'I couldn't really hear anything': The Beatles in Wellington, reviewed 60 years later

Friday, June 21, 2024

It was 60 years ago today… that The Beatles played to a roaring crowd in Wellington’s town hall. Alex Casey’s dad was there, straining to hear a single note.

Normally my Dad answers my calls with a cheery “Sunny Takeaways” – a reference to the local fish and chip shop that hasn’t been called that for about two decades. But this week, he was trying something new. “Cavern Club”, he answered, referring to the iconic Liverpool bar that played host to hundreds of early Beatles gigs. Given that today marks 60 years since my dear old Dad went to see the fab four live in Wellington, it was a fitting way to start our interview.

As he fussed about the kitchen, I asked what his pop consumption was like prior to Beatlemania. Having moved to Petone in the early 1960s, he recalled weekends at the roller rink listening to The Yardbirds and The Animals. “Strap on”, he said. Pardon? “Strap-on roller skates.” His first movie was Elvis Presley’s Jailhouse Rock, first record was Doris Day’s ‘Everybody Loves a Lover’ and he watched TV through the window of Hanlon’s radio shop.

I told him it sounded like he grew up on a different planet. “It sort of was, really,” he said.

Source: Alex Casey/


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