Yes, 18 June 1964 was the date my two sisters and I caught the bus from Matraville to Rushcutters Bay, Sydney town, to see The Beatles – “see” being the operative word, because they were very hard to hear above the incessant screaming – mostly from the girls, of course.
The supporting acts – Johnny Devlin, Johnny Chester, The Phantoms, Alan Field and Sounds Incorporated (an instrumental band) warmed up the Sydney Stadium crowd to mixed reactions – but at least you could hear them.
That all changed when The Beatles were introduced!
My sisters were either side of me, one screaming for Paul, the other for George. The Beatles played 12 songs – their time on stage was around 35 minutes.
The Sydney Stadium (known as the Old Tin Shed) was built in 1908 and used predominantly as a boxing venue.
It had tiered wooden seats and was hot as hell. It was occasionally used for music concerts.
Reports stated Frank Sinatra hated performing there and Bob Dylan almost passed out in the oppressive heat.
It had a revolving stage, where it would move around about halfway before rotating back, giving most fans a reasonable look at the artist.
The photo below is from the 18 June concert. Part of the meagre PA system is visible next to John – a far cry from the huge PAs pumping out megawatts these days by artists.
. . . but we came away from the concert saying how fab The Beatles were, but deep down we knew we had barely heard them.
At least we can say “we were there”!
The official program is now a collector’s item and can fetch some decent money in mint condition.
Yes, I still have mine, but I wish I had also kept the tickets.
The Beatles’ music, to me, is still just as fresh today as it was back then – is still played frequently on the radio – and still recorded by many artists around the world.
I challenge anybody to name an artist of today whose music they think will still be popular and played regularly 50 years from now. Come on, name one – there is no solo artist or group to touch the talent or popularity of The Beatles – there never has been and, probably, there never will be.
One thing’s for sure – I know I won’t be around in 50 years time to hear any of today’s artists’ or groups’ music which may be played on the radio – or whatever the listening apparatus will be then!
Only 517 Rolls-Royce Phantom Vs were manufactured.
It was an ultra-exclusive car, weighing 2.5 tonnes with a 3.6-metre wheelbase and the same 6.2L V8 engine as the Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud II.
The British Crown owned two of them, ridden by Queen Elizabeth II and the Queen Mother.
However, even they are outshone by the car’s most famous owner: John Lennon of the Beatles.
John Lennon bought a 1964 Mulliner Park Ward Phantom V, finished in Valentines black.
Everything was black except for the radiator, even the wheels. Lennon asked for the radiator to be black as well but Rolls Royce refused.
Originally the car was customized from Park Ward with black leather upholstery, cocktail cabinet with fine wood trim, writing table, reading lamps, a seven-piece his-and-hers black-hide luggage set, and a Perdio portable television.
A refrigeration system was put in the trunk and it was one of the first cars in England to have tinted windows.
He probably paid 11,000 pounds (nearly $240,000 in today’s value).
Lennon didn’t know how to drive and didn’t get his driver licence until 1965 at age 24.
He sometimes used a six-foot-four Welsh guardsman named Les Anthony.
In December 1965, Lennon made a seven-page list of changes that cost more than 1900 pounds.
The backseat could change into a double bed. A Philips Auto-Mignon AG2101 “floating” record player that prevented the needle from jumping as well as a Radio Telephone and a cassette tape deck.
Speakers were mounted in the front wheel wells so that occupants could talk outside via microphone.
It was 1964 and I was in my 4th Year at Plympton High School. I was an overweight lad who was called “Humphrey darling” (after a cartoon character) by two blond sheilas every time they saw me in the schoolyard. I would always run away.
I had already split my pants trying to vault the “wooden horse” out on the school oval and a young, fit, soon to be famous Greg Chappell (Austalian Cricket Captain) had told me to “fuck-off” in the short time that he was there!
My best friend was John Ward, who talked like a girl and walked everywhere on tippy toes.
But magic was on the horizon “The Beatles” were coming to Adelaide minus Ringo Starr.
Big “Blob” Francis (5AD Radio) had convinced Brian Epstein in 1963 to bring them here.
Paul McCartney said he would like to see Adelaide and the Plympton girls squealed with delight.
So, as the Big Day approached when they would whizz past the back of Plympton High down Anzac Highway the excitement grew and grew!
And then, the Headmaster of Plympton High School, a Mister Goldsworthy, nicknamed “Chrome Dome”, who was the spitting image of Adolph Eichmann, said “NO!”
“The Beatles are rubbish and you shouldn’t be wasting valuable study time going over to Anzac Highway!”
The student mass gasped in astonishment when the announcement was made in the middle of a dusty quadrangle.
Quickly the rebellious sheilas and the blondies organised a Strike Committee and had quickly told our balding headmaster. “Let us see the The Beatles”.
Goldsworthy relented and we saw John, George, Paul and Jimmy Nicol (Ringo’s replacement) go roaring down Anzac Highway.
One girl knocked herself out on a stobie pole in her mad chase after the Fab Three’s car.
Meanwhile, half a million people had gathered in Adelaide city to welcome the boys from Liverpool.