THINK “Beatlemania,” and you don’t automatically think of Dundee.
But now, rare photographs of the Beatles and their screaming Scottish and Dundonian fans have gone on show in the city where the term “Beatlemania” was in fact born.
Curators at the McManus Galleries in Dundee have called for anyone who recognises themselves in the audience to get in touch and share their memories.
The pictures were taken at Dundee’s Caird Hall on 20 October 1964 – the second and last time the Beatles played in the city.
The previous year at the same venue, a promoter first described the fans’ fervour as “Beatlemania”, as the group had to be smuggled out through the cellars.
The photographs, which show The Beatles at the height of their fame, were bought by the McManus at auction earlier this year, for £6600.
They show the band arriving and performing on stage, but also many of the 6000 screaming fans who attended.
Reports at the time reveal the band’s hits could hardly be heard as screaming teenagers drowned out the music.
One report the following day told how “girls from all parts of the hall, the majority of them sobbing ecstatically or in a state of collapse, were led out to recover. The final tally of the casualties was 50.”
In the lead up to and at the height of their hey-day The Beatles played at many Scottish venues and remoter parts of the country, from Elgin to Bridge of Allan.
Carly Cooper, the exhibition’s curator, said: “These prints show The Beatles just before they went on stage and performing, but the crowd are the real stars. They are really having the time of their life.
“This is the city where the term ‘Beatlemania’ was coined and you can see the crowd going crazy. Some are in absolute tears, screaming at the top of their lungs.
“One girl in the balcony appears in three photographs and you can see her getting more and more animated.
“This was the last time The Beatles performed in Dundee and they clearly went out with a bang.
“We hope that from this display, people who recognise themselves will get in touch so we can document their memories of that day, along with the photographs.
The audience also included the Countess of Strathmore, who arrived from Glamis Castle in a chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce.
She said afterwards: “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.”
The McManus is free to visit and Revealing Characters, an exhibition looking at the enduring attraction of the portrait, runs until Sunday 3 February, 2019.
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