Okay for all you Beatles vs. Stones junkies that can’t get enough of who’s better, here’s a post about the first time they shared the same stage.
The very first time The Beatles and The Rolling Stones shared the same bill.
Read up….They never competed or hated each other.
On 15 September 1963, the Royal Albert Hall was once again the venue for The Great Pop Prom. The event had been an annual fixture in the Hall’s calendar since 1958 and showcased leading stars in the world of pop music.
This 1963 concert, however, has gone down in history as the first of only two occasions in which The Rolling Stones and The Beatles would appear on the same bill.
It was perhaps not until many, many years later that the true significance of these bands performing on the same bill would be fully appreciated and realized.
At the time both bands were only just starting to experience the hysteria and craziness that would follow them for the next few years (the word ‘Beatlemania’, used to describe the intense fan frenzy directed at The Beatles, was first used only a few weeks after this concert) and the hysterics on the day were similar to what the two bands were used to, however this was a new phenomenon for the Royal Albert Hall to deal with.
At the time, the Daily Mirror wrote of the scene at the Hall:
“It was the siege of the Beatle-crushers … 6,000 screaming teenagers intent on crushing just four Beatles. Never has the Royal Albert Hall seen scenes quite like it. Even for Britain’s newly-elected top vocal group, the Beatles, it was bewildering… They were the target for anything the teenagers could lay their hands on. Girls swept out of their seats and tried to rush the stage. They were repelled by a solid block of forty commissionaires. After their final hit number, Twist and Shout, the four Beatles fled from the stage and out of the Hall into a waiting cab.”
Of course, the following years resulted in unprecedented success for both bands all around the world, but the lucky ticket holders on this September day in 1963 were treated to energetic performances from two bands on the brink of international superstardom.
The concert itself was compered by radio DJ Alan Freeman and also included performances from the likes of Kenny Lynch, The Viscounts and the Lorne Gibson Trio. You can read more about the history of the Fab Four’s appearances at the Hall by clicking on The Beatles at the Hall.
Above is a rare set of original signed file documents from the promoter of the show, Donald MacClean, sent to the Rolling Stones manager Eric Easton, outlining the arrangement for the Stones to play “The Great Pop Prom ” on September 15, 1963.
These were drafted just 10 days before the actual show.
Cutting it a tad close wouldn’t you say?
They were paid 35 pounds for their 15 minute performance. They also opened up the show, not an easy task.
Read the excerpt above as outlined by the Stones themselves.
Another great score from Recordmecca’s Jeff Gold.
Peace and Love,