Monday, September 8, 2014

Fifty years ago today...

I saw the Beatles in concert. Yes, really! I had seen them the previous winter on the Ed Sullivan Show, and like millions of teenagers all over the world, I was enthralled! When I heard that they were coming to North America on tour, I hardly dared hope I could see them. But one of their concerts was scheduled for Montreal, Quebec, and we lived a mere three hours away by train.

My older cousin, also a Beatles fan, obligingly ordered the tickets for the matinee performance. Can you believe the price?

Here's a photo of the Beatles after they landed at Dorval Airport. I was probably still on the train when they arrived.

My cousin and I spent the day shopping, then we found a bus that would take us to The Forum. It was packed with people just like us, eager to see our beloved moptops.

The other acts on the bill were The Bill Black Combo, The Exciters, Clarence 'Frogman' Henry, and Jackie DeShannon (but who cares?) The Beatles took to the stage at 5:20 pm. George was my favourite, and my eyes never left him.

They sang exactly 10 songs, and neither the first nor the last were audible.

The Beatles performed for about 20 minutes in total, and I was entranced. Our seats were pretty far from the stage, and there were no giant monitors in those days. I had a pair of binoculars glued to my face the whole time. Unfortunately, I was wearing glasses. The constant pressure from the binoculars cracked the nose piece of the plastic frames, and when I lowered the binoculars, my glasses fell apart in two pieces.  It was a small price to pay for one of the most thrilling days of my life.

From Hermione's Heart


Ami Starsong said...

Is it really that long ago? My goodness. I remember the Beatles seemed to be on the news all the time, and every Thursday night we had a programme called Top of the Pops and they were often on it.

I preferred the Stones myself. But there were so many really good groups in those days, that it was hard to choose. Bill Wyman lives just a couple of villages away from us in an incredibly beautiful Tudor manor house. He is always around and about the village apparently.

Did you go to see all the Beatles films? I remember being taken to see A Hard Day's Night and screaming my way through it with the rest of the cinema. Weird.

A great memory. $4.50 - just shows how the cost of living has gone up!


Blondie said...

What an awesome experience. I have some of their original albums but I have never seen them. Can I dare to say that I was too young to attend their concerts

Leigh Smith said...

What a great remembrance. It had to be awesome at the age you were at the time and the price of that tickets, that's less than the price of a coke at any concert I've been to recently.

Jon said...

Is that you in what looks like a very modern (for then) nun's habit?

I avoided concerts because - as I figured out much later - I'm not that comfortable in huge crowds.

My most expensive concert was seeing Gordon Lightfoot singing the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. I moved to Cleveland, the ship's homeport, the night it sank in Lake Superior. The rain was so fierce and full far away in Cleveland that the water was up to the hubcaps of my UHaul truck. Unfortunately, GL was quite obviously drunk and the song was flat. Jon

PS Not too many years before the wreck gas was - once - just 29 cents! My best concert was seeing your friend (don't you wish) Stan Rogers playing at a little folk club in MA.

sixofthebest said...

Hermione, your blog has always been 'one of a kind', and so have the Beatles. Yes, I am sure you will remember this wonderful occasion for the rest of your life. Yes, my claim to 15 minutes of fame, was when I had the chance of interviewing ELIZABETH TAYLOR, and RICHARD BURTON, here in NEW YOKR, at the PLAZA HOTEL. They were here for the movie, DOCTOR FAUTUS in 1969.

abby said...

WOW...I am so jealous!!! I want to many concerts during mu college days....but never my beloved Beatles.
hugs abby

Cat said...

Wow awesome was that. Love the Beatles and the Stones and so many others that came out of the 60's and 70's.

Hard to believe the tickets were only $4.50.

What a wonderful memory for you.

Hugs and Blessings...

ronnie said...

What a fantastic experience for you. I've been to some great concerts but the Beatles I never got the chance to see. Have been to one of Paul McCartney's concerts and he was really good.


Roz said...

Wow Hermoine, that must have been an incredible experience, and the price ... wow lol


smuccatelli said...

When I was just a kid, a friend of my had tickets to what would turn out to be the last public appearance of the Beatles (at Candlestick Park, a baseball stadium, in San Francisco) but my mother would have to agree to take us and she didn't want to, so I missed out. Don't think I ever let her forget it in later years, either...

Hermione said...

Ami - I travelled back to Montreal to see A Hard Day's Night, then saw it a few more times when it finally came to my city. Also saw Help more than once.

Bloncie - I have their albums, plus a box set of CDs.

Leigh - It was truly memorable.

Jon - No, that wasn't a picture of me :)

We once picked up a young female hitchhiker while travelling through Wisconsin. Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald was playing on the radio, and the girl told us that her dad had died in the wreck, and that was the first time she had heard the song.

Six - What a wonderful interview that must have been!

Abby - They stopped touring way to soon, in my opinion.

Cat - The Sixties produced so many excellent groups.

Ronnie - I'd like to see Sir Paul someday. I saw him on TV perform at the Queen's Jubilee concert.

Roz - That was considered quite expensive at the time.

Smuccatelli - Your mother probably regrets her decision now.


Minelle Labraun said...

Gosh how lucky you were!
I the Beatles. The music still makes me happy!
When I was in H.S. there was a guy who used to play the guitar and sing there songs. He was really good. It didn't hurt that he was a Senior in H.S to my Soph. AND adorable!

Hermione said...

Minelle - I used to fancy boys if their hair was longish, in a Beatles cut. Playing the guitar also helped.


Erica said...

How did I miss this?? Oh my god, you lucky woman. What a wonderful memory.

My brother got to see them at the Hollywood Bowl. I was beside myself with upset when he wouldn't take me with him. Of course, I was six at the time, and didn't understand how that would not be fun for him!

Hermione said...

Erica - I'm glad you found the post! No, going to a concert with a six-year-old would not have been fun for him.