Rock Flashback: A Week in the Life of the Beatles

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(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

As British Beatlemania exploded in the fall of 1963, there was little time for [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]the Beatles[/lastfm] to savor it. As November began, they embarked on an autumn tour of Britain, which had them playing nearly every night for six weeks. Read about one week in the life, after the jump.

Early November took the Beatles to Cheltenham, Sheffield, and Leeds, before they appeared at the Royal Command Performance on November 4. With no time to rest, they played four shows in the next two days. The following day, they hopped over to Ireland, where they performed in Dublin and Belfast, the only shows they would ever play on the Emerald Isle. After the Irish gigs, it was back to England for a second pair of shows in two of the same towns they had played four nights before. A show on November 10 in Birmingham ended a most hectic week, but not before the Beatles had to escape the crowd in Birmingham disguised as policemen.

The Beatles got a day off on Monday, November 11, but Brian Epstein was busy. He had flown to the United States a week before, but on this day he met with TV impresario Ed Sullivan and negotiated appearances on Sullivan’s variety show for the Beatles and for [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Gerry and the Pacemakers[/lastfm], another Epstein group.

Back on November 3, the Daily Express newspaper had opined that Beatlemania served only to “fill empty heads.” Continuous reports on a Beatle’s cold would likely do nothing to change their opinion. On the 11th, [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Paul McCartney[/lastfm] came down with a cold that forced the postponement of a show scheduled for the 12th, and resulted in hour-by-hour news bulletins on his condition. Paul was sufficiently recovered by the next day, November 13, for the Beatles to continue their tour, And for another month, the band criss-crossed Britain, playing 26 shows in the next 31 days.

On November 20, 1963, the Beatles played in Manchester, England, and British newsreel cameras were there to record it.

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