Live: Odeon Cinema, Lewisham, London
Fredagens utflykt till the Odeon Cinema på Loampit Vale i Lewisham, London, blev den första för The Beatles på detta ställe. Spelningen ingick i turnén med Chris Montez and Tommy Roe.
En av besökarna – Tony Markin – minns konserten så här:
It was 1963 and I was at London University in England. I and several friends were quite interested in the American music scene at that time. Thus we were very excited when we heard that Buddy Holly and the Crickets and the Everly Brothers would be appearing at the Lewisham Odeon. We managed to avoid going to the pub for a week and then we had enough money to buy our tickets. The appointed evening came and off we went on the bus.
Those were the days when concerts usually had a couple of opening acts and the headliners only came on after intermission. The first band to perform was totally forgettable. Then the Master of Ceremonies came on stage and said:
”Ladies and Gentlemen, on their first visit to London from Liverpool, please give a big welcome to John, Paul, George and Ringo: The Beatles”.
Well these four young guys came on stage dressed in black pants; white shirts, black string ties and black jackets, but the jackets didn’t have lapels. They all had long hair covering their ears and down their back with almost a pudding basin cut along the front. Three of them had guitars and the fourth one sat behind a drum set. Another ho hum band we thought.
However, from the opening chord, not only did they get our attention, but everyone’s in the theatre. The first number they played was: ”Love Me Do”. It had a great catchy tune, lyrics you could understand and the whole band was animated. The rest of their set was electrifying and they left the stage to a standing ovation. We obviously enjoyed the two American bands, but the show was long and we missed our last bus back to our lodgings. However, on the walk back, we all talked about this new band that we had heard for the first time.
Now those were the days when we did not have cell phones or computers. On the weekend, I wrote to my girlfriend back home. I told her about going to the concert and how much we all enjoyed this new band. I even predicted that they would be the ”Next Big Thing” in British music. What did I know about music though? They would probably fade into oblivion like so many others. However, this time I was right, but their success was much bigger than I had anticipated.
Unfortunately, my girlfriend who became my wife, did not keep that letter and I didn’t keep the concert ticket, something I have subsequently rectified. Now, whenever I hear that number it reminds me of my fabulous days at University and the courtship, from afar most of the time, with my wife of now over 40 years.
Noteras bör dock. Tonys minne är utan tvivel en smula hoprört. Detta var The Beatles första konsert i hjärtat av London och de spelade Love Me Do. Men Buddy Holly hade varit borta ett bra tag (han omkom i en flygolycka den 3 februari 1959) och The Crickets spelade aldrig tillsammans med The Beatles även om Tommy Roes sätt att sjunga påminde en del om Buddy Hollys sätt att sjunga. Troligt är att Tony blandar ihop denna konsert med en konsert med The Everly Brothers som ägde rum på samma ställe, men den 31 oktober 1963; Då uppträdde även The Rolling Stones, Bo Diddley, och Little Richard.
The Beatles återvände till spelplatsen en gång till – den 8 december 1963.