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Old Feb 03, 2005, 07:53 AM   #1
I am the Paulrus
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Default Stage set for Beatles\' fans

Stage set for Beatles' fans

Feb 2 2005

By Ian Leonard, Daily Post

THE date was September 8, 1962, and, unknown to the audience at the Birkenhead YMCA, they had just witnessed a band who would change the face of pop music.

But it is rumoured that the reception the Beatles received at the venue was less than welcoming, and those that paid the 6s (30p) admission left unimpressed.

Now, though, the building is about to be demolished and fans the world over are being offered the chance to own a little piece of musical history as the wooden stage where the band played is sold off.

The evening the fab four played was billed as "Jive Night" at the YMCA, in Whetstone Street, which is being knocked down to make way for a new 5.8m building next door.

The Beatles, who were headlining, would have entered through a door on Quarry Bank Road, before leaving for another gig at the Majestic, in Birkenhead, that evening.

Also on the bill were The Beat-cats and The Peppermint Twister, but it is not known if the 600 capacity theatre sold out.

David Bedford, of the British Beatles Fan Club, who is organising the sale to raise money for the new YMCA, said very little was known about the gig.

He said: "We know it was three weeks after Ringo had joined and one month before Love Me Do became their first hit, so the band were on the brink of the big time.

"But rumour has it that the reception wasn't that friendly.

"Brian Epstein, who had taken over managing the band, was trying to clean-up their image by getting them to play less traditional, rock'n'roll type venues.

"Unlike the Majestic, the audience at the YMCA would have been a typical Saturday night crowd who were not that knowledgeable about music and not as receptive.

"The lads probably just saw the gig as a warm up for the main event later that evening."

The Beatles had reason to be wary of playing at the venue.

At another gig, at the YMCA, in Hoylake, in February, 1962, they had been forced to leave early after being booed off stage.

And, unlike other local venues, they never returned to play either YMCA again.

The YMCA, which was built in 1937, is being replaced for a two phase development next door which which will include 50 beds, a community cafe and a creche. It will be completed in 18 months.

The association came up with the idea of selling off pieces of the stage as a way of raising extra money towards the new building.

Chief executive Anne Johnson said the YMCA was a focus point for the community in the 1960s and attracted other local performers, such as Ken Dodd.

She added: "It was a great place to come in the 60s. There were always plenty of activities going and it was a place where young people would come to have a coffee or enjoy a night out. A lot more of our work now is focused on helping people with drink and drug problems.

"By asking people to donate money we are giving them an opportunity to own a piece of musical history and support our work in the future."

Beatles fans can order a piece of the stage by logging on to the website www.britishbeatles

Initially, 2000 pieces will be available for minimum donation of 5, with each one accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. But fans can own a bigger piece of the stage for a larger donation, with all proceeds to the YMCA.

Other items, such as gym equipment and children's toys, are also being sold off and are available by contacting the YMCA directly on 0151 475 0154.
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Old Feb 03, 2005, 09:25 AM   #2
Dr. Robert
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Default Re: Stage set for Beatles\' fans


I was not expecting the pieces to go for 5! I'd love a piece, but cannot seem to find anything on the website mentioned in the article.
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Old Feb 03, 2005, 01:49 PM   #3
Cream Tangerine
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Default Re: Stage set for Beatles\' fans

I dunno about this... i wouldn't buy a piece of wood from the stage for one good reason: The Beatles walked and played on many places... Am I willing to pay 5 or 10 quid for maybe a spot of dirt because beatle John spat on it from the stage? Or will I pay 20 quid for a tile from a public toilet where Beatle paul peed? I mean, these guys stood and played and walked and slept on many places... two of them continue to do so. If someone offers me maybe a chair that belonged to John's Kenwood home, and I had the money for it, I'd probably be interested. If I was being told that the shirt that Paul wore for the transmission of "All you need is love" is also being sold and I could afford it, THAT would be another great possibility. But pieces of wood where the Beatles stood? If that's the case, any piece of wood, tarmac, concrete or vinil flooring should be worth something.

I respect what people may think about this... but it's silly to me.
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