The Beatles

Beatles Fans • Portsmouth Guildhall, Portsmouth, UK • November 12, 1963


Fans near the southeast entrance of Portsmouth's Guildhall react to the postponement of two highly-anticipated Beatles shows set for that evening.


The Story

IT'S FLU! GIRLS SOB AT NEWS - TEENAGED girls wept in the street last night after hearing that Beatle Paul McCartney was ill with gastric flu. Paul, the Beatles' 21-year-old bass guitarist, collapsed in his dressing room while preparing for a show at Portsmouth Guildhall. He lay on the floor till a doctor arrived. His temperature was 101. As soon as the illness was diagnosed, the show was cancelled.

Police cars toured the city, announcing over loudspeakers that the show was off. Several hundred disappointed teenagers — mainly girls — besieged the Guildhall, hoping to get a glimpse of the Beatles before they left. Many girls collapsed, weeping. Policemen comforted them.

The Beatles slipped away by car almost unnoticed as the crowd listened to loudspeaker announcements. But the crowd grew bigger as more fans, refusing to believe the show was off, demanded to be let in. They drifted away after being told that their ticket money would be refunded.

Mr. Tony Barrow, one of the Beatles' agents, said last night: "Paul has been ill for a couple of days, but he insisted on coming to Portsmouth and said he would be well enough to go on." A Portsmouth Guildhall spokesman said: "The Beatles have been taken to a Southsea hotel whose name is being kept secret. Paul McCartney is a very sick boy."

— John Sandiford - The Daily Mirror, Wednesday, November 13, 1963

Photographer unconfirmed

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