San Francisco • Monday, August 29, 1966

ConcertBy The Beatles • Part of the Summer 1966 US tour

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San Francisco
Candlestick Park


On August 29, 1966, the Beatles touched down at San Francisco International Airport at 5:30 pm, having flown in from Los Angeles. This was not just any stop on their tour; it was to be their last public concert. They were to perform at Candlestick Park, primarily known as the home ground for the San Francisco Giants baseball team.

Surprisingly, only 25,000 out of a possible 42,500 tickets were sold. Fans shelled out between $3.89 and $7 to see the band, translating to earnings of around $90,000 for The Beatles. Due to lower-than-expected ticket sales and other incurred expenses, the concert didn’t turn out to be a profitable venture for Tempo Productions, the local firm handling the event.

Like for the other concerts of the tour, the support acts were, in order of appearance, The Remains, Bobby Hebb, The Cyrkle and The Ronettes. The Beatles took to the stage at 9.27 pm.

The group knew it was to be their final concert. Recognising its significance, John Lennon and Paul McCartney took a camera onto the stage, with which they took pictures of the audience, their bandmates, and even some candid selfies.

Paul McCartney, wanting to preserve the memory of this last concert, requested their press officer, Tony Barrow, to record the performance using a hand-held recorder. Unfortunately, the cassette’s 30-minute capacity per side meant that the recording abruptly stopped during their closing number, “Long Tall Sally“. Barrow handed the original recording to Paul, retaining a singular copy for himself, which found its way into various bootlegs over time.

The evening concluded with The Beatles making a swift exit to the airport in an armoured car, subsequently flying back to Los Angeles and arriving at 12.50 am. During this journey, George Harrison remarked, “That’s it, then. I’m not a Beatle anymore.

Paul McCartney returned to Candlestick Park in 2014 for his “Out There” tour, the last-ever concert there before its demolition.

The next day, Monday, was the last concert date of the tour. We gathered at the hotel for the limo ride to the airport — jet this time, which meant a short flight. We were already beginning to get that “It’s almost over” bluesy feeling.

In San Francisco, we transferred to a bus which drove us to Candlestick Park. This provided some light entertainment when we arrived at the park. It seems that the gate through which we were supposed to enter wasn’t open when the bus arrived, so the bus went around in circles — literally, in circles — all around the parking lot, trailing cars with fans hanging out the windows and also trailing girls who could enter the Olympics as track stars. We then left the park, drove around a few hills, turned around, came back, took a few turns around the parking lot again and then, finally, through a gate (and through several hundred fans) into the stadium.

Before the performance, we had our last goodbye taping session in The Beatles’ dressing room. They had just finished eating, so amidst coffee cups and tape recorders, we all took our leave, so to speak.

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

There was a sort of end of term spirit thing going on, and there was also this kind of feeling amongst all of us around The Beatles, that this might just be the last concert that they will ever do. I remember Paul, casually, at the very last minute, saying, ‘Have you got your cassette recorder with you?’ and I said, ‘Yes, of course.’ Paul then said, ‘Tape it will you? Tape the show,’ which I did, literally just holding the microphone up in the middle of the field. As a personal souvenir of the occasion, it was a very nice thing to have and the only difference was that it wasn’t a spectacular occasion. It was nothing like Shea Stadium, there was nothing special about it at all, except that The Beatles did put in extra ad-libs and link material which they hadn’t put in before on any other occasion.

Tony Barrow – From “The Beatles: Off the Record” by Keith Badman, 2008

At San Francisco airport, as our plane prepared to take off, Paul’s head came over the top of my seat from the row behind: ‘Did you get anything on tape?’ I passed the cassette recorder back to him: ‘I got the lot, except that the tape ran out in the middle of Long Tall Sally.’ He asked if I had left the machine running between numbers to get all the announcements and the boys’ ad lib remarks. I said: ‘It’s all there from the guitar feedback before the first number.’ Paul was clearly chuffed to have such a unique souvenir of what would prove to be an historic evening – the farewell stage show from the Fab Four.

Back in London I kept the concert cassette under lock and key in a drawer of my office desk, making a single copy for my personal collection and passing the original to Paul for him to keep. Years later my Candlestick Park recording re-appeared in public as a bootleg album. If you hear a bootleg version of the final concert that finishes during Long Tall Sally it must have come either from Paul’s copy or mine, but we never did identify the music thief!

Tony Barrow – From “John, Paul, George, Ringo & me: the real Beatles story“, 2006

Although I didn’t fancy my chances of making a brilliant recording of the concert, one thing in my favour was the great distance between the stage and the stands at this particular venue. Because of this, I guessed I might be able to capture sound from the stage without picking up too much of the non-stop screams and shouts of the fans coming from the stands. The fact that it was an open-air gig also helped. In an enclosed auditorium it would have been impossible to pick up the sound of the music without picking up too much crowd noise. When the last of the supporting acts came off stage I went out on the field ahead of the boys. When John, Paul, George and Ringo ran out across the grass a roar of approval went up from the stands and, as they did a quickie tune-up on stage, each chord they played caused a further roar.

One of the US deejays in our travelling party, who I had prevented from recording an earlier concert on the tour, saw me holding my mike up in the air and mimicked my words of warning back to me: ‘On Brian Epstein’s orders there must be no recording of the performances. Please turn off.’ With a finger to my lips, I indicated to him to shut up, I didn’t want extraneous voices on my ‘official’ concert recording.

Up on stage one of the boys yelled ‘Hello’ to test his voice mike and in another moment the group tore into Chuck Berry’s ‘Rock And Roll Music’.

Tony Barrow – From “John, Paul, George, Ringo & me: the real Beatles story“, 2006

I was the MC, and, as any Giants fans will know, Candlestick Park in August, at night, was cold, foggy and windy. The funniest thing this night was one of the warm-up acts, Bobby Hebb. He stood up on the stage at Candlestick Park, with the fog, and the wind blowing, and he was singing ‘Sunny’! It was tough anyway to work a ballpark as an MC, especially as The Beatles were taking their time to get out. I was trying to entertain a crowd that was shouting, ‘Beatles, Beatles, Beatles.’

The dressing room was chaos. There were loads of people there. The press tried to get passes for their kids and the singer Joan Baez was in there. Any local celebrity, who was in town, was in the dressing room. They were having a party in there. They were having a perfectly wonderful time, while I was freezing my buns off on second base!

’Emperor’ Gene Nelson – From “The Beatles: Off the Record” by Keith Badman, 2008

On stage, a wild sea wind was blowing in every direction. There was a double fence around the stage. The only entrance was behind the drums. The audience was about 200 feet away–much farther than usual. It made us feel extremely isolated… But it was the last show, and we were determined to have a good time. All the acts did a great job to wind up the tour on a high note…

Barry Tashian, with The Remains, one of the opening acts on the tour – From “Burn The Beatles!”1966: Bigger Than Jesus? | The Pop History Dig

On the plane heading for L.A., The Beatles faced another hazard of their particular profession – lack of privacy. They were forced to change from their stage suits to regular clothes in front of just about everyone, but they handled it discreetly. They’re past masters at handling lack of privacy with aplomb.

Since I hadn’t had time to speak with Paul in San Francisco, he sat down next to me on the plane, and we talked all the way back to L.A. We discussed the possibility and probability of a 1967 tour, and he talked in great lengths about tentative plans. All four Beatles want to cut down on their performing time so they can concentrate more on recording, which they feel is their best way of expressing their creativity. “We’re not very good performers, actually,” he said. “We’re better in a recording studio where we can control things and work on it until it’s right. With performing there’s so much that can go wrong, and you can’t go back over it and do it right.”

Judith Sims – Editor of TeenSet magazine in 1966 – From Meet the Beatles for Real: Flying home

I was 12 years old in August 1966, and my 13 year old sister and I were avid Beatlemaniacs, as were a few of her girlfriends. We heard the announcement that The Beatles would tour America that summer, and we decided to go to the concert together. I think that it was my sister who brought the pair of binoculars that we shared at the concert, after borrowing them from our father. I remember that we had only one pair among us that evening. The evening began as we all piled into the car and headed up the Peninsula on the Bayshore Freeway. Just around the bend at South San Francisco, on the causeway up to Candlestick Park, traffic came to an absolute standstill. Horns were honking from cars all across the road and people were leaning out of their windows to scream, wave and hold up pictures and posters of the Beatles. We all joyously joined in, and my heart was pounding so hard that it felt as if it was coming out of my chest. I screamed, cheered and greeted the other concertgoers as we inched our way to Candlestick. Finally, after what seemed like hours, we made it to the parking lot. It was freezing, as it always is at Candlestick, because the place is situated on the Bay just beyond San Bruno Mountain – in the worst line of fire of fog – and tremendously windswept. We went inside the stadium and purchased the program. It was a beautiful booklet of wonderful black and white photos of The Beatles. Then we ran to our seats. We noticed that everyone was moving down to the empty seats in front, and some people were even moving down to stand right up against the fence itself. My sister and her friends wanted to move, too. At first, I was afraid that the authorities would throw us out for sitting in the wrong seats, but since everyone else was moving down to the front and no one in charge seemed to care, I quickly forgot about my fears. We ended up sitting just several rows back from home plate, in what appeared to be the best seats in the house. Even best seats have their drawbacks, however, and ours was that we were right behind a wire screen, making it even more difficult to see. In the long run though, it really made no difference where anyone sat, because the stage had been erected way out on second base, and binoculars were necessary to be able to see at all. The Ronettes must have been the group onstage when we got there. We had no idea who they were, and I could not figure out why there was a girl group onstage. I did not realize at the time that other acts would be playing. I had thought that we were just going to see The Beatles. After the girl group finished, Bobby Hebb sang “Sunny” and the Cyrkle sang “Turn Down Day” and “Red Rubber Ball.” They sounded fine, but we wished they would hurry up because we just wanted to see the Beatles. When the Beatles finally were announced and ran onto the field, everyone was on his or her feet and everyone was screaming at the top of our lungs! We hugged each other, screamed and tore out our hair. During the 22 minute show of 11 and a fraction songs, someone climbed over the fence and ran on the field toward the stage. We cheered louder, but the police caught him not far into the field. This scenario was repeated two more times during the concert. I secretly was jealous that I was not running down the field too, but I was too scared to try it. The Beatles ripped right into “Rock and roll Music” then followed up with “She’s a woman,” “If I needed someone,” “Day Tripper” “Baby’s in Black,” “If I needed someone” “Day Tripper” “baby’s in Black” “I feel fine,” “Yesterday” “I wanna be your man,” and “Nowhere man.” Next they sang “Paperback Writer,” which I remember as sounding just awful; out of tune, each Beatle singing in a different key, and unsuccessfully attempting to create the echo effect on the record. IT was flat, and to put it bluntly, terrible. But it really did not matter to me. I was so busy screaming and having the time of my life that I did not care. My only disappointment was that while The Beatles were onstage, my sister and her girlfriends hogged the binoculars and only let me use them once for about 30 seconds. I never even got a chance to focus, let alone fix them on John, my favorite. I took black and white pictures with my little Brownie Starmite camera. I sent the roll of film to a photo company to be developed, but the three pictures that I had taken were considered unprintable. I sent the negatives back to the company and insisted that at least one concert photo be printed. The photo company complied, and printed the best of the three that I had taken. All that could be discerned from the photo were a few dots. A couple of ears ago, however, I dug up the negatives and had the picture specially blown up into a poster. You can see the heads of the people in front of me, the field, the outdoor lights, the white armored car by the stage, the stage itself, a round white dot on the stage (Ringo’s drums), figure dots of the Beatles onstage and figures of unidentified people surrounding the stage. It may not sound like much, but it is perfect because it truly represents how I, the typical fan in the stands, saw the concert. At the end of the evening, one of the Beatles announced the final song, and the group tore into “Long Tall Sally.” We were shattered at the end of its last note, thinking that the concert was all over…when suddenly The Beatles started to play the beginning of “In my Life!” My heart soared, “Oh wow, it isn’t really over yet after all!” But then, just as quickly as they begun to play the opening bars, The Beatles cut it off, ran form the stage, climbed into the armored car and down off down the field. We stood there absolutely devastated, shocked, crying, disbelieving that it was over. It seemed like it had only just started. I came home and could not sleep all night. I wracked my brain, trying to think of each song that the Beatles had played and wrote down the name of each one. I had no idea that the songs I was listing would be from the last Beatles concert ever to take place, and that I had participated in a historic event. I have kept my list throughout the years in a safe place. For some inexplicable reason, the only song that I left off my list was “In my Life.” In fact, I had forgotten all about it until I sat down to write this article, and I re-read all of my newspaper clippings of the concert. Lynn Ludlow’s review in the San Francisco Examiner reported the incident and suddenly he moment came back in a flash. I remember it so vividly because it was a few seconds of false hope that the Beatles were going to play yet one more song and that the concert was not over. I remember it as clear as day. It is true. The opening bars of “In my Life” were the last thing ever played by The Beatles in concert. Years later, I was cleaning my room and by mistake, threw out my ticket with the orange print. My sister threw hers out then, too. But n ow, by some miracle, I have a new ticket, to take the old one’s place. It is bright and beautiful and is hanging on the wall next to my bed.

Beth – From Meet the Beatles for Real: Those who were there remember the concert

Departure from Los Angeles. From Performance in San Francisco – The Beatles History (
Arrival in San Francisco. From Performance in San Francisco – The Beatles History (
Photo by Bob Campbell. From Performance in San Francisco – The Beatles History (
From John Lennon , George Harrison and Paul McCartney of The Beatles walk… Fotografía de noticias – Getty Images – (MANDATORY CREDIT Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music/Getty Images) John Lennon (holding a camera), George Harrison and Paul McCartney (taking a photograph with his camera) of The Beatles walk to the stage at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California, United States, to play the final show on their last tour, 29th August 1966. (Photo by Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music/Getty Images)
From Performance in San Francisco – The Beatles History ( – Photo by Koh Hasebe.
From John Lennon and Paul McCartney of The Beatles share a microphone… Fotografía de noticias – Getty Images – (MANDATORY CREDIT Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music/Getty Images) John Lennon and Paul McCartney of The Beatles share a microphone during the last concert on their final tour at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California, August 29, 1966. (Photo by Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music/Getty Images)
From Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr of The Beatles perform during the last… Fotografía de noticias – Getty Images – (MANDATORY CREDIT Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music/Getty Images) Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr of The Beatles perform during the last concert on their final tour at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California, August 29, 1966. (Photo by Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music/Getty Images)
From Performance in San Francisco – The Beatles History (
From Performance in San Francisco – The Beatles History (
From Performance in San Francisco – The Beatles History (
From “Burn The Beatles!”1966: Bigger Than Jesus? | The Pop History Dig – August 29th, 1966: Pickets from Sunnyvale, CA outside Candlestick Park protest John Lennon’s “more-popular-than-Jesus” remark. These demonstrators were seen by some concert goers, but missed by the Beatles, who used a different entrance. AP photo.

From, August 14, 2014:

Paul McCartney took the crowd of 50,000 at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park on a magical mystery tour back through time at tonight’s historic ‘Farewell To Candlestick: The Final Concert’.

During a rarely performed rendition of Little Richard’s ‘Long Tall Sally’ — the last song to be performed in its entirety at The Beatles’ August 29, 1966 final concert at the same venue — the crowd was transported back to that very same night courtesy of a collection of previously unreleased photographs by the late Jim Marshall.

The only photographer to be granted unfettered access to photograph The Beatles’ last ever concert, Marshall’s images were granted this exclusive usage by Paul for his bittersweet goodbye to this iconic ballpark. […]

Jim Marshall is world-renowned as the pioneer of rock-and-roll photography. A principal photographer at Woodstock, and the only photographer allowed backstage at The Beatles’ last concert, he immortalized artists such as the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Jefferson Airplane before they became household names. His tools of the trade were a manual Leica camera and unlimited access to the artists. This allowed Marshall to capture some of the most iconic images in music history, and In 2014 Marshall became the first photographer ever to receive the GRAMMY Trustees Award for his body of work.  Marshall passed away in 2010, and gave his iconic and inspired archive to his long-time assistant and friend Amelia Davis, who keeps Marshall’s legacy alive and thriving. […]

From Paul Unveils Never Before Released Beatles Photos | – The Beatles © Jim Marshall Photography LLC
From Twitter – 2014 – Paul unveiled unseen @JimMarshallM4 photos of @thebeatles at his Candlestick Park gig.

From Vintage Polychrome Poster For 1966 Beatles Concert In Candlestick Park #141852 | Black Rock Galleries
From Beatles Candlestick Park, San Francisco, August 29, 1966 Concert | Lot #89224 | Heritage Auctions ( – Beatles Candlestick Park, San Francisco, August 29, 1966 Concert Ticket Stub. Used ticket for the Beatles’ last ever concert performance, held on August 29, 1966, at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. This example with some loss to the upper right corner and toning at the corners. Otherwise very good condition. Slabbed in acrylic to an overall size of 6″ x 3.5″.

Richer Beatles use armored car to escape Candlestick fans

A screaming crowd of 25,000 fans broke into bedlam at Candlestick Park Monday night as the team rushed onto the field from the San Francisco Giants’ baseball dugout. But the cheers were not for the Giants — they should have it so good. The adulation was for the team of Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon and George Harrison, known collectively as the Beatles.

For a half hour, the most famous quartet in the world today sang from a large, well-protected stage. Then, at the stroke of 10 p.m., the Beatles from Britain abruptly stopped and bolted for an armored car which whisked them away before their teenage fans could get to them.

For their half-hour performance, the Beatles earned $90,000 — or $3,000 a minute. Only slightly more than half of the stadium was filled, however, and promoters were expected to take a loss. The Beatles’ performance in San Francisco was their last of a 29-city American tour in which they earned an estimated $1 million. They were scheduled to leave Los Angeles at noon today for a jet flight to London.

The protection the Beatles were given rivalled that received by a president of the United States. They avoided hundreds of teenage fans at the San Francisco International Airport by landing at 5:25 p.m. at the old Pan American terminal at the northeast end of the field, more than a mile from the main terminal.

They were greeted by about 40 newsmen and photographers. Paul mocked the newsmen by repeatedly shoving a camera into their faces and saying, “Just one more, please.

From the airport, the Beatles were taken to Candlestick Park in a chartered bus. One teenager who did manage to make it through the dozens of guards was Sue Swanson, 18, of Atherton. She was almost struck by the bus as she threw kisses to Ringo Star.

The Beatles remained in the dressing room at Candlestick while other rock ’n’ roll groups were playing. When their time came, they rushed from the dugout onto the stage. The stage, located at second base, was a five-foot platform surrounded by a six-foot high storm fence. A ring of 200 private policemen was between the fence and the grandstands. About a dozen teenagers made the traditional attempt to storm the Beatles’ citadel, but
made the traditional attempt to storm the Beatles’ citadel, but all were quickly thwarted. Only a half dozen made it onto the field but were stopped by police.

Although their fans yelled at the top of their lungs at times, they could not drown out the sounds of the lads from Liverpool as they did on two previous San Francisco visits. Only about 12 girls were treated at the first aid station, and a spokesman said none of them was “really upset, just a bit excited.”

John Lennon’s often-quoted remark that the Beatles were “more popular than Jesus” brought only limited protest. Fifteen picketers, including Michael Mirate, 26, of Sunnyvale, paraded outside the ballpark. Mirate carried a sign which said, “Lennon is going, Christ is coming.” Ron Mile, 27, of Santa Clara, carried a sign reading “Jesus loves you. Do the Beatles?” “I agree the Beatles are more popular than Jesus, but nobody has the right to brag about it,” Mile said.

From The Peninsula Times Tribune – August 30, 1966
From The Peninsula Times Tribune – August 30, 1966

Armored Car For Beatles

For a guaranteed $50,000. the Beatles came to Candlestick last night. A crowd estimated at 25,000 paid $3.89 to $7 per seat to see the lyric four, and many others tried to expand their investment by watching the Englanders arrive at San Francisco International Airport. Tight security and purposeful confusion saved the Liverpool quartet from an arrival mob scene, however. No confrontation with the media was held.

Airlines agents hustled 50 newsmen aboard a chartered bus at 4:30. and sat behind the Central Terminal until 5. The bus then departed for a remote corner of the airfield and parked behind an old hangar. Another half hour passed, and the meagre crowd was thickened by a few airline officials and their daughters, a handful of airline mechanics, assorted policemen, and three or four enterprising teenage girls. Hundreds of teeners had roamed the airfield, appearing on ramps and runways, behind buildings, in hidden and forbidden passageways, but most of them never got near the landing spot. In case they did, an armored car awaited, but when the Beatles finally arrived, aboard a chartered jet that did not even slow down near the main terminal, the Liverpool lads strutted down the stairs and entered the bus with other performers.

It was not a yellow submarine, but a green and silver charter bus, and red-jacketed Paul McCartney sat snapping pictures of the newscameramen as the entourage headed for Candlestick. The armored car and three Cadillacs were used as decoys, but teeners spotted the inimitable quartet inside the bus, and chased it off the parking lot. Finally the double duo was sneaked inside, and waited in their dressing room for the last spot on the playbill.

Then for 31 minutes they sang and strummed, while their fans shrieked, cried, and groaned, wept, yelled, shouted, and did everything but listen. At the end, the harried four were hustled into the armored car and swept off the field, back to their chartered plane and Hollywood, where they are to complete a taping session before heading back to England. Ringo summed up the quarlet’s reaction with a dressing room statement that the Beatles never really know what crowd reaction is: “Because we’re so heavily guarded.”

A teenager on the parking lot gave a more emotional answer: “I touched the bus,” she wept in joy. “I touched the bus. They weren’t in it, but I touched the bus.

A spokesman for Tempo Productions, promoters of the Beaties’ appearance, spoke happily of the event.

From The Times, San Mateo, California – August 30, 1966
From The Times, San Mateo, California – August 30, 1966

PROMOTERS LOSE MONEY – Beatles Didn’t Sell Out Candlestick Park

SAN FRANCISCO (UPI) – The Beatles wound up their United States tour Monday night playing to a house only partly full. One-quarter of the 32,000 usable seats in Candlestick Park were empty for their final performance. Although the Beatles earned $90,000 for a half-hour performance, the promoters apparently lost money on the concert. The moptops will be taking about $1 million with them on their return to London today as a result of their 14-city American tour.

About a dozen teenagers made the traditional attempt to storm the Beatles’ citadel Monday night, a platform set up over second base in Candlestick Park, the San Francisco Giants baseball home which the Beatles rented for the concert. Only a half dozen exuberant fans, however, actually made it into the field and they were quickly corralled by private policemen.

The concert ended abruptly on a chord half-strummed as the clock hit the half-hour mark. The English moppets whirled, ran off the stage and piled into an armoured car which whisked them away. The San Francisco audience cheered lustily as the Beatles took to the field and hopped up on their makeshift stage. Although knots of fans yelled at the top of the lungs at times, they could not drown out the sounds of the Liverpool lads as they managed to do on two previous visits here.

Shelia Breen, 15, Richmond, seemed typical of the majority of the teenagers present. “The Beatles are nice, but they’re not worth getting hysterical over,” she said during the performance. “Actually, I think they are on the way down in popularity.” Only about a dozen girls were treated at the first aid station and a spokesman said none of them was “really upset, just a bit excited.

One exception was pretty Dedri Whitehead, 14, Watsonville. She wept huge tears and managed to gasp, between sobs: “I love Paul (McCartney). I love Paul, but he’ll never know it.

The Beatles’ performance was also partially marred by the presence of 15 pickets who paraded outside the gates of the ballpark protesting John Lennon’s often-quoted remark that the Beatles were “more popular than Jesus Christ.” Ron Mile, 27, Santa Clara, who said he represented “Christianity at large,” carried a sign reading, “Jesus loves you. Do the Beatles?

I agree that the beatles are more popular than Jesus, but nobody has the right to brag about it,” Mile said. He was joined by Michael Mirata, 26, Sunnyvale, who had a sign which said. “Lennon is going, Christ is coming.” There were no clashes between pickets and Beatle fans.

From The Press Democrat – August 30, 1966
From The Press Democrat – August 30, 1966

Beatles’ Screaming Teenies – $90,000 for Half Hour at Candlestick

The Beatles took the field at Candlestick Park last night to end their tour of the United States before 25,000 screaming fans under a full moon. For 33 minutes they sang their ballads, making nearly as much money as Willie Mays does in a year, getting more security than a World Series winner, and leaving the diamond after putting out 10 hits. They exited by armored truck.

It was their 19th victory in the past 14 days on the road across the United States.

Few could see their faces, blurred by the six-foot-high fence surrounding the stage and the distance separating them from the stands. For the fans in Candlestick, the four Englishmen sang, smiled, waved, clowned and danced. But somehow their performance evoked strange reactions from all who looked on.

Twice during their performance, groups of boys climbed over the centerfield fence and ran madly about the outfield, resembling victims of St. Vitus dance in their aimless zig-zagging through the grass. Police soon caught them and escorted them to the nearest exit.

When the Beatles first went on stage a well-dressed young girl climbed out of the box seats near third base and streaked across the diamond towards the stage. It took three guards and one usherette to grab her, 40 feet from her goal.

Throughout the performance the first aid room treated girls for hysteria, and fainting.

One Bums guard was driven to the first aid room in an ambulance, suffering from exhaustion after a chase around the outfield.

But these were not the only victims of the performance. Almost all who filled the stands were given to periodic screaming, tearing of hair, crying, wild waving of the arms and jumping up and down.

Draped three-fourths the way around the stadium were various homemade banners reading “We Love You All,” “Beatles 4 Ever,” “Welcome Beatles,” “We Love John, Paul, George, and Ringo” …

In the stands one enterprising group, hoping to get John Lennon’s attention, held up a banner with this suggestion: “Change Liverpool to Lennongrad.”

Feeling not the least bit silly, two girls sat watching the performance with a six-foot paper yellow submarine at their feet. The do-it-yourself-submarine didn’t do the trick as the Beatles failed to sing their latest hit “Yellow Submarine.”

The crowd showed its adoration not only with their signs but with their money. Tickets sold for up to $10 apiece. The only people not particularly pleased with the Beatles seemed to be the parents. Many spent the evening muttering to themselves as they waited two hours in the car for their offspring to come out.

After the performance, lines at the telephone booths were long. The traffic snarl was similar to that following a Giants-Dodgers playoff game.

The lost-and-found situation at Candlestick was comical. Too many parents must have said. “Meet me at the ticket booth when it’s over.” For the hapless teenager alter the show the question of the hour was “Which ticket booth?”

Perhaps the full moon cast its worst spell upon the promoters of the Beatles concert, Tempo Productions. According to the Associated Press, late last night Tempo spokesmen said they would lose money on the show. From their 20 per cent share of the gate, the promoters must pay the cost of special police, 25 standby musicians, 100 usherettes and 50 ticket takers.

The Beatles earned approximately $3,000 per minute for their half-hour performance.

From Oakland Tribune – August 30, 1966

Beatle ‘receptionists’ well-behaved

IT MAY HAVE BEEN DUE TO THE OPEN-air setting, or it may have been from the cold, but the 25,000 teenagers who swarmed into Candlestick Park for Monday night’s Beatle concert proved to be a remarkably well-behaved bunch.

San Mateo County Sheriff’s Capt. Eugene E. Stewart, who headed the security detail assigned to the mop-haired English quartet, appeared calm, relieved and thankful Tuesday as he displayed his own autographed Beatles picture and told how smoothly it went.

The only tense moment came when a bus carrying the Liverpool rock ’n’ roll group plus other members of the troupe from International Airport encountered a locked gate at Candlestick Park — thus upsetting a carefully laid out plan by which they were supposed to swoop into the ballpark, drive under the stands and arrive in the infield before the palpitating youngsters in the stands recognized them.

NOT ONLY WAS THE GATE LOCKED: there was no one around with a key. The bus driver was told to circle the stadium repeatedly while Stewart, in a patrol car, radioed to San Francisco police to pry the key loose from someone at Giants headquarters and rush it to the scene.

After the performance, the Beatles jumped quickly into the armored car, which by then was just behind the stage, and went directly back to the airport for a hop to Los Angeles, thence, later, to London.

Stewart, who has become good friends with the Beatles in their several trips here, had a cup of coffee with them aboard their plane before they left. He found the quartet to be the only relaxed members of the huge entourage with which they travel. “They have somebody else to worry about everything, so they can afford to relax,” he explained.

SHARING A BIT OF THE FIRST-HAND knowledge which makes him the envy of his grandchildren, Stewart termed John Lennon serious, Ringo Starr “a real nut,” Paul McCartney amusing but more subdued than Starr, and George Harrison the quietest one of the group.

THE AUDIENCE BEGAN ARRIVING IN the stands at Candlestick by 5 p.m., but the Beatles did not sing a note until almost 4 1/2 hours later.

Last year, when the Beatles sang in the Cow Palace, in Daly City, things got so far out of hand that screaming teens clambered up on the stage and the Beatles later confessed they had been badly frightened by this onrush of adolescent humanity.

By contrast, the singers Monday night performed from a fenced-in stage which was so far from the nearest audience member that it proved only a token gesture when many of the girls removed their sneakers and hurled them toward their idols.

Besides that, there is a 7-foot drop from the bleachers to the field — and the squad of deputies and private police were more concerned about young fans breaking their own legs than hurting the Beatles.

WHILE THE BEATLES SANG, SAID Stewart, the girls screamed on cue, and he said he observed the usual number of faces which radiated pure ecstasy – or something. But, he explained, “it was too damn cold to faint,” and the Beatles seemed somewhat disappointed at the general lack of mass hysteria.

Declining to voice any critical comment of their music, Stewart modestly revealed that the Beatles have given him a first-class rating for the way he and others handle the job of protecting their skins each year: “They’ve told me repeatedly they think the arrangements for their safety here are the best of all the places they have appeared all over the world.”

From The Peninsula Times Tribune – August 31, 1966
From The Peninsula Times Tribune – August 31, 1966

From, October 5, 2022:

[…] On the last stop of the band’s summer tour, Paul, John, George and Ringo were joined by singer-songwriter Joan Baez as they walked through the doors of the locker room at Candlestick Park. There, they dined on a pre-show meal of roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, stuffed baked potato, salad, relish and French pastry that had been catered in from Simpson’s catering service on 926 Clement Street. Between bites, they made crude sketches in crayon on the white linen tablecloth.

“Sprinkled among the gravy stains and pudding droppings were doodles of almost psychedelic persuasion, drawn by Beatles in a moment of contemplation before their concert in the infield,” the Chronicle reported at the time. 

Co-owner Joe Vilardi told the newspaper that Lennon had drawn “an interesting sort of Japanese sunset” while McCartney had etched out “faces in the abstract.” Before the band left for the concert, Simpson’s staff asked them to autograph their artwork, and proudly showed it off in a 12-foot-wide display window at their headquarters the following day.

“Some of those excited little gals wanted to touch it or take pictures,” Vilardi told The Chronicle of the prized tablecloth, adding that he also received offers of up to $300 for the artwork. Police advised him to take it down, but he paid no mind to their warnings.  

Within a week, the tablecloth was stolen in broad daylight, leaving nothing but a shattered window behind. Vilardi was devastated, and the treasure was thought to have been lost forever. […]

Flash forward to 2022 — the tablecloth, an all-but-forgotten memento from that evening, was recovered. Vilardi’s grandson was reportedly contacted by the sister of the man in possession of it for the last 50 years, who said he did not know it had been stolen and that it had been given to him in lieu of debt in the early 1970s. After learning the story of the relic, he wanted to return it to the family. […]

In a press release shared with SFGATE, a spokesperson for Bonhams said it contacted Joan Baez’s agent about the tablecloth. The singer verified the story, “remembering it fondly.” Her only correction was that McCartney didn’t draw the abstract faces — she did. 

From Classic Rock In Pics on Twitter: Joan Baez and Paul McCartney backstage at Candlestick Park in 1966. Photo by Jim Marshall.
From Performance in San Francisco – The Beatles History ( – Photo by Jim Marshall.

From Bonhams:

A white cotton tablecloth used by the Beatles during a meal in the locker room before the band’s final concert at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, August 29, 1966, the tablecloth variously illustrated and signed by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Joan Baez, comprising:
– a sketch by John Lennon in yellow pen depicting a hairy creature on a bike next to a sun (14 x 17 1/2 in.);
– a series of head and shoulder portraits in various inks by Joan Baez, possibly with minor contributions in orange pen from Paul McCartney (18 1/2 x 13 in.);
– an inscription in an unknown hand ‘did not lay a hand on this table’ and bubble lettering in orange pen ‘Paul McCartney’;
– a large autograph in red pen ‘George Harrison’;
– an autograph in black pen ‘Ringo Starr’.
83 x 52 in.

On August 29, 1966, the Beatles flew to San Francisco from Los Angeles to perform their last ever live concert at Candlestick Park. On that day, after arriving at San Francisco International Airport at 5.30 pm, the bus took the band and their entourage to Candlestick Park, home of the San Francisco Giants baseball team. The locker rooms had been set up as a dressing room and dining area, with local caterers Simpson’s providing the food. Local Radio DJ, Gene Nelson, recalled the scene ‘The dressing room was chaos. There were loads of people there. The press tried to get passes for their kids and the singer Joan Baez was in there…they were having a party in there.’ At some point in the time the band had before going on stage, the Beatles sat down to dinner with Joan Baez and others, to eat around this tablecloth, doodling and writing on the cloth in between eating their food. As the scene unfolded around the table, the band were experiencing mixed feelings of relief and celebration. The significance of that night was not lost on the band and Lennon and McCartney both carried cameras on to the stage with them to record the moment and McCartney asked NEMS Press Officer, Tony Barrow, to make a rudimentary tape recording of the concert. As Paul McCartney recalls ‘By Candlestick Park it was like, ‘Don’t tell anyone, but this is probably our last gig.’

This tablecloth has been the subject of many stories and recollections about that night, both contemporaneous and recently. In a review of the concert by William Chapin published in the Chronicle the following day on August 30, 1966, there is a first hand account of the scene backstage: ‘While they waited their turn on stage, they sat in the visitor’s dressing room – unmindful of the roaring crowd outside – doodling artistically and talking quietly. They all had Pentels – those Japanese marking pens. John Lennon drew an elaborate yellow sun on the tablecloth. Paul McCartney and George Harrison drew what one observer called “psychedelic drawings” on foolscap – McCartney’s flower-like, Harrison’s a face – and Ringo Starr drew a small face inside a paper match folder.’ And in an article in the San Francisco Chronicle published on August 31, 1966, Herb Caen’s column alluded to that evening: ‘Joe Vilardi of Simpson’s Catering made off with THE souvenir of The Beatles’ visit to Candlestick: the tablecloth upon which Paul, John, George, Ringo and Joan Baez doodled all sorts of wondrous designs, and autographed same. It was Joe’s tablecloth in the first place, since he catered the backstage food…’ And in the Chronicle on August 14, 2014, the night of Paul McCartney’s concert at Candlestick Park almost 50 years later, journalist Lynn Ludlow, who was assigned to interview the Beatles for the Examiner that night, recalls ‘All I can remember now from the Beatles’ interview is the sight of these semi-arrogant young celebrities, taking colored markers and embellishing the caterer’s linen tablecloth with acid-inspired doodles…’ Jim Marshall was the sole photographer allowed in to the locker room and he documented the events that night in a series of photographs showing the band sitting at the table, doodling and chatting.

The owner of this tablecloth is the Grandson of Joe Vilardi, who owned Simpson’s Catering. After the concert, Vilardi proudly displayed it in his storefront window in San Francisco until one day his window was smashed and the tablecloth stolen. Fast forward to 2022 when the owner was contacted by someone who was in possession of the tablecloth after her brother was given it in lieu of a debt in the 1970s and the tablecloth was happily given back to the rightful owner.

Last updated on September 20, 2023

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