It was 45 years ago that the Beatles played South Philly. The Colonel was there and he never forgets. Look for it Tuesday on a Phawker near you. Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!
PREVIOUSLY: THE COLONEL REMEMBERS: Pictures Of
PREVIOUSLY: THE COLONEL REMEMBERS: The Life Of Brian
PREVIOUSLY: THE COLONEL REMEMBERS: Me & Keef
RELATED: It is precisely 9:36 p.m. in West Philadelphia on the second splendidly summery September night of 1964, and exactly six minutes ago everything suddenly changed. For teenage Philadelphia, the calendar just flipped, along with everyone’s wig, to a new era. It will be years before anyone fully understands all the far-reaching implications, but this much is indisputably true: The hazy, crazy 1960s have officially begun.
OMIGOD, THEY’RE HERE! THEY’RE REALLY REALLY HERE!
For months, their songs have blared from the tinny speakers of transistor radios, and they’ve stared out hirsute and soulful from the glossy pages of fan magazines, and yeah, yeah, yeah-ed aphrodiscially into the black-and-white kinescope cameras of The Ed Sullivan Show, beaming live and direct into the nuclear family living rooms of the American night. And right here, right now, at Convention Hall, the kids in Philly are sharing the same rare air as the Fab Frickin’ Four!
From the outside–where more than a thousand ticketless Beatle- maniacs loiter hoping for a miracle, or at least a security guard with his back turned–you can almost see Convention Hall vibrating. Under the dusky evening sky, the illuminated windows of the hall create a shimmering jack-o’-lantern effect. The cause of this seismic vibration is a deafening unstoppable sound, supersonic in pitch and intensity, like sticking your head inside the roaring jet engine of a 747 achieving takeoff velocity. It’s a sound that until recently had not been heard in the entire history of human listening: the sound of 13,000 teenage girls losing their shit under one roof.
A shivery, quasi-orgasmic wave washes over the crowd as the four mop-tops, in dark velvet-collared suits and pointy-toed Cuban-heeled boots, finally–finally!–take the stage. But before they can even get out a single note, the Beatles are completely drowned out by the united mega-scream of 13,000 teenage girls. It will be years before scientists invent a concert sound system that’s louder than 13,000 screaming teenage girls. MORE