On April 10 1970 music fans around the world mourned as the fab four announced their separation.
The Beatles were founded just 10 years earlier with a line-up of John Lennon, George Harrison and Paul McCartney with Ringo Starr taking over as the band’s drummer in 1962.
Rapidly, the band became regarded as the most influential of its time — and of history. They were the beginning of a musical revolution that’s still going strong 60 years later.
After building up their reputation by playing gigs in their home city of Liverpool, most famously at the Cavern Club, it wasn’t long before crowds of screaming fans from around the world were treated to extraordinary concerts, and Dundee saw the rock ‘n’ roll quartet take to the Caird Hall stage not once, but twice.
It is hard to know how good the boys really sounded on stage as next to no one could hear a word they sang or note they played due to the adoring fans making their delight heard throughout the entirety of the shows.
The Beatles first travelled to the City of Discovery in October 1963 after gig promoter Andi Lothian paid £500 a night to play a three date mini-tour of Scotland. The Dundee gig was the third and final night and it was one of the most highly-anticipated, and subsequently most famous, gigs to have graced the Caird Hall.
The band played two 30-minute sets (at 6.15pm and 8.30pm) performing nine hits including Twist and Shout, She Loves You, From Me to You, I Saw Her Standing There and Baby It’s You. Support was from Johnny Hudson and the Hi Four, Malcolm Clarke and the Crestas, the Caravelles and Tommy Dene and the Tremors.
The Beatles stayed the night at The Salutation hotel in Perth after being smuggled out of the Caird Hall through a coal bunker.
Despite the problems for the sound guys and the mission impossible-style exit, the band made a triumphant return to Dundee just over 12 months later and were met by similarly chaotic scenes as their stock continued to rise further.
A newspaper report from after the gig recalled “scores” of paramedics being called into action to
help collapsing fans, as songs such as Can’t Buy Me Love and A Hard Day’s Night managed to reach the ears of only the first couple of rows.
The report said: “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.”
It was the last time the Fab Four ventured this far north — they moved on to playing massive stadiums across the world before giving up touring in their latter years.
While the band were used to playing huge capacity venues, their final concert as a four-piece would be a quieter affair, although not a boring one.
On 30 January 1969 the Beatles played the final public performance of their career with an unannounced concert held from the rooftop of their Apple Corps headquarters at 3 Savile Row in London.
Joined by keyboardist Billy Preston, the band played a 42-minute set before the Metropolitan Police asked them to reduce the volume.
The group did record one more album, Abbey Road, but by September 1969 the Beatles had unofficially disbanded and seven months later the Beatles were over. But for those who saw them in Dundee, the music will go on forever — and at least they can hear it now.