On this page I intend to show and talk about any information on the Beatles visits to York. They came 4 times to perform, Feb 27 1963, March 13th 1963, May 29th 1963, and finally 27 Nov 1963 (see: www.historyofyork.org.uk/themes/post-war-york/sixties-york).
|THE OLD RIALTO JUST BEFORE DEMOLITION|
|THE MAIN AUDITORIUM, STILL WITH ORIGINAL SEATING IN THE UPPER GALLERY. YOU CAN SEE THE RESIDUE OF ITS TIME AS A BINGO HALL - NOT UNUSUAL FOR MANY OF OUR OLD CINEMAS.|
|DERELICT AND WASTED, IMAGINE THOSE SCREAMS FROM HERE!|
|THIS LONG HIDDEN WALL APPEARED DURING DEMOLITION OF THE RIALTO. A FROZEN IN TIME SNAPSHOT OF THE SWINGING SIXTIES, EVEN FREDDIE STARR IS MENTIONED...|
|THE RIALTO MARCH 13TH SHOW FLY POSTER|
|AN ORIGINAL MARCH 13TH CONCERT TICKET STUB|
|A full set of Beatle autographs. According to the vendor, these signatures were obtained at the Rialto Cinema, Fishergate, York on 27th February, 1963. Again, who actually managed to get these signatures??|
|FLY POSTER FOR THE FEB 27TH SHOW|
|POSTER FOR THE MAY 29TH SHOW|
|A RARE TICKET AND STUB FROM THE MAY SHOW|
Here is an interesting link to a web article about the Beatles playing the Globe theatre in Stockton-on-Tees, on 22nd Nov 1963.
It's interesting because it actually has some pictures of the audience whilst the band were playing AND even a rare photo of the lads themselves on stage during the performance. I would imagine the scenes at York's Rialto theatre would be almost the same...have a look!
OK as promised here is some stories from some of the people who have seen and remember the Beatles coming to York, these have been re-posted from articles sent by Steve at the Evening Press and from some information supplied from the YorkMix website.
'' As the entertainment correspondent for the Evening Press and local DJ, Stacey Brewer was in the thick of the swinging Sixties. When The Beatles first played the Rialto, on March 13, 1963, they were just on the cusp of super-stardom. Back then, they were bottom of the bill, supporting two American singers, Chris Montez, who had a hit with Let's Dance, and Tommy Roe. But the four Liverpudlians were already fab. Teenagers who had paid between 4s 6d and 8s 6d to attend one of the two evening shows certainly got their money's worth. Mop-tops bouncing in the spotlight, The Beatles treated the audience to songs that would become pop classics - Love Me Do and Please, Please Me. "I liked the music - we all did," said Stacey. "And they were great personalities. Paul McCartney was the heartthrob of the group." By the time they returned to York, John, Paul, George and Ringo were huge household names. But they couldn't escape the contract that brought them back to the city - this time at the top of the bill.
'' After the March 13th appearance at the Rialto, George Harrison told Stacey Brewer of the Yorkshire Evening Press, that the Beatles’ next single, From Me To You, had been written by them in the coach as they travelled from York to Shrewsbury following the February concert. On May 29 they came back again with Roy Orbison topping the bill and tickets were sold out two weeks before the concert. This time the Beatles were headline news. In only two months they had shot to fame and From Me To You, their first number one hit, remained in the charts for 21 weeks.
By their fourth and final appearance in York, on November 27, they were topping the bill. Arriving early in York in their Austin Princess limousine, they dropped in at the York Motel on Tadcaster Road for a meal. I lived in that area and remember a friend of my brother’s dashing round to our house to tell my elder brother Mike that he’d heard the Beatles were at the motel. They ran down to the main road to try to catch a glimpse. I wanted to go too but was not allowed! Half an hour later he came back gloating because they had seen a car go by the Knavesmire with the Beatles inside. There was no one else around so they knew that when they waved madly, they got a personal wave in return, which was more than the crowd at the Rialto got, as the Beatles were rush in through the front door to avoid all the fans at the back door.
Before the concert the police had to work out a special “Beatle plan” and arrange traffic diversions. As well as 100 policemen, another 40 special constables were drafted in on “Beatle duty” for the occasion. Some young people had started queuing at lunchtime in the hopes of seeing their heroes. The Rialto management had been sent hundreds of requests for autographs, and even a dress which the owner wanted the Beatles to sign so that she could raffle it for charity. There were 1,800 fans inside the auditorium and another 400 outside jammed behind crush barriers chanting, “We want Paul, George, John, Ringo” throughout the concert. In fact they stood for five hours in the cold. Stacey Brewer’s review in the Yorkshire Evening Press said that “their final, frenzied frantic version of Twist And Shout threatened to lift the roof off the Mecca Casino. ''
Colin Carr was the drummer in the York group The Clubmen.
'' I was fortunate enough to see the Beatles. Anton’s boss, Malcolm, wasn’t short of a bob or two. He booked a block of eight seats, and he took the Clubmen, and his wife and two children, and they were really good seats. It’s an experience I’ll never forget. They were so famous then, they took the world by storm, and you just couldn’t believe you were so near to them, when they came running on to the stage. The way they announced it, the curtains went back, there were just drums on a rostrum, all gleaming and shining, and three guitars, and the compere would be teasing you, waffling on. Then, ‘And here they are, the Beatles’, and they’d run on, and it was just deafening. The girls were absolutely out of their minds. And you were sat there, so involved in it, you’re struck dumb. It just got you. I’ve never felt like that since, so emotionally involved. ''
Professor Wilfrid Mellers came to York in 1963 to found the music department at the new university.
My daughters would play Beatle music all the time. I was interested in jazz, I was perfectly prepared to think it would be a good thing, and I thought the Beatles were very well worth writing a book about. Lennon and McCartney they were the really creative two. I did a course on Bob Dylan in the context of American country music and I taught the Beatles course. There were very long queues for that, stretching over campus. I wasn’t trying to be trendy. I taught the Beatles because I thought the music was good.