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Friday, 19 December 2014

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Cumbrian man's tape of The Beatles performing in Carlisle

Back in 1963, four men in their twenties called The Beatles, who were making their way in the music business, paid a visit to Carlisle.

John Wilson photo
John Wilson

They played a gig at the ABC – later renamed the Lonsdale – on Warwick Road on November 21.

And one man in the crowd that evening made sure he would be able to remember the event.

John Wilson, of Dalston Street, Denton Holme, went along with one of his trusted companions – his tape recorder. And his recording was played on the radio yesterday as part of a special day of BBC broadcasting to mark the 50th anniversary of the release of Love Me Do.

Almost half a century on he still has the reel-to-reel product of his amateur session with the band. It features a version of Love Me Do, which came out 50 years ago yesterday.

At that time the venue had 2,000 seats, all of which were sold out for the show, many to the group’s many female fans.

This fact had a significant effect on the recording.

“There is an awful lot of screaming girls,” joked John. “It sounds as though The Beatles are playing in the background.”

This concert was the second time that the Fab Four had appeared in Carlisle.

Previously they had played the ABC supporting then teenage star Helen Shapiro.

On this occasion they were famously thrown out of the Crown and Mitre Hotel for their appearance.

None of this seemed to deter John, 74, though who described himself as a “big fan” of the group.

His favourite singles are Love Me Do and Hey Jude.

John also has a very wide musical taste which ranges from The Beatles to country and western to classical.

Andre Rieu is a current favourite.

He was also passionate about making tape recordings and regularly took his machines out with him.

His collection includes two tapes of concerts from another of the biggest names in British pop, Cliff Richard.

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