On November 7, 1963, one of the wildest phenomenons of the 20th century hit Dublin.... a Liverpudlian revolution named The Beatles!
All these years later, according to The Irish Times, a plaque will be placed at the site of the event, the Adelphi Cinema on Middle Abbey Street in Dublin.
The tribute honors a world-changing British rock and roll group who the columnist Quidnunc in the Times described as “four hairy youngsters. [They] appeared onstage to be greeted with shrieks and whistles. Three of them walloped electric guitars which appeared to be amplified to the decibel limit, the fourth walloped a set of drums.
“They all opened their mouths and made noises that sounded to me like: ‘Mew; Me-oh, me-ooh, me-ooh-ooh!’”
The Beatles had come to town for two sold-out shows at the Adelphi. Ireland would never be quite the same again.
Fifteen days later JFK would be assassinated. The old innocent age drew to a close.
The newspapers all reported on a strange phenomenon called Beatlemania. “It’s happening everywhere,” declared the Daily Mirror worriedly.
What was significant was that it was young girls who were screaming their heads off, crying, scratching to get near and touch the Beatles. Female sexuality was a completely new phenomenon in Holy Catholic Ireland, and their honors the bishops were not long in weighing in.
What happened in Dublin was a riot. The 3,000 pumped up crowd for the first show came streaming out only to run full tilt into the 3,000-second show patrons.
Neither crowd gave way, and pushing and shoving ensued. Then it turned nasty.
A commotion described as a riot took place. The Times lead ran"
“Many arrested as city crowds run riot.”“Cars were overturned in Abbey Street and O’Connell Street, at least 50 people were treated for minor injuries, while three people were taken to hospital with fractured legs and arms.”
A young man was also hospitalized after being stabbed. Two hundred police and three fire brigades arrived. Buses and taxis were halted in the melee.
Only the ringing of the fire bells seemed to settle down the crowd, but soon more crowds arrived and fights began anew.
“One group of youths pushed a parked car into half a dozen policemen who were trying to get them out of the street,” reported the Times. “St John’s Ambulance men treated men and women on the footpaths while the crowds swirled around them.”
The Beatles did not hang around. John, Paul, George, and Ringo escaped in a newspaper van to the nearby Gresham Hotel. Later, two of them went to Drumcondra to see relatives, the Times reported.
The Times’ reviewer at the gig could hear nothing but the sound of “ecstatic, joyful, hysteric, demented” screams from Dublin teenagers. He wrote:
“A pity, this, because the Beatles, in spite of their theatrical gimmicks, their long locks, and ‘with-it’ suits, have a great act…God knows, Dublin has never seen anything like the Beatles.”
Indeed they had not. Nor would they ever see their likes again. Despite their multiple Irish connections, the four lads would never be back, and more’s the pity.
Here's a short clip of the Beatles performance in Dublin, in 1963: