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Beatles stages 1966 PDF Print E-mail

1 May 1966 - New Musical Express Poll Winner`s Concert, Wembley, London.

None of those present at this concert, organised by the popular British music publication New Musical Express in London, imagined that this fifteen-minute performance by the Beatles would be the final performance by Liverpool's Fab Four in Great Britain ... unless, of course, you include the 42-minute Beatles concert on the roof of Apple Corps on 30 January 1969!

By the way, it was this Beatles show at Wembley on 1 May 1966 that someone from the Soviet State Television and Radio Commission and ? [sic] attended, having come to Great Britain to discuss possible tours by the Beatles in the USSR. And, apparently, he announced after the concert that the Beatles were fantastic, but what the spectators were doing in the stands was another matter altogether ... As we know, contrary to rumour, the Beatles never did to go to the USSR, possibly because of this very representative of State television and radio, who may well have been responsible for wrecking the dreams of an entire Soviet generation. Well, what can you say ...

Mini-tour by the Beatles to West Germany and the Far East - Japan and The Philippines

(23 June - 4 July 1966 )

Cliff Bennett & the Rebel Rousers and Peter & Gordon supported the Beatles on this tour.

24 June 1966 - Circus-Kröne-Bau, Munich, Bavaria, West Germany (2 shows)

The second show was recorded by the West German TV-ZDF and on 15 June of that year it was broadcast to local viewers in a programme entitled "Die Beatles". (There is a bootleg recording of this show)

25 June 1966 - Gru?ahalle [sic], Essen, West Germany (2 shows)

26 June 1966 - Ernst Merck Halle, Hamburg, West Germany (2 shows)

This is the first and final performance by the Beatles in Hamburg and in Germany in general following their fantastic flight to the pedestal of Glory ...

30 June, 1 and 2 July 1966 - Nippon Budokan Hall, Tokyo, Japan. After three days of performing before an incredibly enthusiastic audience of young Japanese, the Beatles gave five concerts in the capital Tokyo, one of which (30 June) was published on a Japanese laser video disc (1993), and two others (the shows of 1 and 2 July) were recorded on video. We should add that on 30 June the Beatles gave one concert and on 1 July and 2 July they gave two shows per day.

3 July 1966 - The Beatles flew to the capital of the Philippines, Manila, where, on 4 July 1966, they performed at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium. The Beatles gave two concerts that day. After this they were invited by the wife of the then President of the Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos, First Lady Imelda Marcos, to a reception at the presidential palace, rumour has it, to perform before a group of orphan children there. However, Brian ? [sic] ignored this invitation on behalf of the group, something which was to have very unhappy consequences for the Beatles during their stay in this country.

Suddenly, all the Filipinos who had anything at all to do with the Beatles' visit to their country withdrew their services. Moreover, the police of the Philippines and other Filipinos behaved very aggressively towards the Beatles and the team accompanying them all the way from the hotel at which they were staying to the actual airport. But, thank God, everything turned out all right! Although Peter Brown wrote in his book/memoirs "The Love You Make" that they all, the Beatles, Brian ? [sic] and the other people accompanying the group, were scared witless.

The Beatles Third and Final American Tour

(12 - 29 August 1966; USA - Canada)

The Ronnettes and The Cyrkle took part in this tour alongside the Beatles as "warm-up" acts. A serious scandal had erupted around the Beatles immediately before the actual tours in North America. The thing was, ten days before the four were due to fly to the USA, the American newspaper "Datebook" published an interview conducted by the well-known British journalist Maureen Cleave with John Lennon, which had first been published on 4 March 1966 in the London "Evening Standard" newspaper. During this interview, John declared: Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink ... We (i.e. the Beatles) are more popular than Jesus now ..."

The reproduction of this quote in Datebook created a real storm in the USA, especially in the religious South, although in Britain itself no one had seen anything remarkable in this interview with Lennon. Meanwhile, though, many radio stations in the USA stopped broadcasting the Beatles. (It's interesting that on 14 August, lightning struck the local radio station in Longview, Texas after a ban had been imposed on the broadcasting of Beatles music!). The Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan declared a "Crusade" against the Beatles. All over the southern states, people began burning effigies of them, and their photographs and records. On 18 August, the authorities in the faraway Republic of South Africa banned the broadcasting of Beatles music.

Embarrassed and surprised by this reversal of their fortunes, the Beatles were reluctant to fly to the USA. However, the forfeit for disrupting the tour was so big ($1,000,000) that Brian had to fly to America immediately to set up a press conference there and declare publicly that what Lennon had said in this unfortunate interview had been misinterpreted. For his part, John had the following to say at the hastily-arranged press conference in Chicago on 11 August 1966:

"I wasn't saying the Beatles are better than Jesus or God or Christianity ..." But these words did not pacify the journalists. Lennon was not released from the press conference until he said, in despair:

- "I am really sorry for what I said. I apologise if that will make you happy. OK, if it will make you happy, I apologise.

So, despite the considerable tension and anxiety, the Beatles' tour of North America began the day after this Chicago press conference. The Beatles gave their first concert in Chicago ...

12 August 1966 - International Amphitheater, Chicago, Illinois (2 shows)

13 August 1966 - Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan (2 shows)

14 August 1966 - Cleveland Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio

15 August 1966 - D.C. Stadium, Washington, Federal District of Columbia

16 August 1966 - J.F.K. Philadelphia Stadium, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

17 August 1966 - Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario, Kansas (2 shows)

18 August 1966 - Suffolk Downs Race Track, Boston, Massachusetts

19 August 1966 - MiD-South Coliseum, Memphis, Tennessee (2 shows) At one of the two Beatles shows held here the local Ku Klux Klan organisation carried out a protest campaign against the Beatles which manifested itself in the picketing of the place at which the Liverpool four were staying and minor clashes between opponents and supporters of the Beatles. The police intervened, restraining the main troublemakers.

20 August 1966 - Free day

21 August 1966 - Crosley Field, Cincinnati, Ohio (Daytime)

21 August 1966 - Bosch Stadium, St. Pauls, Missouri (Evening)

22 August 1966 - New York. The Beatles held a press conference in the course of which some political questions were also broached concerning, for example, the war between the USA and Vietnam. The Beatles' answers were very negative and they called for a rapid resolution of this huge conflict in South-East Asia. After the press conference Brian ? [sic] was worried about the straight answers his charges had given. He said he was implacably and categorically against the Beatles taking part in any future political press conferences and answering questions such as these. 23 August 1966 - Shea Stadium, New York. This is the Beatles' second and last performance here. Official figures show the attendance as 45,000 on this occasion, at least that's how many tickets were sold. If you compare this with the number of tickets sold for the Beatles' first performance at ?? [sic] (15 August 1965), 11,000 fewer tickets were sold on this occasion.

25 August 1966 - Seattle Coliseum, Seattle, Washington (2 shows)

28 August 1966 - Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California

29 August 1966 - Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California

This concert at San Francisco's Candlestick Park baseball stadium turned out to be not only the Beatles' last public performance during this third tour of the United States, but also the last "live" concert by the Fab Four in the USA or any other country in the world (not including the Beatles' 45-minute performance, on 30 January 1969, on the roof of the Apple Corps building).

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