Beatles' anniversary: We loved them, yeah, yeah, yeah

February 9, 2014 

In case you've somehow missed it, today is the 50th anniversary of the Beatles' appearance on TV's "The Ed Sullivan Show." We asked readers for Beatles memories. Here is what a few had to say.

I was lucky enough to attend the Beatles concert (in St. Louis, Aug. 21, 1966). I think one of my friend's parents got the tickets. They cost around $5. That was a lot more money then. Looking back, I'm kind of surprised my parents let me go. The Beatles were still kind of a new influence and a lot of adults weren't sure they were a good influence.

I went with two girlfriends, Jeannie and Judy. We were eighth-graders at Belle Valley Grade School at the time. I was a HUGE Beatles fan! I remember buying their very first album "Meet the Beatles" and ordering the "Help" album from Great Britain since it wasn't available in the U.S. I thought Paul was dreamy. That seemed to be a popular phrase then. He still looks like a choir boy.

The stadium was totally noisy. Lots and lots of girls screaming at the top of their lungs. One girl seated behind the three of us just cried "George, George, George!" all night long, with her hands by the side of her face. It was very hard to hear any music. I remember hearing, "She Loves You."

The band before them played "Red Rubber Ball" which was also popular.

As the Beatles came onto the field, lines of policemen, probably a couple men deep, stood side by side, or arm-in-arm to keep back screaming girls.

The sound system was pretty awful because the bass was off beat from the drums. Hopefully, that was the sound system, not Paul and Ringo getting off beat. They probably could not begin to hear themselves play.

We were halfway up in the stadium, too far away to see their faces. But we knew who stood where in the band so we didn't need to see their faces to know which was which.

One other related Beatles memory: I sat through "Hard Days Night" at the Ritz Theaterthree times in a row (which was legal then) and my Dad had to come into the theater to tell us it was time to go home.

It was a different time: Staying in the theater for multiple shows, no cell phones for parents to check up on us and a dad allowed into the theater to drag reluctant kids out .

--Linda DeBoer, of Belleville

In 1966, I was 15 and the biggest Beatles fan. My dad worked at Channel 4 and told us (three siblings and myself) where they would probably come out of the stadium.

The majority of the fans waited in front where black Cadillacs lined up. We went in the back where Dad said to go. There were only a handful of fans there, maybe five or six at the most and at least one or two black Buick LeSabres. Pretty soon they came out! Mayhem ensued. The girl next to me started to faint and tried to pull me down with her.

My sister said Ringo stepped on her foot! Ringo had on a red shirt, John a white one, and Paul a blue and yellow paisley. One of them touched my arm which, of course, at 15, I never wanted to wash again.

We watched as they drove off smiling and laughing in the back of the car. I wanted to follow the car. I think my siblings laughed at me because I was the youngest. We all had to share one pair of binoculars, which I hated, during the concert. The whole thing was so exciting and quite the experience! I am now 62 and remember it fondly like it was yesterday.

-- Susan Anderson, of Freeburg

I remember watching "The Ed Sullivan Show" (in black and white, obviously) in the lounge at my dormitory (Evans Hall) at the U of I in Champaign where I was a senior studying graphic design. The lounge was full of very excited gals (probably some guys as well).

That summer I was in Europe on a student tour and when we were in West Berlin we were looking out of the window of a building and there was a huge full-size billboard with large faces of the four Beatles, promoting them.

-- Jane Bonaldi, of Belleville

"I remember the rain and al the screaming girls. I bought tickets so I could celebrate my girlfriend's 18th birthday in a special way.

We had been dating since January of that year. I was a senior at Waterloo High School and she was a junior. The Beatles were the hot item at the time and I guess I wanted to impress her by getting tickets for the concert."

Evidently, he did.

"We will be watching the special tribute show (tonight). We have been Beatles fans ever since."

-- Rich and Portia Binder, Smithton

Belleville News-Democrat is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service