This was The Beatles’ only concert appearance at Sunderland’s Rink Ballroom, although they performed in the city’s Empire Theatre on two other occasions: 9 February and 30 November 1963.
Also on this day...
- 2016: Beatles press officer Tony Barrow dies
- 2010: John Lennon statue to be unveiled in Liverpool
- 2009: Beatles Trivial Pursuit on sale in August
- 1984: US single release: Borrowed Time by John Lennon
- 1968: Lennon and McCartney give interviews in New York
- 1962: Live: Star-Club, Hamburg
- 1961: Live: Top Ten Club, Hamburg
- 1960: Live: Lathom Hall, Liverpool
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.
I was lucky enough to go to this concert at the “Rink” in Sunderland, I remember that the queue was about 12-deep and wound around a nearby carpark and then about 200 yards into the town (as it was then) centre. The group was fantastic and everyone was delirious, it got so boisterous that in order to give the boys some space and safety on the stage, numerous benches were brought from somewhere in the building and were stacked on upon the other (about 3 high) around the stage boundary. Normally at the Rink there was a tunnel/walkway which ran behind the stage and this was blocked off during the concert for the Beatles to use as a changing-room/place of refuge. I particularly remember John Lennon belting out ‘Twist & Shout’ with sweat pouring down his face. Eventually the benches came tumbling down and they had to retreat to the ‘refuge’, I saw Paul McCartney whack a particularly interested female fan on the head with his guitar to make his escape. I’ve always felt that I was priviledged to see them live, I was standing around 8 feet away from them and can still see & hear them in my mind’s eye as if it was yesterday!!
Hi David, just reading your comment on the Beatles gig at The Rink on 14th May 1963. Really great article. At present, two of us are writing a book about music links to Sunderland. Unfortunately, neither of us actually saw the Beatles live.Would you mind if we used your comments in the book (with credit of course) as a ‘first hand experience’ would certainly add authenticity! My direct e mail is firstname.lastname@example.org. Many thanks and best wishes