Remembering the Fab Four’s short-lived invasion of Vancouver’s Empire Stadium in 1964

Vancouver, BC, Canada / (CKNW AM) AM980

Today (August 22nd) marks the 50th anniversary of the Beatles performing at the PNE.

Legendary broadcaster Red Robinson  is the man hand-picked to introduce them.

“When they came back with all the great rock ‘n roll songs, it gave re-birth to rock ‘n roll. That’s the biggest significance of the Beatles in my opinion.”

“There’s people that walk into a room and they’ve got charisma about them. I saw that with Nat King Cole. I saw that with John F. Kennedy. I saw it with Elvis. Very few, but you know when they’re in your presence, there’s an aura.”

Robinson says the show didn’t last long because the band’s manager was worried all the screaming teenagers would riot and someone would get hurt.

His favourite memory of that night is having one of the Fab Four tell him off!

“He said, ‘Why are you back up on the stage?’ Well, Brian Epstein had sent me up to calm the crowd down, but you don’t think John could hear what I was saying, so I’m going, ‘John, look down at the corner of the stage. Your manager sent me up here’ and Brian’s giving the OK sign. Then, John Lennon says to me, ‘Carry on, mate,’ but before that, he told me to ‘F off the stage!’ that’s the truth.”

“The crowd got out of hand. Vancouver is famous for this. It happened with Elvis Presley seven years prior. There was a frenzy. It’s not something they made up and they just thought, ‘Oh, we’ll scream.’ ”

The concert only lasted a few minutes, but fans like this CKNW listener remember it well.

“And I can remember looking out over on Hastings Street and the mobs that were out there and from the perspective of a little kid, it was just so exciting.”

That caller was eight years old in 1964.

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