The Paul McCartney Project

Milwaukee • Friday, September 4, 1964

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Country:
USA
City:
Milwaukee
Location:
Milwaukee Arena

Some songs from this concert appear on:


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From Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, July 7, 2016:

The Beatles played only one Wisconsin concert — lasting just 30 minutes — at what is now the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena.

After starting the show with “I Saw Her Standing There,” the band performed “All My Loving,” “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Can’t Buy Me Love,” although only “occasionally a zealous honk from the bass guitar or a snatch of vocal harmony would penetrate the din from the enraptured audience,” Gerald Kloss wrote in his review for The Milwaukee Journal. Added Bernice Buresh in her Milwaukee Sentinel review: “Flashbulbs exploded from so many parts of the jammed Arena, it momentarily was brighter than daylight. The glare could be likened to that seen on films accompanying a nuclear explosion.”

The Milwaukee-Waukesha Red Cross chapter treated 17 girls at the concert, 10 of them for fainting and hysteria. One fan begged to just touch the stage after the show, while another picked up a squashed jelly bean, reportedly thrown into the crowd by a Beatle, and ate it, according to the Journal.

The Beatles were brought to town by local promoter Nicholas Topping, who was thought to have paid the band around $30,000 for its appearance. The tickets — all 11,838 of them — were gone within eight days of going on sale in April 1964, according to a Sentinel article. Tickets cost $3.50 to $5.50.

The Beatles stayed at the new Coach House Inn on Wisconsin Ave.; there, they held a preconcert news conference, during which McCartney complained about the Milwaukee police, calling them “naughty” for diverting the band away from about 700 fans after arriving at the airport.

But the day after the concert, about 1,000 fans lined up outside the inn, with hundreds breaking through police lines and momentarily stopping the band’s car en route to the airport, according to a Journal article. Fans also busted into the band’s seven-story suite, swiping leftover eggs, toast, crackers and ashtrays.

Before leaving town, McCartney called Christine Cutler, a 14-year-old girl from Franklin, who had had a ticket for the concert but was being treated for a serious illness at St. Francis Hospital. The Journal helped arrange for the call.

McCartney and Cutler talked about hospital food and her love of horseback riding. And when McCartney had to go, he offered some inspiring parting words: “But you will smile, though. That’s the main thing, you know.”

After word spread about the call, Cutler received bagfuls of letters, largely from other girls wanting to be her pen pal. And she recovered from a mysterious and deadly sickness doctors were never able to explain, according to the Journal.

“I was floating. It must have had a great effect,” Chrissy, who married and became Christine Kaiser, told the Journal in 1993. “I got better when they didn’t think I would.”

Last updated on August 31, 2019

Milwaukee Arena

This was the 1st and only concert played at Milwaukee Arena.


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