Fan who met Fab Four on last night of Beatlemania

THIS WEEK sees the 40th anniversary of the Beatles Yellow Submarine film premiere, and one man from Belsize Park has a special reason to celebrate. David Stark, from Belsize Crescent, was just 15 when he went to see the stars arriving at the premiere. He

THIS WEEK sees the 40th anniversary of the Beatles' Yellow Submarine film premiere, and one man from Belsize Park has a special reason to celebrate.

David Stark, from Belsize Crescent, was just 15 when he went to see the stars arriving at the premiere. He ended up gate-crashing the film, bluffing his way into the cinema and chatting with the stars about their songs.

"It was one of the most amazing nights of my life," said Mr Stark, 55.

"Not only did I manage to sneak into the premiere, but to sit directly behind the Fab Four and next to Keith Richards which was just unbelievable. I was even chatting quietly to Paul during the film about the new songs."


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The premiere was held at the old London Pavilion cinema in Piccadilly Circus, now the Trocadero Centre, and it turned out to be the capital's final mass public outburst of Beatlemania.

When Mr Stark sneaked into the show as a schoolboy all those years ago, he sat directly behind the Beatles in the seat of Mick Jagger, who was absent.

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Now, 40 years later, he is a successful music executive and the publisher of SongLink and Cuesheet newsletters which connect songwriters, composers, artists, record labels and film producers around the world.

He will meet Sir Paul, who lives in St John's Wood, again later this month as he does every July in his capacity as a Companion of the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.

He has supported Sir Paul's prestigious fame academy for the past decade and this month he will present SongLink prizes to two aspiring songwriters on their graduation day on July 25. He also hosts London shows by LIPA students, some of whom - inlcuding the Wombats, the Zutons and Sandi Thom - have since achieved major success.

But today he will be addressing a group of Beatles fans outside the Trocadero as special guest on the regular London Beatles Walk which fellow Beatles expert Richard Porter has been running for many years.

"I've been in the music business for more than 30 years and I also play drums regularly in my own band the Dave Stark Five," he said.

"But I'm still the same huge Beatles fan since first hearing Please Please Me in 1963.

"I've been lucky enough to meet all the group members on various occasions, including John Lennon, so I'm more than pleased to talk about my unique experiences in the 1960s, especially the younger generation who can only have an inkling of how exciting and unique it all was at the time.

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