Detroit • Saturday, August 13, 1966 • 7pm show

ConcertBy The Beatles • Part of the Summer 1966 US tour
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Olympia Stadium

Some songs from this concert appear on:

Related interviews

Interview with radio station WKNR

Aug 13, 1966 • From WKNR

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On this day, August 13, 1966, The Beatles performed two concerts in Detroit, one at 2 pm and the other at 7 pm, before a total of 28,000 fans at Detroit’s Olympia Stadium.

The support acts for the entire tour were The Remains, Bobby Hebb, The Cyrkle, and The Ronettes.

The Beatles left Detroit by Greyhound bus immediately after their second show. Their destination was Cleveland, Ohio, where they arrived at 2.30 am the following morning.

Picture yourself not in a boat on a river, but at Olympia Stadium on August 13, 1966. Everyone you see is full of life and you can sense the impatience for the arrival of the idols. Yellow Submarines are being hung from the balconies along with an infinite number of posters. Finally, when everyone thinks that THE moment has come, D.J. Bob Green walks out. Of course, this fails to satisfy the restless crowd who wants only THEM. Then, as if by instinct, the congregation rises as their gods appear on stage. The four English lads smile appearing as they start their first song, “Rock and Roll Music.”; They look undeniably fabulous in pink shirts and gray suits, with narrow pinstripes and bell-bottom trousers. Even though the hysteria is not as great as two years previously the crowds’ love is strong and deeper. The group attempts to start “Nowhere Man” but the drummer is having difficulty was his microphone. Mal Evans and one of the very few nice policemen fix it. It is now about halfway through the concert. One very lucky girl jumps on stage, but before she can reach THEM, she is stopped. The crowd boos. Finally, the dreaded moment comes, the bass guitarist announces the last song. You try your best to hold them there with your love but fail. The Beatles your beloved Beatles are leaving. For you, it is the end of the world, but life flows on within you and without you.

Jean Lisieki and Patti Phillips, August 1967 – From Meet the Beatles for Real: As I remember…

It’s been nine years since that fantastic day of August 13, 1966. My next door neighbor was Robin Seymour who was a disc jockey for CKLW radio station. Now Robin had told me if there was any concert I wanted to see and anybody I wanted to meet, to ask him and he’d see what he could do. I knew then that this was my chance. After all, wasn’t it just two years ago that his daughter Jenny had gone backstage and had her picture taken on Paul’s lap?

I asked Robin if it would be possible if he could get me tickets to the concert. The day Robin got the tickets he explained why he had gotten three (I had asked for two). He planned on going with us. I couldn’t believe it. That would mean that Kim Stevens and I would be going backstage with Robin. At the age of 13, I thought that I was going to die of a heart attack. Then it happened two days before the concert. Robin broke his leg at the Roostertail where he was MCing a show. That dashed our hopes of going backstage and meeting the Fab Four. Kim and I hadn’t seen the tickets and didn’t know where we’d be sitting. And we also had an extra ticket.

August 13, 1966. WE had decided to take my brother Mike along to the concert. Robin had given us the tickets that morning. Kim’s dad took us to the Olympia stadium and we were on our way. We got there early and we couldn’t believe the crowds. It was fantastic!

As soon as we got out of the car a Police Wagon was coming up the street on McGraw with about a dozen girls chasing it. Kim and I dashed off leaving my brother behind. WE just knew the Beatles were in it. Well, we were wrong. They opened the doors and four cops were sitting there laughing at all of us.

Next Kim and I proceeded to buy our Beatle pins and banners. I bought a pin that said “I love Paul” and Kim bought one for John. We sat on the curb waiting for The Beatles to arrive. And then suddenly, it happened. A police escort was coming up McGraw and a black limo was right behind them and also a bus.

The crowd all moved to where they thought they could get a better look. The noise was deafening. Kim, Mike and I stayed right where we were. After all, they had to pass right by us. I was about to get my first look at a live Beatle.

The limo rolled by us and in it were Brian and George. I stood there not believing my eyes. He was so beautiful. He smiled and waved to us and Kim and I got spastic. Now, John, Paul, and Ringo were not in the limo so they had to be on the bus. Kim and I stared at that bus trying to make out who the people were. We were frantic. AS the back of the bus went by, Kim and I at the same time spotted the other three. I then pointed to the back of the bus and started screaming that they were there. Ringo doubled his fist and me and Paul smiled and waved and John was looking off in the distance.

After all the excitement we then marched up to Olympia’s doors to be let in. We glanced at the tickets and I saw that they said ground level, so we found the nearest usher and asked him to guide us to our seats. (We had never been to a concert before and it was truly an experience).

The usher looked at our tickets and smiled. He then took us to our seats. My God, they were front row tickets!

We were positioned right in front of Paul’s microphone. Kim and I climbed all over each other. Mike was getting embarrassed. He hadn’t wanted to come anyway. The concert started.

We sat very still while the other acts were on. We vowed that we would not scream and carry on when the guys came on. We then had to wait during an intermission. Everybody was getting tense. You could feel it in the air. Then the lights started to dim and the excitement increased. Four figures ran up on the stage, grabbed guitars and the lights flashed on.

There they were!! A scout of screams filled the air. Kim and I were on top of our chairs in an instant screaming our hearts out (so much for our vows). Their suits were beautiful. They had on grey bell-bottomed suits with pink pinstripes running through them and pink shirts to match.

Things were being thrown from everywhere: rings, stuffed animals, everything. I don’t remember much of the beginning. I was trying to get my camera to work but after the first song, I gave up and threw the camera down. Paul noticed and laughed. Then with sympatric eyes said, “What’s wrong love?” I died. I simply died. Paul had noticed me. He actually talked to me.

Paul then announced that they were going to attempt a song. I’ll use his own words. He said, “The next song we’ll try to do is a song we usually have an orchestra to back us, but today we only have this cheap band, so bear with us.” The song was “Yesterday.” It had gotten a little quieter for this particular song, but not me!

In the middle of the song I started jumping up and down on my chair and at the top of my voice screaming out “Paul!” I also pointed to my “I love Paul” button as my voice screamed. He looked down, saw what I was pointing to and smiled the biggest smile I’ve ever seen, and nodded his head. John looked towards our group and shouted “shurrup!” only to get more screams. Ringo was then featured singing “I wanna be your man”. My brother in the meantime was throwing jelly beans at them. He hit George on the arm with one and one stuck to his guitar. George brushed them off and gave my little brother dirty looks.

The last song was “Long Tall Sally.” By this time, I was crying, slumped in my chair exhausted.

They then put down their instruments and the chase began. I had always dreamed of something like this- me chasing the Beatles. The crowd was blocked by the police. They had formed a line to let The Beatles pass through. We must have been close to the dressing room. I was pressed up against a policeman. The Beatles were coming through. I felt sorry for the cops for now I knew how they felt. I remember as the Beatles came through one of them (I thought it was John but Mike said it was Paul) said, “Christ, let’s keep moving.”

I will never forget as long as I live the terror on their faces as they tried getting to their dressing rooms. I will also never forget as long as I shall live that day for it is branded into my brain forever.

Dorothy Suriano – From “With a Little Help From my Friends”, July 1975 – From Meet the Beatles for Real: The Beatles in Detroit 1966

From Detroit we climbed back on the bus for the ride to Cleveland. Since the bus had remained inside the stadium, there was no James Bondish sort of maneuver getting The Beatles out, as there would be in future adventures. The Beatles dashed from the stage to the bus — complete with stage suits and perspiring brows — and off we went. It was night and the lights were off at first; later I earned that the lights were off because four Beatles were changing clothes in the back of the bus!

It was an all-night ride straight through. At one point the bus pulled off the road in a Howard Johnson’s parking lot for a rest stop. Several of us stood outside stretching while Wendy Hanson, Brian Epstein’s assistant, went in the restaurant and bought “ice lollies,” or ice cream bars, which we promptly consumed. The people inside were completely oblivious to the fact that the lonely betoweled figure sitting on the curb was George Harrison and that the group loitering beside the bus included Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Brian Epstein, and so on. A few couples walked by and never even glanced our way—but one woman and two young girls soon came charging up waving paper and pens. They informed Paul that they had been following the bus since Detroit, and asked for cm autograph. He signed one, after which the woman demanded, “Now sign this one.” To which Paul replied, “Is that an order? She didn’t get the hint, but she did get the autographs.

Judith Sims – From TeenSet Magazine – Quoted in “Ticket To ride – The Extraordinary Diary of The Beatles’ Last Tour” by Barry Tashian

From Paul McCartney and John Lennon On Stage, Olympia Stadium, Detroit, MI, August 13, 1966 #1 | Bob Bonis Archive – Bob Bonis, who was The Beatles Tour Manager for all three of their US tours, captured this quintessential image of Paul McCartney and John Lennon sharing a microphone during the Beatles’ third and final U.S. tour.
From Paul McCartney and John Lennon Backstage, Olympia Stadium, Detroit, MI, August 13, 1966 #1 | Bob Bonis Archive – In a candid moment of true backstage access, Paul McCartney and John Lennon warm up on their guitars in anticipation of their show at Olympia Stadium in Detroit, Michigan, on August 13, 1966.
For $5.50, you could catch the Beatles in concert during the band’s final Detroit visit, on Aug. 13, 1966. Brian McCollum, Detroit Free Press
From 13 August 1966 – USA, Olympia Stadium, Detroit – Beatles and Solo Photos Forum (
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Last updated on September 20, 2023

Olympia Stadium

This was the 2nd concert played at Olympia Stadium.

A total of 3 concerts have been played there • 1964Sep 6th1966Aug 13th (7pm show)Aug 13th (2pm show)

Going further

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Read more on The Beatles Bible


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