YOU SAY IT'S YOUR BIRTHDAY (2024): And the band begins to play

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YOU SAY IT'S YOUR BIRTHDAY (2024): And the band begins to play

Exactly 60 years ago to the day, the Beatles played in Auckland.

It was my 13th birthday.

I was a huge fan of course. I had their two albums Please Please Me and With the Beatles: the former a Christmas present from Brett Bensky, the later I bought for my Dad's birthday from The Loft record shop on Vulcan Lane.

I had a big poster on my wall (I still have it) and I treasured my copy of Lennon's In His Own Write which my older sister had sent me from London.

I had all their singles and over the years bought all of their albums, singles and EPs, all of which I still have.

IMG_7765I also have a very long shelf of bootlegs, tributes, weird Beatle-related albums and scores and scores of CDs. Lotta books and magazines too.

My friends Karl and Rachael gave a copy of the “butcher sleeve” album for my birthday a few years ago. I treasure it.

By good luck and circumstance in my career as a journalist I interviewed George Martin and the photographers Astrid Kirchherr, Jurgen Vollmer and Bob Gruen.

IMG_0011I was invited to London for the launch of Free As a Bird and the Anthology series.

I've been to Abbey Road twice: the second time for the launch of the Remasters and my son Ab and I sat there and requested songs to be played through the massive speakers.

I've interviewed Yoko Ono four times (!). Oh, and a John and a George from a couple of tribute bands. Nice guys.

I saw McCartney live twice: once in Sydney before his concert in Auckland (I missed that, I went overseas) and more recently when he played at Mt Smart Stadium.

IMG_0840My friend Barry shouted me, it was too expensive for us at the time.

I saw Ringo once and wrote what I thought was a fair review but others didn't and sent angry letters to me.

I've been to Liverpool twice and taken in the Beatle sights, the Beatles Story museum and we had a night in the Cavern when there was a hen party. The most recent time we went to Liverpool – after stopping off in Port Sunlight which is significant in the Beatles' story – we walked down Mathew Street and it was appalling: drunks everywhere and every shop or club has attached themselves to the Beatles name.

One time we spent a remarkably short time in the Beatle Hotel there. It's a funny story with a sad ending.

So yes, I am the guy with scores of Beatle records, cassettes, DVDs, books and CDs.

And the Beatles played in Auckland on my 13th birthday.

But I didn't go.

It never occurred to me to ask my Mum and Dad to buy me a ticket and to be honest, I don't know if any of my friends even went. A couple of guys skipped school to go to the mayoral welcome on Queen St but that never even crossed my mind.

So the Beatles played on my birthday and I missed them.

About a decade ago I was telling my older sister this sad tale of lost opportunity.

“But Dad had tickets,” she said.

“What!”

“He did. He had two tickets. But he gave them to one of the girls in the office. I think he was trying to impress her.”

9781922800688-1_1.

To read the full account of the Beatles' Australasian tour check out this review.

WHEN WE WAS FAB: INSIDE THE BEATLES AUSTRALASIAN TOUR 1964 by ANDY NEILL and GREG ARMSTRONG. $99 signed by the authors.

From Hedley's Books here

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These entries are of little consequence to anyone other than me Graham Reid, the author of this site, and maybe my family, researchers and those with too much time on their hands.

Enjoy these random oddities at Personal Elsewhere.

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Gaylene Martin - Jul 1, 2024

Memorable afternoon and evening - I was about to turn 17 and got a ticket. In In the afternoon my Mum and grandmother came with me to the welcoming ceremony on the balcony at the Town Hall! I got within 10 feet of The Beatles and was so excited! Not as close for the concert - think I was way at the back - excitement continued however! Inevitable screams but not from me. I still have the program for the concert! My Mum even bought me a Beatles hat and belt that day - she picked up on the special occasion. The Beatles literally took over Aotearoa for the time they were here - huge impact.

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