In May 1964, my friend’s mother was reading the Sunday paper and said, “Hey, girls, that group you like, the Beatles, is coming to Boston in September. Tickets go on sale this week. Would you like to go?” Would we like to go? We would both turn 14 that year, and we hadn’t yet been allowed to do much of anything without supervision. A rock concert? At night? In Boston? Yes, yes, we want to go!

Police Inspector Carl Bear of Cleveland’s Juvenile Bureau, left, orders the Beatles off the stage of the Public Auditorium, in Cleveland, Ohio, on Sept. 16, 1964, as teenagers rushed the stage. Bear let the group back on stage after fans were given 15 minutes to cool down. From left to right, Bear, George Harrison, John Lennon, unknown, and Ringo Starr, top right. Associated Press, File

To get the best seats possible, we planned to take the 5 a.m. subway to Boston Garden at North Station. My friend’s mother didn’t think we should travel alone in the dark on the subway, so she insisted we take my friend’s cousin Scott with us. Scott was only 10 or 11, but he was tall and muscular, much bigger than us, and very excited about his bodyguard role.

We waited in a huge line for the ticket office to open around 9, and we scored some primo center front seats in the 12th row. Now all we had to do was wait for September. I put my ticket into a little cedar box and took it out quite frequently over that summer, to commune with it.

The exciting day finally arrived, and Causeway Street was wild – a sea of screaming people, most of them girls around our age. Suddenly I realized I’d lost track of my ticket. Crawling around on the street, getting knocked in the head by knees and shoes, I heard a girl yell, “Oh my God, I found a ticket! I just knew if I came here, I’d be able to get in somehow!” “Whoa, whoa, whoa,” I said. “I bet that’s my ticket that I just dropped!” “Finders keepers, losers weepers,” she said.

Noreen Skoolicas, around the time she went to see the Beatles at Boston Garden in 1964.

My heart sank. She was bigger than I was and had quite a few friends with her. Looking around frantically, I spotted a cop. I grabbed his arm and said, “Please come with me, someone stole my ticket!” We approached the girl and he said, “OK, what’s the story?” She said, “This is my ticket! I bought it months ago.” The cop said, “I can’t decide whose ticket this is unless one of you can prove to me you’re the owner.” I said, “My ticket has two small grease stains on the back – one on the upper left, and one on the lower right.” He took the ticket, turned it over to examine it and handed it to me. Whew!

Standing on our seats, jumping up and down, we could see the stage just fine. I couldn’t tell which song they were singing, the screaming was so loud, and I think that’s the part I enjoyed the most.

filed under: