I got to see the Beatles in concert twice - once in Houston on August 19, 1965 and then again in Washington D.C. on August 15, 1966. You couldn't hear much, but it was enough just to be there, breathing the same air as them!
I won the Houston trip on a radio contest. You had to listen all day and write on a postcard the name of the Beatle songs they played. You could send in as many as you wanted and I must have written 20-30 cards. Talk about writer's cramp! My mother told me later that she almost didn't mail them for me, since she thought I'd never win, anyway. She figured it was a waste of stamps. But her conscience got to her and she had to mail them. Imagine her surprise when I did win!
Would you believe that on the day of the concert, I went off and forgot my film?? We took a chartered bus to Houston and there were about 30 other winners. I tried and tried to get somebody to sell me a roll of film. I even offered $2-$3 for a roll, a lot of money back then! But nobody would sell me any. I was really sick about it later at the concert, when the policeman who was a chaperone on the bus swung everyone's cameras over his neck and, because he was a police officer, he was allowed right up at the stage. He went up there and took pictures for everybody and there I was with no film! I'll never stop regretting that - I could have had close-up pictures! Strangely, I remember really nothing of the show itself. I guess I was in a kind of shock! I wrote down all the songs they sung, so I must have heard something. I still have that piece of paper to this day - I don't even remember writing on it, though!
The Washington D.C. trip was a vacation. I hated the idea of going. I figured there's nothing but old stuff at the Smithsonian Institute and places like that. Then I heard that the Beatles would be there at the same time. Boy, the wheels in my head started turning then! My dad knew a guy who worked in Washington D.C. part-time and I talked him into asking this guy about getting us tickets. Well, actually, I begged! This guy's poor secretary had to stand in line all day to get those tickets. When we arrived, we met him somewhere to get the tickets. The first thing he said to me was "Sorry, I couldn't get the tickets. They were all sold out." My face must have dropped a mile because he quickly added "Just kidding!" I was 13 and almost didn't live to be 14!
That was the year when John said the Beatles were more popular than Jesus. I still don't know what all the hoopla was about. They were more popular. He never said they were better, just more popular and only a fool would have argued with him at that point.
Anyway, my dad was real upset about John's remark. Him, my mom and my brother, James, went to the concert with me. James swears to this day that he has a bad arm and is partially deaf on the side that I was sitting on, because I kept screaming in his ear and grabbing his arm!
At one point in the concert, John waved to our section of the audience and all the girls went mad, screaming and waving back. I happened to glance over and there sat my dad, amidst all this hysteria, calmly waving back! I think he had as much fun (well, almost) as I did. After the concert, he said "I guess John didn't mean it the way it sounded." So John won him over with that one wave!
All through the concert, though, my dad kept grabbing for this girl in front of us. We were in the upper deck in the second row and he just knew that she'd go over the rail at any moment! She was more hysterical than I was, I think (is that possible??). She kept grabbing my binoculars - and they were still around my neck! I took a picture of them at that concert and all you can see are 4 tiny figures (see my Scrapbook). But I know what they are!
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