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Local fan Cathy Johnston was lucky enough to meet the Beatles in 1966

April 23, 2022 Updated Sun., April 24, 2022 at 1 p.m.

The Beatles’ “Revolver”
The Beatles’ “Revolver”

It was evident to Cathy Johnston who she was catching when her police detective uncle invited her to a show in Seattle in August 1966.

“He said do you want to go to a concert?” Johnston recalled. “I asked who it was that we would be seeing, and he said he didn’t know. ‘It’s some guys with long hair, and the band is some kind of bug.’ That made it easy to figure out. It was the Beatles.”

During the summer of 1966, there was nothing as big as the Beatles. Three weeks prior to the show Johnston caught with her sisters, the Beatles released their groundbreaking album, “Revolver.”

The world was trying to comprehend the sonic miracle unfolding before their ears while the Beatles’ performances were washed out by the din of screaming, hysterical fans.

Johnston experienced it for free as her uncle slipped her into the Seattle Coliseum. “I was 15 and a Beatles fan like everyone was,” Johnston said from her downtown home.

“We didn’t have tickets to the concert. My uncle walked us in and took us to an empty area in which the stage was about 100 yards away. He told us, ‘Stay here, and don’t move.’ ”

Johnston’s experience became even trippier. “We walked along the railing and looked down the tunnel and saw people coming toward us, and it was the Beatles,” Johnston said. “We were completely dumbfounded.

“We just looked at each other and at the Beatles. They waved and said ‘Hi.’ Ringo came up to the wall, jumped up and slapped the side of it and said, ‘Glad you’re here.’ Then they went off and took the stage and performed.”

When Johnston was asked what the Beatles played, she noted that the show was less than an hour, and the iconic act rendered a couple of their older songs. That is true.

However, Johnston recalls the band playing some tracks from “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and “The White Album. “They played ‘Hey Jude’ and ‘Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,’ ” Johnston said.

However, “Sgt. Pepper” and “The White Album” had yet to be released, so “Hey Jude” and “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” weren’t previewed. “It’s funny what you remember or what you don’t remember,” Johnston said. “But I do remember that it was phenomenal.”

The Beatles, who delivered an 11-song set, failed to play a “Revolver” track. Johnston caught one of the final Beatles shows. The Fab Four would only play two other concerts after leaving Seattle.

“It was an incredible experience,” Johnston said. Johnston would love to catch Paul McCartney on April 28 at Spokane Arena, but her budget will not allow it.

“If I bought a ticket for the show I would have to live in my car for six months,” Johnston said. “I just can’t do it. I hear Paul likes to walk in the park. I’ll be looking for him. Maybe I’ll be able to say hello again if he really does come out of the hotel.

“I’m just surprised that Paul McCartney is playing Spokane. It’s amazing. When I found out, I couldn’t help but think back to when we saw the Beatles.”

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