Toronto • Wednesday, August 17, 1966 • 8pm show

ConcertBy The Beatles • Part of the Summer 1966 US tour
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Maple Leaf Gardens

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Following their performance in Philadelphia on August 16, 1966, The Beatles promptly departed for Toronto from Philadelphia International Airport. This Canadian city was the sole Canadian destination on their tour.

On August 17, they played two concerts at the Maple Leaf Gardens. The first, at 4 pm, drew a crowd of 15,000, while the second, at 8 pm, saw an audience of 17,000. Although impressive, the combined attendance fell 4,000 short of the venue’s maximum capacity.

In the interlude between the two concerts, The Beatles faced the media in a press conference.

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

After a night’s rest in Toronto, The Beatles journeyed onward, flying to Boston on August 18, 1966.

The second concert was pandemonium. There simply aren’t enough superlative adjectives to stretch over an entire Beatle tour.

Back in the hotel after the show, Tony Barrow threw an impromptu party (no Beatles) which was the first occasion we had to get to know The Cyrkle, a very nice group and the first American group to be managed by Brian Epstein. The party lasted into the wee hours, until everyone was just too tired to lift another glass.

The following day we boarded that familiar bus, ran through customs again, and took off for Boston.

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

We took a taxi cab to Mapple Leaf Gardens at 2:30pm.

What a cool place!

The audience was up close and real near the stage. Great! After the baseball fields and stadiums, this was a relief. A chance for intimacy with the audience, and they were great. Yes… it was the best show we’ve done yet. I’m in the dressing room between shows. […]

The second show was groovy. The sound was good – and the amplifiers too. I’m playing through a new Vox Super Beatle amp with two speaker cabinets, one on each side of the stage. At the show there was an incredible amount of screaming for US.

At the end of Bobby Hebb’s act, N.D. ran out front and did three back flips across the stage. Show off!

Paul McCartney had a close call on stage tonight… someone threw a pair of scissors which narrowly missed his head. Why would a fan do something so idiotic? They say a Beatle fan will do anything to attract attention!

Barry Tashian – Leader of the Remains, one of the opening acts of the Beatles for the 1966 US Tour – From “Ticket To ride – The Extraordinary Diary of The Beatles’ Last Tour” by Barry Tashian

August 17, 1966 was absolutely the last time The Beatles appeared as a band in Canada. We stayed on the 7th floor. The Beatles were on the 8th floor. If you were staying in the hotel you were allowed to walk on their floor anytime. We did not quite have the nerve to knock on the doors. We did see an open door and a suit like they wore that night was lying on the bed when we walked past. “Summer in the City” was playing in the room.

A bellhop told us he got all four of their autographs and sold them for $10. He thought he had made an immense profit.

The Beatles arrived at the King Edward at 3:00a.m. There was an enormous crowd to greet them. It was so busy in the area that it looked more like a weekday than the middle of the night. A small boy whose name was John Lennon was taken up to see The Beatle, John Lennon. Ringo’s drumming during “Paperback Writer” drew a special ovation from the audience. Bo Diddley was playing at a small bar in Toronto while The Beatles were there.

Lance – From Meet the Beatles for Real: Toronto fans remember

Right Not to Fight, Beatle Says

TORONTO (AP) – Beatle George Harrison said Wednesday that “anybody who feels that fighting is wrong has the right not to go in to the Army.”

Harrison made the statement at a news conference in response to a question about Americans reported taking refuge in Canada to escape the U.S. draft.

Adding a comment on the Viet Nam war, John Lennon, another member of the British long-haired quartet, said, “We all don’t agree with war for any reason whatsoever.”

The Beatles held the news conference after a matinee performance at Maple Leaf Gardens attended by about 15,000 and followed by an evening performance.

Lennon, criticized recently for saying the Beatles were “more popular than Jesus,” said he does not feel that comment has hurt the group’s image. He said he would recommend the “basic idea” of Christianity to young people.

Harrison added, “There are lots of things so right about it (Christianity), but people don’t follow it.”

At the performance, a ring of 50 policemen surrounded the stage to keep back enthusiastic fans However, one aggressive boy dropped onto the platform from elevated seats behind the stage and had to be handcuffed and carried off by six police.

The group leaves today for Boston, Mass., the next stop in their 18-day North American tour that began Aug. 12.

From The Miami Herald – August 18, 1966
From The Miami Herald – August 18, 1966

Last updated on September 20, 2023

Maple Leaf Gardens

This was the 6th concert played at Maple Leaf Gardens.

A total of 7 concerts have been played there • 1964Sep 7thSep 7th1965Aug 17th (4pm show)Aug 17th (8pm show)1966Aug 17th (4pm show)Aug 17th (8pm show)1976May 9th

Going further

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.

Read more on The Beatles Bible


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Kathy Brennan 3 years ago

I was at Maple Leaf Gardens Wednesday August 17th 1966 to see the 4 pm concert with my 2 girlfriends. Tickets $5.50. I can only remember McCartney singing ‘Yesterday’. Accept for that song most of the day is a blur.

The PaulMcCartney Project 3 years ago

Thanks @Kathy for sharing your memories - must have been incredible to see them live in 1966 !!!

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