New York City • Tuesday, August 23, 1966

ConcertBy The Beatles • Part of the Summer 1966 US tour

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New York City
Shea Stadium


The Beatles flew to New York City on August 22, 1966, after their concert in St. Louis the previous day. They arrived at 3:50 AM and were taken to the Warwick Hotel, where they gave a press conference for journalists. Later that day, they held a second press conference for young fans, which was known as the “Junior Press Conference.“

On August 23, a little over a year after their first triumphant appearance at New York’s Shea Stadium, the Beatles returned for a single concert. Although the concert did not sell out, with 11,000 tickets still available, the Beatles still made more money from their appearance than they had in 1965. They received $189,000, which was 65% of the gross takings of $292,000.

During the performance of “Day Tripper,” hundreds of fans broke through barriers and attempted to reach the stage. They were held back by security guards and none managed to get close to the Beatles.

Among the attendees was 25-year-old photographer Linda Eastman, who first met Paul McCartney in May 1967 and became his wife in 1969. She had already attended the Beatles’ concert at Shea Stadium in 1965.

Straight after the concert, the Beatles flew to Los Angeles. They arrived the following morning in the early hours and enjoyed a rest day before flying on to Seattle.

Paul McCartney returned to Shea Stadium in July 2008, as a guest on Billy Joel’s concert, which was the last concert performed at Shea Stadium before it was demolished to make way for Citi Field.

Curiously enough the second Shea Stadium concert had about 11,000 seats unsold. So it was a pretty unsettling time. And it was against this background that they said, ‘Right, we definitely won’t do any more. We are going to have a break and then we are going into the studio to make a record.’

George Martin – From “The Beatles Anthology” book, 2000

When they played Shea Stadium again, for me it blended in with the first one, though it was said there were slightly fewer people there than the year before. For some reason I missed the police van that was taking us. I had gone back for something, and before I could get in the van, they slammed the doors and of it went. I was left at the hotel, so I got a cab, but that broke down in Harlem. Another cab took me to the stadium, but there were thousands of people, and I thought: ‘Oh God, they’re really going to let me in! I’m going to just knock on the door and say, “I’m with The Beatles?”‘ Then I saw the four of them banging out of a window, and they saw me wandering round the car park. It was like magic; they were shouting, ‘There he is! Let him in!’

Neil Aspinall – From “The Beatles Anthology” book, 2000

The Shea Stadium concert was one of the most exciting (and packed) performances of the whole tour. Large signs were more in evidence there (our favorite, “God bless you, John”). The show was apparently sponsored by a number of radio stations, as several DJs from several stations did the announcing. Contrary to a popular rumor, The Beatles did not arrive by helicopter. Their entrance wasn’t so glamorous.

The press party tried to act as a decoy by running out to two limousines, but the kids knew better and just watched us run. The Beatles went out a different exit, naturally, but they pulled into a way station not far from Shea right behind us. There ensued a comic opera sequence about who goes in what car, how do The Beatles get in, what to do… all because one limousine was overheating and wasn’t too reliable. The Beatles vacated the limousine for an armored car.

Shea was madness, but New York’s finest (police, that is) really were fine. And, there were clever barricades staggered four and five deep in front of the stands. We watched the supporting acts from the dugout until we went out to the stage for The Beatles. It was always a thrill to be able to walk out to that stage while all those thousands of fans were eyeing us with envy and possibly hate.

We left Shea Stadium the way we came in — the limo for us, armored car for the boys. We went straight from the stadium to the airport, where we were hustled about like something from a Mr. Bond movie. We went to the terminal to wait for the regular commercial flight (not our charter, but a real flight with “outsiders” on board). There were so many people surrounding the loading area that we were spirited outside and around the back; we approached the plane from under the wing, no less. The Beatles and party had the entire first class section; the supporting acts were staying over in New York before flying to Seattle the next day. The Beatles were going to L.A. for a press conference and some time off before Seattle.

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

The time is 8:10pm. The Remains come on and everyone screams for the Beatles. They sing “Money” and everyone is mad because, I think, it is generally thought of as a Beatles song. All the deejays take turns introducing each other. Then they introduce Bobby Hebb, who sings his hit, “Sunny.” Again, come on all the deejays, this time to introduce the Cyrkle. When they mention Brian Epstein as a manager, everyone screams. Everyone loves the Cyrkle – they are really terrific. They sing their two hits, among others, but play it smart and don’t sing any Beatles songs. After them come the Ronettes. They sing “Shout” (with their other big hits) and we almost boo them off. Finally, Cousin Bruice gets on and says, “Now here’s what you’ve all been waiting for.” And the screams come. The time is 9:17pm. Here they come. First George, then John, Ringo and Paul, in their brown and beige chalk-striped suits with regular shoes, not boots. They begin – so does the roar. At first, I can’t tell what they are singing, then I hear “Rock and Roll music” and I scream. I realize I can’t see Ringo. I go into the big dividing aisle and run down to the center – almost directly above the dugout. Then I slip under a guard and run forward to the front. I still can’t see, so I stand up on the metal railings between the seats. I am leaning on a girl’s head, but I don’t think she feels anything. She just keeps sobbing one word over and over: Ringo. From where I am, I can hear every last word, every golden note. Every time Paul comes to the mike, he says, “Happy Anniversary, John.” After a while, I think John gets a little annoyed. The program follows: Rock and Roll Music – John, She’s a woman – Paul, If I needed someone – George. He just stands there most of the night. Paul and John are giving most of the action. Day Tripper – John and Paul. John introduces it. He says something like, “We’re going to sing a song that we wrote way back in 1948. We think you’ll remember it. It’s called ‘Dear Chipper.’ Baby’s in Black – John and Paul, “I Feel Fine,”- John. He tries to get that funny buzzing effect they get on the record. He almost succeeds. “Yesterday” – Paul. A sort of hush falls over us. It is so beautiful. “I wanna be your man” – Ringo. His mike goes out several times he hits quite a few flat notes. So do all of them, for that matter. Especially John. I don’t care thought because I love him anyway. George, standing right near Ringo, is giving him the funniest looks. “Nowhere Man” –John. It comes out so gorgeous. He doesn’t hit one flat. I think it’s better than “Yesterday.” The funniest thing is during the part where they play a few bars without singing; Paul comes all the way over to the end of the stage and flirts with everyone on our side. All of a sudden, he remembers that he has to get back to the mike to sing, and half-runs, half-skips back to his place. “Paperback Writer,” -Paul. He is so cute, so human and so tired. You can hear him taking breaths between phrases. This concert finally makes me realize something that I guess I’ve known all along – that they are just people. “Long Tall Sally”- Paul “Our last song tonight” says John. They bow—I run back to my seat. They go off in a car—I yell. They wave from the car and we wave back. Hundreds of girls leave in hopes of catching them departing. Later I find one girl in a trance. I ask her what is the matter and she replies, “I touched the truck.” It’s a small thing like that that keeps the feeling alive. The time is 11:39pm. A plane lifts off from Kennedy Airport. They will be back next year. I know that.

Sue (15 years old and written directly after the concert) – From Meet the Beatles for Real: The diary of a 15 year old Beatlemaniac after the Shea concert

Two days after my sixteenth birthday I saw The Beatles perform at Shea Stadium. I was a veteran of the 1965 Beatles concert at Shea, but that experience, exciting as it was, paled in comparison to their 1966 performance.  I had field-level seats and could actually wee them without the aid of binoculars. There were about 5,000 fewer people in attendance than in 1965.  Also, there were more male fans at Shea in 1966. These factors resulted in less noise.  Although the conditions were still less than ideal, I could hear The Beatles sing and play.

That is my fondest memory of the 1966 concert, being able to see and hear them, unlike a year earlier as I sat in the upper deck, trying to figure out what song they were singing, or if they were playing anything at all.  Three decades have passed since August 23, 1966, but I can still recall watching and listening in amazement as the Beatles did “Nowhere Man,” “If I needed someone”, and “Day Tripper,” introducing the latter as their “Number One hit form 1965.”

At times, I did use my handy pair of opera glasses and observed each Beatle individually.  At one point, I thought John Lennon was waving at me, only to realize he was acknowledging a poster behind me that congratulated the Lennons (John and Cynthia) on their fourth wedding anniversary. Although we now know The Beatles were sick and tired of performing live, the smiles on their faces indicated they were having fun that evening. I know I did!

Marc – From Meet the Beatles for Real: Fans remember Shea ’66

I have loved The Beatles ever since ’64, especially Paul. I always wished to see them in person, even though I came from a small town in Connecticut. In July ’66, I was looking through the newspaper and saw “Beatles Appearing at Shea Stadium …. August 23rd!” I thought, “oh Christ, I Gotta go!” I called up my cousin, Cassie, and she wanted to go too. So, I asked my mother. She said, “You can go, but you have to earn your money to see them.” No one would believe what I did. I always hated housework – I cleaned everything! Then I got this brainy idea to sell soda bottles down at the store. So, my cousin and I loaded up a wagon of bottles, and downtown we went. Everybody thought we were weird, but I didn’t give a shit because I wanted to see them! We earned $12.00. I sent away for the tickets. We were waiting for weeks, and my father made the wisecrack, “Oh, they’re probably all sold out.” Well, it was at the end of July when we got the tickets. I was jumping up and down with rapture, saying, “I’m gonna see Paul!” Enclosed with the tickets was a letter saying, “Here are your tickets. Hope you enjoy the show.” I was so happy. I was crying. All my friends envied me. Then my mother stated that she didn’t want me to go to New York alone, being that I was only 14 then. (I guess she was afraid of me being mugged or something). I explained to her that I had to go, begging that I got the tickets already. She said, “I’ll drive you and Cassie to New York.” I nearly fainted!

Finally, August 23rd came around, and of course, I couldn’t sleep at all. I work my mother up at 6 am, telling her that we must get an early start. We all left around 10 am since my mother didn’t know where Shea was (She had never driven into NYC before). On the way in, I was listening to WMCA, and all they were playing were Beatle songs. My cousin and I couldn’t believe we were gonna see the “Famous Four.” When we finally got to Shea, I let out a big scream. I thought for a moment that my mother was going to crawl underneath her seat. My mother told us that she would wait in the car, and so she parked it near the Stadium. Cassie and I walked around. We talked to some girls, and they told us that they were sleeping at Shea overnight! We went back to the car and then 3 buses pulled up…shit! I’ve never seen so many cops in all my life. My mother even took my binoculars and stared at them. My cousin decided to go in – it was getting around that time.

We entered, and an usher showed us to our seats. But there was an older woman and her daughter sitting in our seats. I told her politely that they were sitting in our seats, and she said we were crazy. So the usher told us to sit 2 rows behind them, and I was swearing and pissed. Then two New York girls said we were sitting in their seats. Cassie told them what happened. So I called the usher over again. He thought we were insane. So he led us to section 9 and told us no matter what to stay there. Well, these seats were better than our own! I couldn’t believe the huge signs all over the place. Some said: We love Paul too, George wave to us, Happy anniversary John and Cyn, Paul don’t’ marry Jane Asher, and one sign said “Paul Is Sexy” but the “Y” fell off! Then finally the show started at 8 pm, and my heart was pounding and pounding. Bobby Hebb came on first, then the Remains and Murray the K. He told us the Beatles couldn’t wait to see us fans, and they love us all. Everyone screamed…including me!

Then the Ronettes came on. Everyone said, “We want the Beatles – Get off!” Then Murray came on, and everyone sang “Happy Anniversary John and Cyn,” “Yellow Submarine,” and “We Love You Beatles.” Then Murray said, “HERE ARE THE BEATLES!” Everyone stood up – screaming and jumping up and down. George and Ringo came out first, and I screamed “George! George!” Then John and Paul came out. Paul was skipping and waving, and I really yelled his name! Christ, did my throat feel that scream. I was wondering if it were all a dream. A few seats down, this girl had a book and she was banging it over her father’s head, screaming “Paul, Paul!” Everyone around me was in complete ecstasy. I looked at my cousin, and she was just sitting there. Saying nothing. She was looking at me in a disgusted way when I was screaming, but I didn’t care. Nothing mattered.

Then Paul said, “May I speak?” These two asshole guys in the back of me yelled, “No!” And they were yelling, “McCartney sucks!” My temper couldn’t take that anymore, so I yelled, “Shove I up your ass, you b—–!” Then these two other girls told them to cram it -well, they kept quiet. Then Paul said, “I want everyone to sing along with me and clap their hands.” All of a sudden, these two girls went through the barricades. Paul and George were staring at them, and everyone was yelling, “Go! Go!” The cops caught them. When I was staring at Paul and his body through my binoculars, I noticed that he was winking at a lady copy, and she just turned her head. My throat was so hoarse. I thought I wouldn’t be able to ever talk again. It was then Paul noticed the sign that said “Paul Is Sex,” and he said into the mic, “Oh girls. I’m a male.” It was finally over, and John yelled, “Goodbye, fans! We’ll be back next year, so save your money, and we love you all.” I was in complete shock. We had to leave, and so we found my mother in the car, shaking, and the door locked. I asked her what was wrong, and she said, “Christ. I never saw so many crazy kids screaming over them. They were jumping up and down on my car, and I got scared.” I laughed. I asked my cousin to come with me to stand near the gate once more for a minute, and I couldn’t stop thinking of Paul and what happened. I could feel the tears running down my cheeks.

To this day, people still envy me. Yes, I was very lucky to think that was their last New York appearance. But lucky to see the four most beautiful people who brought happiness to me and whom I love very deeply.

Linda Joy – From “5 Bites of the Apple”, July/August 1972 – From Meet the Beatles for Real: The Beatles in Action on stage at Shea Stadium

From Beatles Concert on August 23, 1966 in New York, New York. News Photo – Getty Images – NEW YORK, NY – AUGUST 23: Beatles Concert on August 23, 1966 in New York, New York. (Photo by Santi Visalli/Getty Images)
Photography by Linda Eastman
From Beatles’ 1966 Shea Stadium Poster Soars To Fabulous New Heights For Heritage (


WHEN tickets for the Beatles’ concert at New York’s Shea Stadium on August 28 went on sale at 10 am on Saturday, 2,000 teenagers were already queueing, cables Nat Hentoff. It took eight police cars and 20 foot patrolmen to keep order. There is no doubt that the 56,000-seater stadium will again be sold out — as it was last year — weeks before the event.

From New Musical Express – May 6, 1966
From New Musical Express – May 6, 1966

JUNE HARRIS REPORTS – New York ready to greet boys

THE Beatles are here and their four shaggy heads will roar into New York’s Shea Stadium next Tuesday. As I write the date is not a complete sell-out-but 56,000 seats is one very tall order! 

NBC, CBS and ABC television got their say on the Beatle matter at about 8 o’clock last Thursday night (11th) in a special telecast, preceding the Chicago Press conference an hour later. Some bonfires have burned, but Beatle excitement still pervades everywhere!

For the first time in the history of their American success, the Beatles will hold a High School and Teen Fan Club Press conference in New York, which both Brian Epstein and Tony Barrow are enthusing over.

This has been set for Monday afternoon (22nd), and will be held for a total of 150 under-eighteens, some selected by WMCA and WABC radio, and the others from the fan club list, at Warwick Hotel (where the Beatles will be staying). The regular Press conference is two hours later.

Both Bernice Young (head of the national fan club and an executive of Nemporer), and Tony Barrow, are looking forward to the conference with mixed emotions.

Tony is just a little scared the fans might get out of hand, but Bernice told me they’ve provided a dozen extra guards in addition to the hotel security and police travelling with the Beatles.

From New Musical Express – August 19, 1966
From New Musical Express – August 19, 1966

Armor-Plated Beatles Brave Shea

Beatlemania hit New York City again yesterday. It was like war games. Especially the evening’s climax: the Beatles invaded Shea Stadium in an armored car. And then all hullaballo broke loose.

As in almost all war games, there was lousy weather — hot and humid when it wasn’t raining. Nevertheless, armies of young people surged bravely to and fro all over town seeking their quarry, the moptop quartet of rock ‘n’ rollers. Innocent citizens lost their dignity in shoving throngs or had their eardrums dented by volleys of shrieks. Battalions of cops and teams of medics were on alert in Shea for the bulging bedlam.

There was flag-waving — by youngsters in the stadium who flaunted banners proclaiming their adoration of Ringo, or Paul, or John, or George (the beloved Mets were forgotten last night). There was resort to a decoy unit and a sneak sortie to get the Beatles safely out of their mid-town hotel when it came time to go to Shea.

The ruse worked like this:

At H-hour, 5:40 pm, two limousines pulled in front of the Hotel Warwick’s main entrance on 54th St., near Sixth Ave, and the hundreds of fans behind barricades riveted their eyes hungrily on the hotel door.

But around the corner, on Sixth, a motorcade of four limousines, one police prowl car and one unmarked cop car pulled up to another hotel entrance. The Beatles dashed out with their entourage, and grinned to sharp-eyed fans across the street before ducking into the cars.

Only two young girls managed to break free from the barricades and get close enough to snap pictures. A group of construction men, seated on the back of a truck, were more interested in the girls than the Beatles. Some customers inside a drugstore looked curiously out the window.

And then the Beatles took off.

But at the Queens Safety District police station in the old World’s Fair grounds, they shifted from their limousines to a Wells Fargo red armored car. A squad of sweating cops clung to the armor-plated vehicle like blue-clad leeches. The time was 7:30 P.M., but before the Beatles went on stage, four recording acts — the Ronettes, the Cyrkles, the Remains and Bobby Hebb — thumped and chanted to amuse the approximately 45,000 music lovers who filled all but Shea’s upper tiers. As 200 city cops and 250 private police patrolled, as three first-aid stations were manned on each balcony, as a doctor stood nervously at an Elmhurst City Hospital ambulance, the noise— and the tension — swelled. But there were no reports of injuries.

And then —AND THEN! —at 9 P.M., Liverpool’s contribution to modern culture emerged onstage, the Beatles themselves!

GaaaaaahhhhHHHHH! The concerted shriek from 45,000 throats was deafening.

Thousands of girls and boys, and little kids, and young mothers and fathers stood to get a look — and stayed standing for the hour that the Beatles performed before taking off for Los Angeles.

Neither the standing nor the presence of young parents was surprising. Hundreds — including housewives escorting their children — had been standing for hours yesterday afternoon. Outside the Warwick, 800 stood, hoping to see the Beatles. Outside Shea, 2,000 hopefuls waited.

Two housewives from Astoria. Queens. Mrs. Betty Crististobal and Mrs. Elsie Robbins, showed up. each with a young daughter, at 10 A.M. They explained that they did not want the girls to go alone. Two other housewives, from Saddle River, N.J., showed up with five girls. The housewives, Mrs. Ralph Barry and Mrs. Timothy Tamblyn, arrived at 4 P.M. “to beat the traffic.’’ Mrs. Barry and Mrs. Tamblyn both said they were not “dragged there’’ by the girls. “We love the Beatles ourselves,’’ they said.

The Agony and the Ecstasy
Screams, Squeals, Sobs — and Music?

The Beatles stepped onto the turf of Shea Stadium last night and the world went mad. Kids in tight hip-huggers, kids in miniskirts, kids in poor boy sweaters — 45.000 of them—took a deep breath and started screaming and squealing and screeching and sobbing until the whole stadium seemed to rock.

It couldn’t get any worse, you thought, trying to shield your eardrums. But it did, when the Beatles climbed on the platform and started to play to the packed stands. Ringo, John, Paul and George attacked their instruments with the dedication of men earning hundreds of dollars for every note they played.

But the kids screamed even louder. It seemed a pity — the kids were making too much noise to hear their idols. Some of the kids started jumping onto the turf in an attempt to get closer to the kings of kiddy-dom. Cops headed them off and carried them away.

More than 100 police reinforcements together with policewomen streamed onto the field and confronted the stands. After 30 minutes, it was all over. The Beatles raced to a station wagon and drove off into the night.

From Flatbush Ave. and Columbus Ave., from East End Ave. and Park Ave., the hoards of kids had poured into the stadium paying an average of $4 for the privilege of adoring the Beatles in person.

Waving above their heads were such bannered battle cries as “Ringo is Sexy” and “America Loves You.” It was just like their earlier visits. Except that they seemed smaller — as if they had been tamed. Their eyes, sad spaniel eyes under the long fringes, were haunted now by the ghost of a hick disk jockey.

The kids screamed and the money poured in but it could never be the same. The Beatles would never be able to forget that they had bent the knee and apologized to the hick disk jockey from a state notorious even in the South for its bigotry and racism. And then they had suffered the humiliation of having their apology patronizingly accepted.

The sad irony was that when John Lennon said the Beatles were more popular than Jesus, he was touching on a serious issue. That, of course, is fatal in the world of Good Guys and Murray the K and transistors. You can be impudent about the queen, but you can’t get away with trying to discuss a serious subject. That’s not cool, baby. And so Lennon presented his glass jaw to people who would rather attack the innocent who raise a problem than the problem itself. It’s easier.

They denounced the satanic foursome and burned their records. Even then, the Beatles could have saved themselves by one of those flip remarks with the Liverpool twang around the edges. But they were older now and corruption inevitably comes with age and there were all those records to be sold and all that money to be collected. Lennon became the penitent. He announced he was sorry he had ever made the remark.

Few popular idols can pin down the exact moment when they reached the pinnacle and then began the long slide —the Downfall, the Beatles call it — into obscurity. But Lennon and the others will be able to do just that. It will take years to complete the slide and lots more money will roll in. But when it’s done, they’ll look back up the slope and see that it began Aug 11, 1966, the day Lennon tucked the flip remark into his cheek and instead pleaded to an Alabama disk jockey that he had been misinterpreted.

Well, it was fun while it lasted. And there’s always Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones. Can you imagine him apologizing? Give him time, baby, give him time.

From Daily News – August 24, 1966
From Tucson Daily Citizen – August 23, 1966


NEW YORK. Wednesday.— Several thousand seats were empty last night when the Beatles appeared at New York’s Shea Stadium. But even so about 45.000 shrieking fans were there. Most had paid about £2 for their tickets. The crush was so great that the Beatles hired an armoured car to get them inside the stadium. About 200 policemen cordoned off the stage. Three first-aid stations treated more than 40 fans who fainted or became hysterical. The attendance was 5000 down on last year’s performance by the Beatles at the Shea Stadium.

Were the group disturbed over the empty seats? Said Paul McCartney: “Do you think we can go on forever? The number of fans who have come to see us on this trip is bigger than ever. We appeared in larger concert halls this time.

The group receive 125.000 dollars (about £44,600) for last night’s appearance. Manager Brian Epstein said he expected the whole tour would gross “about the same as it did on our previous tour of the United States.

Promoter Sid Bernstein said: “With the exception of the Beatles the American groups will pass the British in six months. The kids are ready.

The Beatles? “They’ll be here as long as they want to be. They’re so right in every way.” After last night’s show the group flew to Los Angeles. Several hundred teenagers greeted them at the airport there. Several were dragged away after breaking through police lines.

The New-York Daily News today took exception to a remark by the Beatles that “we don’t like Vietnam.” Said the newspaper: “The Beatles are four nice enough little fellows who sing well, assuming you like their kind of singing. When they come here and publicly deplore U.S. fighting in the Viet war, though, they abuse U.S. hospitality. The thing isn’t serious enough yet to inspire cries of ‘Beatles, go home’ But it could get that serious fast if the Beatles were to repeat such impudence on U.S. soil.

From Evening Standard – August 24, 1966
From Evening Standard – August 24, 1966


NEW YORK—On Monday night, the Beatles took it easy in their suite on the 28th floor of the Warwick hotel, listening to Indian sitar albums which were sent to George Harrison as a gift. A few friends visited them, but the Beatles had little to say.

There were two Press conferences on Monday, one for teenagers (in America every High School has a newspaper, and many teen clubs run their own, too) and one for the normal Press.

At the teen meeting, Paul was asked if he would marry Jane Asher soon. His answer was: “Probably.” He was asked a lot of questions about her. He also said that the two girls who threatened to throw themselves from the roof of a nearby hotel unless they met Paul, “were silly. I don’t understand them.

Between the two conferences, I renewed my long acquaintance with the Beatles. John told me that Alley Cat last week was right — that he would be having his hair cut for his part in the film “How I Won The War.”

John said: “I will probably have the back cut, but not the front They can comb it the way hair was worn during the last war, I’m told.

All admitted the tour had gone well. Memphis has gone smoothly enough and whereas 8,000 went to a rival hymn-singing meeting, 20,000 went to the Beatles concert. Cincinnati was postponed till noon next day because of rain, but went okay. St. Louis was good, too.

We have had no security or technical problems recently,” assured George.

The religious question seemed to have been blown over on the road and at the New York conferences it was hardly mentioned.


TEARS, screams and acclaim of 45,000 cheering throats and waving hands greeted the Beatles’ return to the 56,000-seater Shea Stadium on Tuesday night (cables June Harris).

There was no rioting, only isolated cases of fans breaking through the heavy police barrier. There was no mass hysteria, either, but as far as New York is concerned the city gave them a fantastic welcome back and the show constituted, the boys said, the greatest triumph of their tour so far.

The noise was deafening as the Beatles filed on to the stage at 9.20 pm, after a prolonged introduction from the WMCA Goodguys.

Like last time the Beatles arrived at the stadium by helicopter and armoured car and came through the dugout (underground passage) that leads to the middle of the baseball diamond. They wore cream silk suits and looked mighty smart in them!

Screaming welcomes continued and swelled up as they swung into the opening bars of “Rock And Roll Music.”

But the screams subsided between each number long enough for each Beatle to announce the following number. It was quieter at Shea’s this year, and although the audience was obviously excited and people were standing on their seats to listen and watch, much of last year’s intensity was lacking.


During “Day Tripper”, someone tried to jump on the field — that wild tune seems to he the signal for rebellion on every show — but a protecting force of 300 police, forming two solid lines on both sides of the stage, prevented this and four more attempts to get to the Beatles.

The Beatles performed for 25 minutes, but surprisingly didn’t do “Yellow Submarine.” Instead, Ringo soloed on “I Wanna Be Your Man.”

They sang eleven numbers in all, finishing with “Long Tall Sally.” As the audience screamed them through the closing bars, the boys leapt off the stage into the armoured car and out of the stadium.

Acoustics were great — and so were the Beatles, who earned 125,000 dollars, PLUS a percentage of the gross takings, for the show.

Fans seemed disappointed with only one thing— that the Beatles didn’t perform for longer.

BUT EARLIER IN THE DAY JOHN LENNON TOLD ME: “AT ALL OUR SHOWS WE’VE DONE 25 MINUTES.” The Beatles were preceded by the Remains, Bobby Hebb, the Cyrkle and the Ronettes. Mike trouble developed during the earlier part of the show but was okay for the Beatles act.

Immediately following the show the group flew to California for the final three concerts there. They will also take part in a Gold Disc presentation at Capitol.

Finally, promoter Sid Bernstein, who put on the Shea’s concert again, has offered the Beatles a third date next summer!

From New Musical Express – August 26, 1966


New York, Tuesday. — Time for the reckoning. Now that the Beatles’ American tour is over the half-way hurdle. I can give a firm answer to the $64,000-question: Are the Beatles still as popular with Stateside audiences? There has been a lot of talk in the Press that their popularity is on the wane… But the box-office provides the answer. Brian Epstein tells me that more people have come to see them this year than last. This means, of course, that the gross takings are far greater. So that’s cleared up the Big Question of ’66. And knocked the knockers for six!

Cincinatti was rained out. But it didn’t dampen the spirit of the kids; they just stood there getting soaking wet for four hours. There was no canopy over the stage and the equipment was spoiled by condensation which made it dangerous for the Beatles to use. so the show was postponed until 12 noon the next day. when the kids turned up by the thousand to see the world’s greatest group.

Another thing that had us a bit worried: the concert at Memphis. Tennessee. There was threatened trouble from the so-called “Bible-Belt.” But when we arrived we were greeted so warmly and with such genuine enthusiasm, we really wanted to stay forever. The police, the fans and the people in the street just went out to make us feel at home. Even at the religious meeting, held at the same time as the Beatles concert, the people prayed for the forgiveness of our audience and all of us!

As I am writing, we have just arrived in New York for Tuesday’s concert at the Shea Stadium. Everywhere we have been, hundreds of kids have been hanging around our hotel hoping for a glimpse of the Beatles. But the security arrangements have been very tight and not many of the fans have been lucky.

“We come out here to do shows and if we show our faces outside our room, we would be torn apart, so it has to be this way,” George told me. “After all. the main thing we want to do is stay alive.” Sounds fair enough.

Paul tells me the decision to release “Yellow Submarine'” and “Eleanor Rigby” was Brian Epstein’s alone, although it is usually up to the boys. The reason is that it wasn’t really scheduled for release, but Brian thought the two best tracks should be made a single before anyone else could cover them. He seems to know what he’s up to, judging by the success of the record. Brian adds he expects the boys to bring back over $1.000.000 to Britain, which should help the financial scene quite a bit. The trouble is we can’t give them M.B.E.s all over again, perhaps a knighthood this time?

Now for the other acts in the show. It’s quite a line-up: The Cyrkle, whose “Red Rubber Ball” reached No. 2 out here; Bobby Hebb, No. 1 at the moment with “Sunny,” and the Ronettes, who, of course, have had so many hits and are expecting to release a new one soon. Incidentally, Veronica of the Ronettes is getting married to Phil Spector in the near future. They’re all great to be with and it’s a really happy show.

There is quite a thing here with those “granny” sunglasses — the ones with the small lenses and gold rims. Nearly all of us wear them. I think I’ve got the weirdest selection so far, with triangular ones, big squares, oblongs, ovals, etc. I always get John laughing when he sees me wearing any of them. But maybe it’s not just the glasses.

On the plane from St Louis to New York, John said he’d heard that Radio Caroline is now the No. 1 station in Britain.

He thought it is right to be this way. We spent about half-an-hour discussing the difficulties confronting the maritime radio stations, and between us have got the whole problem solved! While we were talking, George was working on a flowery sort of doodle, believe me it was really wild.

The fellows are looking forward to reaching Los Angeles where they will have a rest before returning home to Britain. If you want to see them arriving at London Airport you will have to get up early. Our plane is due in at 6 am on August 31. We all hope to see you there. Until then from John, Paul, George and Ringo and me, goodbye now.

From Disc And Music Echo – August 27, 1966
From Disc And Music Echo – August 27, 1966

Beatle bravery worth more than money

A FEW days after the tornado, we’re still recovering from the Beatles visit! The concert is over, and so is the tour. The amount the Beatles finally made on their Shea Stadium date was something like $190,000, but the goodwill they achieved by coming here in the face of such a storm was worth more than the money they made.

In New York, between press conferences (one for the adults and another for the teen magazines), the Beatles and I talked at length about many things, including this last tour. I pointed out to John that everyone was extremely happy they hadn’t cancelled it.

“Should we?” he replied. “Why? Because of all those press statements? I think we could have easily put that right by staying home and doing what had to be done. But we wanted to come over”. John added that the press can say what they like about the Beatles but it doesn’t worry them because most of their statements are distorted anyhow.
“We’ve never held back on anything, and never expected the press to either”. But he admitted that the Beatles are still happier with the press treatment they get in England.

We discussed their next movie and John’s upcoming solo part. He showed no signs of pain at the thought of having to cut his hair for his role as a soldier, though he doesn’t relish the idea that he may have to have a centre parting as that’s the style they wore during the old days!

“They’ll do what they have to, but I don’t think they’ll have to cut the front, because that can always be brushed whichever way it has to go”.

Regarding the script, John said he’s had little chance to study it, but the part isn’t that large. Wondering why he’d waited so long before accepting any movie offer outside their own contracts, John told me, “It was the first one I had, and we were going to be on holiday any-way after the tour so I took it.”

How does the rest of the group feel about John making a movie without them? “We don’t mind”, Ringo said. “I think it’s OK really.”

And they’re still not definite about their third movie for Walter Shenson.

“It’s nowhere near certain”, Paul told me. “We still have to okay the script and everything. We won’t know about that till we see it written. But we will write the soundtrack.”

While John spends ten weeks shooting his new movie, Ringo, Paul and George will take it easy. There are tentative plans to record, but that will depend on the amount of free time John has between making the film. The possibility that they might write their own script for their next Waller Shenson picture is now out of the question.

John said, “We did consider it for a while, but discovered that writing movie scripts is much more difficult than you think. Besides, there’s no time.

It’s nowhere near certain”, Paul told me. “We still have to okay the script and everything. We won’t know about that till we see it written. But we will write the soundtrack.”

While John spends ten weeks shooting his new movie, Ringo, Paul and George will take it easy. There are tentative plans to record, but that will depend on the amount of free time John has between making the film. The possibility that they might write their own script for their next Waller Shenson picture is now out of the question.

John said, “We did consider it for a while, but discovered that writing movie scripts is much more difficult than you think. Besides, there’s no time.

While all of this was going on, George sat cross-legged on the floor listening to a set of Indian sitar albums. Earlier at the press conference he denied that “now he knows how to play the sitar will he discover another Far Eastern instrument and popularise that.”

I don’t know how to play the sitar fully”, he said. “I’m still learning, and when I started playing it, it wasn’t with the idea of making it become an ‘in’ instrument. And anything I play in the future will not be with that idea in mind. I can’t help it if everyone else takes up the instrument and starts a whole new thing in music. And I won’t stop playing it if you, or anyone else tells me it’s unfashionable. I don’t care what people say. If it suits the arrangement, or me to play it, I’ll go on doing so. I like the instrument and the sound it produces.

We were in the middle of this heated conversation, with everyone giving a point of view, when the Beatles were requested to attend their next press reception. The conference room was hot, steamy and in mass hysteria, and I left when a huge groan went up after Paul had announced that he would marry Jane Asher.

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

Last updated on November 5, 2023

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