‘I was one of the screaming girls who greeted The Beatles in Sydney’

Sep 12, 2020
Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon and George Harrison brought Beatlemania to Australia in 1964. Source: Getty

I was excited when I saw Channel Nine had found a movie about the Fab Four’s arrival in Sydney in 1964. I watched excitedly waiting to see if I showed up in the reel.

Yes, I jigged school that day with thousands of teenagers in the pouring rain to see our heroes arrive Down Under. I was fifteen and madly in love with Paul McCartney.

Sadly, I didn’t have the money for a ticket to see them play at the stadium in Sydney, but fate was on my side. We had a neighbour across the road, Joan, who was friends with my 17-year-old sister. She came back home one night and said “that’s a shame”. “What is?” I asked? She looked at me. No biggie, Joan had tickets to see The Beatles but no thank you. If it was Crash Craddock or Bobby Rydell yes please but not those deros. I screamed and grabbed Mum. “Please can I see if she will take me,” I pleaded. Mum nodded I ran across the road and Joan said okay.

I was like a pig in mud, I was so thrilled. I had long hair at the time that I used to iron straight but decided I needed a change for the big night. I asked Dad ever-so-nicely if I could go to the hairdresser. I had never been. He relented and gave me some change and told me to make it a decent cut. The next day sitting in the hairdresser’s chair I knew without a doubt what style I wanted.

When I came home Dad was having a beer at the table, he looked up and bellowed “Holy Hell, you look like you have a bloody mop on your head! What did you do?”

“It’s the fashion. It’s a Beatle hair cut,” I replied as I shook my head and screamed the lyrics to ‘She Loves You’. I was so thrilled.

The night of the concert arrived and Joan picked me up in her small car. I felt so grown up with my new haircut, clutching a bag of Jelly Babies because I had read John Lennon loved them so was hoping to throw them to him on stage. That’s wasn’t going to happen though as our tickets were in the bleachers at the very back of the stadium. I didn’t care, I would have sat anywhere. I screamed and threw my Jelly babies. Of course they never reached the stage but it was a fantastic night. I wish I had kept my ticket stub.

I never saw my self on the newsreel as it was all filmed in Melbourne, but who cares. I was there in the flesh. I thought back to the day at the airport, standing in the pouring rain getting drenched then following the crowds chasing the band to their hotel. I remember standing out on the footpath yelling, “We love you Paul, oh yes we do. We love you, Paul, we will be true. When you’re not near to us we’re blue. Paul we love you, yeh”.

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