Return To Feature Stories







The 1964 North American Tour
Part 4





Part 4


 
September 5: International Amphitheater, Chicago, Illinois, USA
The Beatles played one concert in this venue on September 5th.


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 fan tossed a raw steak at the stage, almost striking Ringo."


The Beatles arrived at Midway Airport at 3:00 a.m., and were driven to the Sahara O'Hare hotel at O'Hare International airport.

For whatever reason, radio disc jockeys gave out information as to where the Beatles were staying, and the hotel was besieged by screaming fans, not giving the Beatles any peace and quiet.

Over 15,000 fans attended the concert with 4,000 more waiting outside the amphitheater.

When you dive into the Chicago Tribune's coverage of the Beatles in 1964, you find fear.

Fear about the hair, the strange music, and the screaming.

The hair was an affront; the mop-topped four sported a sheep-dog look that was ridiculed mercilessly. Bob Hope joked: "The Beatles are a kind of barbershop quartet that couldn't get waited on." A desperate mother of a 15-year-old son sought help from a Tribune advice columnist, writing: "We've tried everything: ordering him to get a normal haircut, teasing him about looking like a girl, threatening to cut his allowance. Nothing works."

The music was despised too. An early AP story described it as a "violent form of rock 'n' roll." It was also equated with "calliope" music or dismissed as not music at all.

And the screaming, the screaming was really frightening. On Aug. 26, the Tribune ran a story about the firsthand experience of a Washington state child guidance expert who attended a concert in Seattle. It wouldn't have calmed parental fears. He wrote, "Many of those present became frantic, hostile, uncontrolled, screaming unrecognizable beings." He blamed adults for "allowing the children a mad, erotic world of their own." He described it as "an unholy bedlam" that should not be allowed. "It was an orgy for teenagers," he said.

It is important to note how quickly Beatlemania spread. In January 1964, a Tribune editorial warned readers about an unknown band from Liverpool that was all the rage over there. Just a few days later, "I Want to Hold Your Hand" hit No. 45 on the charts. In February, they appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. By April, the Beatles had the top five songs in the country. In August, "A Hard Day's Night" appeared in theaters. In just months, they had become a worldwide sensation. Their concert tour was marked by reports of riots and injuries.

So it was no wonder that Chicago was on edge in the days before the performance at the International Amphitheater. Grim-faced city officials huddled about the impending invasion. The police commander in charge of a special task force told the mayor, "Don't worry, Mr. Mayor. We've been in tight spots before. We'll handle the Beatles just like every other big emergency."

Nonetheless, Chicago was ready for The Beatles. The Andy Frain Organisation sent ten of its ushers to The Beatles' concert the previous night in Milwaukee to scout the tactics of The Beatles' fans, and the 170 ushers and 35 usherettes were specially selected as being non-Beatles' fans so that they would not succumb to the hysteria. Stationed around the auditorium were 320 Chicago cops. One of them, patrolman Anthony Dizonne, remembered the Frank Sinatra days. "This is kind of like Sinatra multiplied by 50 or 100," he observed. "These Beatles make about fifty million bucks a year and they don't even have to buy a haircut in this country."

The Beatles' plane flew into the rarely used Midway Airport an hour late. They were due at 3.40pm but by the time they arrived over 5,000 fans were waiting for them. The girls were kept behind a chain-link fence as the group were bundled into a long black limousine and roared off to the Stock Yard Inn attached to the amphitheater at 42nd Street and Halsted. The crowds outside were so thick that the group had to enter through the kitchens. The Chicago Sun-Times reported only one casualty at the airport, a 14-year-old girl who was treated for a cut finger.

At the concert, fans were frisked and all large signs confiscated because they would block the view for others. Jelly beans, candy kisses and anything else that the fans were likely to throw at the group were also confiscated. Despite this, Paul was hit in the face by a spent flashbulb.

After the show half a dozen fans were taken to Evangelical Hospital in various states of emotional and physical exhaustion. One girl was poked in the eye but left the ambulance to rejoin the audience.

The Beatles went onstage at 9:20 p.m. and after the concert were hurried into waiting cars and drove straight back to the airport where they flew on to Detroit. A police guard was stationed outside their hotel room to prevent fans from tearing it apart for souvenirs.

Click To Play



Back To Tour Guide



 
September 6: Olympia Stadium, Detroit, Michigan, USA
The Beatles performed two concerts at the 15,000-capacity Detroit Olympia.


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
"Miss Michigan 1960, Miss Armed Forced and Miss Vermont all were given private audiences."


Ticket prices for the afternoon and evening shows were $2, $3, $4 and $5, and both shows were sold out.

It was the 14th stop of their 1964 North American Tour. The Motor City was the place of origin for the music that The Beatles had professed to love in almost every interview and press conference — The Detroit Sound, and the recording artists of the Tamla-Motown label.

The venue was something less than acoustically ideal, and even so, practically nothing could be made out above the ear-splitting screams of thousands of frenzied young female attendees.

In her story for the Ann Arbor News, 18-year-old Penny Yohn wrote: "In both performances these demonstrations began fully an hour before the show began, which was actually two hours before the Beatles themselves appeared. When they did appear the volume from those 30,000 dainty throats surpassed two-fold the sound produced by 100,000 Michigan football fans."

In the Detroit Daily Press, one story reported that in order to block out the noise a policeman "slipped two bullets out of his cartridge belt and plugged his ears."

"Your head was ringing after the show," Yohn recalls. "You couldn't hear the music. But you could see them. That was the whole point. They were here. They were in our state. They were in our vision. That was the exciting part."

The Beatles played for 20 minutes at each performance, for which they were paid a total of $60,000 (about $459,000 in today's money).

Before the day was out they were winging away from Detroit, having spent less than 24 hours in Michigan.

The Beatles had spent the previous night at the Whittier Hotel, and following their departure, the sheets they slept on were purchased by a radio station and cut into small squares, which were then sold to fans.

Click To Play



Back To Tour Guide



 
September 7: Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
The Beatles did two shows at Maple Leaf Gardens, setting attendance records for the Toronto arena. The group drew a total of 35,522 people for both shows. The Beatles took the stage at 5:30 p.m. for the first show and began the second concert at around 10:00 p.m.


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
"Hundreds of fans outside the hotel changed the words to the Canadian anthem from 'O Canada' to 'O Beatles, our idols true and dear ...'"


When the Beatles' charter Lockheed Electra landed at Malton on September 6 from their show in Detroit, over 10,000 fans awaited their arrival at Toronto International Airport. The group were driven to the King Edward Hotel which was also under siege by fans. In fact, when the Beatles got to their suite, they found a 14 year old girl hiding in a linen closet.

In a carefully planned motorcade to the Gardens next day, the Beatles were kept in a police paddy-wagon for protection, while 1,000 officers worked crowd control.

Their first concert that day was supposed to start at 4 p.m. But the delirium was allowed to build another 90 minutes before the lads bounded on stage. They were introduced by local DJs Jay Nelson and Al Boliska, launching into "Twist and Shout." Right away, their puny speakers lost the battle with the infamous Gardens sound system and its cavernous roof. But even with optimum acoustics, hits such as "All My Lovin'" and "Can't Buy Me Love" would haveve been drowned out by 18,000 teen shriekers.

"Imagine the loudest thunderclap you have ever heard," wrote the Toronto Telegram's Frank Tumpane. "Imagine it emanates inside a building and then imagine it's pitched as high as a siren." That was the essence of the din that filled Maple Leaf Gardens.

In between the two shows, a rollicking media session also took place in the Gardens. The Toronto press conference was much like the free-for-all at Kennedy Airport earlier that year when the arriving Beatles first charmed the skeptical New York press. Toronto was the group's Canadian fan club headquarters so they were very co-operative in posing for pictures with its young reps, as well as Miss Canada, and in fine form to trade quips with the army of reporters jammed into the room.

Beatles' press officer Derek Taylor opened the proceedings by reading a letter from a fan in Saskatchewan who wanted to collect the group's excess bath water and market it. There was also an offer to buy each Beatle's tonsils.

Lennon, who had been asked to endorse the re-naming of Hamilton Mountain after the group, was quizzed on what time he usually got up each morning.

"Two in the afternoon," he replied with his Scouse cheekiness.

He was less amused by a blunt query on how long he thought the Beatles could last.

"Longer than you," he fired back at a reporter.

The average ticket price, for either concert, was around $5.

Click To Play



Back To Tour Guide



 
September 8: The Forum, Montréal, Québec, Canada
As in Toronto, The Beatles played both an afternoon and an evening show in Montréal.


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 Anthology
"A Montreal newspaper reported that somebody was going to kill Ringo. Because they didn't like his nose or something? Because he was probably the most British of The Beatles? I don't know. Anyway, we decided, 'Fuck this, let's get out of town,' and we flew a day early, instead of staying the night in Montreal."
— George Harrison


The Beatles arrived at Dorval airport at 2:24 p.m. In spite of an awful storm, 5,000 fans were waiting for them at the airport, most of them girls, along with 120 officers from the RCMP. At the same time, the group learned that a death threat had been made against the group's drummer. They were rushed to the Montréal Forum in a limo. Ringo Starr said of this event later on: "Some people decided to make an example of me as an English Jew — the one major fault is I'm not Jewish."

The first show began at 4:00 p.m. in front of 9,500 fans. Joining the regular opening acts (Jackie DeShannon, Bill Black Combo, The Exciters as well as Clarence "Frogman" Henry) was a locally favourite band, The 4 Français, also known as The Frenchmen — Fred Torac (vocal, guitar), Nick Angelo (guitar), Al Baron (vocal, bass) and Danny Neal (drums).

After the first show, a press conference was held, starting at around 6:00 p.m.

The second show, this time sold out, began at 8:30 p.m., in front of 11,500 fans. The MCs are Buddy Gee of CKGM-Radio, Michel Desrochers of CJMS-Radio and Dave Boxer of CFCF-Radio. Panic almost took hold of the fans when radio station CJMS announced that, according to an anonymous source, twenty bombs were placed in and around the Forum. Fearing for his security, Ringo reportedly had his cyymbals strategically placed so they would shelter him from possible projectiles.

At 11:00 p.m., The Beatles left the Forum in three limousines. They did not head for their hotel, the Queen Elizabeth, where they had planned to stay the night but rather to the airport. They explained later on that if they had stayed, they might have lost Ringo in an attempt on his life or else died in a plane crash, since hurricane Dora was threatening to hit Jacksonville, their next destination. Again, under heavy rain, some 300 fans waited at the airport to say their final goodbyes to The Beatles.

The band never returned to play in Montréal. Is it any wonder?

Too harsh perhaps ... well, individual group members did return to Montréal: John Lennon for his Bed-In in 1969, Paul McCartney to perform with Wings at The Forum in 1989, Ringo Starr to perform at the Bell Center in 2001, and finally, George Harrison, performing at The Forum in 1974 and during Montréal's Grand Prix in 2001.

Click To Play



Back To Tour Guide









Next stop ... Jacksonville and The Beatles play The Gator Bowl ...



The Tour Continues







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











  








    






Return To Feature Stories
























  





Please Send E-Mail
To
   Email   






The 1964 North American Tour is a creation of
The Beatles On Abbey Road
The Beatles On Abbey Road
Return To Main Page