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The 1964 North American Tour
Part 3





Part 3


 
August 30: Convention Hall, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA
The Beatles flew the short hop from New York City to Atlantic City in New Jersey, where they performed one show on August 30.


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

Odd Fact
from The Beatles and Me by Ivor Davis
"A local promoter took the liberty of bringing a contingent of prostitutes to the film screening [of A Hard Day's Night], from which the band members each chose their evening's 'escort.'"


The Beatles stayed at the Lafayette Motor Inn, where 16-year-old Judith Kristen climbed her way into Beatles' history.

Her goal? To meet a Beatle.

"This was my chance to meet George Harrison," Kristen remembered thinking. "I can't fail."

Tossed out of the Lafayette Motor Inn earlier in the day, she stole a ladder off a paint truck behind the Atlantic City hotel and got as high as four floors before firefighters doused her with water.

After Judith Kristen had endured a soaking at the hands of Atlantic City firefighters, police escorted her into the Lafayette Hotel lobby so they could call her parents in Philadelphia.

Parked on a couch, a dejected Kristen saw George Harrison walk out of the elevator.

"I looked like a mess," she remembered. "My beehive was off to one side. Not only did he not get back on the elevator after seeing me, he bought a Coke and came over to me."

Harrison offered Kristen a handkerchief. When the police blamed George and his "bad taste in music" for the situation, he defended Kristen against the charges.

The cops let her go.

"It was my 14½ minutes of joy with my favorite Beatle," mused the Pennsauken author and lecturer.

"It exceeded everything I thought it would be. George saved me from a world of grief."

The band performed at the resort's Convention Hall that night, the first of two area shows. The other came September 2 at Philadelphia's Convention Hall.

The Beatles' performances at both dates lasted little more than 30 minutes, said WMGK-FM DJ and resident Beatles guru Andre Gardner. Today, Paul McCartney does almost three hours as a solo performer, he added.

"It's amazing when you think about it."

Both concerts opened with a shortened version of "Twist and Shout," a cover of the 1961 original by The Top Notes, then called "Shake it Up Baby."

"They did a version that lasted a minute and 20 seconds," Gardner remarked. "They left out the last chorus."

Given the state of the equipment and monitors in 1964, many of the performances were subpar, according to the Philadelphia DJ.

"They could not hear themselves and were drowned out by screaming fans," he said of The Beatles.

But the screaming fans got what they came for.

South Jersey’s Stella Hearn and Judie Sims attended one or both concerts.

Stella Hearn remembers every little thing about August 30, 1964.

"I was a real Beatlemaniac," said the 62-year-old, a Moorestown elementary school secretary. "I belonged to the fan club and had posters all over my bedroom. Paul was my favorite.

"I learned to write left-handed because Paul was left-handed."

Hearn — who still lives in the same house in Moorestown she did then — went to the concert with her sister and cousin.

"I was standing on the chairs," she recalled. "I was screaming and crying."

The Righteous Brothers, one of the opening acts that night, sang "Little Latin Lupe Lu," Hearn recalled.

"I said, 'Who are these guys? I want to see the Beatles.'"

She was not alone. The Righteous Brothers left the tour three days later, after the show in Philadelphia, Gardner said.

"They were tired of hearing, 'We want the Beatles' throughout their set.' They said the heck with it."

Sims and her cousin, Patricia, saw the Fab Four that early September night in Philadelphia.

"We were off to the side but only four rows back," said the former Camden resident, now 67. When the lads from Liverpool ran onto the stage dressed in gray suits, Sims described it as an "out of body" experience.

"I was crazy about George and I got contact lenses, so if he looked at me I wouldn't have glasses on my face," added the Glendora resident, a Superior Court secretary in Camden.

"There was all kinds of screaming. It was awesome. I couldn't believe I was in the same room with them. Patricia broke down crying."

Atlantic City promoter George Hamid originally booked the Beatles into the famed Steel Pier. But after thousands of stomping feet almost crashed through the floor during a Ricky Nelson concert, he wisely relocated the show to the land side of the boardwalk at Convention Hall, now Boardwalk Hall.

That initial tour, at the height of Beatlemania, played to packed houses.

"This was the first chance for many cities to see the Beatles and it was exciting," Gardner noted. "For $2.75, you got to see them in Atlantic City Convention Hall, and they sold out in a matter of hours."

Places like the legendary Tony Marts Club in Somers Point took advantage of the hysteria by booking a group who called themselves the Female Beatles.

"It was close enough," Gardner quipped.

While in Atlantic City, John Lennon and Paul McCartney are said to have written the song, "Every Little Thing."

In The Beatles Off the Record, by Keith Badman, McCartney recalled, "John and I got this one written in Atlantic City. John does the guitar riff, and George is on acoustic.

"Ringo bashes some timpani drums for the big noises you hear."

The concerts Judie Sims attended only strengthened her affection for the band.

"When they broke up, it broke my heart," she said.

20,000 fans were in attendance at the Atlantic City show. After the show, it seemed it would be impossible for The Beatles to leave the hall in the limousine. A marked laundry truck was requested and the lads climbed inside and made their escape.

The Beatles remained in Atlantic City for two days but were virtually prisoners in their hotel rooms. August 31 was a day off from the tour, and the lads managed to see a screening of A Hard Day's Night.

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September 2: Convention Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Hyski O'Roonie McVoutie O'Zoot, better known as "Hy Lit," the No.1 jock on WIBG, is chiefly responsible for booking The Beatles for the 1964 show in Philadelphia.


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
"Clarence 'Frogman' Henry took over for the Righteous Brothers as an opening act. But who really noticed?"


Philadelphia's Convention Hall is smaller than Atlantic City's, so there were only about 12,037 teenagers there. The kids were much noisier though and everyone had to stand on the back of the seats to see anything because the seats weren't elevated. Tickets went on sale in May, starting at $2.50 and topping out at $5.50. Convention Hall's 13,000 seats sold out in 90 minutes. A mini riot ensued when word of the sellout reached the scores of Beatlemaniacs still in line for tickets.

While staying in Atlantic City, The Beatles commuted to Philadelphia to play their first concert there. Hy arranged to have the Beatles smuggled in, from Atlantic City, where the day before they were performing at the Jersey Shore. While a decoy limousine procession traveled up the New Jersey White Horse Pike, a Hackney's fish truck, carrying the Beatles, slowly rolled up the Black Horse Pike, and casually passed thousands of screaming fans, into the food service entrance at convention hall.

With The Righteous Brothers gone, Clarence 'Frogman' Henry was added to the tour as a replacement act. Not a bad gig, if you can get it.

Hy took to the stage to introduce the Beatles. The crowd immediately developed into a roaring frenzy for the entire duration of the concert. In fact, the cheering and the screams were so loud that it was difficult to even hear the Beatles sing.

When the concert was over the security issue facing the Beatles getting into Philadelphia confronted them again.

It was determined that all the hotels in town were being staked out by frantic girls, and that secure lodging would be a problem. So the Beatles were secretly whisked to Hy's house where they were able to spend the night and get some R & R before traveling to the next city.

Once the Beatles left, Hy created a clever contest. He would give away the sheets and pillow cases that the Beatles slept on in a major WIBG Radio contest, which sent the city into a frenzy once again.

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September 3: Indiana State Fair Coliseum and Grandstand, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
The Beatles performed two shows at the Indiana State Fair.


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 lost Ringo, who went for an unannounced excursion. He didn't return until the next morning."


Flying in from the Philadelphia show the night before, The Beatles arrived in Indianapolis at the Indiana State Fair on September 3, 1964. They kicked off their afternoon concert in the fairgrounds' Coliseum, where they performed their 12-song set list, running a little over a half-hour, before just over 12,000 screaming fans.

Since the show was an immediate sellout and the demand for tickets was so high, The Beatles agreed to do a second show in the evening, but since the coliseum was booked for another State Fair event, they had to set the stage up on a dirt race track in front of the grandstand, this time in front of over 16,000 fans.

Between shows there was a meet-and-greet with the press and a few locals (including Miss Indiana State Fair). When John was asked where they stood on the draft, he answered "about five-eleven."

Most of the "hype" centered around where the Beatles stayed during their visit to Indianapolis. Every news report speculated they were staying at the now demolished "Essex House", an upscale hotel in downtown Indianapolis.

Crowds camped out by the hotel in hope of viewing the band, who were the sensation of the world at this time. Also fans made their way inside the hotel ripping off wallpaper, removing doorknobs and other artifacts.

The promoters moved the Fab Four to the Speedway Motel.

During the concert, Indianapolis Red Cross officials reported treating 35 fans during the two shows: most for "emo-tional reactions," diagnosed as "hysteria"; along with four "headaches" and one "asthma attack."

Beatles concerts were "bottled lightning" in all senses of the term. The shows were loud, frenzied ... and incredibly fleeting. The band usually carried on for only a half hour with no encores. They would blitz through a set of a dozen songs with just a bit of scripted banter in between.

No one, it seemed, including The Beatles themselves, could really hear what they played or said above the din of screaming girls.

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September 4: Milwaukee Arena, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
On September 4, 1964, The Beatles gave a concert in Milwaukee, the twelfth stop on their first American tour which visited 25 cities. It was the only time the group appeared in Wisconsin.


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
"Four girls camped out overnight in the hotel boiler room with fruit, cheese and soft drinks — but were discovered before they could intercept their targets."


The front-page banner headline in the Milwaukee Sentinel screamed, "Beatles conquer city!" Yes, they included the exclamation point.

Bill Dreher, then a teen from Bay View, pointed out the main problem with any Beatles concert. You couldn't hear the music. "There was no break in the screaming once they took the stage," he said.

Lenore Barczak was in the front row, the proof of which she claims is in TV news footage that has survived. How does one get front row seats to a concert where any ticket is almost impossible to get? It seems as though her sister's friend, Marlene, visited the ticket outlet and offered to help concert promoter Nick Topping answer phones. "Maybe that's how we wound up with front row seats," Lenore said.

Bruce Agacki was lucky because he was sitting near a bank of speakers. That gave him a fighting chance of picking out a chord or lyric. "The whole atmosphere really overtook what was happening on stage," he recalls.

Jackie Grandy was a Milwaukee teen when she went to see The Beatles with her two best friends, Bonnie and Kathy.

"We used to meet at the bus stop on school days and listen to Bob Barry on a transistor radio. One morning he said he was going to play a new Beatles single, so we heard 'Do You Want To Know A Secret' for the first time together. When it was over we stood and cried and thought it was the most beautiful song ever."

Grandy and her friends sat on the left side about "half way up into the stands." They couldn't see very well and didn't hear much music. "But like most of the girls we screamed and cried throughout the concert; everybody had make-up dripping down."

Grandy and her friends also bought a guitar-shaped cake and tried to get it to the band. Jackie, whose last name back then was Yunker, jumped on the back of The Beatles' limousine as it pulled into the band's hotel, the Coach House Motor Inn, now a Marquette University dorm. It is unclear if she ever got to present The Beatles with the cake she had bought for them.

At a news conference, Paul McCartney called Milwaukee's finest the "naughty police" because they forced the Beatles to exit Mitchell International Airport by some sneaky path instead of going past the fans the way the band preferred on their 25-city tour of the U.S.

John Lennon missed that news conference due to a sore throat.

Asked if they knew anything about Milwaukee, Ringo Starr said, "I've 'eard of the beer that made it famous."

In response to a question about what band members would do when the bubble burst, George Harrison said "ice hockey."

The top ticket price for the Beatles here was $5.50, which might buy you a beer at shows today.

The mainstream media, represented by The Milwaukee Journal reporter Gerald Kloss, called the band "bushy haired intruders from Liverpool" and wrote that they looked "even more cuddly than they had on the Ed Sullivan TV shows."

Before the Beatles left town the following afternoon, Paul McCartney telephoned Christine Cutler, a 14-year-old patient at St. Francis Hospital. The Franklin girl had planned to see the show, but got sick. A doctor's wife called the Journal, and it was arranged that Christine's favorite Beatle would call her.

"Well now, I've got to hang up, you see," Paul told the girl after they had talked for a while. "But you will smile though. That's the main thing, you know."

The nurses cried, and Christine said she wanted to take the telephone home with her.

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Next stop ... Chicago and The Beatles play The International Amphitheater ...



The Tour Continues







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











  








    






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The 1964 North American Tour is a creation of
The Beatles On Abbey Road
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