I WAS AN EYEWITNESS TO THE BEATLES AT CARNEGIE HALL!
February 11, 2012
“In early 1964, the Beatles are making their mark on the world. Even Walter, my labrador retriever, is a fan. Every time the intro to “I Feel Fine” comes on the radio, Walter jumps up on me, and I have to dance him around the room!
I’m not only excited about the Beatles coming to play Carnegie Hall, but also because there’s a 3-foot Liberty Records publicity picture of me in photographer James Kreigsman’s permanent display case outside the venue, touting me as the artist of the month.
I buy 4 tickets for the second row, a few weeks in advance of the concert, for a ridiculously high price of $40 — $10 each! I invite Ed Silvers and his wife Maryanne, to the concert, to repay them for all the kindness they’ve shown me. I also ask Jemela, the inspiration behind “Midnight Mary” to be my date, and to bring her camera. They all laugh and are surprised to see my publicity photo while we’re waiting on line. Jemela wants to take a picture of it, but I say we’ll have plenty of time to do that after the show.
Even before the concert begins, there’s a restless rumble in the crowd, the kind of reaction that usually precedes a revolution!
As John, Paul, George, and Ringo make their way through the fans who are seated on stage, including NYC Mayor Wagner and his family, thousands of flashbulbs go off at the same time! By the time they plug their guitars into their Vox amps, everyone in Carnegie Hall is standing. I look around and see thousands of people experiencing a musical orgasm, simultaneously releasing themselves from the repression of the 50s, and embracing the promise of the 60s!
I’ve never seen an audience react to a band like I witness tonight. Although Carnegie Hall has some of the best acoustics in the world I can’t hear one word over the constant roar of the crowd. Fortunately, I’m close enough to read their lips so I can tell what song they’re singing. By the end of the night, I’m totally part of the mayhem, as I stand on my seat screaming, “I Want To Hold Your Hand,!”
After the show, a reporter from the Daily News comes over to me and asks, “Aren’t you a little old to be acting like this?” I say, “It’s the Beatles, man! It’s the bloody BEATLES!” When he asks my name, I say,”Ed Silvers.”
After the show, we all forget about taking pictures of my display, and go for a snack at the Russian Tea Room. The next morning, when I pass the display case on the way to Liberty Records, it’s completely covered in lipstick and magic marker with messages for Paul and Ringo. Oh well, at least I can say I made one brief appearance in my lifetime, at Carnegie Hall.”
Copyright 2012 by Artie Wayne.