It was the height of Beatlemania. Hysterical teenage girls poured into Shea Stadium on August 15, 1965, hoping to catch a glimpse of the foursome from Liverpool.
The girls’ screaming overpowered the sound system so that only The Beatles harmonious “oohs” were heard. Some brave and lucky fans made their way onto the field, only to be stopped short by security.
It was pandemonium and a milestone in musical history—and Hampton Bays resident Carol Ellis was smack dab in the middle of it.
Nearly 48 years later, her memories came flooding back earlier this month when she and her husband picked up a copy of a special edition of Life magazine, “Remembering George Harrison: 10 Years Later,” and saw her 13-year-old face immortalized among the crying Beatles fans at Shea Stadium.
“I started laughing,” she said this week, explaining that her husband, Ken, was flipping through the magazine when he found the photo. “I was telling my friends after band practice that I was one of the crazy Beatlemaniacs sitting atop the dugout, and my husband said, ‘And here she is!’”
Looking like a fresh-faced fan in the photo, Ms. Ellis is wearing her “mod” dress with a Peter Pan collar, as was the style of the time. She said she and her family got box tickets, but everybody in the audience surged forward once The Beatles took the stage. She and a few other girls sneaked under the arms of security personnel and climbed on top of the dugout to get a better view.
“I thought for sure if Paul [McCartney] saw me he’d point to me and say, ‘That’s the one for me,’” she said, smiling. “When we’re younger we don’t realize our fantasies are totally ridiculous, but it did make it so much fun.”
Ms. Ellis recalls crying when The Beatles drove off the field after the show, and when a security guard came over, patted her on the back and told her it would be okay.
“My heart was beating,” she said. “It was such an emotional time. It was my first experience falling in love with a male figure.”
Nowadays, Ms. Ellis works as the office manager for The Children’s School in Southampton, but also is a backup singer for her band, Under the Influence, which plays cover songs—including popular Beatles hits.
Despite all she’s seen in her life, Ms. Ellis said her night with The Beatles was unforgettable: “Every time I think about it, I smile.”