Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Beatles & Bournemouth

Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Beatles & Bournemouth
Click on the cover for information about the book. Available to order now.

8 December 2013

Bacon, eggs and The Beatles in Bournemouth

Photo courtesy of the Bournemouth Daily Echo

The Beatles’ return to Bournemouth to play the Winter Gardens on 16 November 1963 was a pivotal moment in their eventual conquest of America, with film crews from the three major US TV networks on hand to film them. 
It also provided an expected highlight in the life of Bournemouth socialite Javier Revuelta Pineiro... even though he had no idea who they were!
Freelance journalist Roger Guttridge uncovered the story following the publication of Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Beatles & Bournemouth.
Following the madness of the two shows at the Winter Gardens that night, The Beatles were spirited away in a Black Maria to Madeira Road police station. But before they went back to the Branksome Towers Hotel at Branksome Chine they decided to go for  a bite to eat and returned to a late night restaurant in Exeter Road they had frequented during their summer season in August.

The Beatles on stage at the Winter Gardens

The doorman turned them away initially as that night it was closed for a private party hosted by Mr Pineiro, known as Rev to his friends, and his new wife Joan who were celebrating with friends and family who had been unable to attend their wedding on 26 October.
Being more of a jazz fan than pop, Rev didn't know who they were but let them in on the recommendation of his best man.
He recalled: “Ringo came over and said, ‘We’ve eaten here before after the show. Can we join the party?’"
Rev offered to cook for them himself and asked what they would like.
“Ringo said they’d like eggs, bacon, sausage and chips and I cooked them their meal. They were smashing lads and one of them asked how they could repay us. I said I didn’t want anything so they offered to go out and get their stuff and play for my guests.
“They played and mucked about for an hour. Twenty or 30 girls also turned up and the party went on till 2 o’clock in the morning. John Lennon gave me his personal number and the Cavern Club number and said they would repay me.”
:: Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Beatles & Bournemouth is available at a special price in time for Christmas. Order here.

28 November 2013

Review: The Beatles, Winter Gardens, Bournemouth, 16 November 1963

As is its way, time has afforded us 20:20 hindsight with which to view The Beatles' shows at Bournemouth Winter Gardens on 16 November 1963. From a distance of 50 years they are rightly seen as a significant landmark in the history of the greatest rock 'n' roll group there ever was - the first footage shown of The Beatles on American television was shot at the Winter Gardens where crews from all three US TV news networks gathered to capture their first taste of Beatlemania.
But what of the reporters on the ground on the night? How did they react to what they found inside, outside and on stage at the theatre?
Here's what Stan Sowden at the Bournemouth Evening Echo had to say...

While everyone realised there would be some fantastic scenes at the Winter Gardens, Bournemouth on Saturday during the visit of The Beatles, no-one could have foreseen the fantastic scenes which occurred.
Twice the hall erupted into a crescendo of sound so intense one could not hear oneself shout. At one time it appeared as if everyone in the hall were on their feet, screaming and shouting.
The Beatles went through their act seemingly unconcerned. If they had stopped playing I doubt if anyone would have noticed.
There was an excellent support cast, particularly Peter Jay & the Jaywalkers. The Shadows, The Searchers, Freddie and the Dreamers and even The Beatles themselves - amid deafening screams - were mimicked excellently. The Vernons Girls brought a welcome touch of glamour, the Brook Brothers had a great reception, The Kestrels did well in that most difficult of all spots, just before the stars come on, and compere Frank Berry and the Rhythm and Blues Quartet kept things going with a swing.
But Frank's words were lost in the rising volume of noise which preceded The Beatles' appearance, and the next 20 minutes were almost beyond description.
Waving photos and banners, standing on seats, and screaming their heads off, the fans gave the TV cameramen something to record. Here and there, the odd member of the audience sat, seemingly unconcerned at the surrounding din. And here and there, girls sobbed uncontrollably.
The scenes at the Winter Gardens that night were unparalleled and are unlikely to be repeated until The Beatles come there again.
Stan Sowden, 18 November 1963
:: Photo courtesy of Bournemouth Daily Echo.
:: For the full story and more photos see Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Beatles & Bournemouth, which can be ordered here.

20 November 2013

It was 50 years to the day that America first saw The Beatles play

Fifty years ago to the day The Beatles played the Winter Gardens in Bournemouth, the town’s newest dining experience opened its doors.
The Bournemouth Rock Café is home to a unique collection of rock and pop memorabilia associated with nearly 60 years of music history in the town. The Beatles Room is dedicated to the many connections that link the Fab Four to the resort, including the Winter Gardens shows on 16 November 1963 that were filmed by American TV news crews and resulted in the first footage of The Beatles to be shown on US television – three months before the famous Ed Sullivan Show on February 1964.

Cutting the ribbon, the Mayor of Bournemouth Cllr Dr Rodney Cooper (pictured above with Bournemouth Rock Cafe owner Dave Robinson to the left and Nick Churchill, author of Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Beatles & Bournemouth on the right) said: “I can’t wait to come back here time and time again, there’s so much history on show and so many fascinating stories that relate to it.”
The music-themed menu at Bournemouth Rock Café - which can be found at the Beacon Hotel on Priory Road - showcases its specialist range of quality burgers made from locally-sourced ground beef and fresh ingredients.

Copies of Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Beatles & Bournemouth can be ordered in time for Christmas here.
The Daily Echo in Bournemouth also reported the event here.

3 November 2013

On the Beatles beat in Bournemouth

Bournemouth must have felt like the centre of the universe on Saturday, 16 November 1963. Not only were The Beatles in town and riding the crest of the first wave of Beatlemania, but Father Christmas chose that day to arrive at his town centre Grotto and the mighty Cherries had a home tie in the FA Cup at Dean Court. Clive Garland was a 19-year-old police constable at the time and right in the thick of it, as he remembers here...

I joined Bournemouth Borough Police in 1961 as a cadet and was sent to the training school in Folkestone in autumn 1963, returning to Bournemouth as a Police Constable in early November 1963.
All police leave was cancelled on 16 November as not only were The Beatles back in Bournemouth, but there was the annual Father Christmas parade, Bournemouth had a home tie in the FA Cup at Dean Court and the RAC rally was due to finish in town as well.
I was just back from 13 weeks of training and wasn't on the duty roster so the sergeant in the parade room at Madeira Road [police station] asked me where I wanted to go and I told him I wanted to be with The Beatles. I'd had a taste of it back in August at the Gaumont when I was being escorted round by PCs as a cadet officer before my training.
So he sent me off to the traffic office with Sergeant Nick (Noddy) Carter and Inspector Young and The Beatles were already there playing with a Scalextric set that had been sent up by [the department store] Beales. They spent the time joking and gibbing with us lot - of course, Scouse was like a new language to us Southerners!
Then about 4 o'clock they brought the Black Maria van round as that was the only vehicle we had with blacked out windows, to take them over to the Winter Gardens. There was a bit of talk about how we were going to do it as they'd heard there were thousands of fans packed around the stage door.
So they got in the back of the van and there must have been 14 or 16 of us got in after them. The instructions were to get them to the front door of the Winter Gardens. So we pulled up in front then we all leapt out, linked arms and they ran in through the front doors and straight into the theatre.

Our job then was to sit in the rows of seats while the musicians and roadies went through the soundcheck. During the shows - the first house was at 6.30, the second at 8.30 - we were told to stand off to one side and if the crowd surged towards the stage to come and stand between the fans and the stage. Well, of course as soon asThe Beatles came on the girls stood up and we lined up in front of the stage. The fans went wild. The jelly babies poured down on us, it was mayhem - bloody hilarious in one way, absolutely terrifying in another.
There were girls fainting all around, St John's Ambulance worked hard that night! The girls were pushing up against us all evening - I was only 19 at the time and I'd definitely made the right choice of duties!
We'd never seen anything like it. Even at football - and you got 20,000 in Dean Court for a Bournemouth match back then - we only had eight officers on duty inside the ground in those days.
I never saw the going of them from the Winter Gardens. The Beatles were off stage and out the door before anyone knew it really. I think we got out of the Winter Gardens at about 11.30 that night and had to walk back to Madeira Road to clock off at midnight, after a 12 hour shift.
It was a hell of a day - great fun and I've been a Beatles fan ever since.
:: Both photos used courtesy of the Bournemouth Daily Echo and appear, with more than 200 others in Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Beatles & Bournemouth, which can be ordered at a special price from here.

20 October 2013

Beatles - Bournemouth to the USA

If anyone had been in any doubt after their summer season at the Gaumont in August, The Beatles' shows at the Winter Gardens in Bournemouth on 16 November 1963 at the height of what the Daily Mirror had dubbed Beatlemania just a fortnight before, confirmed their popularity as a cultural phenomenon the like of which Britain had never seen before.
Shortly before the autumn tour Brian Epstein had flown to the United States and secured a deal that would see The Beatles appear on the Ed Sullivan Show the following February. When the US news networks CBS, ABC and NBC got wind of it they dispatched reporters to find out what all the fuss was about - after all, The Beatles hadn't had even a hint of a hit Stateside at this point.
With the presence of camera crews from all three networks whose footage would introduce them to America, it was a high-pressure date for The Beatles who were further prevented from getting to the sanctuary of their dressing room ahead of the first show by five stowaway fans who had to be removed.
The actual concerts were standard Beatles’ shows of the era. The 13th date of their autumn tour of Britain and Ireland, they played the same ten-song set throughout. 
Opening with I Saw Her Standing There, the first track on their debut album; they followed with hit single From Me To You; All My Loving; versions of The Miracles’ You Really Got A Hold On Me and Chuck Berry’s Roll Over Beethoven, which were all to appear on With The Beatles, their second album which came out on 22 November. 
Two more covers – The Shirelles’ Boys with Ringo on lead vocals; and Meredith Wilson’s Til There Was You from the musical The Music Man – followed, before they played their smash hit She Loves You and ended with two classic R&B belters, Barrett Strong’s Money (That’s What I Want) and, of course, the Isley Brothers’ Twist and Shout.
Here's NBC host Jack Paar talking about The Beatles coverage he broadcast on 3 January 1964.

:: You can see the CBS morning show story broadcast on 7 December 1963 - the first time US television audiences ever saw The Beatles - at this earlier blog post
:: The full story of The Beatles' first appearance on American television can be read in Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Beatles & Bournemouth, available to order at a special price here.

15 September 2013

Yellow Submarine docks in Dorset

The lovely folks at Purbeck Film Festival have asked me along to introduce a special charity screening of Yellow Submarine at the Rex cinema in Wareham on October 12.

They've invited me because of the continued local interest in Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Beatles & Bournemouth, particularly in the light of this year's 50th anniversaries and copies of the book will be on sale on the night, but the invite is particularly special as it means much more to me than a simple sales event.

The first films I saw as a kid were in the Rex – 40 years or more ago. My dad used to take my brother and me to see Saturday matinees – Treasure Island, various Disney films, Bond, a packet of Paynes Poppets, maybe a vanilla tub, grown ups smoking, us kids stamping our feet when the feature started and seeing the shadow of mint imperial missiles cutting a trail through the smoke as the big kids threw them from the seats up the back. I loved it.

It was about that time I first saw Yellow Submarine – sadly not on the big screen, but on the telly. I’d seen cartoons before of course, but not like that. I’d seen films with songs in as well, but nothing like that. Yellow Submarine was crackers. It wasn’t a kids’ film, but it spoke our language, or so I thought. Mum and dad definitely didn’t get it and there weren’t any older brothers or cousins around to ask. So, if it wasn’t for Them, our parents, it must have been for Us, right? Yes, but who was Us?

So anyway, I knew The Beatles were the good guys because their voices were pretty calm – good guys in the westerns always had calm voices – but there were these shouty, over-anxious blue baddies with horrible yellow teeth and a vacuum cleaner beast that the Numberjacks ripped off 40 years later and a Flying Glove and a Dog with four heads long and flowers that turned to brambles. It’s a wonder I ever slept again!

The Yellow Submarine itself was skippered by Old Fred, who reminded me of my Uncle Johnny who was in the Navy – a man who sailed to sea – and he had a beard. But I remember identifying most strongly with Jeremy, the Nowhere Man – he was a bit chubby and very serious, thought a lot about things and brooded, but Ringo liked him and took him along for the ride until he got kidnapped in the Sea of Holes, which really troubled me – holes everywhere – enough to fill the Albert Hall. Then poor Jeremy’s really in trouble, bad things happen and even as the colour comes back to Pepperland, poor Jeremy gets it again. 

Luckily though The Beatles are on hand to save the day with their music and love – well, it was the sixties!

Hope to see some of you in the stalls. The 6pm screening is in memory of Dr Moira Walker and in aid of the charity she founded, Dorset Action on Abuse and Marie Curie Cancer Care.

More about the excellent Purbeck Film Festival here.

Copies of Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Beatles & Bournemouth can be ordered here at the special price of £14.95.