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One of the earliest live concert recordings of the Beatles has been shared by the BBC

1 year ago

One of the earliest live concert recordings of the Beatles has been shared by the BBC
John Lennon and George Harrison are seen playing instruments for the “last recorded” Beatles song. Find out more here.

A school-boy’s letter to Brian Epstein back in 1963 resulted in one of the Beatles earliest live performances.

A man who produced one of the earliest full recordings of the Beatles playing live said the experience had “changed his life”.

John Bloomfield, who was 15-years-old at the time, said he had gone “from boy to man… in that very instant” and the concert had been “something we’d never vaguely experienced”.

The show took place at Stowe boarding school in Buckinghamshire on April 4 1963, when the band played at the school’s theatre.

The recording was shared by the BBC almost exactly 60 years after it was made.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Front Row, Mr Bloomfield, now in his 70s, said the event seemed “ridiculous in retrospect”.

“No one knew who the Beatles were at this school but they turned up and played an incredible concert and that was the beginning of the 60s as far as we were concerned – it was fabulous,” he said.

Mr Bloomfield added that he had been “very miffed” that the “unknown” musicians were taking away his own band’s performance slot on the night.

“This all seems so completely ridiculous in retrospect,” he said.


Describing the Beatles arrival at the school, he said had been expecting “something a bit more dramatic” after the world-famous rock stars made a low-key arrival at the venue.

“Them and their gear and their crew all arrived in two saloon cars. I was expecting a big bus or something – nope,” he said.

“Two Ford Zodiacs turned up and out of it came everything including their stage suits – it was a bit of a let down, I was expecting something a bit more dramatic.”

On the live concert he continued: “(I had) no clue about what was about to happen, and then the curtains went back and they started… I would say I grew up at that very instant.

“It sounds a bit of an exaggeration but I realised this was something from a different planet.

“It was something we’d never vaguely experienced… we were stunned.”

Part of the recording was played as part of the Front Row episode, during which the Beatles can be heard taking requests from boys in the audience.

The concert was organised by Mr Bloomfield’s fellow pupil David Moores, who had written to manager Brian Epstein.

The band had charged one hundred pounds, the equivalent of around £10,000 today.

Following the show the band members had met some of the school boys and had enjoyed a meal of chicken and chips, which they had reportedly “wolfed down”.

You can listen to the full episode of Front Row on BBC Sounds HERE.

Get the latest Beatles news and information in our dedicated Fab Four pages here.



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