Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

February 14, 2014

Beatlemania continues, even after 50 years

By Diane Raver Batesville Herald-Tribune
Greensburg Daily News

---- — NEW POINT — The Beatles made history in 1964 when 73 million people tuned in to “The Ed Sullivan Show” for the group’s first live television performance in the United States.

Shirley Hauger, who was 14 at the time, remembers that moment well. “My best friend and I were so excited. We couldn’t wait for the show to come on. She was in love with Paul McCartney, and I was in love with Ringo Starr. Those were the good days.

“My mom and dad were laughing at us, but I thought The Beatles were the most terrific thing ....They brought a different type of music over, and they were four good-looking men.”

The New Point resident says her favorite song from the group’s early years was “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” She also notes, “‘Day Tripper’ was a good one.”

Margie Walke, Batesville, recalls seeing the rock group in concert twice. The first was at Cincinnati Gardens in August 1964. “There were seven of us that crammed into Gary Wintz’s Chevy Nova.

“We had box seats on the side, but once they (the group) came out, it was chaos. There was this sound that was like a high-pitched alarm. You couldn’t even tell it was human screaming. Everyone was off their chairs. You could not hear the music because of the screaming.

“We made our way through the crowd and stood right at the bottom of the stage .... Then we got to hear them. It was amazing to be there.”

She reveals that Jackie DeShannon and the Righteous Brothers opened for the quartet. She also purchased an “I Love George” pin.

In August 1966, “just my sister and I went to a concert at Crosley Field, Cincinnati. It was scheduled on a Saturday, but it rained, so it was postponed to Sunday. We had seats in front of a Batesville couple, so we drove back with them on Sunday.

Valerie Stutler, Batesville, reports, “During my middle school years, I lived in the Washington, D.C., suburbs of Virginia. My aunt bought two tickets to see The Beatles in concert at the D.C. Stadium and invited me to go with her. What a thrill that I will never forget!

“On Aug. 15, 1966, my aunt and I sat through The Beatles concert amongst screaming and fainting girls. I can still see the images in my mind of the mannerisms of each Beatle as he performed, such as the way John stood close to the microphone, one foot on each side of the microphone stand, and bent at the knees as he sang. Paul, the left-handed one, moved the neck of the guitar around to the beat of the music as he played the bass and shook his head and tossed that Beatle haircut around. George was less active and did not move a lot on stage except with an occasional foot tapping. Ringo shook his head around often as he played the drums.

“The screams were so deafening that I could barely hear the songs, but I did manage to hear parts of the songs to recognize them. I bought a program at the concert and later wrote down the names of the songs in the back of the program. They sang songs such as ‘Day Tripper’, ‘I Wanna be Your Man’ and ‘Kansas City,’ as well as ‘Yesterday.’ I still have that program which is filled with a lot of black-and-white photos of The Beatles.

“I also have the ticket stub from that concert as well, which is framed in order to preserve it. The cost of that ticket in 1966 was $3. Isn’t that a hoot? I’ve been told that now the ticket stub is probably worth about 100 times that amount. I plan to hang on to it.”

She adds, “I bought most of The Beatles’ vinyl albums with my allowance. I will always remember the day that my dad brought home The Beatles’ first album to me as a gift. He had to go to several stores to find it. Nowadays, my two children, Nikki and Craig, know well that any time they buy a Beatles’ item for me, such as a calendar or book, it will be especially appreciated and treasured.

“In 1993, I attended a Paul McCartney concert in Cincinnati. Paul sounded just as great then as he did in 1966. And at least at this particular concert, I could hear the music, and I could sing along. Even though I really wanted to scream like a teenager again.”

Diane Raver can be contacted at diane.raver@batesvilleheraldtribune.com or 812-934-4343, Ext. 114.