DOUBLE LIFE OF A YOUNG GIRL - seeing the BEATLES

sketch  of Paul with "me" in foreground circa 1964  It's been weathered, folded, erased  upon and stored badly but...still, here it is.
sketch of Paul with "me" in foreground circa 1964 It's been weathered, folded, erased upon and stored badly but...still, here it is.
Our dresse style
Our dresse style

WE WERE GOING TO SEE THE BEATLES!

I hung up the phone after saying ‘goodbye,’ a million “thank yous” and “I love you” about a dozen times. It was as if time stood still for a few minutes. Gail and I stared at each other in dumbstruck awe. And then….and then…we started jumping up and down and screaming! You’d think we were there at the Cow Palace already! Typical just teenage girls, we were so excited we could not contain ourselves! We practically whipped ourselves into a frenzy! We were going to see the Beatles!

I couldn’t wait to get to school the next day to brag to all our friends. We’d be the talk of the whole school, with envy in the eyes of all who heard our exciting story. And the seats! They were going to be great! My father, who had been to the Cow Palace many times, knew right were our seats were located. Just to the right of the stage as you face it, on an angle, not right beside it, and on the aisle! In a smaller setting, these would be referred to as “Orchestra Seating,” or “Dress Circle.” Which means…just as I had imagined; just as I had hoped…Up close and Personal!! Maybe we really would get to meet them!

GETTING READY

Well, the next week was filled with preparation for our big day. The local radio station, KFRC AM 1550 played nothing but Beatles songs while the DJ’s talked endlessly about the upcoming concert. They were giving away tickets, running contests, telling listeners when the Beatles would arrive at the San Francisco Airport and where they would be staying. We dreamed of being there for their arrival and, wish upon wish, imagined ourselves at their hotel….inside the lobby….riding the elevator to the top floor….in the Beatles’ suite…..!! What we’d do at that point was not yet developed in our young fantasies; ..neither of us were very….no, make that…neither of us were at all experienced in such things!! Still, our dreams were made up of being face to face with John, Paul, George and Ringo!

Gail and I made a really big sign which read (bet you couldn’t guess this) “WELCOME BEATLES! WE LOVE YOU!” And we included our names and our home town. We called KFRC to boast about our neat seats and our huge sign. We had no doubt that we would at least get close to the Beatles and they would see our sign. And fall in love…with us! Who wouldn’t? We were so loyal, so cute, such genuine fans and, so in L-O-V-E! They couldn’t resist us!

We even sent in a notice to the local newspaper about our tickets and our large sign. And, amazing!, believe it or not, several days later there was a paragraph in the “out and about” column all about us and our pending great adventure! Complete with the wording of our sign…yikes!

ANTICIPATION

And so, the big day arrived. I couldn’t sleep the night before. Up and awake and wandering around the house, counting the hours and minutes until it was time for the rest of our fractured family to rise and shine. Then…wait wait wait and wait some more. Heart thumping, broad smile I couldn’t control….anticipation! To be part of this fantastic adventure into the big city to see our favorite Liverpool Four! Just the thought of it! Oh…so excited!!!

My father had made plans for dinner in the city while we were having the experience of a lifetime. San Francisco…the mythical “city by the bay.” Beautiful, romantic, ethereal, magical and wonderful! He and my step mother would have a nice dinner and drinks afterward once they’d shepherded us safely into the Cow Palace. Back then, when things were much simpler and life wasn’t so threatening, parents could do such a thing without fear and with complete confidence that the kids would be alright. I remember thinking how I felt badly for them because they wouldn’t be seeing the Beatles! Everything else just couldn’t compare, in my opinion! But, I would make sure to remember everything in great detail so that I could share it with them. They could live through my experience!

What to wear!? I had to look good, had to stand out! Had to be noticed by Paul! I called Gail and asked what she was going to wear. We talked back and forth with suggestions and “oh, that would look boss!” when one or the other of us came up with an idea. We both subscribed to 17 Magazine so we had all kinds of examples of really fab outfits. I came up with a short “shift” dress with a cardigan sweater with a coat, of course( because San Francisco is always cold at night). Flats for shoes with no socks! Gail wore almost the same thing! Talk about great minds thinking alike!

ON OUR WAY TO OUR BIG DAY

The time arrived for departure to San Francisco and our beloved Beatles. My father and step mother picked me up first and then we went to get Gail. All the way there, my parents were very cool to keep the radio turned to KFRC which was all Beatles all the time. Nothing but Beatles songs and updates! Seventh Heaven…we had arrived!

Gail and I sang our hearts out all the way there! And, miracle of miracles…we remembered to bring our sign bearing our hearts for all to see. And, miracle upon miracle upon miracles….Gail had called the DJ at KFRC to tell them we were going and that we made a sign! Well, sitting in the backseat, singing loud and clear to the music emanating from the radio, we quieted down when a commercial came on. Some type of ad about acne cream! Geesgh! Then, we could not believe what we were hearing! All of a sudden, the DJ said: “and here’s an update from Napa! Two girls, Gail and Kathy, are on their way right now to see the Beatles and they’ve made a sign which says “Welcome Beatles, We Love You!” Hope you have a good time, girls! We’ll be screaming right along with you!”

“What!?” “Did you hear that?” We stared at each other as we jumped up and down in our seats. Even my father, Mr. In Control and Cool, laughed out loud and said ,”Oh, My God!” The inside of the car was aroar with laughter, surprise and delight! Yikes!!

Across the Bay Bridge we sped. In my mind, I kept on urging Father to drive faster! Faster! We just are not moving fast enough! The lights of The City spread out before us, bright, twinkling beacons; foretellng a night to remember for a lifetime.

We’re here! Feeling the kind of jitters and excitement that makes being still impossible. Can’t get out of the car fast enough! “Oh, c’mon, c’mon! Let’s GO!!”

Crowds were gathered everywhere. Everyone was extremely animated and jostling one another. Bodies in motion, hands to mouths, lots of boys and girls almost unable to contain themselves. I looked around at the scene. There were all kinds of kids there, and some older people, too. Jam packed.

We waved ‘bye’ to my parents as they drove away, leaving us among the almost frenzied commotion awaiting the great adventure in which we were about to partake. And, though we weren’t cognizant of it at the time, we were also about to take a step into a big part of pop musical history! The first American concert by the boys from across the pond! And, we were there!

SHOWTIME!

The doors opened to much pushing and shoving as we began to feel how enthusiasm can turn into (almost) mob rule. It didn’t happen, though; not by a long shot but, neither Gail nor I had ever been in such a crowd and it was both stimulating as well as frightening. Nothing of a negative nature happened, however , as we allowed ourselves to be propelled onward towards our seats.

Ushers were there to make sure every one had a ticket! Oh! “Hold on to your ticket! You DO NOT want to lose that ticket!” These were the last words my father warned! Now, in the midst of all this commotion; I could see the wisdom in his admonition. “Thank you, daddy,” I thought to myself. Thank you for everything.

We found our seats easily and quickly. Thank God for aisle seats! These are the best! “Look at how close we are, Gail,” I said.

She was as wide eyed as I was and just as enthused. “Oh, Kathy” she said, “these are so good!” We scanned the hall in a 360 turn, amazed at how gigantic the Cow Palace was and all the thousands of people there to see the Beatles.

The lights dimmed! A hum was in the air but nothing could be heard because the entire palace rang with the sound of screaming kids! It was total pandemonium! A massive roar of mingled voices raised up in frantic exultation! And emotional release! As I look back, I can see how every kid and young adult in that room was bursting with pent up emotion. Excitement built to a crescendo, the Beatles were just about to enter and we could not help ourselves. In retrospect and upon seeing the pictures and hearing the audio of this first concert by the Beatles, it is incredible that we didn’t go deaf from the cacophonous wall of human voices. It was like a massive burst of energy from so much built up expectancy.

Waves of human sound filled the air and undulated over and around us. Our voices joined in, spontaneously and automatically; almost involuntarily…swept up in the thrill of it all!

Lights dimmed more…total darkness! Then, focused onstage, colorful lighting danced on the platform as four figures appeared as if out of nowhere. I could clearly make out the profile of each individual Beatle. They quickly jogged to their respective places and picked up their instruments. A resounding roar circled around the auditorium as a tremendous “whomp” reverberated throughout from Ringo’s drums. It didn’t seem possible but, the crowd screamed even louder! It was mass hysteria!

A loud “twang” resonated throughout as the Fab Four began the first song of what turned out to be about 30! Each strum, each vocalization brought another outburst from the crowd! Camera flashbulbs were twinkling everywhere! The whole room seemed like an outer space experience complete with sound effects and visual effects! Unreal! Out of this world! Unbelievable! And the excitement level just continued to elevate; there was no lapse in the waves of ….noise!

For several hours, the pandemonium continued unabated. Music screamed from the stage, kids screamed back. A wall of sound! We could hardly hear the words or music but, we could feel the vibration of George’s base guitar and Ringo’s base drum. Girls (and some boys, too) were fainting around us! I felt badly as I watched them being carried off by Cow palace staff members. They wouldn’t get to see the show!

Paul was beautiful! Such soulful eyes and a FABulous smile! John, ever serious, seemed to be the most composed of the group. Ringo, in the back, head bobbing as he kept his rhythmic beat and George, up front with John and Paul, looking almost melancholy. Oh..what a night!

  XX

This was part VI of an ongoing series.

Well, enough about the Beatles. I was lucky enough to see them a second and a THIRD time, as an older teenager with my friend Gail, again and a third girlfriend the last time. I’ll let these be memories…on with more of the story of the Double Life of a Young Girl (and how this effected her adult life, later on.)

I hope you’re liking this story…more to come.

 

 

 

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Comments 40 comments

Sunnie Day 5 years ago

Good Morning Lucky Cats,

What a fabulous story..I know it must have been an event of a life time..You told it so well..I could feel the excitement. Thanks! Up and Awesome

Sunnie

PS I love San Fran..been there several times..


StarCreate profile image

StarCreate 5 years ago from Spain

Lovely memories, beautifully shared- thank you!


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Thank you so much Sunnie! and StarCreate! Yes, it was a fun time in life. Crazy fun! I'm having a good time writing it, too. Thank you so much for visiting and commenting..keeps all of us writing and loving it! Kathy


BobbiRant profile image

BobbiRant 5 years ago from New York

I enjoyed this one very much. I've also loved the Beatles forever but never had the chance to see them in concert. Great hub.


A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 5 years ago from Texas

Awesome and voted up. I could actually feel butterflies in my stomach as your were describing the scenes! Loved your hand drawn picture! You should laminate it. Loved the recollections, and can't wait to read more. Thank you for sharing!


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

I felt the excitement and anticipation of your great Beatles adventure. I was so worried that something was going to happen and prevent your seeing them. Phew! The mass hysteria those four inflamed could have lit up San Francisco for a year! I look forward to the rest of this interesting, exciting trip into your past, Lucky Cats. Thank you for sharing your story, dear friend!


seanorjohn profile image

seanorjohn 5 years ago

Loved this story. I remember the excitement of seeing the supremes when I was 15 years old. Me and 4 friends had the most expensive balcony seats. We weren't rich kids, we worked as part time gardeners and car washers at weekends. We were amazed when the Supremes waved to us. We felt like Royalty. Voted up and awesome.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

Again, this was a wonderful treat. The excitement unmatched as you were able to build the anticipation into a wild frenzy. I know it must be a memory that will last a life time. Thank you for sharing with us. I look forward to the next chapter.

Cheers


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Bobbi, Always so glad to see you've commented on my efforts as I have such great respect for your writing and, now..a book! Amy, It really was mass hysteria back then..looking back, it was soooo crazy! And fun! So glad you enjoyed reading this little bit of musical celebration. AA, you are really a great support for this series...I am so glad you're 'keeping up' with the whole series...the sketch is one of so many I doodled during that time. Needs to be cleaned up somehow. I hope to be writing the next "chapter" soon, Sean or John(is this right?) At the time, it seemed like my father performed "the impossible" by securing tickets for me and my friends but, it's just that he knew what to do...call in and order. That was beyond my scope at the time..doing it seemed bigger than life in my little mind. and Always! So pleased that you like this one. It was fun back then to have been there. I have to admit I hadn't even thought of adding this bit to the story except that it popped in my head as I was thinking about the 'escape routes' I took back then; and seeing the Beatles and listening to their music was a big one I often utilized to "look the other way."


Chatkath profile image

Chatkath 5 years ago from California

Kathy I can't believe you still have that priceless drawing of Paul. It's actually pretty good too! - and how exciting to go to that concert! I do remember KFRC almost as much as the Cow Palace (still standing too!) This was a fabulous treat, I was actually excited for you as I read your story! Rated up and awesome, just like you!


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Hi Kathy! I'm laughing that you remember KFRC! It was the "hot" am station back in the day...that and KYA...which was a competitor but I was loyal to KFRC! Cow Palace..how does a West Coast person explain that name to anyone? Yikes! Glad you liked this story..I have to admit I embellished a tiny bit and, of course, my memory tends to exaggerate a little, too but, don't tell anyone! No, really, for a young teenager this was the experience of a lifetime..at that time. I must go on w/the story but don't have it in me today...too much to do around the house. thanks for the comment and the memories!


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 5 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Dear Kathy,

Really cool and it was almost as good as being there with you... so funny that I have "The White Album" CD in my car right now... just nothing like the Beatles music.

Moving onto the next part of your story and loving it!

Voted UP & AWESOME & BEAUTIFUL!


Beverly Stevens profile image

Beverly Stevens 5 years ago from College Station

Great story--it takes me back to my childhood.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

..greatest story of all time ...and then again it was written by someone as wonderful as you - I also love your story about the San Francisco Giants - we go back, you and I, pretty well to the beginning of our time here at the Hub - and it was a very very good day when I met you - by the way I will posting/sharing this hub on my Facebook page - and I have written a new one - Animal Shelter blues - which you may be interested in .....


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Marie..you are such a sweetheart...thank you so much. And, I love the white album. the Beatles truly were a groundbreaking phenomenon, weren't they? Beverly, thank you so much for stopping by and reading my crazy childhood memoire...truly appreciate it.

Eman..Colin..yes, we do go back and you were such an inspiration to me then as now. You have been a catalyst for so many of us here on HP's..you've encouraged us, cared about us, always supported and complimented the work we all do which is why SO MANY love you. A jem, a unique character, one of a kind. You catapulted my HP's efforts and introduced me to others and others to me..as you have so many of us and we cannot come up with the words - the right words don't exist - to say, Thank You, our very good friend and extremely kind man. Kathy


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

Hi, what a great memory! and a great time, I remember feeling like this when I went to see other bands, and you brought it all back! cheers nell


Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

You are a Lucky Cat indeed!! Your story made me feel like I was there. I've always been a huge Beatles fan (I still am), but never got to see them in concert. RAted up awesome and beautiful! I recently did a Beatles Anthology marathon. Better than a vacation.


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Hi Nell. I had great fun writing this one. It was such a big deal for me and my friend. Thank you for stopping by and sharing this memory, too. Green Lotus; a Beatles Anthology marathon? How did you survive it? I'm impressed! So happy to see you here ! Thank you for your comment and support! Kathy


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 5 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

Wow Kathy,

What a fun, intense read. I truly felt like I was there with you, especially in the car driving to the concert. Nicely written with SO much enthusiasm. You sure know how to tell a story and keep the readers attention. Loving your "double life."

Sharyn


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Sharon..I'm so glad you enjoyed reading this. This is my desire, that my HP friends feel the excitement that I felt...I hope to be able to relate these feelings to readers. I'm so happy that you liked this! Yea~!


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

Good heavens Lucky Cats, please take this in the spirit it's meant; but do you have the 'Real' Fountain of Youth sulpher water from St. Augustine, Fla.? You did take a step into modern pop history. I felt your excitement and my imagination was right there with you and Gail. Being in a huge, enthusiastic crowd for the first time is a trip. The boys were fainting too..that is so funny. Yeah, most of you girls liked cute Paul the best...very good drawing of him. Kathy, I more than liked this. Truly, both thumbs up. :D


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Alastar...sometimes I think I just may have...I've been very fortunate in health and spirit and attitude...this is not anything but saying that I don't accept the typical definition of "getting older."

In this story, I hoped to get "into character"..MY character of the past...when describing those times and this particular experience. As I can remember it so well, it was very easy to step back in time so that I could share it the way I experienced it. Today, I am not as enamored of the Beatles (not in the way I was then...) I now appreciate the depth and unique quality of their music and words..as they grew in time.

Much much appreciate your visits, always Alastar!


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 5 years ago from North Carolina

Kathy I have learned over time to trust what some call intuition. Comments do not show up on my feed and there you are having replied 9 minutes before. I too, have been blessed with at least looking younger than my years & I try to keep as fit as possible. Thank you so much again for that wonderful trip back in time the other day. Peace in all ways to you Lucky Cats. ps- Paul was cuter but the UFO choose to show it's self to Lennon...imagine.


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Alastar, I definitely believe in intuition and, yes, deeper mysteries such as precognition...! Someone once said; "there is no such thing as coincidence."

I must get back to writing this series...too much has been taking my time lately as I prepare to return to California. And I definitely MUST find time to read more of your wonderful writing!

Yes, Paul was cuter but, John was so intellectual (which is much more appealing to me as an adult!) and Ringo was,....well, Ringo!

Kathy


NotWiredThatWay profile image

NotWiredThatWay 5 years ago from New York

It must be a great memory to look back on. The whole experience brought back thoughts of when I was a teenager. When we get older, are we ever that excited about anything again? More's the pity...


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

What a great comment and observation, Not Wired! I think you're probably right...to be honest, 'no' I don't feel quite that animated or excited about things as I did then. Thank you for your visit and I sincerely appreciate your thoughts.!


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland

What a fabulous hub. You've really painted a vivid, exciting picture of what you girls both felt and experienced - it was like being there!! Loved this hub and look forward to more.


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Thank you! Seeker. I had fun writing this. So glad you enjoyed it..I'm not writing much rightnow..my brain has gone dormant! Yikes! So glad you visited !


Sunny Barb profile image

Sunny Barb 5 years ago from Central Florida

As everything you write, again you did not disappoint! Love this! I never attended any of their concerts, but as others mentioned, you allowed us to see through your eyes. As you and some have mentioned above, Paul was indeed "the cute one" but as an adult I found John's intelligence and superb creativity most appealing as well. I have also become more fascinated with George, his spirituality, and perhaps his overlooked talent. ...and yes, Ringo is Ringo...Love them all! Another excellent hub by an excellent writer and person.


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Thank you Sunny Barb! I tend to agree with your observations re: George..the "forgotten" Beatle. Now, only Paul and Ringo remain and Paul is still raging! Thank you so much for your so kind comment..what a doll! I just came back from your site; I re read the Chapel and caught up on the kitty saga...lovelove love it! kathy


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina

Bravo! Bravo! What a fantastic first person account of that historical concert. Felt like I was right there with you every step of the way, and being a "Paul Girl" myself, it was an exciting adventure!

Love the sketch you drew. Hard to believe the 50th anniversary of this concert is only 2 years away. If this article hasn't been published yet in a major magazine it would make a great 50th anniversary piece.

Came here after reading A.A. Zavala's tribute hub to you and am so glad I did. I truly enjoyed this.

Voted up across the board and shared.


ktrapp profile image

ktrapp 4 years ago from Illinois

My daughter saw Paul McCartney in concert last summer at Wrigley Field in Chicago. Although nothing can compare to your experience, she talked about it for days and re-told the stories he shared and showed me lots of YouTube videos of the concert. I still can't get over the energy that was obvious in the crowd and with Paul. You should go to one of these concerts. It would be like the icing on the cake for you! I loved your story! Oh - and the sketch is priceless - love it.


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 4 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Hi Happyboomernurse and ktrapp! I'm glad you liked this little trip down memory lane. It truly was a magical experience. We were just so excited that we could hardly contain ourselves.

HBN: What a nice thought that this could actually be a part of the anniversary...I hadn't thought of that..hmmmm...hmmmm..maybe I'll check that out. Thank you so much for visiting and the great compliment! I was so surprised at Augustine's hub..and very humbled. such a nice thing he did. thank you.

ktrap; that's a great idea..it would be like completing a circle. Life is like that, too,, isn't it? I think Paul is even better today..I love his later work post Beatles. I believe your daughter's experience is just as exciting and relevent to her as mine was for me...lucky girl!! I appreciate your visit and nice comment.


one2get2no profile image

one2get2no 4 years ago from Olney

Lovely story and I can relate to it because I saw the Beatles live for the first time in 1963 in London. I think I still have the girls screams ringing in my ears.


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 4 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Good for you, one2get2no...what an amazing experience to have seen them in their inception...in their homeland..a one of a kind experience, I'm sure. What a fantastic memory to have and hold! I'm glad this hub could take you back for a moment in time. thank you for visiting. And, again, I thank Augustine A. Zavala for sharing my work so that others, such as yourself, could find something to relate to. All UPS!!! Kathy


Janine Huldie profile image

Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

Another awesome Hub. My mom was a huge Beatles fan growing up and also just loved Paul. She, too, was lucky enough to see them in concert, but in NY (because that is where we are from). She and my brother also just saw Paul McCartney at his Yankee Stadium concert and even in her 60s my mom still swoons over him. So I can relate from hearing all her stories of the fab four and specifically Paul. Thanks for sharing and I voted up and shared too!!


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 4 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

Hello Janine Huldie! This was a once in a lifetime experience which I will always remember; it was so much fun and magical!! I'm glad to hear that your mother was able to enjoy the Beatles, too and, later, see Paul McCartney! Fabulous! Thank you for reading, sharing and your kind vote..really appreciate! I look forward to reading more of your beautiful writing, too. Kathy


Janine Huldie profile image

Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

You are so welcome Kathy and thank you too for all your support as well. Janine


We Save Cats profile image

We Save Cats 4 years ago from SE Kansas

God, Kathy, what a great hub! Your excitment is so infectious; you take us all along on a real, "Magical Mystery Tour." I truly love your Double life series, you have a gift for speaking to things we all have felt; and you take us back to some of the best parts of our lives. You really capture the spirit of the time, and experiences you share with us. Thank you so much.


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 4 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California Author

My dear Al....well, I should be there with you right now...funny, how these things change in the blink of an eye...soon; I'm sure. Now, we still have the trip to look forward to rather than endinog soon. Hope the babies are well and happy....Love you

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