A Manchester author is trying to track down fans of The Beatles who saw the Fab Four’s appearance at the Royal Hall in Harrogate.
The show, in March 1963, took place when their first top ten single Please Please Me had stormed what was then known as the hit parade but before Beatlemania had gripped the world.
Richard Houghton is hoping to trace members of the audience from that night in 1963 to share their memories of seeing John, Paul, George and Ringo for what he is terming a ‘people’s history’ of the group.
There have been lots of books about The Beatles but I’m trying to tell the story of their shows from the point of view of the audience. Britain was a very different place then to what it is now and I’m hoping to capture the memories of the people who were probably teenagers then and who are probably grandparents now so that their recollections can be captured for all time. The show in Harrogate at the Royal Hall was one of the earliest The Beatles performed in the UK outside Merseyside.
Richard is the author of You Had To Be There: The Rolling Stones Live 1962 – 69, which tells the story of the Stones early concerts in the words of their fans. Now he is looking to repeat the exercise with his book about The Beatles.
The Beatles and the Stones between them defined what it was like to be a teenager in 1960s Britain and I’m really keen to hear people’s memories of seeing The Beatles. I don’t want to hear just about what John and Paul wore that night and the songs they played but how old people were, who they went with, what their parents thought about it and whether they had to go to school or to work the next day. I’m also interested to know what the audience reaction was like, as this show was just before the phenomenon of Beatlemania took hold.
The Beatles went on to top the UK charts 17 times in the 1960s but there are very few accounts of their performance in Harrogate.
I am hoping some readers will have been there on that night and can help me paint a picture of what the Fab Four were like before they became really famous.
You can share your Beatle memories with Richard at email@example.com or by writing to him at 7 Hartley Road, Manchester, M21 9NG.
You Had To Be There: The Rolling Stones Live 1962 – 69 is available from Amazon or via www.gottahavebooks.co.uk