Beatles 50th Blog posts of '2015' 'August'

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 25, 1965 (Wednesday)

This was The Beatles' third rest day in Los Angeles. They were halfway through a five-day break in their 1965 tour of North America, staying in a mansion owned by actress Zsa Zsa Gabor at 2850 Benedict Canyon, Beverly Hills.

After the events of the previous day, in which the group took LSD with The Byrds and Peter Fonda, this was a day of rest. The Beatles had breakfast in the early afternoon, and spent much of the rest of the day sunbathing and swimming in the pool.

One brief moment of drama took place when two girls, who had hired a helicopter to fly over The Beatles' rented home, jumped from it into the swimming pool. Brian Epstein complained to Los Angeles police, and a no-fly zone was ordered around the area.

Source: Beatles Bible

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 24, 1965 (Tuesday)

This was The Beatles' second day off during their five-day break in the 1965 North America tour. They rented a house owned by Zsa Zsa Gabor at 2850 Benedict Canyon, Beverly Hills, where they were visited by a number of people.

This was the day on which John Lennon and George Harrison had their second LSD experience. Ringo Starr tried the drug for the first time, although Paul McCartney did not partake on this occasion.

Among the visitors on this day were Eleanor Bron, whom had appeared with The Beatles in Help!, Roger McGuinn and David Crosby of The Byrds, and Daily Mirror newspaper journalist Don Short.

Indian music and LSD were key influences in the changes in The Beatles' music between 1965 and 1968. The drug, in particular, played a pivotal role in the group's studio experimentation for Revolver and Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

According to George Harrison, he and Lennon had decided that the other Beatles should experience LSD, which they had previously taken in London sometime between March and July 1965.

Although McCartney was wary of the experience, Starr embraced it enthusiastically. Despite the general party atmosphere, police and security were stationed around the house to keep fans away. In addition, not all The Beatles' visitors were aware that the group was on LSD.

 Source: Beatles Bible

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 23, 1965 (Monday)

Between the morning of August 23, 1965 (when they flew into Los Angeles) and the next concert on August 29, 1965, the Beatles enjoyed a clear break, resting in a massive house. Amid tight security, in Benedict Canyon in Hollywood, California.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 22, 1965 (Sunday)

Memorial Coliseum, North Wheeler Ave. Portland, Oregon, USA

In the morning of 22 August 1965 The Beatles held a press conference at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport, before flying to Portland, Oregon.

Shortly before their arrival in Portland one of the four engines on their Lockheed Electra aeroplane caught fire. John Lennon was frightened enough to quickly write a few messages which he enclosed in a film canister for safety. Fortunately for all, the plane landed without further incident, and a relieved Lennon was heard to shout: "Beatles, women and children first!"

The Beatles performed two shows at Portland's Memorial Coliseum, before a total of 20,000 people. Tickets for each of the shows were priced at $4, $5 and $6. There were also a number of pink tickets for the Coliseum's upper level which were free.

The concerts took place at 3.30pm and 8pm. The Beatles' setlist featured 11 songs. Additionally, the second show opened with a truncated version of Twist and Shout.

The support acts on the bill were Brenda Holloway and the King Curtis Band, Cannibal & The Headhunters, and Sounds Incorporated.

Among The Beatles' guests backstage were Carl Wilson and Mike Love of The Beach Boys.

The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 21, 1965 (Saturday)

Metropolitan Stadium, Cedar Ave. Bloomington, Minneapolis, Minnestota, USA

On August 21st, the Beatles traveled to Minneapolis Minnesota for a show at Metropolitan Stadium as the sixth stop along their 1965 North American Tour.

At the end of this press conference, George Harrison is surprised as he is presented a Rickenbacker 360 electric 12-string guitar by B-Sharp Music, a local area guitar shop at the time. It was the second of this particular model of guitar that George was able to add to his collection. Harrison would play his new Rickenbacker on stage that evening. As George received the guitar, John Lennon smiled and joked: "That's fab, that! Where's mine?"

Their concert that evening at the Met was yet more proof of their undying popularity. Any holdout diehard midwestern skeptics wanting to believe Beatlemania was on the wane would be quieted. The excitement in the crowd grew during the opening acts, including King Curtis, Cannibal and the Headhunters, Brenda Holloway, and Sounds Incorporated. Then the moment had come when the Beatles would take the stage. Over 28,000 screaming fans finally had their chance to be with the Beatles.

"I've never seen a mob like this in my life," Deputy Sheriff Douglas Sherry was quoted as saying in the Minneapolis Tribune. "I thought Frank Sinatra was bad, but the mob for this thing has him beat all to pieces."

Following their Minneapolis performance, the Beatles were flown to Portland Oregon as their 1965 tour of North America moved forward.


The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 20, 1965 (Friday)

White Sox Park, 35th and Shields, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Two shows in Chicago, at 3:00 and 8:00 pm, with 25,000 fans attending the first performance and 37,000 the second. The Beatle's share of the overall gate receipts was $155,000.


The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 19, 1965 (Thursday)

Sam Houston Coliseum, Bagby Street, Houston, Texas, USA

The Beatles performed two shows at the Sam Houston Coliseum in Houston, Texas, each of which was seen by 12,000 fans.

They had arrived in Houston at 2am that morning. Their chartered aeroplane was surrounded by teenagers after landing at Houston International Airport, with some managing to walk on the wings and knock on the windows.

The Beatles stayed at the Sheraton-Lincoln hotel while in Houston. Some enterprising teenage fans donned maids' uniforms to sneak into the hotel, although a hotel spokesman said: "We haven't hired any 14-year-olds here. We stopped them all."

A press conference took place at the hotel, after which The Beatles were taken to the venue in an armoured van. Conditions backstage were chaotic, with no dressing room, and the hot weather made the conditions less tolerable.

Their set for both shows featured 12 songs, the concerts were among the most frenzied of the tour, with Beatlemania at its height. The compère, local DJ Russ Knight - known as The Weird Beard - threatened to cancel the first show prior to Help!, saying: "People are getting hurt on the front two rows. The show will be stopped if you don't move back. This is the Houston Security Beatle Division." John Lennon sarcastically replied with the words: "Thank you very much, that was wonderful."

Tickets for the shows were $5 each, and The Beatles were paid $85,000 for the two performances. The other acts on the bill were, in order of appearance, Brenda Holloway and the King Curtis Band, Cannibal & The Headhunters, and Sounds Incorporated.

The concerts were recorded and broadcast by local radio station KILT, which was sponsoring the event. The recordings have since been circulated widely as bootlegs.

Sam Houston Coliseum was demolished in 1998. The site was redeveloped into the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, which opened in 2003.

A Beatles fan is carried off by Houston police at the band's concert at the Sam Houston Coliseum, Aug. 19, 1965. (Chronicle file)


The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 18, 1965 (Wednesday)

Atlanta Stadium, Capitol Avenue South West, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

The Beatles' only visit to Atlanta lasted around 10 hours, but was remarkable for one key reason: monitor speakers on the stage allowed them to hear themselves play - a rarity during the whirlwind of Beatlemania.

The group landed in Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport at 2pm, having flown in on a chartered aeroplane from Canada. Although crowds of fans were at the airport to greet them, the plane taxied to a remote area where they discreetly boarded, along with their entourage, three limousines.

The Beatles were taken to the baseball stadium, where a locker room had been designated as their dressing room and headquarters. Some tables and chairs had been assembled in the area, and temporary beds, known locally as 'cots', were also provided. Ringo Starr, amused at the word, climbed into one and sucked his thumb loudly.

The hired caterers offered to make The Beatles hamburgers, but they requested corn on the cob instead. Their meals also included top sirloin, leg of lamb and pork loin, along with the corn, pole beans, fruit and apple pie. The group was so impressed with the quality of the food that they signed the china plates for the caterers.

18 August was a hot day, and as there was no air conditioning in the stadium Paul McCartney requested a large fan for the backstage area, although it made little difference. A number of local VIPs were present, and The Beatles posed for photographs and signed numerous autographs.

Atlanta Stadium - later renamed the Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium - had only been recently opened. Tickets for the show had gone on sale two months earlier, with field level seats costing $5.50 and upper level ones $4.50. Fans had begun arriving at the stadium from 4.30am on the morning of the show.


The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 17, 1965 (Tuesday)

Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Canada

The Beatles performed two shows at the Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, Canada, on this day. They had previously played at the venue on September 7, 1964, and returned for a third and final time on August 17, 1966.

The group flew from New York to Toronto in the Lockheed Electra aeroplane chartered by Brian Epstein from American Flyers for this 1965 US tour.

They arrived in the morning and were taken to the King Edward Sheraton hotel. News that The Beatles were staying at the Sheraton had become known to fans, and dozens booked themselves rooms in the hope of meeting the group.

Each of the two shows was seen by 18,000 people. The Beatles played for 27 minutes. Their set contained 12 songs: a shortened version of Twist and Shout, followed by She's A Woman, I Feel Fine, Dizzy Miss Lizzy, Ticket To Ride, Everybody's Trying to be my Baby, Can't Buy Me Love, Baby's in Black, Act Naturally, A Hard Day's Night, Help! and I'm Down.

The other acts on the tour were, in order of appearance, Brenda Holloway and the King Curtis Band, Cannibal & The Headhunters, and Sounds Incorporated.



The Beatles 50 Years Ago Today: August 16, 1965 (Monday)

Although the performance at Shea Stadium last night (50 years ago) was not the Beatle's first North American tour, interest in it remained very high back home in Britain. And the promise of a world-record audience at Shea Stadium added extra glitter to the package. The BBC Transcription Service therefore negotiated with Brian Epstein that its regular programme host Brian Matthew - also, incidentally, a business associate of Epstein's - should be allowed to join the group's entourage for a part of the tour, until August 20th, recording interviews with the Beatles, compiling a documentary of the momemtous events and filing a number of reports back to the BBC in London. (Matthew's other task during the trip was to plug the Transcription Service's weekly radio show Top Of The Pops - not confused with the entirely different BBC TV series of the same name - and he made many personal appearances on US Radio doing just this.)

Matthew's first report, an on-the-spot account of the Shea concert, went into both editions of the next morning's (August 16th) edition of the Home Service news-magazine programme Today, and another went into the Light Programme's Roundabout '65 during the same afternoon.