To keep the memory alive

In 1994, after 30 years had gone by, copywriter and journalist Gert Elzinga came up with the idea to keep the memory of those two historic concerts of the Beatles in Blokker alive with a monument. When the press meddled with his initiative, it set the ball rolling.

Joined by Peter Schaper, Ron Koster and later on by Kees Schaper, they founded The Beatles In Blokker Foundation. Its first goal was to create an original design for a monument. A committee of art was made up, consisting of Joep Neefjes, Leentje Linders and Vincent Vlasblom. After a procedure of tender three artists were short-listed. Finally a winning design was chosen. The design was by Harma Heikens from Groningen.

A long-play (LP) record cast in concrete, measuring three meters by four meters, placed on a stage, with a radio in the front and a VOX speaker at the back.  The eight songs played by The Beatles at those concerts are seen on the album’s sleeve. The colour of the monument, pale blue and pink, are colours that were very popular in ‘Beatle dresses’ at that time. The total cost of the monument was 100,000 guilders.

The unveiling ceremony was presented by publican Roel Zonneveld, and took place on June 6th 1999, two former deejays Herman Stok and Willem van Kooten had the honour of unveiling the monument. Other distinguished guests included Professor of Pop René Boomkens and Scientist of music Ger Tillekens.

Ringo Starr’s image was represented on the monument originally, not that of Jimmie Nicol. However, our foundation, now called Fanclub The Beatles In Blokker thought that was not an accurate representation of who played at those concerts. Jimmie Nicol joined them at the time and contributed to the success of The Beatles’ first world tour, so he is entitled to be on the monument. For that reason the monument was changed in 2013, unveiled officially by Jimmie’s son Howie Nicol and the mayor of municipality Drechterland  Rob van der Riet.