Live: Music Hall, Shrewsbury
Fredagen den 14 december 1962 tog sig The Beatles till The Music Hall i Shrewsbury, Shropshire, ett ställe där många andra artister har spelat när det begav sig. Promotor var Lewis Buckley.
David Wiseman, basgitarrist i gruppen The Deltas, som också spelade på denna spelning, tyckte inte speciellt mycket om Liverpoolgruppen.
The Beatles hade bara några veckor tidigare haft en mindre hit med singeln Love Me Do.
David lever nu för tiden i West Sussex, men i samband med spelning 1962 bodde han på Oakfield Road i Copthorne och arbetade på varuhuset Shrewsbury’s big Maddox med att dekorera skyltfönster och hjälpa till med lite av varje i varuhuset.
The Deltas var ett lokalt band från Shrewsbury med många lokala fans.
Detta var första gången som The Beatles framträdde på the Music Hall. Andra och sista gången de spelade där var den 26 april 1963.
David Wiseman: My memories are a bit vague, but I can remember doing the show. When we were in the dressing room we were in a bit of a huddle one end and they were in a huddle their end. There was a smart-looking gentleman with them, who might have been Brian Epstein, but I’m not sure.
I was vaguely having a chat with Paul McCartney because he had this amazing guitar that looked like a violin. I thought it was a bit odd.
Fans came in to try to get some autographs from The Beatles. I was not terribly impressed with them actually. They were very good musicians, but I thought they looked rather untidy because the fashion then was to be quite well dressed, even in pop groups.
We were dressed in suits and bow ties. I think they were just in shirts and I think they had some sort of jacket, and their hair was a bit untidy. It was not as smart as it was later on.
It was quite an experience to listen to them. They had started to be a bit well known. We all had friends in the audience and were dancing with the audience in between our sets.
The hall was quite packed. I think we were almost as popular as The Beatles at the time, with I suppose loyalty from the local people.I can’t really remember if there was screaming or that sort of thing.
David kallade sig emellertid för Tony i förnamn vid den här tiden. Han hade många kompisar som hette David och han tyckte själv inte att det var ett tillräckligt coolt namn, Dessutom heter han även Anthony, så att ta namnet Tony i stället för David i det här sammanhanget var väl genomtänkt.
Vad gäller sina egna tankar kring vilken del han hade i historien om The Beatles är något som han inte har pratat om tidigare.
David: I’ve kept it to myself until now. I did have a poster until I left to go to Australia, and when I came back it had been destroyed, unfortunately, which I was cross about. I had kept my guitar and amplifier in the loft of the Shrewsbury house. When I came back it was all gone.
I hadn’t really any proof of playing with The Beatles. You can imagine saying to somebody ’I played with The Beatles’ and them saying ’Oh yes, pull the other one.’
Ackordyutbyte tillsammans med George Harrison
Roger Francis, sångare och kompgitarrist i The Deltas minns spelningen med The Beatles lite annorlunda än David.
Roger: David didn’t think much of them and thought they were scruffy, but my memory is that they were suiting up.
Roger Francis berättar vidare:When they came to Shrewsbury they had suits on. We had suits, but theirs were a little smarter, with velvet collars, and we thought that was a nice idea and did the same thing.
The Music Hall was around about half full, I would have thought. It was not packed. When we were playing people were crammed to the stage, but when The Beatles came on they stood back a bit. They tuned up on stage, which was something nobody ever did.
A lot of people weren’t that impressed, but the harmonies were the things that struck me and I thought that was really good. They did a lot of American stuff.
På fotot nedan står gruppen The Deltas på scenen när de uppträdde samma kväll som The Beatles. I bakgrunden allra längst till höger står Ringo Starrs trumset med namnet Ringo på. Man hade ännu inte satt dit gruppnamnet The Beatles på trummorna.
It was good fun. The dressing room upstairs was a communal one. I got on pretty well with George Harrison. We were swapping chords. When he was doing his set I was watching what they were up to and asked what was that chord and he would say ’do you mean this?’ and showed me. Then when they did their second set he was holding his guitar up when he was doing his solos so I could see what his chord sequences were.
They were a good bunch of lads. Paul McCartney dropped his plectrum while playing and I had a plectrum in my pocket and reached up and gave him mine. I got the Beatles’ autographs but one of my ex-girlfriends had it from me.