Misremembered First Live Concert 1963

I’ve always told people that ‘the first pop band I ever saw was ‘The Beatles’ in 1962.’ I was 9 years old and we saw them in Llandudno whilst on holiday.’ This particular mis-memory goes back a long way but thanks to the ‘Tinternet’ and an Elder sister, who is a massive Beatles fan, and has all the dates written down, in her head or/and a diary, I can put the record straight. I apologise to all the people I have misremembered this story to.

So it was, in fact The Beatles, in 1963, in Llandudno, with my Mum, Dad and Little sister Vivienne. I would have been 10. They played the Odeon Cinema from 12-17 August. Jackie got us the tickets and we were sat in row ‘B’, behind some ‘youths’, who my Dad calmed down by giving them some ‘fags’.

The Fab Four

Well, of course, it wasn’t ‘The Beatles’ then, because there were other bands on the Bill. Tommy Quickly, (Who?) and Billy J. Kramer with the Dakotas and the ‘Glamorous’ Lana Sisters.

Looks like it cost us 34/- or £1.90 to you youngsters, unless kids were half price. Twice nightly, as well. So the first ‘pop band’ I ever saw was Billy J. Kramer with The Dakotas. They must have been good because, unlike ‘The Beatles’, I don’t remember them at all.

Billy J Kramer with the Beatles and Susan Maughan

The Beatles had released 2 singles by August 1963 and the audience actually listened to them. Only a few, ‘young ladies’ screaming at an important part of the songs. I seem to remember being impressed by their musical ability and that they looked like they were enjoying themselves. It’s a ‘thing’ I still admire when I watch live performances now. When I saw them for a second time, at their Christmas show in 1964, it was just a wall of screaming (ladies and gentlemen) very unpleasant. The bonus of the Hammersmith Odeon show was that The Yardbirds, with Eric Clapton playing lead guitar, were the support band.

Looks like The Llandudno show was the typical ‘Sea Side’ Variety type. I can’t say that I remember any of the other Acts from that evening. I expect we went to the 6. 30 performance as 8.50 was way past our bedtime.

Another miss-memory, was that, ‘top of the Bill’ was Russ Conway. I can’t think how he came into the frame for this concert, although he was one of Mum’s favourites, as he had a ‘nice’ smile and played the piano.

The ‘9 Fingered’ Piano Player

We may have seen him a the Pier Pavilion on the same holiday, in Llandudno, as he was doing a summer season there. That means we also saw the fabulous Mike and Berni Winters ‘Choochie Face’

Mike & Berni Winters

A merged miss-memory event.

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