Today is a very exciting day for all Beatlemaniacs who reside in Adelaide – it was 50 years ago today, when The Beatles came to Adelaide (excuse lame Sgt. Pepper pun)! I’ve been in an unusually good mood all day, but sadly, my poor friends (whom I’ve no doubtedly overloaded with squeals of, “If only I were alive 50 years ago,” and, “John was here, 50 years ago,”, etc., etc.,) are not sharing the love. But anyway (their loss), I thought I’d do a special 50th anniversary post, jam-packed with YouTube clips, photos, fun facts and more; enjoy!
As most people know, Adelaide nearly wasn’t on The Beatles’ Australian agenda. A verbal deal had been struck up between Ken Brodziak (an Australian tour promoter) and Brian Epstein in 1963, some time before ‘Please Please Me’ rocketed to Number One in Britain. The promoter – unsuspecting of The Fab Four’s future fame – had booked the four for concerts in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Adelaide had been left off the list.
A few weeks later, ‘Please Please Me’ ruled the charts in Britain, and John, Paul, George and Ringo performed on Sunday Night At The London Palladium, to hordes of screaming girls; Beatlemania was born! Meanwhile in Australia, Ken Brodziak was unsure whether his deal with Epstein would be fulfilled – to his luck, it was, and The Beatles were scheduled to perform in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane in June 1964. But something was missing – The Fab Four would not be coming to Adelaide…
A little later, Bob Francis (a relatively-famous South Australian DJ on 5AD) heard that The Beatles were touring Australia, but skipping Adelaide. He was not happy, and set his mind on bringing The Beatles to the Festival State. He set up a petition, which gathered thousands of signatures, and after much lobbying from him and other Adelaide fans, John, Paul, George and Ringo were set to perform four concerts here, over the 12th and 13th of June. Despite the fact that Ringo was hospitalised with tonsillitis and pharyngitis, thus unable to come to Australia before the others made their way up to Melbourne, Adelaide still managed to make Fab Four history, by giving them the largest reception they would ever receive, of somewhere between 300,000 and 350,000 people (over half the population at the time)! And for that, us Adelaide-ean Beatlemaniacs are very grateful.
This is a clip of bits and pieces of footage from ’64, released this year especially for the anniversary by EMI Australia.
This one’s of The Beatles’ Adelaide press conference – I haven’t watched the whole thing (shame on you, so-called ‘hardcore Beatlemaniac’!), but I’ve seen some bits; John has some really funny jokes, in it!
And well, here it is – the strangely-prophetic John Lennon quote from the Adelaide press conference that featured upon the end of When The Beatles Drove Us Wild, that made me cry. As I said last post, what a tragic irony. Rest in peace, John – love you to bits!
And this one’s a little lighter than the last – fragments of John, Paul, George and Jimmie’s Adelaide gig! I can just imagine being in the audience, that day – the atmosphere just seemed so electric, even from a YouTube clip!
Not in Adelaide (Ringo’s in it) but anyway – I love the photo (for no apparent reason), so who cares?!
Here’s photographic proof of why Adelaide is so cool…
Front page of The News (Adelaide’s former evening newspaper) on B-Day.
Too-cool-for-words people greeting an incredibly-cool city…
Did you know…
- Australian politician Bob Katter was among a group of Beatle-haters who pelted eggs at The Beatles in Brisbane.
- Ian ‘Molly’ Meldrum was kicked out of The Beatles’ Melbourne concert for being ‘too hysterical’.
- Jimmie Nicol – Ringo’s replacement – says that ‘being in The Beatles was the worst thing that happened to him’, and now lives as a recluse in London.
- The Beatles almost cancelled their trip to Australia – after Ringo fell ill (the day before The Beatles embarked on their 1964 world tour) a loyal George refused to play with a replacement, though was eventually convinced (how sweet!).
This time tomorrow, I will be enjoying a Beatles tribute – put on by tribute band The Beatle Boys – recreating their Australian tour; it should be loads of fun, and I will report on Saturday! But for now, I’ll pause the White Album (but ‘Julia’ is so beautiful – and sad, too) and enjoy the special hour of Beatle-y fun that local radio station Cruise 1323 AM will be putting on in half an hour. But anyway, enjoy this special ‘birthday’ (pun on song playing off the White Album currently – see if you can guess what it is!) in Beatles history, and good day sunshine!