in the middle of a silent thunder storm.  We found our seats in the second row frmo the back and tried to settle ourselves down.  We were nervous, excited adn happy.  we felt like we'd had a drink too many.   The compere, Jerry Stevens, introduced the supporting acts which included the Moody Blues.  They and the other acts were good, but the last band before The Beatles, called the Marionettes Act 1, seemed to go on and on.  We thought they'd never end, but that's because we knew The Beatles were on next and everyone was getting impatient.   Comperes can be very aggravating and Jerry Stevens was no exception as he happily teased the audience.   Behind him they were setting up the equipment, and Mal Evans was putting up the drum kit.   As he turned the bass drum it displayed the words, "the Beatles" and Jerry Stevens just couldn't make himself heard any more because of the noise that went up.  I didn't scream because I'd already decided that I wouldn't scream at all but I gave a pretty big sigh anyway.   I mean, it really was like a dream for me as I'd never seen the Beatles live before and I was sure I'd wake up.    Then I saw Mal Evans carry on Paul's Hofner.  I said to Linda, "It's Paul's guitar," like Mal had just brought on Paul himself.  Then I knew I wasn't dreaming.  You've got to realize I was just 14 at the time and seeing Paul's guitar in itself was just fantastic!   So, like I said, Linda and I decided we wouldn't scream because we figured only kids scream.  Then we saw John's guitar brought on and some of George's equipment and we sat there pinching each other like mad and giggling.   But when the four of them actually came on it was just the greatest feeling I'd ever had.  I knew it sounds daft now but at that time The Beatles were so much a part of my life--it was like seeing, I don't know, four long lost brothers, I suppose.  But they seemed so distant with all those spotlights and all those hundreds of screaming girls.  It made The Beatles even more untouchable and unreachable but, oh, they were lovable!   Linda was saying to me, "I dare you to scream.  Go on, I dare you."  "Never," I said, and then suddenly I was screaming along with the others.  It was like I had to get rid of all the anxiety that was inside me, building up all the time.  I didn't know how else to express myself.  So I screamed.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the Carolyn Mitchell book recommendation, now ordered.