By Gig Scene Editor Graham Chalmers
They were teenagers then, now they are set to return to the Royal Hall 50 years later, a little older but still fans of the greatest band in the world.
When top tribute band The Upbeat Beatles take to the stage tonight, Wednesday, March 27, among the audience will be fans who responded to the Harrogate Advertiser’s appeal for information about a picture taken back stage of John, Paul, George and Ringo backstage at Harrogate’s Royal Hall in March 1963.
The answers came in thick and fast, though there were a few minor disputes.
As a result, organisers of next week’s show, the Royal Hall Restoration Trust, have kindly granted free tickets to some of them.
Mrs Joan Greeney of Station View, Harrogate who sneaked into The Beatles dressing room and is the girl in the photo between John Lennon and Paul McCartney. She said John was very rude and had holes in his shoes while George was the gentlest.
Mr Ray Slater of Leeds Road, Harrogate who told us two of the girls were local fans, Sue Slater (nee Kershaw) who in the picture was sitting next to Paul in the middle and her best friend Joanna Flockhart (nee Liddell) t in the foreground on the chair.
They got there by creeping past the door security guard when he walked away from his position allowing them to go down the stairs to the dressing rooms.
Other local people with links to that famous night who are going to next Wednesday’s 50th anniversary show at the Royal Hall include Mr Maurice Green, of Meadow Way, Harrogate who went out with one of the girls in the photograph of The Beatles backstage at the Royal Hall and wanted to apologise to her for not believing her all those years ago!
Her name was Sue Cockerill, he thinks.
Tickets also go to Mrs Christine Hemming, of Regent Grove, Harrogate who showed Paul and Ringo the way to the Old Swan Hotel before the concert.
But disagreement still remains over the only young man in the photograph.
Three different readers identified him - differently!
But the matter may now been settled by a late intervention by one reader, Karen Williamson of Knapping Hill, Harrogate who is convinced the young man is Keith Morgan who worked in the Old Swan Hotel and was a big Beatles fan.
Next Wednesday’s exciting 50th anniversary show will not only star The Upbeat Beatles but also a short set by a ‘supergroup’ made up of members of the two Harrogate bands who supported the real Fab Four all those years ago - Barry Corbett and the Mustangs and Ricky Fenton and the Apaches.
It will be the first time so many of these local musicians have been onstage together.
They recently featured on BBC TV’s Look North show.
Tickets for The Beatles 50th Anniversary Show at the Royal Hall are on sale at 01423 502116 or books ecurely online at www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk