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"The Beatles saved the world from boredom."-George Harrison

Sunday, March 29, 2009


The Gladiators
Originally uploaded by Sir George Martinn
Apart from their amazing recordings the Beatles had made some greatest shows on earth. Here are the ten events all the fans wish they had been there.

1. Shea Stadium 1965

Sunday 15 August 1965, William A Shea Municipal Stadium, New York City, USA.

55,600 fans saw the Beatles at Shea Stadium. It’s the new world record for a pop concert in terms of attendance and gross revenue. Ed Sullivan introduced the band on stage before the Beatles began with Twist And Shout and ended with I’m Down which featuring Lennon’s Hammond organ performance with his elbow. They played 12 songs with a terrific performance. The most famous Beatles concert ever!

See also: The Beatles Anthology* (DVD), The Beatles At Shea Stadium* (VHS), Real Love (CD maxi single)*

Note: *The sound you heard in this video was mostly overdubbed later.
**contains a live version of Baby’s In Black at Shea Stadium 1965 which was not issued in The Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl LP.

2. Ed Sullivan Show 1964
Sunday 9 February 1964, Studio 50. New Yoork City, USA.

The Beatles played in front of only 728 audiences in Studio 50 but the show was broadcast to an estimated 73 million people across the USA, the highest US TV audience at the time. Most Americans in the sixties first saw the Beatles from this show. They played only five songs with an incredible confident. The first spread of Beatlemania in the States.

See also: Ed Sullivan presents the Beatles (DVD), The Beatles Anthology (DVD), The First US Visit (DVD), Anthology1 (CD)

3. Apple Rooftop 1969
Thursday 30 January 1969, Apple Corps (Roof), London

The last Beatles live performance (not a concert). Paul tried hard to bring the band back on the road since they gave up the concert three years ago and this was the best he could get. The Beatles played for 42 minutes in the cold wind blow of London in January at the lunchtime. Most of this rooftop performance was used in the Let It Be film and some was edited in the Let It Be LP. After all, the old boys were still rocks and it seemed that nothing can stop them. Except the police that finally brought the show to the end. Get Back was the last song.

See also: Let It Be (CD), Let It Be…naked (CD), The Beatles Anthology (DVD), Anthology3 (CD), Let It Be (VHS)

4. Royal Command Performance 1963
Monday 4 November 1963, Prince Of Wales Theatre, London

The only time the Beatles played in the presence of the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret. They appeared at the seventh act on all 19-act bill but everybody knew they were the main attraction. They played four songs and before the last number, Twist And Shout, John made his famous witty introduction. Jewels were rattled and rocked.

See also: The Beatles Anthology (DVD), Anthology1 (CD)

5. London Palladium 1963
Sunday 13 October 1963, London Palladium, London

After this show, the press began to coin in the term Beatlemania to describe the scenes of the much-too-crazy hysteric fans. Val Parnell’s Sunday Night At The London Palladium was the top-rated entertainment program in British at the time. As reported, the screams were heard clearly even outside the theatre. Certainly, it was much louder inside that even John Lennon had to shout at his screamers to “Shut Up!” while Paul tried to announce the closing number, Twist And Shout. A phenomenon.

See also: Anthology1 (CD)

6. Washington Coliseum 1964
Tuesday 11 February 1964 Washington Coliseum, Washington DC, USA.

Probably the most exciting performance of the Fabs captured on film. The Beatles gave their first concert in North America in front of 8,092 audiences. You can see the world’s first revolving stage at this 30-minutes show. Thanks for the late Mal Evans!

See also: The Beatles Anthology (DVD), The First US Visit (DVD)

7. Hollywood Bowl 1964
Sunday 23 August 1964 Hollywood Bowl, L.A., California, USA.

The Beatles have only one live concert LP in their official catalogue. The Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl, released in 1977 was a mix from this concert and another one from the same venue in 1965. It was their talents to be able to play with such a superb performance among the jet-like screams of the 18,700 fans. With their tiny monitors they definitely couldn’t hear a single note they played. Unfortunately, this album is not available in CD until now. What a shame.

See also: The Beatles At Hollywood Bowl (LP), The Beatles Anthology (DVD)

8. Candlestick Park 1966
Monday 29 August 1966,Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California, USA.

It may not one of the best shows they did. In 1966 the Beatles was so tired of playing live. But its significance of this show is it’s the last Beatles concert ever. John and Paul carried cameras on stage and took photographs of other Beatles between songs. They played for 30 minutes and the last number is Long Tall Sally. Though some source said after that they tried to play In My Life but ended it only at the intro before finally walking off stage forever.

9. All You Need Is Love 1967
Sunday 25 June 1967 Studio One, EMI Studios London

The Beatles performed All You Need Is Love live with backing tracks. They appeared in the psychedelic uniform and the show took the form of a party with many famous friends and visitors sitting cross-legged on the floor-among them Mick Jagger, Marianne Faithfull, Keith Richard, Keith Moon, Eric Clapton, Pattie Harrison, Jane Asher, Michael McCartney and Graham Nash. The show was broadcast to the potential viewing audiences around 500 million worldwide. As the song’s ended some visitors danced the conga around the studio. Love is all you need.

See also: Magical Mystery Tour (CD), Yellow Submarine (CD), The Beatles Anthology (DVD)

10. Cavern Club 1962
Wednesday 22 August 1962, Cavern Club, Liverpool

This list will never complete without a Cavern Club show. The Beatles made their legend here with almost 300 performances but this lunchtime gig was a special one. It was the first time that TV cameras were focused on them. Granada Television, after watching two previously Beatles performances, was impressed by their electrifying shows and decided to film them at Cavern. The film captured the Beatles sang two songs, Some Other Guy and Kansas City/Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey!. This was only a week after the dismissal Of Pete Best and you can hear one man shout “We Want Pete!” at the end of Some Other Guy.

See also: The Beatles Anthology (DVD), Live AT BBC (CD)

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