Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Beatles & Bournemouth

Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Beatles & Bournemouth
Click on the cover for information about the book. Available to order now.

20 December 2011

Everywhere It's Christmas

In this extract from Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Beatles & Bournemouth, Dorset and Hampshire regional fan club secretary Eileen Denton recalls how she got involved with The Beatles and why John was so upset before the Winter Gardens show in November 1863. She also remembers the thrill of receiving free Beatles records from the boys, especially at Christmas...

For all the hype and breathless headlines, The Beatles’ success depended on the continued enthusiasm of the fans. As ever, the media machine can’t manufacture a career from scratch, it needs the raw material to work with – a groundswell of interest.
In the 1940s, the bobbysoxers had hollered for Frank Sinatra in America and a decade later the scream crossed the Atlantic as English fans cried for Johnnie Ray, but there had been nothing like the reception for The Beatles. Other groups had dedicated fans, but The Beatles had many more – and they shrieked louder.
Among the first wave of die-hard fans was 22-year-old junior school teacher Eileen Denton, who became the Dorset and Hampshire regional secretary for the Official Beatles Fan Club in 1963 and held the post until their split in 1970.
“I’d fallen in love with The Beatles’ music straight away and I used to buy the Beatles Monthly magazine. Then I saw an advert they were looking for district fan club secretaries, so I applied and was thrilled to be accepted. I loved the fan club work. They used to send the fan mail on to us secretaries to reply to as they simply couldn’t have coped with it all themselves, they’d never have got anything done. We never replied pretending to be one of the boys, or signed any signatures, we always replied from the fan club.
“They also used to send us all their records before they came out and special fan club records – free Beatles records – that was quite something. I suppose some of those fan club records are worth a bit now. They used to send Christmas cards and presents as well. I’ve got a bracelet and a nightdress, a black lacy number, way-hay!”
Like any Beatles fan though, Eileen lived for the chance to see the boys in concert.
“The atmosphere at the shows was electric, it made you want to scream. We went to see The Beatles wherever we could, usually in Southampton or Bournemouth. That week of the Gaumont run was really, really busy, but most weeks I could only do fan club work at weekends as I was teaching at the other end of Hampshire, at Hartley Wintney.
“You couldn’t really hear the group and a lot would depend on the acoustics of these venues, but I never went to what felt like a bad Beatles concert. People were in such heightened states. It was such fun and my Mum came to all the shows with me as well so it wasn’t just screaming young girls by any means.”
Eileen would have been a Beatles fan without the fan club, but being in the position of seeing more than the average ticket holder made the post all the more attractive. And even if it meant she didn’t always see her idols in their best light, there was always a good reason for their irritation.
“At one of the Bournemouth shows they ushered in all these disabled children to meet The Beatles, much to John’s annoyance. I think his anger had to do with his own childhood. He used to play with children from one of these homes – it was called Strawberry Field. He knew he wasn’t going to make their lives better and he thought it was because the adults with them wanted to meet The Beatles. No wonder he was so angry. 
“I saw them walking along the promenade by the beach late one night. We passed by quite quickly as they were obviously having a relaxing time – they didn’t want to be bothered by fans at that late hour. I actually felt sorry for them. The biggest downside to being a Beatle must have been the times when it was like being in prison. 
"They may have had nice hotels, good food and a bar, but they couldn’t come and go as they pleased. They were virtually prisoners in those days – they could hardly leave the hotel. I remember Paul used to have a disguise and he would use it to slip past the fans so he could go out in the evening and he never told anyone what it was. He never got caught out so nobody knows what the disguise was.”

12 December 2011

Yeah Yeah Yeah: The interview

Author Nick Churchill spoke to Scoop of the Day on Wave 105FM about the connections between The Beatles and Bournemouth. Here is a YouTube clip showcasing the interview and some of the photos from the book. You have been watching...

In the Life of... review

More love from the Beatles community, this time from the endlessly fascinating In the Life of... The Beatles blog.
There's a deep well of Beatles and Beatles-related news, views, photos, detail and discussion that makes a more than worthy distraction from the business of the day - or a very happy destination in itself.
Here's what they say...

Like looking through a scrapbook or time capsule, Yeah Yeah Yeah captures many unseen moments of the Beatles appearances in Bournemouth, England. There are plenty of rare photos, facts, and remembrances contained in this impressive volume. For example, I was not aware the Beatles started their Roy Orbison Tour sets in 1963 with "Some Other Guy," underlining their fondness for the Richie Barrett song (John Lennon would later lift the riff for the intro of his 1970 single, "Instant Karma"). I had previously only seen one alternate shot of the With the Beatles album cover, while page 49 contains two. There are an abundance of Beatles backstage photographs I have not seen before that add life to the recollections of the people that were there interspersed throughout. So many interesting tidbits are to be found, including what happened to the 1963 Beatles audience tape at Gaumont that went up for auction several years ago. There are also some great pictures from later in the Beatles' career as well, including a unique photo of John, Julian, and Aunt Mimi at the Sandbanks ferry in 1967. All in all, a wonderful collection.

An exhibition of rare and previously unseen photos is running at Bournemouth Central Library until January 18. Art prints of many of the photos are now available to order at along with copies of the book.

9 December 2011

The Beatles Rarity review

The estimable Happy Nat, owner of The Beatles Rarity website, has kindly given Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Beatles & Bournemouth a great big Macca-style thumbs up with this splendid review. Cheers!
The Beatles Rarity features all manner of Fab Four curios and is currently hosting a wonderfully raw version of John's Gimme Some Truth from the 1971 Imagine album sessions. It also
Here's what he says...

If you happen to be looking for a unique holiday gift for any avid Beatlemaniacs in your life, then allow me a suggestion. Back in June (2011) I made a brief post about Nick Churchill’s upcoming book Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, The Beatles & Bournemouth, which was released back in September (2011). Now, after having a chance to actually read through the book, it comes across not only as a great holiday gift idea, but an entertaining read for any occasion.
Bournemouth, as I’m sure many reading already know, is a resort town on the southern coast of England. But did you also know that there are so many historical events that link The Beatles to this beautiful settlement in the British county of Dorset?
As pointed out on the back cover of the book, The Beatles played more theater shows at the Bournemouth Gaumont (16, in all) than any other concert venue in the U.K. outside of London, and a taping of one of their shows there is the earliest known recording of a theater performance by the group. A gig at Bournemouth’s Winter Gardens Theater on November 16, 1963 was the source of footage used by all three U.S. television networks covering the new “Beatlemania” craze in Europe. The resulting Nov. 21st telecast predated the Beatles’ Ed Sullivan Show appearance by two and a half months. The famous cover art photo used on the With The Beatles album was taken in Bournemouth by Robert Freeman in 1963. George Harrison’s first Beatles song, “Don’t Bother Me” was written while staying in Bournemouth. And, believe it or not, the story told in the 1969 Beatles single “The Ballad of John and Yoko” began while John was traveling to Mimi’s house where he ended up “standing in the dock at Southampton”.
John Lennon, was a regular visitor to Bournemouth after buying his Aunt Mimi a home in the area. Nick has shared with me that he has had very positive feedback about the wonderful photo in his book of John, with baby Julian and Aunt Mimi. It was shot by the ferry, near Mimi’s Bournemouth home in 1967. Additionally, there are around 200 previously unpublished photographs of The Beatles during their visits to Bournemouth, John’s gold discs displayed from inside Mimi’s house, and other rare images.
The book also features a foreword written by Howie Casey (of Howie & the Seniors). Howie, originally from Liverpool and a log-time friend of Paul McCartney’s, played with Paul’s band Wings in the 1970s and has lived in Bournemouth since coming off the ill-fated 1980 Wings tour. He shares his memories of seeing the Silver Beetles in Liverpool and how they had improved by the time they arrived in Hamburg a few months later.
The book can be ordered from the publisher’s website at

6 December 2011

Beatles For Vale

This week's Blackmore Vale Magazine published a first person feature linked to Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Beatles & Bournemouth in which experienced Dorset journalist Roger Guttridge interwove his experiences of seeing The Beatles at the Bournemouth Gaumont in 1963 with a review of the book.
"I was 13 and my mother had asked if I would like to see The Beatles in Bournemouth," he writes. "I jumped at the chance, although she admitted later she had confused the Fab Four with another foursome, The Shadows, whose guitar instrumentals and clean-cut image were more to her taste than the loud, long-haired lads from Liverpool."
Roger goes on describe the show - on 20 August 1963 - saying he just about heard the group above the screams "and - agonisingly for me - had to leave before the final number to catch the last bus back to Sturminster Newton."
After dipping into stories, notably Robert Freeman taking the With The Beatles LP sleeve shot on the afternoon of 20 August, Roger says Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Beatles & Bournemouth is "a delightfully written and attractive book charting the Fab Four's various local connections..."

5 December 2011

A Christmas present for you

Merry Christmas... or should that be Happy Crimpole...?! For a limited period only Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Beatles & Bournemouth is available for the reduced price of £12.95, but only from the official website at

Obviously a splendid time is guaranteed for all, but while you're there check out the previously unpublished photos of The Beatles taken in Bournemouth in 1963 and 1964 by Harry Taylor.  As well as being featured in the book, a selection of these very special photos is available to buy... juts in time for Christmas!

29 November 2011


Bournemouth's independent what's on guide, BHbeat has published a great little feature about the book. The text is below, or you can read it online here.

A Bournemouth-based writer has published a book about the Beatles and their connections with the town.

Nick Churchill, whose first musical memory was singing along to the band’s I Wanna Hold Your Hand, worked to compile a collection of memories, images and reports which would form the book named Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Beatles & Bournemouth.
He met with Dave Robinson, owner of Bourne Beat hotel, and the owner of one of the largest collections of music memorabilia on the south coast.
In the collection was an array of unseen photographs of the Beatles, which would become the inspiration and idea behind the book.
The book gives an insight into the life of one of the biggest bands in music history, with stories from the people who were there – the reporters, photographers, musicians, venue staff and of course, the fans.
In the band’s early days, they played a six night summer season residency at the Gaumont Cinema (now the Odeon) and they stayed at the Palace Court hotel in Westover Road, Bournemouth. One of their biggest hits, ‘She Loves You’, was released on the Friday of their residency.
Author, Nick Churchill, said: “The Beatles played 18 times in Bournemouth overall between August 1963 and October 1964 which is quite a lot in 15 months.
“They actually played in the Bournemouth Gaumont more times than any other theatre outside of London.”
Contrary to popular belief, the book talks about the band’s first American television appearance which was filmed in Bournemouth Winter Gardens. The report aired on CBS on the morning of Friday, 22nd November 22, 1963 – the morning that President John Kennedy was assassinated. Of course by lunch time, Kennedy was dead, and the Beatles were forgotten.
Luckily for the Beatles, the show was re-broadcasted in December of the same year.
The Natula publication also tells the story of John Lennon and his Aunt Mimi. Lennon bought a £25,000 bungalow in Sandbanks for his Aunt who was like a mother to him, so she could escape the hassle of ‘Beatlemanie’ then rife in Liverpool.
Nick concluded: “I am pleased that the story is out there because it’s very much a Bournemouth story. Bournemouth is an area I have written about for 25 years or more so it is something I care about and I just hope everyone shares my passion.”
The book can be purchased in Waterstones and various local book shops. For more information,

23 November 2011

Marvel-ous interview!

By the power of email, author Nick Churchill was interviewed by the highly rated Comic Books and Movie Reviews website this week. The text is reproduced below by kind permission or you can read it in situ here.

Do you know what? I was always confused by the Beatles song 'Money Can't Buy Me Love'. Well, I just presumed that it was about a bad past experience that the band once had, with a disgruntled prostitute in Hamburg. How the hell was I suppose to figure out that it was about the eminent social reforms in Greece, complied with a subliminal message about smoked beetroot!!! True story - my mate, Nick Churchill, told it to me, just before he started to tell me about his Bournemouth and Beatles book, ‘Yeah, Yeah, Yeah’.

For more than over 25 years now, writer, Nick Churchill has been writing professionally about music and many other things in the public eye – most of them for the Daily Echo in Bournemouth. He is a passionate music fan with broadening tastes, as well as having a love for film, theatre, art, and literature. Presently, he is 45 years old and lives in a Dorset village with his partner, who, in conjunction with his 17-year-old son, Jack, has been kind enough to pull him back whenever he has gotten lost in Pepperland whilst writing his book.

What now follows is an interview I conducted with Nick about his book.

CBAMR: What book?
NC: Now ‘this book’ – entitled ‘Yeah, Yeah, Yeah’ – is the definitive account of the many and unexpected connections between a small town on the south coast of England and the greatest rock 'n' roll group the world has ever seen. It's a kind of biography of the relationship, plotting the story of both parties before they met and after the stopped seeing one another. The connection goes back to the very first time John, Paul, and George, played together as the Silver Beetles right up to the funeral of John's aunt Mimi in 1991 – which was attended by Cynthia, Julian, Yoko, and Sean. Also, the subsequent sale and eventual destruction in 1994, of the home John had bought for her at Sandbanks - back in 1965. John was a frequent visitor until he and Yoko left for New York in 1971, enjoying boat trips around Poole Harbour and up the River Frome to Wareham ('picture yourself on a boat on a river...'!) and called it 'one of the loveliest places I know'.

CBAMR: In your opinion, which Beatles song best represents 'Yeah, Yeah, Yeah', and why?
NC: Now there are a couple of contenders, but I would have to say it is ‘She Loves You’. The title of the book is taken from the song's refrain and was chosen because ‘She Loves You’ was released on the Friday of The Beatles' six day summer season of shows at the Bournemouth Gaumont from 19-24 August 1963. Although they were already big news and chart topping stars, those shows were among last they played before full scale Beatlemania broke out. All week they introduced ‘She Loves You’ as their new single and encouraged the audience to buy it. After it came out on Friday 23 August 1963, it went on to become their biggest selling UK single – and still is.
The sound of them singing 'yeah yeah yeah' became shorthand for Beatlemania as it headed for the number one spot. They played two shows a day for six days and while they were certainly lively, with some screaming, not all of them were sold out.
A recording of one of the shows captured the band on great form - their version of ‘Baby It's You’ is particularly impressive with its close harmonies and John's chilling lead vocal. The point being, you can actually hear them play and understand the banter with the audience. The term Beatlemania was coined by the Daily Mirror just two weeks before they came back to Bournemouth to play the much larger Winter Gardens venue on 16 November 1963. By then the screaming in the audience all but drowned out the band.
The Beatles went on the play more shows (16 in total) at the Bournemouth Gaumont than any other UK theatre outside London.

CBAMR: If Bournemouth was a Beatle, which one would this costal town be, and why?
NC: That's an interesting question. Much like The Beatles, Bournemouth has many different faces. It's quite a young town (it celebrated its bicentenary in 2010) and can't boast the thousand years of history of its neighbours Poole and Christchurch. Like John, it can be brash, a little wild and irreverent, not always getting things right but brim-full of the confidence to try. Like Paul, it is charming, sweet but fiercely ambitious and quite calculating in its methods. Like George, it has a quite confidence with a mysterious side that has seen literary figures like Robert Louis Stevenson, Oscar Wilde, Percy Florence Shelley and Paul Verlaine drawn to the town. Like Ringo, Bournemouth likes a good time, is generally cheerful and holds a rock solid beat. It could also be Brian – whose father, Harry, died in Bournemouth in 1967 – because it is naturally conservative, profitable and shrewd.

CBAMR: What was the main reason for you to write this book?
NC: I grew up about 15 miles from Bournemouth and have been sharing stories about The Beatles playing in Bournemouth since I was a kid. I sang along to their records on the radiogram as a child and a fascination with their music and story stayed with me all throughout my youth and into my professional life as a journalist. A few years ago, a contact of mine bought a set of rare and unseen photos of The Beatles taken in Bournemouth at auction. The photos were by Harry Taylor, a freelance press photographer who had worked for the Bournemouth Echo and the Bournemouth Times in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. He captured The Beatles in their dressing room, posing on a hotel balcony, at dinner, at a party, being interviewed etc. He had incredible access to the band and produced wonderful documentary-style photos. Coupled with the various significant connections between Bournemouth and The Beatles, the photos made a book the next obvious step. When I was made redundant by the Bournemouth Echo last Christmas, I suddenly found that I had the time to write the book as I established myself as a freelance writer.

CBAMR: Is there any exclusives in your book, that would make it any different to any of the other Beatles related publications?
NC: Many of the photos have never been seen before, or not seen since 1963 or 1964. Harry Taylor had incredible access to The Beatles and got some great photos that neither the Bournemouth Echo nor Bournemouth Times of the day made full use of. There are also the memories of photographer Tom Hanley and the day he spent with Mimi at her home – at John's request just before he left for New York – in 1971 photographing and generally making a fuss of her. The photos and story of David Stark's weekend at Mimi' house in 1981, a few months after John's death, have never been published before. There are various anecdotes about The Beatles, such as the fleet of ice cream vans used to distract fans as they were ferried from their hotel to the venue in August 1963, that have never been published before.

CBAMR: What is your favourite Beatles Album, and why?
NC: That's a tough question, it changes all the time. I've always loved ‘Revolver’ because it is their most complete record and a real triumph of creativity when you consider they were still touring when they wrote the songs and recorded the album. They had more time to spend on ‘Sgt Pepper’ and it shows, but on ‘Revolver’ they managed to meld so many musical ideas and produce great lyrics as well. They sound like they're enjoying their freedom as well. That said, ‘Rubber Soul’ comes close to it for exactly the same reasons - George's guitar playing is particularly effective. Lately I've given more time to earlier albums like ‘With the Beatles’ (the cover shot was taken at the Palace Court Hotel in Bournemouth) and ‘A Hard Day's Night’ which are more subtle than many people think – there's a lot of music going on there from country & western to show tunes as well as John's throat-ripping rock vocals. Abbey Road also has some splendid moments that makes me wonder what they cold have gone on to achieve had they stayed together.