Beatles in Action

By Bill Harry  

Mersey Beat: October 22 1964

Paul McCartney and John LennonThe audience went completely wild when the Beatles took the stage at Ardwick's Apollo Theatre last week, and although the screams, yells and shrieks continued almost unabated throughout the whole of their 28-minute spot, the boys could still be heard above the din. Attendants tried to keep the audience seated, but virtually everyone in the theatre was standing on a seat seeking a better view of the four lads who, with this tour, have proved once and for all that they remain the biggest and most talented show-biz phenomenon this country has ever produced.

The show opened with the Rusticks, who also backed the second act on the bill, Bolton vocalist Michael Haslam, who received a great ovation from the audience.

Sounds Incorporated were the next to take the stage and their act has improved tremendously during the last few months. Stage presentation is original and entertaining and their choice of material (ranging from 'Maria' to 'The William Tell Overture') was greeted with wholesale enthusiastic response.

Sounds remained on stage to back Mary Wells, who was accompanied by her own guitarist Melvin Turrell. Looking exceptionally glamorous in a full-length silver dress, Mary sang many of her big hits, including 'Two Lovers' and 'My Guy.' Although her performances proved she is one of the world's leading songstresses, the young audience didn't seem to appreciate her talents, although her reception was warm. Her rendition of 'Time After Time', although excellent, would have been more suitable in cabaret.

The Remo Four opened the second half of the show and were joined by Tommy Quickly who had the girls in the audience screaming continually as he strode, walked, pranced and danced across the stage, full of bounce and verve. 

Ringo Starr and George HarrisonDespite the fact that he was directly before the Beatles act, no one seemed impatient and he made quite an impact. Perhaps this tour can help to sell Tommy's current release 'The Wild Side Of Life.'

When the Beatles appeared to perform their old favourites, including 'Money', 'Twist And Shout' and many others - that was it!

Brian Epstein, who was standing at the side of the stage, could well be proud of the best value-for-money tour of the year.


Editor's note: Colonel Tom Parker was surprised to learn that Brian Epstein was signing up so many groups and solo acts to his personal management when he had the greatest group in the world. Parker, like so many others, considered that Brian should have spent his entire time focusing on one specific group rather than signing act after act. The Rusticks, Sounds Incorporated, Michael Haslam, the Remo Four and Tommy Quickly on this bill were all Epstein signings. none was to achieve chart success.

This is the night when Virginia and I also spent a lot of time backstage with the Beatles and Mary Wells. After the show the Beatles asked Virginia and I to join them in their car on the journey back to Liverpool. We got in their car and realized I'd left my overcoat in their dressing room. Virginia went back to get it and never returned. I got out to find out what had happened to her and the Beatles said they'd wait. I discovered that the stewarts refused to let Virginia backstage again, thinking she was a fan. I collected my coat and we went outside, but the car was gone. I then realized I'd left my briefcase in their car with all my money in it. We were stranded in Manchester. We were recognized by two Beatles fans who took us to the house of a 'Coronation Street' actress for a few drinks and then they drove us back to Liverpool. The next day Paul's father Jim McCartney dropped into the Mersey Beat office with my briefcase. He told me that the Beatles had to keep circling the theatre waiting for us, but fans recognized their car and they eventually had to set off back to Liverpool.

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