Albert and Brian bring Beatlemania to Scotland

Image When Brian Epstein took his life in ’67, Albert Bonici commented, “Brian was a charming man. His death came as quite a shock”. “The alliance between the two men to book the Beatles for in 1963 further helped to turn the tide for the group who was just being recognized by a growing audience. Andi Lothian, who worked with Bonici in the ’60’s, spoke of the deal to Ken McNab, when researching for “The Beatles In Scotland”. “Albert and I were thunderstruck. Five hundred pounds 45 years ago was probably about £15,000 a night now… The Beatles for £500 a night, a sum that was completely outragious and totally unheard of at that time for any group. And that’s how we were able to bring the Beatles back to Scotland later that year…” “Albert Bonici’s name may be but just a footnote in the story of The Beatles but his efforts on behalf of four raw and unknown musicians cannot be overlooked” Ken McNab The first time Scottish concert promoter Andi Lothian booked the Beatles, in the frozen January of 1963, only 15 people showed up. The next time he brought them north of the border, to Glasgow Odeon on Oct. 5, they had scored a No. 1 album and three No. 1 singles, and it was as if a hurricane had blown into town. The night almost unraveled when nervous local police insisted Lothian bring the Beatles on early to satisfy rowdily impatient fans, even though his bouncers were still in the pub. “The girls were beginning to overwhelm us,” remembers Lothian, now 73 and a business consultant. “I saw one of them almost getting to Ringo’s drumkit and then I saw 40 drunk bouncers tearing down the aisles. It was like the Relief of Mafeking! It was absolute pandemonium. Girls fainting, screaming, wet seats. The whole hall went into some kind of state, almost like collective hypnotism. I’d never seen anything like it.” A Radio Scotland reporter turned to Lothian and gasped, “For God’s sake Andi, what’s happening?” Thinking on his feet, the promoter replied, “Don’t worry, it’s only … Beatlemania.”’http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2013/10/24/_beatlemania_origin_50_years_ago_the_beatles_played_london_palladium_and.html http://www.japantimes.co.jp/culture/2013/10/04/entertainment-news/beatlemania-the-screamers-and-other-tales-of-fandom/#.VNCg4pWzW00 Here’s a summary of Andi Lothian who is said to have accompanied Albert Bonici when he went to negotiate for exclusive rights to the Beatles in Scotland:

Founder/Owner Lothian Theatrical Agencies 1960 – 1970 (10 years)Scotland

“My father, Andy Lothian, a professional musician from age 13, began in 1938 what became a 37 year ballroom residency, ending in 1975 as the longest serving residential band leader in Britain, at the Dundee Palais ballroom.

I followed his lead into the music world and formed a jazz band upon leaving school – the East Coast Jazzmen, becoming Scottish jazz champions in 1960. After a couple of happy years as a professional musician I witnessed the emergence of ‘pop’ music and ‘boy’ bands and the demise of the ‘big’ jazzbands – Barber, Bilk and Ball; and my East Coast Jazzmen! Fifty years ago I had the good fortune to promote, and tour with the Beatles in concerts, which effectively launched my theatrical agency. Claim to fame? – to be the person who coined the word – ‘Beatlemania’. I hosted a TV pop show – ‘Teenbeat’ – and a record label – ‘Alp Records'” http://uk.linkedin.com/pub/andi-lothian/46/747/471 Andi’s version of how the Beatles were resigned by Albert Bonici in 1963: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=TB0jAwAAQBAJ&pg=PT19&lpg=PT19&dq=albert+bonici+elgin&source=bl&ots=Hr7ufv2Ct6&sig=_8FfwDer1uRy1M3WjG0WeariKew&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CDAQ6AEwBDgKahUKEwjvyd_2nNvHAhUEbRQKHcoCAFA#v=onepage&q=albert%20bonici%20elgin&f=false

Dundee based promoter Andy “Andi” Lothian Jr. and Aberdeen based Gordon Hardie were running shows for Albert Bonici in 1962. Mr. Bonici passed on bookings at cost to make sure visiting bands would perform in a managed hall. The promoters would make their earnings on ticket sales but were required to manage activities including distributing adverts and driving an act to the dance hall if necessary.

In the beginning of 1964, Albert Bonici announced that he would be opening another promotion agency in Glasgow as he had done in Dundee though am not sure that it worked out. Andi Lothian was an agent with rival promoter Malcolm Nixon before becoming an independent business as ALP [Andy Lothian Promotions – Dundee] see correspondence at https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/2014/05/07/fallonbonici/

 

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In the early 1950s, Albert Bonici began promoting dances though it had been an ambition since his teenage years. When he and Henry Robertson co-organized a string of jazz dances in the north Scotland, they could not have predicted the enormous success of the venture. Albert Bonici became one of the most respected promoters in the UK having arranged a high volumn of music venues throughout the north of Scotland which delighted music lovers during the height of the jazz and beat music era. Whilst known for booking the Beatles at the beginning of their 1963 tours, Albert Bonici brought most of the top British acts to north-east Scotland besides working with Scottish musicians to boost their careers. SCOTBEAT was created to share a bit of history about the BEAT years in Scotland and also a tribute to a man with a vision who, with the help of his family and staff, created a happening that is still fondly remembered by those who attended dances and concerts. Albert A Bonici hosted many up and coming bands who went on to gain international acclaim for their contributions. Besides other local resources and interviews, SCOTBEAT presents exclusive photos, adverts, and documents from the A Bonici Archives [circa 1960s]. Unless otherwise agreed, materials are not to be used for financial gain and ask that you respect the terms below. Materials presented are not to be used for financial gain without consent. © 2014-2019 SCOTBEAT.wordpress.com. All rights reserved. No part of this web site may be copied, redistributed, broadcast or published in any form without crediting this blog and/or copyright websites mentioned. All correspondence, flyers, programs, and photos from the Bonici Archives are not to appear in print other than through the propietor of SCOTBEAT. Use of the site signifies your agreement to all of these terms without condition. Please reference https://scotbeat.wordpress.com when sharing materials found here as the site is continuously updated to present the subject matter accurately and as a historical resource. Thank you.

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Posted in 1960's pop music

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