Beatles 50th Blog

The Beatles 50 years ago today: September 5, 1964 (Saturday)

International Amphitheatre, 42nd Street, South Halsted St. Chicago, Illinois, USA

The Beatles performed one concert at Chicago’s International Amphitheatre on this day. The other acts on the bill were, in order of appearance, The Bill Black Combo, The Exciters, Clarence ‘Frogman’ Henry, and Jackie DeShannon.

There were plans to hold a civic reception for The Beatles during the day, with 100,000 people expected, but special events director Colonel Jack Reilly cancelled them saying there were insufficient police officers “for a bunch of singers”.

They arrived at Midway Airport at 4.40pm, an hour later than scheduled. Five thousand fans were waiting to see them, kept at a safe distance behind a chain link fence. The Beatles were ushered into a black limousine and taken to the Sahara O’Hare hotel at O’Hare International airport.

Outside the amphitheatre that evening, the crowds outside were so large that the group were forced to enter through the kitchens.

Inside, 15,000 fans watched the performance. Thirty-five usherettes and 170 ushers had been carefully selected to work at the concert due to their lack of interest in The Beatles. There were also 320 Chicago police officers on duty. Fans were frisked and large signs, jelly beans and other potential projectiles were confiscated.

After the concert The Beatles were driven straight back to Midway Airport, from where they flew to Detroit. They returned to the International Amphitheatre on one other occasion, for the opening date of their final tour in 1966.

The International Amphitheatre stood at 42nd Street and South Halsted. The venue suffered a decline during the 1970s and 1980s, becoming unable to attract enough large events, and was demolished in August 1999.

The Beatles 50 years ago today: September 4, 1964 (Friday)

Milwaukee Arena, West Kilbourn Ave/West State St. Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA

The Beatles performed a single show at this venue in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA – their only such performance in the state.

The Beatles’ aeroplane landed at Milwaukee County Airport (now called Mitchell International Airport). They were taken to the National Guard headquarters on the east side of Mitchell Field, away from the crowd, leaving behind hundreds of disappointed fans. They were then driven by limousine to the Coach House Motor Inn.

At the hotel a press conference was held; John Lennon was suffering from a sore throat so didn’t take part.

Tickets cost between $3.50 and $5.50, and had gone on sale in April 1964. Within a week all 12,000 had sold out. Also on the bill were The Bill Black Combo, The Exciters, Clarence ‘Frogman’ Henry, and Jackie DeShannon.

Security was tight around the arena, as the Milwaukee authorities feared the effects of Beatlemania. The Beatles arrived in the city by aeroplane in the afternoon, and were met by around 700 fans. Fifty police officers and 30 county deputies had difficulty restraining the fans, despite makeshift fences being erected, and officers with fire hoses stood by. At one point around 100 fans broke through the cordon and rushed towards an approaching plane.

After the show fans the Coach House Motor Inn, on West Wisconsin Avenue and 19th Street. Some fans stood in front of the building all night, but were mostly well behaved. Inside the group ate dinner and were given antibiotic shots to alleviate their colds.

The next morning fans invaded their suite and took all available mementos of The Beatles’ stay.

The Beatles 50 years ago today: September 3, 1964, 1964 (Thursday)

TState Fair Colisieum, State Fairgrounds, East 38th St. Indianapolis, Indiana USA

The Beatles performed two shows on this day, which were watched by a total of 29,337 people. The other acts on the bill were, in order of appearance, The Bill Black Combo, The Exciters, Clarence ‘Frogman’ Henry, and Jackie DeShannon. Two shows, seen by a total of 29,337 people and netting $85,232 in the process.

The nights before and after they stayed at the Speedway Motel on West 16th Street. Prior to the first concert Ringo Starr went missing. He arrived just minutes before they were due to go on stage, explaining that he he had lost track of time while driving a police car around a nearby race track.

The first show began at 6.21pm, and was watched by 12,413 fans. Afterwards they held a press conference, before returning to the stage for the second show. This time 16,924 were at the venue. The Beatles later said the fans’ reception was “quite quiet” in comparison to the other dates on the tour.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: September 2, 1964 (Wednesday)

Convention Hall, 34th St. and Curie Ave. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

The Beatles performed before an audience of 12,037 at the Convention Hall, part of the Philadelphia Civic Center.

Also on the bill were, in order of appearance, The Bill Black Combo, The Exciters, Clarence ‘Frogman’ Henry, and Jackie DeShannon. Henry joined the tour on this date, replacing The Righteous Brothers who had complained to Brian Epstein that their music was drowned out by the audience’s cheers for The Beatles.

A few days before the concert there were race riots in Philadelphia. To The Beatles’ disgust, the audience at the Convention Hall was all-white. The concert was broadcast live on local radio.

The Beatles 50 years ago today: September 1, 1964 (Tuesday)

Another day of rest during the US tour

The Beatles 50 years ago today: August 31, 1964 (Monday)

A day of rest on the US tour.

The Beatles 50 years ago today: August 30, 1964 (Sunday)

Convention Hall, Mississippi Ave and The Boardwalk, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA

For this show, 18,000 teenagers packed the Convention Hall. The Democratic National Convention had taken place here a week earlier and newspapers reported The Beatles received a boisterous reception than the speech by Lyndon B. Johnson.

During their stay in Atlantic City, John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote the song Every Little Thing, which appeared on the Beatles For Sale album at the end of 1964.

Just to give you an idea of what ticket prices were back then......

Location Color Admission Comments
Balcony Orange $ 2.75  
Balcony Green $ 4.90  
Main floor Peach $ 2.75  
Main floor White $ 3.90  
Main Floor Red $ 4.90  
Musicians Balcony Unreserved Olive $ 2.75  
Ringside Gold $ 5.50  
Ringside Silver $ 5.50  

The Beatles 50 years ago today: August 29, 1964 (Saturday)

Forest Hills, New York, USA

The second night at Forest hills Tennis Stadium. What memories!

The Beatles 50 years ago today: August 28, 1964 (Friday)

Forest Hills, New York, USA

The first of two performances, in front of 16,000 fans at the Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, New York City.

The Beatles had landed at 3.02am that morning at Kennedy Airport, and were greeted by 3,000 waiting fans. They were driven to the Delmonico Hotel on Park Avenue and 59th Street where more fans were waiting, even though their stay was supposed to be a secret.

One fan, Angie McGowan, snatched Ringo Starr‘s St Christopher medallion as he made his way inside the hotel, although she returned it later that day at their pre-show press conference. The fans were dispersed by police at 4am. By the time The Beatles awoke later that morning thousands more fans were outside.

The Beatles were flown to the stadium by helicopter, which departed late as the pilot didn’t have permission to depart. They took to the stage at 9.50pm, later than expeced.

Tickets for each of the venue’s 15,983 seats wertra ones were added at the high price of $6.50. The audience were kept from the stage by an eight-foot high fence topped with barbed wire.

The Beatles 50 years ago today: August 27, 1964 (Thursday)

Cincinnati Gardens, Seymour Ave. Cincinnati, Ohio, USA

The Beatles gave one performance in Cincinnati, before 14,000 fans, immediately after they flew to New York City, landing at 2:55 am to a reception from 2,000 fans.

Meanwhile, earlier on this day, prior to setting the tapes upon the shelf, Capitol producer Voyle Gilmore and balance engineer Hugh Davies made stereo mixes of the previous Sunday's Hollywood Bowl concert recording, mixed down to two-track, with added equlisation, reverb and limiting. The material, in order was "Introduction" (by announcer), "Twist And Shout", "You Can't Do That", "All My Loving", "She Loves You", "Things We Said Today", "Roll Over Beethoven", "Can't Buy Me Love", "If I Fell", "I Want To Hold Your Hand", "Boys", "A Hard Day's Night", and "Long Tall Sally".

All that could be heard of this material until 1977 was a 48 second extract of "Twist And Shout" on the US only album "The Beatles Story" released on November 23, 1964.