Saturday, August 13, 2016

Detroit concert memories from the fans

One thing that people don't realize now is that back then it wasn't so easy to get tickets.  There were no toll-free numbers, no credit cards, and very few interstate highways to zip along to other cities to see more concerts.  Most people had to get tickets through the mail.  I won two tickets from the Cunningham Drug Store Company, twenty-five words or less, why you like their drug store.  We also bought a pair of tickets for $7 each.  We gave the extra two tickets to the children of the parking lot attendant.
 We saw lots of fans with Beatles decorations on their cars; one even had a huge model of a yellow submarine tied to the roof of their car.  Our seats were about halfway back to the right of the stage in the stands.  We were only a couple of seats away from one of the entry ramps.  While the Beatles were on, we happened to look over, and there was Brian Epstein standing in the entry watching the concert!
 It was too bad that the crowd's screaming was so loud that the songs were almost impossible to hear.  The year before we had been on an exchange to England with our university and had seen the lads in concert in New Castle-on Tyne.  The concert was in a small city hall auditorium with about 2,000 people who actually listened to the songs and only screamed in between!
 We decided to wait at the back entry to the arena after the concert to see if we could see The Beatles.  There was a big crowd at first but after half an hour there were only about fifty or sixty people, and we were all standing around talking about The Beatles and how great they were and which ones were the favorites (mine is John).  The garage door finally opened and a huge bus came out.  My friend and I ran back to our car across the street, got in, and followed the bus.  Olympia is not in the best part of Detroit, so we were a bit apprehensive about where the bus was going and if we could find out way back since we lived in Ann Arbor.  Surprisingly we seemed to be the only ones doing this, and after about a mile, the bus pulled over and parked at the curb.  We stopped behind it and wondered what to do now that we had our chance.  One of the windows opened (can you imagine our excitement?!) and a member of The Cyrkle stuck his head out.  We asked him if The Beatles were on the bus, He said they weren’t, but would we like some popsicles?
So we got back in our car, turned around and headed home.
--Sue D.

I saw The Beatles in concert at Olympia Stadium, Detroit, 1966.  It was right after the controversy over John stating that The Beatles were more popular than Jesus.  While my friends and I were outside the stadium waiting for the second show to begin, a group of teens showed up with anti-Beatle signs.  We chased them, seized the signs and destroyed them!
And yes, once inside, I was one of the many crying, hysterical girls, loving every minute of it!  As difficult as it was to do, we decided to leave the building when we felt the show was nearing an end.  We gathered out back where the Greyhound buses were parked and, sure enough, we got a glimpse of Paul waving to us as the bus drove away!  What a trill!!!

I was at that show also.  My friend and I watched from behind the stage and nearly went nuts when John turned around and waved.  After that they alternated throwing a wave and smile to the dedicated fans sitting behind the stage.  I really treasure those memories.

I too saw the Fab Four in Detroit.  I was up in the balcony and they looked like ants. I couldn’t hear a thing because everyone was screaming so loud, especially me.  I was fourteen at the time.  I just loved Paul.  I even wore a black straight skirt and white blouse because I read in Tiger Beat that that was what he loved.
--Lee Ann
They played in Detroit, and then took the Ohio Turnpike to play in Cleveland.  Their bus stopped at the Vermilion (Ohio) Turnpike at 2 A.M., where I met them.  Paul sang a shortened version of “Michelle” to me – a thirteen year old Michele.  Imagine!

1 comment:

  1. keep these coming Sara - enjoy the first hand accounts