Chance to fol­low the Bea­tles’ trail

Central Leader - - NEWS - By RACHEL STURGES

Tom Sharplin can still re­mem­ber the ex­act mo­ment he heard his first Bea­tles song.

The vet­eran rocker was ped­alling down a Tau­ranga street in 1964 when he heard ‘‘this noise’’ com­ing out of a friend’s house. ‘‘I said, ‘ gee what’s that sound?’ ‘‘I just stayed there all day and lis­tened to the same record over and over again,’’ he says.

It’s now al­most 50 years since the Bea­tles re­leased From Me to You, the sin­gle Mr Sharplin first heard on his bike and in­spired him to take the first steps to­wards a long rock and roll ca­reer.

It’s also the 50th an­niver­sary of their 1964 world tour and their whistlestop visit to New Zealand.

The Bea­tle-mad teenager was part of the scream­ing wel­com­ing mob at the air­port, which fol­lowed the en­tourage by bus to the Auck­land Town Hall mayoral re­cep­tion, and to top it off saw them in con­cert that night.

‘‘The guys were scream­ing Mr Sharplin says.

too,’’

‘‘You couldn’t help it, just the girls,’’ he says.

He was so be­sot­ted with them, he watched the Bea­tles’ movie A Hard Day’s Night four times in one day, wore the black Bea­tles-style win­klepicker boots with his school uni­form and even adopted their trade­mark mop hair­cut, with un­in­tended con­se­quences.

‘‘I lost my af­ter-school job be­cause I had a Bea­tle hair­cut,’’ Mr Sharplin says.

‘‘They said find a new hair­cut or you’re out of a job.’’

Mr Sharplin made his mark on the lo­cal mu­sic scene in the 1970s and still per­forms to­day.

He has al­ways wanted to visit the Bea­tles’ home­town Liver­pool and that dream is about to come true.

He is host­ing a 20-day Bea­tles Tour in Au­gust this year for up to 40 peo­ple.

The tour will in­clude tours around Ham­burg, Lon­don and Liver­pool with ex­tra sight­see­ing stops in Paris and San Fran­cisco.

‘‘It’s a trip of a life­time,’’ he says.

it wasn’t

PHOTO: RACHEL STURGES

Fab tour: Bea­tle-mad Tom Sharplin is or­gan­is­ing a Bea­tles tour to Europe.

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