In 1964 when Beatlemania was at its absolute height my mum figured she should see what all the fuss was about in a live concert setting. She applied for tickets, thinking there was no chance, but to her surprise received 6 of them. So, I got to see The Beatles live!
Apart from my mum, my best friend Peter’s older sister Barbara went too and screamed with the best of them. Sadly Peter was at home with the measles.
The band were due to play at The Hammersmith Odeon for a second annual series of Christmas shows from 24th December through to the 16th January 1965.
‘The guest performers including Freddie And The Dreamers, Sounds Incorporated, Elkie Brooks, The Yardbirds, Michael Haslam, The Mike Cotton Sound and Ray Fell.
The Beatles appeared in sketches, one with Freddie Garrity of Freddie And The Dreamers. They closed the shows with an 11-song set: Twist And Shout, I’m A Loser, Baby’s In Black, Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby, Can’t Buy Me Love, Honey Don’t, I Feel Fine, She’s A Woman, A Hard Day’s Night, Rock And Roll Music and Long Tall Sally.’
I’d like to say I remember them vividly but the teenage girls standing up and screaming meant that I ‘couldn’t see or hear for all the screaming beehives’ as my song Blue Dansette says. Likewise for most who ever saw the Beatles it seems and they couldn’t hear themselves play either. I have always had a more vivid recollection of Freddie and The Dreamers!
PS At least two musician mates attended the same series of concerts, namely Dzal Martin and David Stark of the tribute band The Trembling Wilburys – David has written a great book about his Beatles encounters over the years called It’s All Too Much