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Beatles 50th Blog

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 25, 1966

Coliseum, Seattle, USA

The Beatles performed two shows at the Coliseum in Seattle on this day, at 3pm and 8pm, on the 12th date of their final tour. The concert took place at the Busch Stadium, and was seen by 23,000 people. The support acts were The Remains, Bobby Hebb, The Cyrkle and The Ronettes.

The group flew from Los Angeles at 10am, and stayed at Seattle's Edgewater Inn. They held a press conference at the hotel, where Paul McCartney was asked repeatedly about false claims that he was due to marry Jane Asher the following day.

In Seattle, Paul was questioned by journalists over a rumour that he was about to get married. Gossip had spread through the city suggesting that Jane was due to fly in to join Paul. The word was that a wedding cake had been ordered and a bridal suite reserved at a local hotel. A reporter said: 'Mr McCartney, would you please confirm or deny reports that you plan to marry Jane Asher here in Seattle this evening.' Playing along at first, Paul grinned broadly and said: 'It's tonight, yeah!' Then he added more seriously: 'No, she's not coming in tonight, as far as I know. I do hope it's not true. I'm going back to Los Angeles tonight so if Jane flies in I'm not even going to see her, let alone marry her!'

The Beatles had played at the Coliseum once before, on August 21, 1964 during their first full American tour.

Only 8,000 of the 15,000 available tickets had been sold for the 3pm show. The evening concert was full, however.

Afterwards The Beatles were due to fly back to Los Angeles on an 11pm flight, for two more days of rest. Their departure was delayed by five hours after one of the airplane's wheels was found to be worn out and in need of replacement.

 

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 24, 1966

Day off in Los Angeles

Immediately after their second concert at Shea Stadium, the Beatles flew to Los Angeles. They arrived in the early hours of this morning.

There were no concerts scheduled for this day; it was a rest day for the group to recuperate before continuing their final tour in Seattle.

They stayed at 7655 Curson Terrace in Beverly Hills, which Brian Epstein had rented for this brief stay. The Beatles were visited by their former press officer, Derek Taylor, as well as members of The Byrds and The Mamas And The Papas.

In the evening Capitol Records' president Alan Livingstone threw a party for The Beatles, which was attended by well-known show business personalities including Edward G Robinson, Jack Benny, James Stewart and Groucho Marx.

Source: Beatles Bible

A photo from the day before at Shea Stadium

 

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 23, 1966

Live: Shea Stadium, New York

A little over a year after their first triumphant appearance at New York's Shea Stadium, The Beatles returned for a second time.

The concert did not sell out, with 11,000 of the 55,600 tickets still available. Nonetheless, The Beatles made more money from their appearance than they had in 1965, receiving $189,000 - 65 per cent of the gross takings of $292,000.

Curiously enough the second Shea Stadium concert had about 11,000 seats unsold. So it was a pretty unsettling time. And it was against this background that they said, 'Right, we definitely won't do any more. We are going to have a break and then we are going into the studio to make a record.' (George Martin)
 
During the performance of Day Tripper hundreds of fans broke through barriers and attempted to reach the stage. They were held back by security guards and none managed to get close to The Beatles.
When they played Shea Stadium again, for me it blended in with the first one, though it was said there were slightly fewer people there than the year before. For some reason I missed the police van that was taking us. I had gone back for something, and before I could get in the van, they slammed the doors and of it went. I was left at the hotel, so I got a cab, but that broke down in Harlem. Another cab took me to the stadium, but there were thousands of people, and I thought: 'Oh God, they're really going to let me in! I'm going to just knock on the door and say, "I'm with The Beatles?"' Then I saw the four of them banging out of a window, and they saw me wandering round the car park. It was like magic; they were shouting, 'There he is! Let him in!' (Neil Aspinall)

Straight after the concert The Beatles flew to Los Angeles. They arrived the following morning in the early hours and enjoyed a rest day before flying on to Seattle.

 

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 22, 1966

The Beatles flew into New York in the late hours of August 21st during their 1966 tour of North America. They took August 22nd as a night off in New York, still making time for the following press conference at Manhatten's Warwick Hotel.

Also on this day, separately from the usual Beatles press event for New York City reporters, the group would hold a second press conference at the Warwick Hotel that was comprised completely of young Beatles fans. Arranged in conjunction with New York City radio station WMCA, the Beatles' Junior Press Conference allowed 75 lucky contest winners to attend and ask questions at the special event.

Q: "Would any of you care to comment on any aspect of the war in Vietnam?"

JOHN: "We don't like it."

Q: "Could you elaborate any?"

JOHN: "No. I've elaborated enough, you know. We just don't like it. We don't like war."

GEORGE: "It's, you know... It's just war is wrong, and it's obvious it's wrong. And that's all that needs to be said about it."

(applause)

PAUL: "We can elaborate in England."

Q: "I have a question for Paul. I don't know if you know about it yet, but two young ladies threatened to jump to their death from the twenty-second floor of the hotel here in Manhatten if they could see you. How do you feel about young girls acting this way?"

PAUL: "If they could see me?"

Q: "They wanted to see you-- If you would come over they wouldn't jump. The police finally rescued them. They threatened to jump unless you came over."

PAUL: "Good god, you know... Phew! I don't understand it. I don't know. Umm... silly, that. I'll see 'em, you know."

(laughter)

Q: "Will the Beatles be inactive when John goes on movie location for the (How I Won The War) motion picture?"

RINGO: "Yes."

JOHN: "I'm only doing it because we've got a holiday, you know. I wouldn't do it if we had any work. (pause) We're not out of work, mind you."

(laughter)

Q: "When you arrived at the airport and there were only nine girls waiting to meet you, were you disappointed, and do you think that's a reflection of a loss of popularity in this country?"

JOHN: (jokingly) "Yeah, we're real brought down by it."

PAUL: "Really disappointed!"

(laughter)

PAUL: "Three o'clock in the morning they expected millions."

(laughter)

 Q: "Now that Paul is the only bachelor Beatle, do you find that the girls gravitate more to him than they do to the rest of you fellas? How do you feel about that?"

JOHN: "They always did!"

RINGO: "Yeah."

(laughter)

PAUL: "Well, the thing that we found... We found after all this business, of all the buttons that say 'I love Ringo,' "I love John,' John's were outselling everyone's."

JOHN: "A rather distinctive Beatle."

PAUL: "A distinctive Beatle."

Q: "This is for Paul and John. Do you think that happiness is really egg-shaped, or is it just a rumor from the egg marketing magazine?"

PAUL: "Hooo-hooo-hooo."

JOHN: "Ho, ho."

Q: "Do you think happiness is real, or just a fantasy?"

JOHN: "It's real, alright."

RINGO: (jokingly) "Depends how the eggs are cooked."

(laughter)

PAUL: (laughs) "That was about as good as anything."

Q: "Ringo, now that George has joined John and Paul in writing songs are you going to start writing your own songs?"

RINGO: "Umm, no."

Q: "Why not?"

RINGO: "I can't write them. I try, you know, but... alot of rubbish."

Q: "On your new album, 'Revolver,' I noticed alot of violins and even trumpets."

GEORGE: "Very observant."

(laughter)

Q: "How come you decided to use violins and trumpets?"

PAUL: "There were, uhh... I think there were three violins on the whole album, and three trumpets. So we're not exactly going overboard on 'em, you know. We don't use them all that much, but it was just that those tracks sounded better with violins and with trumpets than with us, you know. That's the only reason we use them."

 Q: "This one to John, please. Any remarks whatsoever on some of the recent remarks attributed to you and the Beatles concerning religion?"

JOHN: "Well, I think I've said enough about that. I can't say anymore, and just sort of going over the same thing over again. You know, alot of it just is alot of rubbish and alot of hysteria."

Q: "Uhh, to John and Paul-- It's been said that Lennon and McCartney may someday replace the names Rogers and Hammerstein. Have you ever considered discontinuing performing and instead just keep on writing?"

JOHN: "No."

Q: "Would you rather perform, then?"

PAUL: "I mean, you know... When we're eighty we won't be performing. We may be writing."

JOHN: "And we don't want to be Rogers and Hart, either."

(laughter)

Q: "This is to all of you. You seem to be doing a Bob Dylan in reverse. That is, you became popular playing rock and roll and now you seem to be doing alot more folk rock. Would you care to comment on that?"

RINGO: "Folk rock."

PAUL: "It's not folk rock. Honest. Yeah, somebody said that the other day."

Q: "Songs like 'Eleanor Rigby' and..."

PAUL: "No, the thing is that-- That thing about Bob Dylan is probably right, in reverse, because we're getting more interested now in the content of the songs, whereas Bob Dylan is getting more interested in rock and roll. It's just, we're both going towards the same thing, I think."

Q: "Paul, I believe you have just recently purchased a farm in Scotland. Have you any intention of purchasing any further, being in the United States?"

PAUL: "No. I just bought that farm because it was very cheap. And, uhh, I always wanted a farm. And it's a nice place. But that's as far as it goes."

Q: "This is for John. There have been reports from Europe about too much reaction to your christianity remark. They say it represents a possibility of immaturity in American society. Do you think so?"

JOHN: "Uhh.. Who says so?"

Q: "It was said in overseas press."

JOHN: "Well, I mean... It's an opinion. That's all, you know. I don't... They're entitled to their opinion."

PAUL: "I think the thing about that is that, uhh, there are more people in America, so there are more biggots... just by head of population."

(laughter)

PAUL: "No, well... There are, you know."

JOHN: "What about Scotland?"

PAUL: "Well, you know... but I mean, you hear more from American biggots than you do from Russian biggots."

(laughter)

PAUL: "That doesn't mean the whole country's biggoted, you know. Does it?"

 Q: "This question is to John and Paul. Is there any special significance in the use of the term, 'Yellow Submarine'?"

PAUL: "It's a happy place, that's all. You know, it was just... We were trying to write a children's song. That was the basic idea. And there's nothing more to be read into it than there is in the lyrics of any children's song. 'Sparky,' you know, it's the same kind of thing."

JOHN: "Sparky?"

PAUL: "Sparky. Correct."

(laughter)

Q: "Two years ago I traveled with you as a group, and this time you seem to be much more quiet, much more restrained. Do you think you're getting older, or are the tours getting to you?"

JOHN: "I think we're probably getting older, you know, each year."

(laughter)

PAUL: "I've got older."

Q: "How do you think Prime Minister (Harold) Wilson's austerity program is going to affect London as the capital of rock and roll, and what's it going to do to you financially if the pounds devalue?"

JOHN: "We don't know. You know, we don't know what he's done, yet, because we've been away. I mean, we've seen a bit of it, you know. If it affects us, that's alright."

Q: (female) "I must say you're a cute looking bunch."

PAUL: "Gee, thanks, Ma'am."

(laughter)

Q: "I'd like to ask you sort of a personal question. Do you bring your own barber with you when you travel abroad?"

BEATLES: "No."

Q: "Do you have your hair cut, then, wherever you are?"

RINGO: "Umm, no. Well... We usually have it cut at home, you know. Well, I do."

Q: "How do you define glamour in a girl?"

RINGO: "Glamour?"

JOHN: "Don't like glamour."

PAUL: "You can't define glamour, really, you know. It's just there or it isn't."

JOHN AND PAUL: "Glamour."

Q: "There was a rumour carried in the New York press and on radio this past week that you're all wearing wigs because you were trying to join a London club which is very exclusive. Is it true or false? Are you wearing wigs?"

GEORGE: "No."

PAUL: "Oh. Do YOU believe that? Do you? No."

Q: "Your hair looks much more uniform than it did two years ago."

PAUL: (effeminate) "Thanks, silly."

(laughter)

PAUL: "No, that's not true, you know. But thanks all the same."

JOHN: (giggling) "No comment."

(laughter)

GEORGE: "To George-- Now that you've learned to play the sitar, do you expect to learn any more instruments?"

GEORGE: "I haven't learned to play the sitar. I mean, Ravi Shankar hasn't LEARNED to play it and he's been playing it thirty-five years."

(applause)

PAUL: (excitedly, to George) "Woo!"

Q: "A question to John and Paul. Is there any theme to the 'Rubber Soul' and 'Revolver' albums..."

PAUL: "Theme?"

Q: "...a general theme with variations on it?

PAUL: "No, not really, you know. (to John) Is there a theme?"

JOHN: "No. The only theme is that you do them at the same period, so they have something in common when they get on the same LP. That's all."

 Q: "A question to George. Do you feel that Indian music will be more influencial in the future of rock and roll and pop music?"

GEORGE: "Umm, well... I don't know. I personally hope it will become more-- that there'll be more Indian influences just generally in any music, because it's worth it. It's very good music. I'd just like to see it more popular-- more people appreciating it."

Q: "This question is addressed to all of you. Do any of you ever get tired of all this hocus-pocus, the press conferences, the screaming girls, the crowds, and decide that you would like to just sit back on your fat wallets and forget the whole thing?"

PAUL: (laughs)

JOHN: "Well, when we feel like that, we take a fat holiday on our fat wallets..."

(laughter)

JOHN: "...and then you get fed up with that and you feel like coming out and doing this."

(laughter)

Q: "How would you describe the reception you received on this trip to the States? Has it increased, diminished, or remained the same?"

PAUL: "The actual numbers of people, umm... recepting, or whatever the word is, is bigger... so I hear. Who knows."

RINGO: "Yeah."

PAUL: "Well, Brian (Epstein) knows. You know, ask him."

GEORGE: "We're playing to more people on this trip than we have on the last tours."

Q: "You said that you and Dylan are heading towards the same thing. Where do you see your music going? Things have changed."

PAUL: "Well, it's going... I don't know. The thing is, uhh... It's going forwards. I don't know toward what, but it's gonna go forward. We're trying to take it forward, and Dylan's trying to take his forward, but it just looks as though it's going backwards."

(laughter)

PAUL: "You know, I'm not trying to be funny, but it does... It's gone from very complicated to less complicated."

Q: "But certainly it's changed since your advent. I'm wondering where you consider yourself to be now, music-wise."

JOHN: (jokingly) "On Decca Records."

Q: "Do any of you have plans to record on your own?"

JOHN: "We do at home, you know. We might."

GEORGE: "In fact, we have done, I think."

JOHN: "I think so."

GEORGE: "'Eleanor Rigby' was Paul on his own."

JOHN: "We were just drinking tea."

(laughter)

Q: "No, the thing that I'm trying to get at is, do you have plans like anything definite at all?"

PAUL: "Not for separate recording careers, if that's what you mean."

Q: "Have you written any good books lately, John?"

PAUL: (misunderstanding) "Blues?"

JOHN: "Books?"

PAUL: "Books?"

JOHN: "Books or Blues, I haven't written anything, you know."

(laughter)

Q: "Paul, according to wire reports you became a little ill after you got off the plane last night. What happened? Air sickness?"

PAUL: Yeah, something. You know, I haven't been too well on the tour. I just felt a bit ill, that's all, and I was sick."

Q: "One of you, I beleive it was George, said that you couldn't comment on Vietnam in this country but you could in England. Could you elaborate on that a little bit?"

GEORGE: "I didn't say that. Maybe one of us said that, but I didn't."

PAUL: "It was me. I mean, you know about that, anyway, you know. I mean, we could say a thing about... like John's religious thing in England and it wouldn't be taken up and misinterpreted quite as much as it tends to get here. I mean, you know it does. The thing is that, I think you can say things like that in England and people will listen a bit more than they do in America, because in America somebody will take it up and use it completely against you and won't have many scruples about doing that. You know, I'm probably putting my foot in it saying that, but..."

JOHN: "You'll be explaining to the next bunch."

PAUL: "Yeah, I know."

(laughter)

PAUL: (jokingly, in American accent) "Oh well, it's just wonderful here."

(laughter)

Q: "There appear to be a much smaller number of fans outside the hotel, and the..."

JOHN: "Yip yip."

Q: "...concert tomorrow night at Shea Stadium is far below a sellout. How do you feel about this..."

JOHN: "Very rich."

(laughter)

Q: "...not being quite as popular as you were?"

JOHN: "It doesn't matter, you know."

Q: "Do you make the same money?"

PAUL: "Well, I don't know, but the thing is-- Do you expect us just to go on forever making more and more money, making more and more figures, bigger and bigger? You can't just go forever!"

GEORGE: "And if certain people have decided they don't like us after John's statement then, you know, we don't want..."

JOHN: "We'll have to get rid of them."

GEORGE: "We'd rather just have people who like us, and really like us, rather than pretend to like us because we're the in-thing."

(applause)

JOHN: "The first house in Memphis-- two-hundred didn't turn up who were meant to, or something like that, but the second house was wild, you know, and we thought that would be the place that would show any sort of real doubt about what was going on."

Q: "Do you think that with the new mini-skirts and wild fashions that young women are exposing too much these days?"

BEATLES: "No!"

(laughter)

JOHN: "You get quite used to it. It's not as wild as you think it is, when it's sort of, everybody's wearing clothes like that. It just looks sort of normal and you get used to it, the same as people got used to long hair."

Q: "When you go to San Francisco then, will you visit some of the topless restaurants?"

GEORGE: "No, we'll only be there long enough to do the concert and then fly back to Los Angeles."

JOHN: "Well, they could come to the show-- we'll get 'em a couple of tickets."

GEORGE: "Yeah."

(laughter)

GEORGE: "They could dance on stage while we do our act."

JOHN: "Nah, we wouldn't be able to do it."

Q: "What music do you listen to for relaxation?"

RINGO: "Uhh, all sorts, you know."

PAUL: "All kinds of music. I don't think any one of us has got..."

JOHN: "Except for him."

PAUL: "Well, George is mainly interested in Indian music, and we all share the interest, and like all other kinds of music as well. Good music, you know."

Q: "Here's a question for the entire group. I noticed that Brian Epstein is sitting up on the platform with you gentlemen. After all these years how are the Beatles and Brian getting along, aside from the financial considerations?"

JOHN: "We get on just fine."

PAUL: "Good friends."

GEORGE: "He wouldn't be sitting on the stage with us now if we didn't."

JOHN: "He'd be sitting on his fat wallet somewhere."

(laughter)

Q: "If it could be arranged would you like to include, in your '67 or '68 European concert itinerary, concerts in the satellite capital countries such as Warsaw, Moscow, and Budapest? Can you answer that, please?"

JOHN: "We can't, you know. We'd like..."

GEORGE: "Personally, I wouldn't like to play there because I just don't fancy going there at the moment. There's lots of other places I'd rather see first. But that's a personal whim, you know."

M.C: "These are now the last three questions."

Q: "I got a tough question for Ringo. Your boy is a year old next month, right? September?"

RINGO: "Yeah."

Q: "What kind of gifts does he want for his birthday?"

RINGO: "Well, how do I know. He's not talking yet."

(laughter)

PAUL: (giggles)

Q: "Do you feel responsible for the Mod fashion revolution in the United States?"

BEATLES: "No."

JOHN: "We haven't noticed it."

GEORGE: "We're not responsible for ourselves, nevermind fashions."

JOHN: "Mental as well, eh?"

Q: "A couple of years ago, you said that you were most influenced by people such as Chuck Berry, Laverne Baker, etcetera. Now that they're more or less over the hill as far as pop music is concerned..."

JOHN: "They were then."

Q: "...who do you admire now? You mentioned Indian music-- Are there any pop stars in the United States today that still influence you?"

JOHN: "We like alot of American groups, still, you know."

GEORGE: "Elvis."

JOHN: "We still like Chuck Berry... I haven't burned his records or anything."

PAUL: (laughs)

(laughter)

JOHN: "The Lovin Spoonful are nice."

PAUL: "Beach Boys are great."

RINGO: "Mamas and the Papas."

JOHN: "We like alot of things, and are influenced by everything that's going on."

PAUL: (jokingly) "Especially Bill Haley."

(laughter)

Q: "What about the downfall?"

PAUL: "What about it?"

GEORGE: "Well, the downfall won't be a downfall for us because we won't really..."

JOHN: "...feel down."

GEORGE: "If we'll have a downfall it will only be for all those people who think, 'Hee hee, the Beatles aren't making hit records anymore.' We won't particularly be worried. So it won't be a downfall."

Q: "You're looking forward to it? Getting out of all this?"

PAUL: "No, we're not."

JOHN: "We don't sort of dread it. It's just something that'll happen."

GEORGE: "When it happens, we'll accept it."

Q: "Ringo, do you have any comment on fatherhood?"

RINGO: "Ahh, it's okay! You know, that's about all. I like it."

M.C: "This must be the last question, I'm afraid, time-wise."

Q: "One of the disc jockeys in the local area said that one of the songs, I believe it was 'Rain,' was recorded backwards. Is this true?"

JOHN: "Uhh, it is true. After we'd done the session on that particular song-- it ended at about four or five in the morning-- I went home with a tape to see what else you could do with it. And I was sort of very tired, you know, not knowing what I was doing, and I just happened to put it on my own tape recorder and it came out backwards. And I liked it better. So that's how it happened."

M.C: "I'm afraid that has to be the last question."

(applause)

 

Source: Transcribed by www.beatlesinterviews.org from raw audio recording of the press conference

 

 

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 21, 1966

Live: Busch Stadium, St Louis

After performing their postponed concert in Cincinnati at midday, The Beatles flew 341 miles to St Louis, Missouri, where they performed one show at 8.30pm.

The concert took place at the Busch Stadium, and was seen by 23,000 people. The support acts were The Remains, Bobby Hebb, The Cyrkle and The Ronettes.

The show took place in heavy rain, with a makeshift shelter over the stage to protect the musicians, although water still dripped onto the amplifiers. It was this incident which finally convinced Paul McCartney that The Beatles should cease touring.

It rained quite heavily, and they put bits of corrugated iron over the stage, so it felt like the worst little gig we'd ever played at even before we'd started as a band. We were having to worry about the rain getting in the amps and this took us right back to the Cavern days - it was worse than those early days. And I don't even think the house was full.

After the gig I remember us getting in a big, empty steel-lined wagon, like a removal van. There was no furniture in there – nothing. We were sliding around trying to hold on to something, and at that moment everyone said, 'Oh, this bloody touring lark - I've had it up to here, man.'

I finally agreed. I'd been trying to say, 'Ah, touring's good and it keeps us sharp. We need touring, and musicians need to play. Keep music live.' I had held on that attitude when there were doubts, but finally I agreed with them.

George and John were the ones most against touring; they got particularly fed up. So we agreed to say nothing, but never to tour again. We thought we'd get into recording, and say nothing until some journalist asked, 'Are you going out on tour?' - 'Not yet.' We wouldn't make The Big Announcement that we'd finished touring forever, but it would gradually dawn on people: 'They don't appear to be going on tour, do they? How long was that? Ten years? Maybe they've given it up.'

That was the main point: we'd always tried to keep some fun in it for ourselves. In anything you do you have to do that, and we'd been pretty good at it. But now even America was beginning to pall because of the conditions of touring and because we'd done it so many times.

Paul McCartney
Anthology

The Beatles' standard set during their final tour consisted of 11 songs: Rock and Roll Music, She's A Woman, If I Needed Someone, Day Tripper, Baby's In Black, I Feel Fine, Yesterday, I Wanna Be Your Man, Nowhere Man, Paperback Writer and I'm Down. During the tour they occasionally substituted the final song with Long Tall Sally.

Following the St Louis concert The Beatles flew to New York, where they arrived at 3.50am the following morning.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 20, 1966

The Beatles’ Cincinnati concert is postponed!

The Beatles were due to have played an open-air show at Cincinnati's Crosley Field on this day. However, the promoter failed to provide a cover for the group, and heavy rain began shortly before they were due to take the stage.

The support acts on The Beatles' final tour were The Remains, Bobby Hebb, The Cyrkle and The Ronettes. The downpour began after each of the acts had completed their sets. The promoter originally insisted that The Beatles should perform, but they refused unless he could guarantee their safety.

Tony Barrow: In Cincinnati on August 20, torrential rain caused the cancellation of the show at Crosley Field Stadium, the first and only time this happened during The Beatles' touring years. The decision to put off the boys' appearance was taken when Mal Mal [Evans] was thrown several feet across the stage while plugging into a wet amplifier. We were advised that touching any of the stage's rain-soaked electrical equipment could be lethal so Brian Epstein had no option but to call off the concert.

The rain was serious enough for The Beatles to have risked electrocution had they performed. As the heavens opened there were 35,000 fans inside the stadium, but the show was postponed and rescheduled for noon on the following day.

George Harrison: Cincinnati was an open-air venue, and they had a bandstand in the centre of the ballpark, with a canvas top on it. It was really bad weather, pouring with rain, and when Mal got there to set up the equipment he said, 'Where's the electricity power feed?' And the fella said, 'What do you mean, electricity? I thought they played guitars.' He didn't even know we played electric guitars.

It was so wet that we couldn't play. They'd brought in the electricity, but the stage was soaking and we would have been electrocuted, so we cancelled - the only gig we ever missed.

 

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 19, 1966

Mid-South Coliseum, Memphis

The eighth date of The Beatles' final tour took place at the Mid-South Coliseum, Memphis, Tennessee, where they performed two concerts.

The Coliseum was able to accommodate 13,300 people. For the first show, which began at 4pm, The Beatles were seen by 10,000 people; the second started at 8.30pm and was attended by 12,500.

The support acts were The Remains, Bobby Hebb, The Cyrkle and The Ronettes.

The Beatles' final tour was mired in controversy arising from John Lennon's comments that The Beatles' were "More Popular than Jesus". Although they had sought to downplay the statement in press conferences and interviews, there was much opposition to them, manifested in record-burning, radio boycotts and protests outside venues.

The anti-Beatles feelings were particularly strong in America's Bible belt, and a local preacher, the Reverend Jimmy Stroad, staged a rally outside the Coliseum. Six members of the Ku Klux Klan also picketed outside the venue wearing full robes.

During their second Memphis concert an event which subsequently became known as the 'Cherry Bomb' incident took place. A cherry bomb firecracker was thrown onto the stage. The Beatles each looked at one another, thinking a shot had been fired and wondering who had been hit.

One night on a show in the South somewhere somebody let off a firecracker while we were on stage. There had been threats to shoot us, the Klan were burning Beatle records outside and a lot of the crew-cut kids were joining in with them. Somebody let off a firecracker and every one of us - I think it's on film - look at each other, because each thought it was the other that had been shot. It was that bad.
 
The concert was recorded by two teenage girls; the tape reveals that the explosion took place during If I Needed Someone, and The Beatles finished the song with increased urgency. If there was a single catalyst that led them to the decision to quit touring, this may well have been it.

After the show various decoy cars were used to fool protestors, but The Beatles' coach was still surrounded by demonstrators. They were driven to Memphis Metropolitan Airport, from where they flew to Cincinnati, Ohio. They arrived at 1.35 the following morning.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 18, 1966

Suffolk Downs Racetrack, Boston

The seventh date of The Beatles' final tour took place at the Suffolk Downs Racetrack in Boston, Massachusetts, where they gave one concert before 25,000 people.

The concert began at 8pm. The Beatles had previously played in Boston on September 12, 1964 at the Boston Garden. This time they were in the middle of a horse racing course.

The support acts during The Beatles' final tour were The Remains, Bobby Hebb, The Cyrkle and The Ronettes.

After the show The Beatles and their entourage stayed at a Boston hotel. They left the city at 11.30am the following morning and flew to Memphis, Tennessee.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 17, 1966

Live: Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Canada

The sixth date of The Beatles' final tour took place at the Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto. It was their only Canadian stop on the tour.

Two concerts took place. The first took place at 4pm and was seen by 15,000 people, and the second began at 8pm and was attended by 17,000. The Beatles had played at Maple Leaf Gardens on two prior occasions, on September 7, 1964 and August 17, 1965.

After the show The Beatles spent the night in Toronto before flying to Boston on August 18, 1966.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 16, 1966

John F. Kennedy Stadium, Broad St. and Patterson Ave., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

The fifth date of The Beatles' final tour took place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where they performed one concert before around 20,000 people at the John F Kennedy Stadium.

The concert began at 8pm. The stadium had 60,000 seats available, but by this point in their career The Beatles were only able to sell around a third of tickets. They had previously played at Philadelphia's Convention Hall on September 2, 1964.

Support acts for the entire tour were The Remains, Bobby Hebb, The Cyrkle and The Ronettes. The show took place during the beginning of an electrical storm with near-constant lightning, but the rain held off until shortly after The Beatles left the stage.

After the show The Beatles and their entourage immediately boarded their Greyhound tour bus and were taken to Philadelphia International Airport, from where they flew to Toronto, Canada.