- Circus Krone Building
More from year 1966
Jun 23, 1966
Jun 23, 1966
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First live rendition
The Beatles had flown from London to Munich the previous day, held a press conference and rehearsed. On this day, they played the two first concerts of their West Germany tour. The first concert was at 5:15 pm and the second at 9 pm. Also appearing on the bill were Cliff Bennett and The Rebel Rousers, The Rattles, and Peter and Gordon.
[…] The first shows were held at Munich’s 3500-seat Circus-Krone-Bau at 5.15 and 9 pm on 24 June. The Beatles wore matching dark green suits with silk lapels, designed by the new Chelsea boutique Hung On You. The 9 pm show was filmed by the West German ZDF network and first broadcast locally, in edited form, on 5 July. The Beatles held a rare backstage rehearsal in advance of the concert. According to musicologist Walter Everett, the Munich concert film shows the Beatles generally playing poorly amid the noise created by their fans, and humorously attempting to remember the lyrics to the final song, “I’m Down“. Author Steve Turner writes that the tour was marked by average-quality performances masked by riotous screaming, and that for the first time, the hysterical crowds were subjected to violent treatment and beatings by the host nation’s police force. […]
[…] Backstage at the Circus Krone, venue for the opening concert. It could be backstage anywhere. The only clue to the place was the German voices booming from the inevitable TV sets in the dressing rooms. Road manager Neil Aspinall, in his seventh year with the boys, remarked that touring was a drag. “l always look forward to them. When I’m on them, they’re always a drag,” he said.
Paul and Ringo relaxed with a drink. John and George discussed music with Cliff Bennett who was also on the show while downstairs Peter and Gordon were annoyed with the almost total lack of facilities for the other artists on the bill.
In the circular body of the circus — for that’s exactly what it was – tension was building up. And at both houses, the first rumblings of the violence that was to flare later was felt. Though this time, it was kept below the surface.
As the Beatles leapt on stage for their first German appearance since Hamburg’s Star Club days, the fans went wild and bouncers were kept busy hurling fans back as they tried to scale the six-toot dais where the Beatles were temptingly in reach of the fans.
Strangely, in Germany, as in Italy and France, it’s the boys who go berserk and at the Munich concert they were screaming, singing along with the Beatles, fighting and even, at one stage, bowing down the stage as it they were Arabs facing Mecca at prayer time! […]
ON STAGE – THE SAME MIXTURE AS BEFORE
There have been whispers of new sounds for the Beatles following their recently completed LP. But in Germany, it was the formula as before – beat numbers, mingled with soft numbers that sent the fans wild.
And of course, there was a bit of the new Beatles on the first public performance of the new Beatles number one “Paperback Writer”.
They included it at every show – in fact, the numbers were exactly the same all the way through – and frankly, the harmonies on the first attempt were way off, though George did improve as the tour went on.
Nevertheless, it raises the question: what do they do if some of the clever, intricate LP tracks become big concert favorites?
Paul was in very fine voice all through the concerts, though John seems to have trouble with his voice. George and Ringo were excellent in their respective numbers. In fact, the fans thought that they should have been given more of the spotlight.
At the first show at the Circus Krone, they kicked off with a roaring version of “Rock And Roll Music”, with John taking the lead and kept the pace going with “She’s A Woman”, featuring Paul.
George stepped in for his own number “If I Needed Someone”, and after some announcements in pidgin German, they launched into “Day Tripper”, a big German hit which had the fans singing along with it.
The next number, “Baby’s In Black”, set a more lyrical mood. German fans [shouted] less during the numbers and more at the end, so it was possible to hear the words most of the time.
The Beatles whipped up the [UNREADABLE] again with “I Feel Fine”, which they played as well as they ever have done and then slowed things again for “Yesterday”. Paul sang this at all six concerts. This type of thing is his speciality and he excels at it.
“Nowhere Man”, another big German favourite came next, with John [UNREADABLE] on one of the most outstanding songs from the “Rubber Soul” album. By this time, fans were yelling for Ringo, who had them screaming for more with a jaunting “I Wanna Be Your Man”, playing some rocking drums at the same time.
In Germany, too, “Paperback Writer”, their next number, is the new single. It was the weakest number on the tour, but mainly because of the harmonies. But it swung along and got a great reception at every show.
The Beatles always close on a rocker and this time, they closed the concerts with “I’m Down”, one of their older tracks. Paul and John scream it up with the [UNREADABLE] going wild. […]From Melody Maker – July 2, 1966:
[…] The boys were up and around mid-day on Friday, as they still weren’t happy with their act. We left them in the afternoon to practise and made our way to the Circus Krone where they would make two appearances.
Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers opened the show, followed by Germany’s Rattles and then Peter and Gordon.
Zero hour approached with the boys looking immaculate in their new bottle green suits with silk collars, underneath which they wore lime and yellow striped crepon shirts with large collars and no tie.
They dashed on stage to a terrific ovation and immediately launched into “Rock ‘n Roll Music” followed by “She’s A Woman”.
The boys had obviously decided that they were going to give their audience the old favourites they all knew. The rest of the act went as follows: “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”. […]From The Beatles Monthly Book – August 1966
Last updated on October 22, 2023
Setlist for the concert
If we like to think, in all modesty, that the Paul McCartney Project is the best online ressource for everything Paul McCartney, The Beatles Bible is for sure the definitive online site focused on the Beatles. There are obviously some overlap in terms of content between the two sites, but also some major differences in terms of approach.