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The 1964 North American Tour
Part 1





Part 1




 
August 19: The Cow Palace, San Francisco, California, USA
The Beatles left London at noon on August 18th. After brief stops at Winnipeg, Canada and Los Angeles, California, The Beatles landed at San Francisco International Airport at 6:24 p.m. on August 19, with 9,000 screaming teenagers in the reception room of the airport.

Set List
  • Twist and Shout
  • You Can't Do That
  • All My Loving
  • She Loves You
  • Things We Said Today
  • Roll Over Beethoven
  • Can't Buy Me Love
  • If I Fell
  • I Want To Hold Your Hand
  • Boys
  • A Hard Day's Night
  • Long Tall Sally

Odd Fact
from The Beatles and Me by Ivor Davis
"A nervous Brian Epstein rejected a ticker-tape parade before the first concert."


The show began at 8:00 p.m. Backstage, the Beatles held a press conference, and even had their picture taken with child star Shirley Temple.

At 9:20 p.m., The Beatles took the stage dressed in dark blue suits. Jelly beans were being pelted at them while they were performing. This would become a ritual at every concert as a result of George Harrison's offhand remark regarding how Ringo had been stealing his "jelly babies" which were much softer candies than jelly beans. The show was stopped twice because of the hail of jelly beans.

Although in retrospect it would seem a laughable underestimation of their drawing power in America, Beatles' manager Brian Epstein chose venues like the 17,000-seat Cow Palace for the 1964 tour expressly because he feared that the Beatles might not sell out large sports stadiums like San Francisco's Candlestick Park, where they would play their final official concert in 1966.

Suffice it to say that the Beatles had no difficultly filling the Cow Palace, which was packed with 17,130 screaming fans when the group bounded to the stage shortly after 9:00 p.m. on this day in 1964 and launched into "Twist And Shout."

The Beatles performed 12 songs in thirty minutes before being transported by ambulance, after their limousine was besieged by Beatles' fans, to the airport and their next concert in Las Vegas.

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August 20: Convention Center Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
The next stop on the tour was at the Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.


Set List
  • Twist and Shout
  • You Can't Do That
  • All My Loving
  • She Loves You
  • Things We Said Today
  • Roll Over Beethoven
  • Can't Buy Me Love
  • If I Fell
  • I Want To Hold Your Hand
  • Boys
  • A Hard Day's Night
  • Long Tall Sally
  • 'Til There Was You

Odd Fact
from The Beatles and Me by Ivor Davis
"Liberace insisted on meeting the boys because he 'loved the way they played the piano.'"


The Sahara Hotel & Casino was under siege. Two thousand teenagers had surrounded the hotel, queuing up outside and in the lobby. Sheriff's deputies used loudspeakers to warn that anyone under the age of 18 would be arrested. That didn't stop these devoted fans, many registered with their parents as guests of the hotel to be allowed in.

Chants of "We want the Beatles, we want the Beatles, we want Ringo," rang out.

At 2:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 19, 1964, their prayers were answered. The Fab Four had arrived at the Sahara, and using a back stairway and a freight elevator, bypassed the milling fans to reach Suite 4722 undisturbed. A day later, The Beatles would perform two shows for more than 11,000 screaming fans packed in the Las Vegas Convention Center — the only venue in 1960s Las Vegas that was large enough to accommodate the audience.

The Las Vegas Sun reported that the stage was surrounded by police officers and guards, some from as far away as Phoenix. The show was almost inaudible. A poor sound system and screaming fans drowned out the group as they performed their hits and songs of fellow artists including "She Loves You," "Do You Want To Know a Secret, " I Want to Hold Your Hand," "All My Loving," "Twist and Shout" and more.

Thirty minutes after taking the stage, the Fab Four were done, leaving the screaming fans in their wake.

"I'll never forget a girl who came running down the aisle toward the stage," Stan Irwin, Vice-President and Executive Producer of the Sahara-Nevada Corporation, related to John Romero, who later would write the book, Las Vegas, the Untold Stories. "One of our muscle guys picked her up and carried her out of the rotunda. Close behind her came a second girl who got the same treatment. As they carried this one out she kept screaming, 'Put me down you idiot. I'm her mother.' "

A few hours later, The Beatles left Las Vegas, never to perform as a group in the city again.

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August 21: The Seattle Center Coliseum, Seattle, Washington, USA
The next day, The Beatles played the Coliseum in Seattle, Washington.


Set List
  • Twist and Shout
  • You Can't Do That
  • All My Loving
  • She Loves You
  • Things We Said Today
  • Roll Over Beethoven
  • Can't Buy Me Love
  • If I Fell
  • I Want To Hold Your Hand
  • Boys
  • A Hard Day's Night
  • Long Tall Sally

Odd Fact
from The Beatles and Me by Ivor Davis
"The Beatles went fishing through the windows of their waterside hotel. They caught nothing."


About 300 teens waited for the Beatles to land at Sea-Tac International Airport and when they did shortly after 4 p.m., police struggled to keep them from the Beatles' limousine.

Neil Low, now a Seattle police captain, was 15 and visiting his dad at work. He remembers watching the limo drive down Wall Street to the Edgewater, where another group of roughly 300 girls were screaming.

"I could hear them from four blocks away," he said.

Most hotels in Seattle declined to offer The Beatles accommodation because of the unbelievable security issues at the height of Beatlemania.

But The Edgewater Hotel manager, Don Wright, said he would take the Beatles and went to work to provide enough security, both for the boys as well as the hotel itself.

Barricades were erected around the hotel, with a ton of police security to keep fans out. Film footage shows the Beatles arriving in a limo through the gates while fans screamed and police held them back. The Fab Four were then escorted to their room via a coffee shop door (no longer there) that was to the right of the main entrance. If you remember, this is the hotel where the Beatles fished out the window.

Prior to the show they gave a press conference, and took to the stage at 9.25 p.m.

The Beatles performed their usual 29-minute set in front of 14,720 fans at the Seattle Center Coliseum.

Security was tight, and police were joined by members of the US Navy in the audience, who volunteered to form a human barrier between the stage and the dressing room.

During the concert, hundreds of teenage girls rushed the stage in the hopes of catching the eyes of their idols. Police and firefighters did their best to prevent injuries, but 35 people required first aid treatment, ranging from bumps and bruises to all-out hysteria. One girl, who had managed to climb high above the stage, fell and landed in front of Ringo's drum riser. Another was restrained on a stretcher, all the while screaming "Paul! I love you!"

The Beatles waited an hour before leaving the Coliseum in the rear of an ambulance that returned them to the heavily guarded Edgewater Inn on the waterfront. They earned $34,569 for their performance. The next day they left for Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

A Seattle department store, MacDougall's, purchased the carpet from the room they stayed in at the Edgewater, cut it up, and sold the pieces for souvenirs.

The group returned to Seattle on one other occasion, during their final tour on August 25, 1966.

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August 22: Empire Stadium, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
The next day, The Beatles crossed the Canadian border and traveled to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.


Set List
  • Twist and Shout
  • You Can't Do That
  • All My Loving
  • She Loves You
  • Things We Said Today
  • Roll Over Beethoven
  • Can't Buy Me Love
  • If I Fell
  • I Want To Hold Your Hand
  • Boys
  • A Hard Day's Night
  • Long Tall Sally

Odd Fact
from The Beatles and Me by Ivor Davis
"Rowdy crowds outside Hotel Georgia forced them to skip their overnight stay—but they still got stuck with a $350 hotel bill."


Vancouver was chosen as the location for The Beatles' first Canadian concert, with the event to be held at the Pacific National Exhibition's open-air Empire Stadium on August 22, 1964.

Local radio legend Red Robinson was Master of Ceremonies for the event. He was the program director for C-FUN 1410 at the time.

"The show was supposed to start at 8 p.m., but it started at 9:23 p.m.," Robinson remembers, "because the pilot of the plane [carrying the Beatles] forgot to sign a certain document. They had to pile all the Beatles into a car, and drive them out to the airport again."

Once the Fab Four finished with the paperwork, they headed to the stadium, where over 20,000 fans were getting a little crazy with anticipation.

"I get up there, and I say: 'Ladies and gentlemen, it gives me a great deal of pleasure, on behalf of the PNE and C-FUN, to present: the Beatles!'"

"The guys come rushing out on the stage, and go right into a song."

The band opened with "Twist and Shout," and the crowd did just that, twisting and shouting like it was the end of the world, and thereby creating concerns that a riot would occur.

Halfway through the show, Robinson was told to get back out on the stage and tell the rowdy concert-goers that they would have to calm down, or the Beatles would have to leave.

"I walked out on the stage at the end of a number, and said: 'We've got to back some people up, there's been two kids crushed already, they'll have to cancel the show.'"

"John Lennon said, 'Get the F... off our stage, nobody interrupts the Beatles!' And I said, 'John, Brian Epstein sent me up here. And he looked down, and Brian's giving him the 'Hi' sign, meaning let him do it, and he goes 'Okay, carry on mate'."

"It never leaves your brain, it's indelible. But to have done Buddy Holly, Elvis, Nat King Cole, The Beatles ... all those shows I MC'd, that was one of the great highlights of my career. Unbelievable," said Robinson.

After the show, The Beatles were driven back to the airport in three limousines with a police motorcycle escort and flew back to the USA, specifically to Los Angeles to play their famous Hollywood Bowl concert.

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Next stop ... Los Angeles and The Beatles play The Hollywood Bowl ...



The Tour Continues







© The Beatles On Abbey Road — Posted here on September 24, 2014.











  








    






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