Did you see The Beatles in Northampton in 1963? Author appeals for memories of people in audience

Richard Houghton
Richard Houghton

A Northampton-born author is trying to track down fans of The Beatles who saw either of the Fab Four’s appearances at the ABC Theatre in Northampton in the 1960s.

The shows, in March and November 1963, took place as Beatlemania was starting to grip the world.

Richard Houghton is hoping to trace audience members from those nights in 1963 to share their memories of seeing John, Paul, George and Ringo for what he is terming a ‘people’s history’ of the group.

Richard said: “There have been lots of books about The Beatles but I’m trying to tell the story of their shows from the point of view of their audiences.

“Britain was a very different place then to what it is now and I’m hoping to capture for all time the memories of the people who were probably teenagers then and who are probably grandparents now.”

Richard, who was born in Northampton and grew up in Rushden, said: “The Beatles appeared twice in Northampton. The first time was on a bill headlined by Tommy Roe and Chris Montez, when they played six songs including Love Me Do and I Saw Her Standing There.

“When they returned in October, they were top of the bill and performed ten songs including All My Loving, Till There Was You, She Loves You and Twist And Shout.”

Richard is the author of You Had To Be There: The Rolling Stones Live 1962 - 69, which tells the story of the Stones early concerts in the words of their fans.

Now he is looking to repeat the exercise with his book about The Beatles.

He said: “The Beatles and the Stones between them defined what it was like to be a teenager in 1960s Britain and I’m really keen to hear people’s memories of seeing The Beatles.

“I don’t want to hear just about what John and Paul wore and the songs they played but how old people were, who they went with, what their parents thought about it and whether they had to go to school or to work the next day.”

The Beatles went on to top the UK charts 17 times in the 1960s but there are very few accounts of their performances in Northampton.

Richard said: “I am hoping some readers will have been there on one of those nights and can help me paint a picture of what the Fab Four were like as they became famous.”

You can share your Beatle memories with Richard at thebeatlesinthe60s@gmail.com or by writing to him at 7 Hartley Road, Manchester, M21 9NG.