The Beatles and the Rolling Stones Took Manchester by Storm

by | Apr 20, 2018 | Manchester, Music

iNostalgia looks back at how the Beatles and the Rolling Stones took Manchester by storm.

There was one massive question dividing the music world throughout the Swinging 60s.

Did you love the clean-cut Beatles with their matching suits and hair-cuts or the rebellious Rolling Stones?

Manchester audiences had plenty of chances to choose as both bands were frequent visitors to the city.

Both had a massive impact on the city’s music scene, leaving fans from Wigan to Belle Vue screaming for more.

Their fame and popularity also encouraged local bands from the Manchester beat, including Hermans Hermits, the Hollies and Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders.

Beatle-mania was in full swing when the group appeared at Manchester Odeon on May 30th 1963. Their third single, From Me to You, was top of the charts.

Their first single, Love Me Do, was released on October 5th 1962 – the day before the band dropped in at Dawson’s Record Shop in Widnes to sign copies of the single.

On October 17th, the Beatles were in Manchester to record their TV debut on Granada’s People and Places. A week later the boys were back to appear in the BBC radio programme Here We Go at the Playhouse Theatre.

The group’s second single Please Please Me was released on January 11th 1963. It reached No.2 in the UK Record Retailers’ Chart.

From Me to You failed to chart in the US for the Beatles, but a cover version by Del Shannon went to No.1.

The song was the last to be released under the writing credits of Paul McCartney and John Lennon – it was the more familiar Lennon and McCartney after that – and the first of 11 consecutive number ones for the band.

No wonder it was champagne all round in January 1965 when the group toasted their chart success. With glasses to the fore in our photo are, from left, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and John Lennon.

The Beatles celebrate their chart success with champagne, January 1965.
Fans went wild at Wigan ABC when the Beatles breezed into town on October 13th 1964. It was a similar story the next day at the ABC cinema in Ardwick.

On the bill with the Beatles that night were Mary Wells, Tommy Quickly, The Remo Four, Sounds Incorporated, Michael Haslam and The Rustiks.

Before playing at Ardwick, the Beatles recorded an earlier appearance for Granada TV’s Scene at 6.30.

Beatles’ fans go wild in Wigan, October 1964.
The Beatles were back at Ardwick again on December 7th 1965 – although they cut it fine. They arrived at the ABC with just five minutes to spare.

A seat in the front stalls that night would have cost the princely sum of 15 shillings.

Lennon and McCartney at the ABC in Ardwick.
McCartney returned to Manchester when his group Wings played the Hardrock Concert Theatre on May 17th 1973. He’s pictured on the tour with his wife Linda, who was also in the band.
Paul and Linda McCartney on the 1973 Wings tour.
Rolling Stones’ fans got a little lively when the group performed at Manchester’s Apollo Theatre in September 1966. Some were overcome with emotion and had to be carried out.

Also on the bill at the Apollo were Ike and Tina Turner, the Yardbirds, Peter Jay and the New Jaywalkers, the Kings of Rhythm Orchestra, Jimmy Thomas, Bobby John and Long John Baldry.

It’s all too much for one fan at the Rolling Stones’ Manchester Apollo concert, September 1966.
During 1966, the Stones had toured Europe, Australia and the United States. They also released a number of singles including 19th Nervous Breakdown and the No. 1 hit Paint It Black.

The group were mobbed in Manchester in March 1965 when they recorded an appearance for Scene at 6.30. Keith Richards just about made it to his car where he was besieged by autograph hunters.

Fans mob Keith Richards after recording Scene at 6.30 in Manchester, March 1965.
It was all much more sedate when the Stones posed with gifts from their fans backstage at the Palace Theatre in May 1964. Pictured are, from left, Keith Richards, Bill Wyman, Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts and Brian Jones.
The Rolling Stones backstage at the Palace Theatre with presents from fans, May 1964.
The band played a major gig at the New Elizabethan Ballroom at Belle Vue on August 9th 1964 as part of their third UK and European tour.

They flew in from Scheveningen in the Netherlands the day before, landing at Manchester Airport. Our photos show Richards and Jagger on the runway and Charlie Watts on the drums at Belle Vue.

The Belfast concert a week earlier had to be stopped after 12 minutes due to hysteria in the audience!

Charlie Watts on stage at Belle Vue, August 1964.