In my capacity as Beatles correspondent for a magazine ( ear Candy), I wrote this a couple of years ago...it seems like yesterday, but this year I'm 61 !!
In 1963 the Socialist Newspaper, The Daily Worker described the Mersey Sound as the voice of 80,000 crumbling houses and 30,000 people on the dole.
A comment which in it's own way was equally as pretentious (and nonsensical) as William Mann of The Times, citing the "Aeolian cadences" of Lennon's vocals on Not A Second Time as the song draws to a close, and comparing it to Mahler's "Song Of The Earth".
Lennon, years later, remarked: "To this day, I have no idea what Aeolian cadences are. They sound like exotic birds."
At the time, I was a 12 year old boy and had no idea that either comment had been made...would I have cared if I had? Probably not.
But I'm getting ahead of myself.....so I'll rewind to the early winter days of October 1962. We lived in a reasonably prosperous town in the North of England and although there wasn't the entertainment available that there is today, young teenagers had a pretty good time of it. In my town there were 3 cinemas and the Mecca dance hall which catered for all age groups...Saturday mornings for under 12s , afternoons for under 15s and Monday nights 15 to 18. It was here that I discovered Phil Spector and many others although this education would in no way prepare me for what was about to explode in to my life. As usual after tea, I could be found in front of a roaring coal fire watching our black and white TV, waiting for something of interest to appear...and oh boy, it certainly did! The Regional news programme that we had in those days was "2 People and Places" broadcast from Manchester over the Pennines and into Yorkshire...it would be another 7 years before we had our own station!! I have this memory of the presenter, a gentleman by the name of Mike Scott introducing a new group..it was the Beatles. Four young men with outrageous (for the time) hairstyles suits and boots miming (lipsynching) to either Love Me Do or P.S. I love You...I'm still not sure which I saw first. Contrarily the official Granada site has this to say...
FIRST BEATLES BROADCAST FROM A STUDIO
People and Places
Granada TV, Quay Street, Manchester.
Weds 17 October 1962.
6.35 - 7.00pm
Earning £35 for their appearance The Beatles performed Some Other Guy and Love Me Do in this their very first transmission!
Unfortunately, the performance does not exist anymore as it was wiped from the vaults by Granada TV. Some other Guy, I don't remember at all from then, although I do recall the famous cavern episode being shown later... I still remember this strange tingle down my back, my face flushing and nearly crying all at the same time!! I'd fallen in love with 4 men!!
Daredn't tell my Dad (who later hated them with a passion) but it wasn't homoerotic love, just what the rest (most) of the world experienced 12/18 months later. After the broadcast I begged, took returnable glass bottles back to the pub and got a "sub" on my paper round money until I had 6 shillings and 8 pence, the cost of Love Me Do in 62...didn't realise then, that it was "red label" as was Please Please Me a few months later. By that time “those of us who knew” had heard about the Helen Shapiro Tour..and desperately wanted tickets.
Luckily I had a friend (Linda) whose Mum worked in the Box Office at the cinema where they were appearing, and so it came to pass that on the evening of February the 7th 1963 me, Neil (my best friend..now in Australia) were in the Regal Cinema Wakefield waiting for them to come on stage. I wish that I could say that I remember the event with startling clarity but I can't. I know they closed the first half and sang Please Please Me...but the impact was nothing like the 10,000volts I'd received a few months before.
And so the story continued buying everything on the day of release, collecting the Bubble Gum cards, the posters and things too many to mention which with the passage of time have disappeared along the way.
For some there abiding memory is where they were when JFK was assassinated, when Princess Diana died or 9/11....
It will always be that dark, cold October night all those years ago.