She Loves You, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah
by Joann Storck
They had come on stage, but I couldn’t open my eyes! Each time I tried to look I was blinded by tens of thousands of flash bulbs! I put my hand up to my brow and tried to shield the effects of strobe lighting from all the cameras in the auditorium. One long, piercing scream drowned their voices and instruments as they began their sold-out concert at
Cincinnati Gardens in . Finally, I adjusted to the flashes and glimpsed them on stage: The Fab Four. John, Paul, George and Ringo. The Beatles! Cincinnati, Ohio
It wasn’t until they began their second song, “Love Me Do” that anyone could hear their voices over the din in the concert hall. I looked at my friend Sue sitting next to me and tears were rolling down her agonized face as she mouthed “Paul, I love you!” with the other 13,000+ fans. Overcome, she sat down for a moment, but if you stayed seated you would have missed seeing any of their performance.
It’s funny how I assessed everything going on around me as if the spectacle of the fans was what I had paid to come and see. Then, like all the other girls in the audience, the overwhelming idea that I was really in a room, breathing the same air as Ringo Starr, turned me into a tearful teenager carried away in a rapturous, dizzying epoch. Sue and I clutched hands and wept about nothing other than the Beatles were too esteemed to be mere mortals like the rest of us.
Seven lucky girls had been chosen to meet the Fab Four after their press conference. Later we would learn that the meeting took place in less than 10 seconds. The girls were speechless, crying hysterically with intermittent squeals while the objects of their affection stood unmoved before them.
As the concert continued and the Beatles attempt to talk to their audience was completely futile, I watched as several girls swooned and were carried out of the auditorium. Many of the enraptured fans threw jelly beans on the stage because it had been revealed that was one of their favorite American candies. We saw a girl make a dash for the stage but she was cut short by a guard and ushered back to her seat. The Beatles began “She Loves You” and shook their shaggy manes to a renewed fervor from the seats. Before any of us had seen enough, breathed enough, or adored them enough they ended the concert and exited behind the curtained stage.
The exodus from the auditorium was slow as fans tried to pull themselves together and sobbed their last declaration of love to their favorite Beatle. It was August 27, 1964, and to this day I can still close my eyes and experience what it was like to be a teenager in a love so sublime, and so excruciating I can recall it to this day, forty-four years and many loves later.