Beatles fans remember 1964 Montreal performance Live
(Photo by The Associated Press)
I can close my eyes and remember where we were sitting, the feel of the chair, the screams and the music.
Once the Beatles came out, the screaming and weeping nearly drowned out the band.
Anyway, I wasn't one of the girls lining up; in fact, I wasn't much of a Beatles fan, having already discovered the Rolling Stones in their blues mode. I was given my ticket because a cousin was a real fan and her parents wanted her accompanied by a slightly older, ostensibly more responsible person and chose me. (Quite possibly based on my reputation as a good babysitter.) But I was teased about the concert beforehand and my stepmother bet me a bottle of perfume that I'd blow my cool and scream.
Before I knew I was going to the concert, and being a fan of CKGM's DJ George Morris, when I heard he was to emcee, I went off to Ogilvy's for a pound of Jelly Babies (reputed to be the Beatles' favourite candy and something their British fans were known to throw at them) and dropped in at the station to present them to George as a joke.
On the night, the racket at the Forum was incredible, even when only Dave Boxer (a CFCF celebrity at the time) and George were onstage. Once the Beatles came out, the screaming and weeping nearly drowned out the band. Niagara Falls is quiet by comparison. It's just as well -- everyone knew the lyrics by heart.
There were two main results for me at the time: elevation from what we would now call geek status to somewhat enviable for having seen the Beatles live, and a short-term influx of extra pocket money when I figured out how to order the Beatles' British EPs (45s with two songs per side that were never released here) from the UK.
Oh, and a third was winning that bottle of perfume: I hadn't screamed even once."
Stroke of luck
Diane Houle was 11 years old when she was pulled out of school and thrown onto the train from Ottawa to Montreal to catch the Beatles' matinee show.
Her mother had entered a contest for Beatles tickets prior to the family moving from their home in Châteauguay to Ottawa.
It was a stroke of luck that the Houle household received a pair of tickets in the mail the morning of the show. The tickets arrived just in the nick of time, having been sent to their Châteauguay home first.
Houle said her mom shared the news with her when she came home for lunch and decided to send her to Montreal to catch the show with her grandmother.
Her only regret? Not keeping the ticket.
Listen to her story here:
Four nicely dressed fellows
Jane Brunet drove in from the country with her mother to attend the Beatles show at 4 p.m.:
"I was at the 4 p.m. show. My Mum bought the tickets, and we drove in from the country to attend. I think that I have old negatives of pictures that I took with my Brownie camera that day. I asked Mum about the trip this past Monday, and she was amazed that it was 50 years ago.
Watching the attached video makes me realize how innocent we really were back then. Just four nicely dressed fellows held our attention, no glitzy gimmicks or over-amplified sound. I haven't figured out if I just feel old or privileged that I was able to be part of history. I can't wait for 'memories of Expo 67.'”
Ken Lambon won a pair of tickets to the evening Beatles show from the Montreal Star newspaper:
"Yes I was there for the 8:30 p.m. show. Won the tickets for selling a certain number of new subscriptions to the Montreal Star. Went with the lady who ran the newspaper depot I picked up the newspapers from, as she was the only who could go with me and she had a car.
Actually, her husband drove us there and picked us up. I think the stage was high up to keep the fans from getting on stage."