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Our Hearts Went Boom: The Beatles’ Invasion of Canada

by Brian Kendall

For those Beatlemaniacs like me who actually saw The Beatles in concert in Canada in 1964, ’65, or ’66, this book will bring back delightful memories. For those unfortunate others, Our Hearts Went Boom will give some indication of the innocence and madness of those times.

The book, by Toronto writer Brian Kendall, details The Beatles’ Canadian tours of those years, with emphasis on the initial tour of 1964, from The Beatles’ first landing in Winnipeg (who knew?) and on through the concerts in Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal (where Ringo hid behind his drums throughout the performance because of a death threat).

What shines are the personal stories of the fans: the gutsy Manea twins who managed to accomplish the ultimate, to talk with their favourite Beatle; the holidaying Edmontonians in Vancouver who not only had the surprise of their lives by ending up in the same hotel as The Beatles, but were taken to the concert that night by their otherwise strait-laced father; or Cynthia Good, Penguin’s editor-in-chief, who as a young girl kissed every doorknob in the King Edward Hotel just in case a Beatle had touched it. Salutations to these wonderful people! Can I tell you about the seven pounds I lost running up and down the stairs of the King Edward on August 17, 1966, or show you the pictures of me amongst the horde of girls in pursuit of The Beatles’ paddy wagon?

What first catches the eye in this collection are the marvellous, scrupulously chosen photographs comprising material drawn from syndication and archives as well as from personal collections, along with ridiculous Beatle memorabilia. It’s impossible to imagine a Marilyn Manson lunchbox, or a Nirvana Dairy Queen drinking glass.

It is hard to explain to my children how seeing The Beatles standing relatively still on a stage for 18 minutes was an earth-shattering experience for a 14-year-old girl like myself. Reading this book may explain to them what I cannot.

This then is a book that amuses and reminds those of us who were there of what used to be; for those who had no experience of that world and do not know how it seemed to revolve around four young men from Liverpool, this book can show readers why and how our hearts went boom.


Reviewer: Carolyn Smart

Publisher: Viking


Price: $25

Page Count: 199 pp

Format: Cloth

ISBN: 0-670-87689-5

Released: Nov.

Issue Date: 1997-12

Categories: Art, Music & Pop Culture