Seattle • Thursday, August 25, 1966 • 8pm show

ConcertBy The Beatles • Part of the Summer 1966 US tour

See all concerts in USA on the map
Seattle Center Coliseum
$118,071 for the two concerts


The Beatles took a day off in Los Angeles the day before their concerts in Seattle. At 10 am on August 25, 1966, they flew to Seattle and landed at 1:40 pm. They were then taken directly to the Seattle Center Coliseum for their first concert of the day at 3 pm. Only 8,000 of the 15,000 available tickets had been sold for the early show.

After the first show, the Beatles held a press conference at the Edgewater Inn. They then returned to the Seattle Center Coliseum for their second show at 8 pm, which was in front of a full audience of 15,000.

The support acts for the Seattle shows were The Remains, Bobby Hebb, The Cyrkle, and The Ronettes, as they had been for the other dates of the tour.

The two concerts generated $118,071 in revenue – this was then “the biggest single day’s gross ever in (Seattle’s) entertainment history,” according to Zollie M. Volchok, for the sponsoring agent. Of that amount, the Beatles received some $73,717.81.

After the two concerts, the Beatles were scheduled to fly back to Los Angeles on an 11 pm flight for two more days of rest. However, their departure was delayed by five hours after one of the aeroplane’s wheels was found to be worn out and in need of replacement.


[…] Outside the Coliseum, fans arrived for the evening show. A few picketers also showed up, carrying signs that said, “Christ first, Beatles last,” and “Teenagers who support the Beatles continue to crucify Christ.” Most teenagers ignored the small group of hecklers, but one young John Lennon fan told them, “We’ve never seen Jesus. We’ve seen John.”

Roll Over Beethoven

The second show was sold out and 14,382 Beatlemaniacs filed into the Coliseum for the evening performance. Like the first audience, they listened to the warm-up acts, and proceeded to raise the roof when the Beatles began to play. The 10-song set lasted only a half-hour, but for true die-hard fans it most likely seemed longer.

Reviews of the shows published in the newspapers were mixed. The critics — mostly middle-aged men — professed to admire the Beatles in an offhand way, but found the concert dull. Rolf Stromberg of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer wrote: “The range of their voices is middling; they can’t sustain or hold a note very long, nor do they have grace or power.”

Fans disagreed. Anne Kelley, a mother of three, took four young boys to the show and wrote a review for the P-I. Although she preferred listening to the music at home on the stereo, she found the event to be “a great adventure.” Anne Grant, a 13-year-old student from Worth McClure Junior High School wrote her own review for The Seattle Times. Blind since birth, the girl summed up her own adventure by proclaiming, “Maybe the Beatles aren’t Beethoven, but they’re ours. And I got to see them!”

Tomorrow Never Knows

After the show, the Beatles were whisked away from the Coliseum in their limousine for a return trip to the airport. Some reporters were already there, doggedly following up on rumors that Jane Asher might have arrived on a Northwest Airlines jet at 7:55 to marry Paul. She hadn’t, much to the relief of many a heartstruck teen.

The Beatles answered a few more questions and posed for more photos. They climbed up the ramp to the plane. At the last second, Paul McCartney turned to the press corps. “Hold it!” he said. As reporters looked up expectantly, McCartney snapped their picture with a small camera. “Thanks, fellas,” he laughed. With that, the Beatles were gone. […]

From Performance in Seattle – The Beatles History (
Photo by Wally Funk – From Performance in Seattle – The Beatles History (
Photo by Wally Funk – From Performance in Seattle – The Beatles History (
Photo by Wally Funk – From Performance in Seattle – The Beatles History (
From Beatles Concert Tickets – Seattle 8/25/66 (

Beatles Hit Seattle Like a 3-Ring Circus

Cool is when you recognize the whole thing’s a circus, but you go ahead and play the game anyway without losing your sense of humor. And, throughout all of Thursday’s happenings in Seattle, the Beatles were clearly cool. Their three-ring circus began Thursday afternoon when they arrived at the Seattle-Tacoma airport, to be greeted by 33 fans, even more policemen and the Port of Seattle’s fire truck.

From there they were driven to the Seattle Center Coliseum where they moved through crowds of screaming teenagers who lay in wait at the gate, and into the Coliseum. They emerged only to give two concerts — at 3 and 8 p.m. — and headed for Hollywood that night.

The action in Ring One of the Beatle Circus was staged by some eight dull-looking persons who paced up and down in front of the Coliseum bearing signs that included. “Teenagers who support the Beatles continue to crucify Christ.”

They were in distinct contrast to the excited teenagers, male and female, who milled about the Coliseum in all their mod finery waiting for the big event.

Inside the Coliseum — Ring Two — the big event transpired, twice, before an 8,200 afternoon audience and a 14,382 sell-out evening crowd. Now when it is said that the Beatles are giving a concert, it does not mean that they giving an entire concert, so the teen-agers had to first sit through The Remains, Bobby Hebb, The Circle and The Ron-ettes, which they did in profound silence. It’s not that these groups were bad. It’s just that they weren’t the Beatles.

With the announcement that the Beatles were coming on, the teenagers began venting all their saved-up energy. They began screaming. And as the Beatles appeared on the stage, it was like the Fourth of July, what with all the flash bulbs going off all over the Coliseum. Neither screams nor flashbulbs bursting abated significantly in the course of the concert. As for the Beatties themselves: They wore gray suits with lilac stripes and lilac pint shirts; their singing style was easy and open and their music… well, people who like Beatle music like it, and all the words in the world won’t convince those who don’t that it’s really a pretty good thing.

At 6 p.m., between the two concerts in Ring Two, Ring Three was activated. A couple of dozen press people, who had duly presented their letters at each checkpoint, found themselves in a hot, dingy room in the basement of the Coliseum and were given the ground rules for the press conference.

One of the ground rules was that still photographers had priority the first five minutes and then they had to step back so the TV cameras could have clear shooting. So the Beatles came in and stood behind a table and everyone with a camera rushed to the front of the room and stood along the other side of the table. And for five minutes, the Beatles stood there, trying to be casual about the whole thing, while being thoroughly photographed.

Actually that part wasn’t like a circus. That part was like a zoo.

During the press conference proper, the Beatles parried the reporters’ sometimes silly questions with good humor and apparent frankness. The number one issue was whether Paul McCartney was to be married to British actress Jane Asher that evening, as the Associated Press had reported.

No, said Paul. “I just got here today and found out I’m getting married tonight,” he said. Yes, he knows her, he said, but “Really, it (the marriage rumor) was just sort of a joke.” And fellow Beatle George Harrison added, “If she does come here tonight, we’re going out, so we’ll miss her.” The Beatles spoke the truth, as it turned out, for this morning Paul was still unwed.

Asked about all the furor over Beatle John Lennon’s “the Beatles are bigger than Jesus” statements, Beatle John said they’ve all been missing the point. Beatle George said people who think that “need their minds straightened out,” Beatle Paul said it was ridiculous for people to say they despise Jesus and Christianity, and Beatle John concluded that twisting what they said that way “isn’t Christian.” When they were told that a revival would be given at the Seattle Center during their evening concert by an anti-Beatle religious group, Beatle John quipped, “Yeah, we’ll be there.” (The sacred concert, by baritone Fague Springman, drew 250. The Beatles weren’t there).

Has the furor hurt their present tour? “The press keeps saying, “See, it hurt you,” but our manager keeps telling us “no,” Beatle Paul said, “and we listen to our manager.”

Then a reporter asked them if, having disposed of religion, they’d like to try American foreign policy. They agreed that they wouldn’t.

Asked if it’s true their average fan is older now than when they started out, Paul said, yes, somewhat older. Was that what they were trying for? “We don’t intend anything,” Paul said.

And a woman, who identified herself as the mother of three, said she was concerned about a statement of theirs that “when Mom loves us we’re dead.” “We were rebels when we said that,” said Paul.

In the evening, there was more picketing and another concert and then the Beatles were whisked off to the airport, taking with them $73,717.81 for their half-hour performances at the two concerts and at the press conference. The gross take for the two concerts — $118,071 — was the largest one-day take in Seattle entertainment history, according to Zollie M. Volchok of Northwest Releasing, the event’s sponsor.

From Kitsap Sun – August 26, 1966

[…] SEATTLE, August 25: I flew from Hollywood the 500 miles north to Seattle with the Beatles, where they did two concerts in the new 15,000-seater arena. The afternoon show drew only 8,000, but the later one was a sell-out, setting a new attendance record.

The seats were very near the Beatles, in comparison with the stadium’s scats, out no one tried to rush the stage at either show.

The Beatles, dressed in drab olive green suits from London’s Hung-On-You boutique, obviously enjoyed the closer contact with the fans, as well as the good behaviour from them.

Only a faulty microphone, which swivelled out of control and forced Paul to teeter over the edge of the stage to get his mouth in front of it, marred the proceedings (but this brought laughs, so it was probably an asset).

A lifeless Press conference was held between shows, the only highlight being Paul’s denial of a Wire Service report that he and Jane Asher were marrying in Seattle.

Paul got a laugh when he answered frankly: “It wouldn’t do her any good to fly here. I’m flying out tonight.” […]

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

Last updated on September 13, 2023

Exit mobile version