McManus gallery owns Caird Hall images for city where term Beatlemania was coined
A photograph of the audience at the Beatles 20 October 1964 performance at Caird Hall in Dundee Photograph: Winnie Forbes-Cochrane
The Beatles are returning to Dundee, the city where the term Beatlemania was coined after the Fab Four had to leave a concert by crawling out through a coal cellar to escape their ecstatic fans.
The McManus gallery and museum has acquired a set of photographs showing the band’s last appearance at the Caird Hall on 20 October 1964. In Glasgow, earlier on the tour, all police leave was cancelled and 200 extra officers were drafted in to cope with the crowds. In Dundee, local papers reported that screaming fans drowned out virtually every note of the music, and dozens of paramedics attended to care for those who collapsed, overcome by the heat and excitement – 50 young women were carried out of the hall in the first five minutes.
The audience included the Countess of Strathmore, who arrived in a chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce, and later told journalists: “The audience was appalling, and completely bad mannered to make so much noise. Most of the time I had my fingers pressed over my ears to keep out the awful noise.”
The Fab Four relax at Caird Hall in Dundee Photograph: Winnie Forbes-Cochrane
The images of the Beatles arriving with crowds mobbing their car, an interview before the show, and the hysterical audience reaction, were captured by local photographer Winnie Forbes-Cochrane. They were bought by the museum at auction in March, and curators hope to put them on display later this year.
The term Beatlemania was conceived when the band first played the hall a year earlier, after the promoter had to open his office at 3am when crowds waiting to buy tickets were already blocking the street. After the concert the group of people surrounding all the doors of the hall was so large that the band were smuggled out through the cellars, to be driven to a hotel 20 miles away