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August 30-31, 1966

The Beatles travel from Los Angeles to London

Last updated on October 23, 2023

The Beatles left for England the day following their last concert at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park. They flew from Los Angeles, where they had stayed for several days towards the end of the tour. Their 12-hour journey concluded at London Airport where a multitude of enthusiastic fans, numbering in the hundreds, welcomed them with loud cheers.

From Band Returns to London – The Beatles History (beatles-chronology.ru)
From 30 August 1966 – Los Angeles to London – Beatles and Solo Photos Forum (tapatalk.com)
From Twitter – August 30th 1966, the day after The #Beatles final ever tour date. John Lennon and Paul McCartney are leaving Los Angeles and heading home to London and share a smile with booking agent Roy Gerber. They might just be relieved it was all over via @BooksBeatles
From The band returns to London – The Beatles History (beatles-chronology.ru)
From Band Returns to London – The Beatles History (beatles-chronology.ru)
From 31 August 1966 – Arrival in London from USA – Beatles and Solo Photos Forum (tapatalk.com)
From The band returns to London – The Beatles History (beatles-chronology.ru)
From 31 August 1966 – Arrival in London from USA – Beatles and Solo Photos Forum (tapatalk.com)

Beatles home… and so sleepy

The Beatles flew into London Airport today after their American tour with only one thing in mind… sleep. About 250 screaming girl fans were waiting to give the Beatles their usual noisy welcome.

Of their three-week tour Paul McCartney said: “We had a good time but it was very tiring.” Did the Americans still love the Beatles? “I think so,” he replied.

Paul, the only Beatle bachelor, denied that he was getting married. “No! No! No!” he said waving his arms. “That was a publicity stunt dreamed up by the Americans.”

The Beatles earned about 1,000.000 dollars (£357.140) in 14 appearances during their tour. It included 90,000 dollars (£32,140), or more than £1.000 a minute, for their last show in San Francisco. Manager Brian Epstein is staying on in the States for a few more days.

From Birmingham Evening Mail and Despatch – August 31, 1966
From Birmingham Evening Mail and Despatch – August 31, 1966

Beatles Go Home $1 Million Richer – But Popularity Waning

LOS ANGELES (UPI) – The Beatles winged their way back to Britain yesterday with a bundle of about $1 million Yankee and Canadian dollars earned in 14 appearances that totaled only 7 hours of work.

The moptop lads from Liverpool were sitting on top of the world last night — financially and literally — for their flight put them over the North Pole on their way to a sunrise landing today at London Airport.

However, despite the pile of shekels the Beatles collected during their latest three-week visit to North America, there were signs that the popularity of Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, John Lennon and George Harrison appeared to be waning slightly.

Audiences in New York, San Francisco, Cincinnati and St. Louis proved disappointingly small. The lowly New York Mets baseball team has drawn more fans to Shea Stadium than the 40,000 who paid $292,000 to see and hear the Beatles. Only half of the expected 22.000 fans attended their concert in Cincinnati, although in fairness it should be noted that the performance was delayed a day by rain. Busch Stadium’s 50,000 seats were only half-filled by Missourians. And in San Francisco’s Candlestick Park, the seaside, wind-whipped home of the Giants baseball team, only slightly more than half the park’s 32.000 seats were filled for the Beatles’ final performance Monday night.

For their finale, the Beatles earned about $90,000 or $3,000 per minute. Sunday’s appearance at Dodger Stadium attracted more than 40,000 fans. For singing 10 songs in 30 minutes, the famed quartet earned about $5,000 per minute.

From The San Bernardino County Sun – August 31, 1966
From The San Bernardino County Sun – August 31, 1966


THE Beatles are back! Safe and sound. Only three weeks ago, at London Airport, girl fans screamed “Don’t go! You’ll be killed !” But they went. Not without fear.

John Lennon was threatened by certain belligerent American factions. George Harrison has a great fear of flying and is a poor traveller. Paul and Ringo were more optimistic, but they, too, had their misgivings.


No pay pause for the Beatles! Their enterprise in going where the money is and bringing it back should be inspiration for all British youth! And the way they faced the music — as well as played it! — is another lesson for youth of today. Don’t shirk responsibility—go out and get on with the job. Well done, MBEatles! We’re proud of you!

Meanwhile, back in California…

It was great fun, if a little dangerous, to cover for you the last week of the Beatles’ American tour. I went with them to Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco concerts… and can report that your pride-and-joy group is ours, too.

SEATTLE, August 25: I flew from Hollywood the 500 miles north to Seattle with the Beatles, where they did two concerts in the new 15,000-seater arena. The afternoon show drew only 8,000, but the later one was a sell-out, setting a new attendance record.

The seats were very near the Beatles, in comparison with the stadium’s scats, out no one tried to rush the stage at either show.

The Beatles, dressed in drab olive green suits from London’s Hung-On-You boutique, obviously enjoyed the closer contact with the fans, as well as the good behaviour from them.

Only a faulty microphone, which swivelled out of control and forced Paul to teeter over the edge of the stage to get his mouth in front of it, marred the proceedings (but this brought laughs, so it was probably an asset).

A lifeless Press conference was held between shows, the only highlight being Paul’s denial of a Wire Service report that he and Jane Asher were marrying in Seattle.

Paul got a laugh when he answered frankly: “It wouldn’t do her any good to fly here. I’m flying out tonight.”

LOS ANGELES, August 28: Down in the middle of the Dodger baseball team’s stadium, on a small platform, I watched the world’s greatest group performing for 40,000 fans of all ages, races, sizes, shapes and incomes. All sat with eyes glued on the tiny beetle-sized figures, most of them yelling at every wave or step or word.

A dumpy middle-aged mother near me twisted her lace handkerchief tensely, crying “Aren’t they lovely?’’ A toddler looked up from his sucker to ask: “ Is that them, mama?” And a tall, thin teenage boy in flowered shirt and cord bell bottoms sat on the edge of his scat, slapping his thighs and yelling “Go Man.”

It was a gas for all-too-short 25 minutes on Sunday. The boys had had two days of rest in the Los Angeles sun, and were driven to the stadium in a white armoured car. As they ran onto the stage, thousands were thrilled and cheered their thanks for the coming of the Beatles.

Biggest cheers after the initial welcome were for George’s solo of “If I Needed Someone ” and for Paul’s wonderful “Yesterday.” Biggest, that is, until Paul stepped to the mike to announce: “ We’d like to feature someone on this number who doesn’t usually sing.” Yes, though bachelor Paul seemed to be the most popular Beatle this year, Ringo’s “I Wanna Be Your Man” was still overall favourite when it came to numbers!

Third number, “Day Tripper,” again was the signal for a dash to the stage, but this time only by two teenage boys, who tore across the grass, but were brought down by tackling security men and thrown out in a jiffy.

The near-capacity crowd was quite quiet during the songs and when members announced the next tunes. They wanted to hear the Beatles. For the other groups on the show, however, it was mayhem. Nobody listened!

The Beatles found it easier to get into the stadium than to get out, as you probably read in your daily papers. Let me fill in on those reports a little…

Fans spotted the getaway car as it started to leave the stadium parking lot, mobbed it and the driver turned back into the field. The boys got out and hid beneath the scats, before bolting to the locker room, where they locked themselves in for several hours, while extra cordons of police were called in.

They started to sing: “We all live in a yellow locker room…” to pass the time. When the Beatles did make it out of the stadium, they found the road blocked near their Hollywood hideout in a canyon house by a car turned sideways across the road and several hundred fans waiting to ambush them!

An armoured truck was rushed to take the Liverpudlians up to the house, where several hundred more fans were waiting with a greeting! Yes, LA is still very much a Beatle town!

SAN FRANCISCO, August 29: In Candlestick Park on Monday night 30,000 fans welcomed the quartet. At one point, half a dozen boys from outside the stadium rushed onto the field, but as a whole the concert went very smoothly, finishing the Beatles’ third U.S. tour on a cheerful and successful note.

Here’s to the next one!

From New Musical Express – September 2, 1966
From New Musical Express – September 2, 1966
From New Musical Express – September 2, 1966


THE Beatles arrived home from America last week “very very tired” but richer by almost £400,000. They are at present resting after the hectic U.S. tour and no appearances have been fixed for them in the near future.

There is no news at the moment about another British tour. The last tour took place in December of last year, and it seems likely that any new tour would embrace the same time.

Their film, from an idea by writer Owen Holder who has also written the script, starts shooting in January and will again be produced by Walter Shenson in colour.

The Beatles will be writing all the music for the film — songs and incidental music — which will probably take up most of their time between now and the start of production.

From Melody Maker – September 10, 1966
From Melody Maker – September 10, 1966

Going further

The Beatles Diary Volume 1: The Beatles Years

"With greatly expanded text, this is the most revealing and frank personal 30-year chronicle of the group ever written. Insider Barry Miles covers the Beatles story from childhood to the break-up of the group."

We owe a lot to Barry Miles for the creation of those pages, but you really have to buy this book to get all the details - a day to day chronology of what happened to the four Beatles during the Beatles years!

Shop on Amazon

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