The clock will be turned back half a century on 8 November when The Bootleg Beatles headline A Gig To Remember at the Oasis – 50 years to the day since the Fab Four’s famous homecoming, writes Graham Carter.
Organised to raise money for Alzheimers Research UK, the gig will take place exactly half a century after The Beatles played to a sell-out audience at the Empire Theatre in Liverpool on 8 November 1964, their first home-town gig for almost a year.
It was a triumphant moment in British cultural history, because it was the year the band conquered America and started the ‘British pop music invasion.’ At one stage the mop tops held the top five places on The Billboard Hot 100, and ended 1964 with various single hits worldwide and a chart-topping new album: Beatles For Sale.
Amanda with her dad, John Davidson, charity sponsor Mary Hoffman-Male, with front, Dani Franks, Aaron and Jack Bradshaw at a Bombay Lounge charity night in July where Simon Manchip, consultant in old age medicine at GWH, spoke about dementia.
It was a far cry from their only gig in Swindon, two years earlier, when a small ad in the Swindon Advertiser announced the arrival of ‘the biggest band in the north.’ They played to an audience said to number just 360.
The gig, at McIlroy’s Ballroom in Regent Street – a department store cafeteria by day that was converted into a music venue by night – took place on 17 July 1962, and they were paid £27 10s (£27.50) for playing two 60 minute sets.
It took place just six weeks after The Beatles’ first visit to Abbey Road Studios, and only a month before drummer Pete Best would be replaced by Ringo Starr.
In those days their repertoire was almost entirely rock ’n’ roll favourites of the day, possibly supplemented by their own early experiments in songwriting.
But expect The Bootleg Beatles to play all the famous hits at the Oasis.
They are regarded as the world’s premier Beatles tribute band, having played 4,000 gigs. George Harrison commented once that they ‘probably know the chords better than I do.’
Paul McCartney jokingly said that he was going to come along and heckle them.
A Gig to Remember is being organised by Amanda Franks from North Swindon to raise money and awareness of the impact of dementia on the lives of sufferers and their family. Her mother Cathy Davidson was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease at the early age of 58 and went into Orchid Care Home in Haydon End five years later in January 2014.