Beatles 50th Blog posts of '2014' 'May'

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : June 16, 1964 (Tuesday)

On The Beatles’ second night of performances in Melbourne, Australia, they gave two concerts at the city’s Festival Hall.

Their repertoire during this part of the world tour consisted of 10 songs: I Saw Her Standing There, I Want To Hold Your Hand, You Can’t Do That, All My Loving, She Loves You, Till There Was You, Roll Over Beethoven, Can’t Buy Me Love, This Boy and Long Tall Sally.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : June 15, 1964 (Monday)

At 8am on the morning of 15 June 1964, Jimmie Nicol left the Southern Cross Hotel on Bourke Street, Melbourne. Accompanied by Brian Epstein, he was driven to the airport where he was given a final agreed fee of £500, as well as a gold watch with the engraving: “To Jimmy, with appreciation and gratitude – Brian Epstein and The Beatles.”

Nicol didn’t say goodbye to The Beatles; they were sleeping off the previous night’s party, and he felt he shouldn’t disturb them. The group was celebrating their reunion with Ringo Starr, who had missed the early part of their world tour after being struck down by acute tonsillitis and pharyngitis.

With The Beatles album and EP artwork - AustraliaIn the afternoon EMI held a reception for The Beatles at the hotel. However, the event turned sour when John Lennon protested at label executives upon finding out they had released With The Beatles with different artwork.

Australian trade union rules meant that all album artwork had to be re-photographed and altered; it was felt that Robert Freeman’s iconic image would lose details, so a replacement was designed. Lennon, however, was unwilling to tolerate such a reason.

That night, and for the two subsequent nights, The Beatles performed two shows at the Festival Hall in Melbourne. The six concerts were watched by a total of 45,000 people.

After this first night’s shows, The Beatles attended a private party held in the city’s affluent suburb Toorak.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : June 14, 1964 (Sunday)

Ringo rejoined the Beatles in Melbourne on June 14th 1964 following his ten day hospital recovery from accute tonsilitis. As Ringo Starr and Brian Epstein arrived in Melbourne, they witnessed the beginnings of the incredible gathering that would greet the other Beatles arrival later that afternoon. The car carrying Ringo and Brian pulled up to the main public entrance where 3,000 fans had already gathered.

Dick Lean, managing director of Stadiums Limited, would later remember about Ringo's arrival: "The police inspector decided to put Ringo on his shoulders and make a dash for the entrance. It seemed like a good idea until our PR lady began waving to the crowd, then tripped and fell down right in front of this piggy back. (The inspector) stepped on her and down came Ringo, right into the grasping claws of hundreds of kids. When we finally pulled him out and got him inside... his first words were "Give us a drink. That was the roughest ride I've ever had!"

As the rest of the group arrived, the number of fans had grown to 20,000 and the police to 400, with literally thousands of fists banging on the glass panels that comprised the front of the Southern Cross Hotel. John, Paul, George and Jimmy used a more secretive entrance into the hotel, and within minutes they and Ringo were rushed to the first-floor balcony, in an attempt to draw the fans away from the glass doors of the hotel. John was later reported as calling it "The greatest reception we have received anywhere in the world."

All five Beatles were present for the press conference in Melbourne at the Southern Cross Hotel. Following the press conference, the five were also interviewed with questions from a panel of five Australian television personalities. Both the press conference and the TV interview are presented below.

Jimmy Nicol departed for London the next day. Once back home, with all the newfound attention on him, he was automatically set for television appearances and interviews. However-bright the spotlight, his 1964 appearances with the Beatles would not bring lasting stardom to his future musical career.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : June 13, 1964 (Saturday)

In Adelaide at Centennial Hall, the group gave their first four shows in Australia, over two nights, the repertoire identical to that performed in Denmark, the Netherlands and Hong Kong. Fifty thousand applications arrived for 12,000 seats here.

In exchange for a handsome fee, NEMS permitted one of the two shows on the 12th to be recorded for radio transmission. The broadcast, titled simply Beatles Show and sponsored by the manufactureres of Surf Detergent, went out the following Monday evening, on June 15th.

The Beatles Chronicle - ML

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : June 12, 1964 (Friday)

The day after they landed on Australian soil, The Beatles flew from Sydney to Adelaide in a chartered Ansett ANA jet, arriving at 11.57am.

An estimated 200,000 people lined the 10-mile route between Adelaide Airport and the city centre in the hope of seeing The Beatles’ motorcade. More than 30,000 surrounded the Town Hall, where they met the city’s mayor, James Campbell Irwin, along with council members and their families.

The Beatles were given toy koala bears. John Lennon told the reception, “Wherever we go, anywhere in the world, this reception which Adelaide has given us will stick in our memories.”

The group was shadowed by local DJ Bob Francis from 5DN, who interviewed them in a range of locations including the Town Hall balcony. Francis also booked the suite next to theirs at the Southern Australia Hotel, from where he gave listeners hourly updates.Three hundred thousand people welcomed us to Adelaide. It was like a heroes’ welcome. George waved too. That was the kind of place where we would go to the town hall and they would all be there in the centre of the city. If it had happened suddenly, overnight, it might have gone to our heads; but we had come up bit by bit, so it didn’t (not too much). We were just very pleased that everyone had turned out.We were still close enough to our Liverpool roots to know how it would feel, and what it would mean, if we had showed up in the middle of town to see a group; so we could feel it in their spirit. I think we quite enjoyed it all. It can get a bit wearing, but it certainly wasn’t then.We came in from the airport – it was the same in Liverpool for the première of a A Hard Day’s Night, with the whole city centre full of people – and the crowds were lining the route and we were giving them the thumbs up. And then we went to the Adelaide town hall with the Lord Mayor there, and gave the thumbs up again. In Liverpool it was OK, because everyone understands the thumbs up – but in Australia it’s a dirty sign.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : June 11, 1964 (Thursday)

On June 11th 1964, the three Beatles and Jimmy Nicol traveled overnight from Hong Kong to Sydney, arriving down under at around 7:30am. Despite the heavy rain and winds, the Beatles agreed to be paraded on a flatbed truck so that their fans waiting at the airport would not be disappointed. The Beatles waved at the huge crowd in the early morning storm, becoming literally soaked. As the Beatles would later learn, caused by the downpour, the caped coats which they had purchased in Hong Kong unfortunately stained their bodies a pale blue. Luckily this discoloration hid underneath their clothing while in public.

Dick Lean, managing director of Stadiums Limited, would later remember about the Sydney press conference: "They were just brilliant, under any circumstance. They handled the press with a sharp reparte that we'd just never seen before." The Beatles had once again charmed the all-important press. An editorial in Sydney's Sun newspaper proclaimed: "Their press conference showed that teenagers are not necessarily fools when it comes to picking winners. One cannot 'ready' a press conference. Questions are asked and answered off the cuff very quickly... they showed considerable insight into the secret of their own success."

The following press conference was held at the Sheraton Hotel in Sydney, marking their June 11th arrival down under, with Jimmy Nicol.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : June 10, 1964 (Wednesday)

A New mono mix of "I'll Be Back" was prepared between 10:00 and 11:00 in studio two at Abbey Road this morning - in the Beatle's absence, of course.

The Complete Beatles Chronicle - ML

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : June 9, 1964 (Tuesday)

Princess Theatre, Un Chau St. Kowloon, Hong Kong

Two "houses" at the 1700 seater Princess Theatre in Kowloon. Beatlemania was evident even here in the Orient. Neither performance here was sold out, principally because of the high ticket price, HK $75, set by the local promoter without the knowledge of Brian Epstein. Equivalent to £4 10s (£4.50) at the time, this was the average working man's weekly wage in Hong Kong.

The Beatles had left Amsterdam during the morning of June 7th and flown back to London where they took a connecting flight, conveniently delayed to allow for their switchover, and set out for Hong Kong. The plane made several re-fuelling stops at Zurich, Beirut, Karachi, Calcutta and Bangkok and at each airport terminal, at any time of the day or night, and irrespective of whether one or more of the Beatles actually alighted the plane, Beatlemania erupted. Then, when the plane landed at Kaitak Airport in Hong Kong more than a thousand fans were on hand to greet them.

Back in England, meanwhile, George Martin supervised new mono mixes of "A Hard Day's Night" and "Things We Said Today" and the copying of two sets of A Hard Day's Night mono mixes for dissemination to Capital Records and United Artists Records in the USA ("I Should Have Known Better", "If I Fell", "Tell Me Why", "And I Love Her", "I'm Happy Just To Dance With You", "I'll Cry Instead", "Can't Buy Me Love", and "A Hard Day's Night").

The Complete Beatles Chronicle - Mark Lewisohn

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : June 8, 1964 (Monday)

BBC re-broadcasts 'Around The Beatles'.

Brian flies back to London and announces that Gerry and the Pacemakers will star in their own Christmas show.

Vara TV (Holland) screens the 5 June 1964 recording.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today : June 7, 1964 (Sunday)

On the morning of 7 June 1964 The Beatles flew from Amsterdam to Hong Kong, a journey which took in refueling stops in several countries and lasted more than 24 hours.

The group first flew back to London Airport where their connecting flight was postponed for an hour to allow them to catch it. Once they were on board the BEA 10.15am flight to Hong Kong began.

The aeroplane made scheduled stops in Zurich, Beirut, Karachi, Calcutta and Bangkok before arriving in Hong Kong. At each airport terminal hordes of fans turned out in the hope of seeing The Beatles, regardless of the time of day or whether the group actually left the plane.

In Beirut local police used fire-fighting foam to hold back hundreds of fans who broke through security and invaded the runway. In Karachi Paul McCartney was mobbed while buying souvenirs at the airport at 2am, forcing him back onto the aeroplane. The only stop which held no drama was at Calcutta, where they managed to disembark for a cup of tea at 6am on 8 June.