Beatles Atlanta '65: The most memorable show of the tour - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Beatles Atlanta '65: The most memorable show of the tour

Cole Harrison Cole Harrison
Duke Mewborn Duke Mewborn

This weekend marks 50 years since the Beatles landed in the states and Beatlemania took over. Droves of screaming, crying girls showed up to each show on the tour. It was no different in Atlanta, when the band played the Atlanta Stadium in August of 1965. Amongst all of the young women, there were a few local lads.

Listening to the Beatles Live '65 CD takes Cole Harrison back to an August day when he was 14, sneaking into the Beatles show at the Atlanta Stadium.

"It was exciting, but it was also scary because I think you had to be 16 or be with an adult, and once I got in I was looking over my shoulder. I thought I might be arrested," Harrison said.

He calls being there magical. Harrison was a fan of the Beatles, but at the time, didn't realize what all the fuss was about.

"The screaming from the girls was louder than the sound system so they would start out with a song and you'd hear about the first three or four words of the song, and after that it would just be solid screaming," Harrison recalls.

That's also what the Beatles were used to, hearing the screams but not themselves. Atlanta was different, thanks to sound engineer Duke Mewborn.

"It never ceases to amaze me. Here I did a concert 50 years ago and it just keeps coming up," Mewborn said.

Mewborn worked for Baker Audio in Atlanta at the time. He knew the circular Atlanta Stadium could pose a problem, so he came up with a way to work around it with a speaker monitor.

"We set up the sound system and the center of the field at the stage and provided a monitor speaker for the Beatles because being a circular stadium and they being in the middle, all the sound would reflect back at them and cause problems, so the monitor would help wash that out, and they liked it very much," Mewborn said.

The Beatles liked it so much their manager, Brain Epstein, sent Mewborn a note. It said the sound system was "excellent, without question proved the most effective of all during our U.S. Tour 1965."

Today, a monitor on stage or in an artists ear is standard.

"Necessity is the mother of invention. We were smart enough to know it was going to be a problem, so we solved the problem," Mewborn said.

Harrison, now also in the industry, knows how pivotal the monitor was.

"Duke was trying some things new that had never been done before. That was cutting edge at that point," Harrison said.

He attributes the Beatles concert with helping to shape his career. His parents didn't learn until way later he was at the show. He thought he would get in trouble.

"I did. I wasn't supposed to do this," Harrison said, but it was worth it. "I'd do it again."

Back in '65 the Beatles offered Mewborn to go on the road with them to handle the sound for the rest of their U.S. shows. He said no at the time, not seeing a future in four guys with long hair.

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