So were the Beatles really booed off stage in Aberdeen 50 years ago?

Beatles: A lot of memorabilia from the group was brought to the event.
Music maestros: The Beatles played their first and only concert in Aberdeen 50 years ago this weekend.

Everybody talks about Beatlemania and the way Liverpool's famous "Fab Four" conjured up hysteria and hits throughout their glittering career.

But, 50 years ago this weekend, Paul McCartney and his fellow-band members got a different reaction when they played their first - and only - gig in Aberdeen.

The concert, on January 6. 1963, at the city's Beach Ballrooom, was a step in the dark for the Liverpudlian quartet, who didn't even top the bill on the posters.

Instead, the event, for which tickets cost three shillings, was billed as: "The Johnny Scott Band Show, featuring The Beatles."

And, although the group had already gained some commercial success with "Love Me Do", they were not yet the superstars who would subsequently have fans swooning, wherever they travelled, to promote their stack of No 1 hits.

On the contrary, there are even stories of how the Beatles were booed off the stage by sections of the crowd, who were unimpressed by their rock 'n' roll set.

Gerry Scanlon, 71, one of their north-east admirers, was at the Beach Ballroom for the Sunday performance, and admitted he was disappointed with the concert.

He said: "They still had a lot of rough edges and the sound system wasn't perfect, so they got a bit of a mixed reaction, but you could tell they had loads of energy.

"Most of the songs they did were by other people, like Chuck Berry, and Lennon and McCartney had still to write their biggest songs. But I'm still glad I was there."

Another who was present, Norman Shearer, has happier memories of the event.

He said: "We went along and I thought they were fantastic. John Lennon was fantastic: His voice to me was real rock 'n' roll and he could really hit it.

"At the time, it was a crossroads for music, what the Beatles were doing was completely different, and some people didn't appreciate the difference.

"But they were very popular and they got a good ovation at the Beach."

Whatever the truth, the band never returned to the granite city and, collectively, pocketed just £45 for their Aberdeen appearance.

Less than a fortnight later, they released the single "Please Please Me", which surged to No 1 in the charts, sparking the phenomenon of Beatlemania and the rest, as they say, is history.

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