It’s been a long and winding road, but the Beatles are finally returning to the Pacific National Exhibition.
The Magical History Tour: A Beatles Memorabilia Exhibition arrives in Vancouver on Saturday (August 22), 51 years to the day after the Fab Four made their first-ever Canadian stop at Empire Stadium.
Significantly, Vancouver has been chosen to debut the exhibit, which features four galleries covering the period from the band’s Hamburg and Cavern period to its 1970 breakup and subsequent solo years.
“If you look back statistically, and I’m sure [Straight publisher] Dan [McLeod] has something on file,” said Red Robinson, in a call to the Straight, “it was the biggest crowd to show up for the Beatles’ initial invasion of North America. The biggest crowd was Vancouver. And that was true with [Elvis] Presley, too. We have an appreciation for things that are new and exciting, and dammit, was there anything more new and exciting in the ’60s than the Beatles? Nothing.”
As the MC, Robinson has vivid memories of the 1964 concert, with one moment standing out in particular. Worried that people in the audience were getting crushed, Beatles manager Brian Epstein sent the local DJ on-stage to calm things down.
“I had enough sense to wait till the end of the song,” recalled Robinson. “And I walk out and John Lennon says, ‘Get the fuck off the stage, nobody interrupts the Beatles.’”
That’s right, not even to this day.
The Magical History Tour: A Beatles Memorabilia Exhibition runs at the Fair at the PNE until September 7.