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article imageSweden to celebrate 50th anniversary of Beatles' visit (video)

By Anne Sewell     Oct 23, 2013 in Entertainment
Karlstad - 50 years ago, the Beatles hit Sweden for their first-ever gig outside the UK. At the time, it was dubbed an "amateur jig". 50 years later, the town will celebrate the anniversary in full Beatlemania form.
It happened in the autumn of 1963. The Beatles visited Sweden, and Bengt-Åke Bengtsson and around 20 female admirers waited impatiently for the British band to alight at Arlanda airport, near Stockholm.
Altogether, the Beatles had 9 gigs lined up, including the concert in Sundstaaulan in Karlstad.
A local newspaper published a report by a critic, who was not particularly impressed by the famous LIverpool boys. "An amateur jig," wrote Nya Wermlands-Tidningen.
However, Bengtsson, who organized the tour, completely disagreed. He told the TT news agency (Swedish language) on Wednesday:
"I think that's utterly wrong. The Beatles came along with something new."
"It was fantastic, novel and fresh. And it wasn't just the music - it was the clothes, the hair, the chat."
The tour, which had been 3 months in the making, traveled to Stockholm, Gothenburg, Borås and Eskilstuna and drew fans in their thousands.
Recalling the tour, Bengtsson said, "We really believed in this," saying that despite the fact that the Beatles visited Sweden before the English language really took off there, it was a total success.
"We didn't know English in the countryside," he added. "Back then you didn't care about the lyrics, just about the girls who screamed after the musicians and jumped on stage. They just screamed and screamed."
Bengtsson also arranged for singer Chubby Checker to appear Johanneshovsbron in Stockholm in 1963, an event attended by 8,000 people, and said that the Beatles were definitely bigger in Sweden.
To celebrate the anniversary of the tour, 50 years after the Beatles last played in Sweden, that city will host an event to honor their memory.
This time the city will be rocked by the British band, The Overtures, who recently performed as the opening act for the genuine Beatle Paul McCartney's performance at the O2 Arena inauguration in London.
The event will be dubbed "Sound-Alike the Beatles", and will be a tribute to old Beatles' favorites and will "treat us to 60s nostalgia," in the words of the press release for the concert on Friday.
The video above shows John, Paul, George and Ringo performing at the Narren Theater in Stockholm on October 30th, 1963.
More about Sweden, Karlstad, Stockholm, Beatles, Tour
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