Tuesday, 5 January 2016

BEATLES FAN RECALLS "CALM NIGHT" AT 1963 GUILDFORD ODEON GIG

Rosemary Rolls remembered how "it was more civilised" compared to another Fab Four gig she went to at the Wimbledon Palais six months later where the crowd were "packed in like sardines" and "loads of girls were fainting"

 

The date was Friday June 21 1963 and The Beatles were preparing to play to a horde of screaming girls at the Odeon in Guildford.
Rosemary Rolls, 66, was one of the lucky audience members in the crowd and for her and best friend Stella it was their first concert, aged 14.
“Stella's mum worked as a cleaner every day at the Odeon picture house, so she bought the tickets for us because she knew how much we loved them, and we had front row seats,” said Rosemary, who moved to Guildford when she was five-years-old.
“We enjoyed every moment and got autographs, but I don't have mine anymore unfortunately.
“This was our first concert and of course it was in our home town, we lived in the centre and so we just walked up the High Street.”
Rosemary explained she had a different favourite member in the band to her best friend Stella.
“John Lennon was my favourite because I thought he was very handsome, I liked the way he moved while playing the guitar, his mouth when he sang and his smile - my friend's favourite was Paul [McCartney].
“On the night in Guildford the fans were well behaved. I guess we were all frightened if we made too much noise we would have been thrown out. Which is why we were allowed to get the autographs, [it was] more civilised in the early days.”
However, she explained a concert at Wimbledon Palais in December 1963 was completely different.
“My friend's dad took us in his car, dropped us off and arranged a time to pick us up. We queued for what seemed like hours with crowds of people, mostly young girls.
“We were only 14 and 15 and had never been to London on our own.
“When we eventually got inside there were cages around the stage, we were packed in like sardines.
“The screams from the crowd made it difficult to hear The Beatles properly, loads of girls were fainting and police officers had to carry them out.
“At one time the crowds nearly pushed the cages in on top of The Beatles. Not very pleasant after calm night at Guildford.”
 
Beatles fans at Wimbledon Palais, December 14 1963
Rosemary believes it was “their music, smart suits and harmony” which made The Beatles so enduringly popular.
“We bought all their records and books and still listen to their music to this day.
"We watched their films and biographies but when The Beatles broke up it was never the same, sad but that's life.”

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