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BBC film unearths Beatles photos

John Hutson in Weston-super-Mare
John Hutson has been a fan of The Beatles since he was a young boy

As the 50th anniversary of the Fab Four is celebrated around the world, fan and Beatles expert John Hutson finds out about the week they spent in Weston.

Somerset-based John has been to the resort, where the band played in 1963, for the BBC's Inside Out West.

He may have been too young to attend any of their gigs but John is a self-confessed Beatles fanatic.

In the programme on BBC One at 7.30pm on Monday, 8 November he retraces their steps and talks to fans who met them.

My (near) lifelong love affair with The Beatles started in 1963 when my granny gave me a copy of the band's Twist and Shout EP for my eighth birthday, writes John.

I started selling off my toys to finance my hobby and my first LP was A Hard's Day's Night in 1964.

My bemused mother took me to the cinema to see the film and I still remember being amazed at the girls screaming every time The Beatles played.

By 1967 when I started at grammar school many fellow pupils went off The Beatles because they had "gone weird and grown moustaches"...not me.

Beatles appearing in Weston-super-Mare poster
The Beatles appeared twice nightly at the Odeon in Weston for a week

I cycled all the way into town to buy a mono copy of Sgt. Pepper because the Hutson household had yet to adopt stereo.

As fellow pupils turned to The Monkees I began buying up Beatles books and memorabilia with my pocket money - a wise investment I now realise!

My mum and dad had to take me to the record shop every time a new Beatles record came out and to newsagents to find the latest copy of The Beatles Monthly book.

The Beatles stopped touring in 1966 so I was too young to ever see them in concert.

However, I played them at mobile discos, wrote about them and followed their solo careers when I became a journalist.

My collection grew and grew across vinyl, cassette, eight-track cartridges, videos and now CDs and DVDs.

When I moved to Bristol in 1981 I started contributing to radio shows, local newspapers and later television to talk about the Fab Four in my new role as "local Beatles expert".

When I started presenting classic rock shows on regional BBC radio stations they obviously featured in most shows...

'Iconic' photo-shoot

It is almost unbelievable to think The Beatles played 12 shows at The Odeon in Weston-super-Mare back in July 1963.

They also undertook a photo-shoot on the beach at Brean where they wore striped Victorian swimming costumes.

John Hutson and Des Henly
In the film John visits The Beatles' dressing room at the Odeon

These became iconic photos which went on to be featured on posters and in publications across the world.

That summer, The Beatles were on the verge of conquering the world.

There were screaming girls at The Odeon and within weeks the Fab Four were going to hit the big time and their lives were going to change forever.

On October 13 1963 they made their debut on Sunday Night at the London Palladium... never before had so much noise been heard from fans inside and outside the theatre.


The performance made front page news the next day when Fleet Street coined the phrase Beatlemania.

After a brief tour of Sweden, The Beatles returned for their famous Royal Command Performance in London on November 4 1963 which was networked across Britain by ATV the following Sunday.

I Want To Hold Your Hand was released in the USA in December 1963 and it became their first Stateside number one single on 1 February 1964.

They followed with coast-to-coast television performances on the Ed Sullivan Show.

So, just six months after their twice-nightly shows in Weston they were well on the way to becoming the biggest band on the planet.

Oh for a time machine to take me back to July 1963...

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