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The 1964 North American Tour
Part 6





Part 6


 
September 15: Public Auditorium, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
The Cleveland Public Auditorium just couldn't stand the heat of Beatlemania.


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
"Panicked Cleveland cops stopped the show, sent the Beatles to their dressing room, then relented and let them return to the stage."


WHK radio brought the Beatles to Cleveland. The disc jockeys for WHK stood behind the Beatles during a photo-op and were known as "The WHK Good Guys".

The Beatles 1964 concert at Public Auditorium had to be halted by Cleveland Police because of the crowd hysteria during the concert.

Fans reportedly jumped over police barricades, stormed the stage, and generally acted unruly as they basically lost their minds during the show. It is a microcosm of just how deeply the Beatles affected young fans' minds when they invaded America that year.

When The Beatles arrived in Cleveland, they stayed at the Sheraton-Cleveland hotel. A police cordon of over 100 officers was erected around the building, but that security measure was breached when The Beatles appeared at a window to wave at fans in the streets below.

It was an eventful time: an 11-year-old girl arrived with a stolen key for a room; a young boy hid in a packing case being delivered; another tried to get into the Kon Tiki bar, pretending to have a reservation; and another pretended to faint outside, only to request she be given first aid inside the hotel.

The police asked that The Beatles stay on the same floor that their afternoon press conference was held on, rather than in the presidential suite, to divert fans from storming their room.

At the Public Auditorium, a police line of over 100 people attempted to keep the fans from the stage. The crowd was slowly pushed back, but before long several fans broke through the cordon and climbed onto the stage.

Concerned at The Beatles' safety, Inspector Michael Blackwell and Deputy Inspector Carl Bare decided to stop the concert.

Bare walked onto the stage and took a microphone, telling the crowd that the show was over and to sit down. At the time The Beatles were performing "All My Loving," and continued to play despite the police wishes. At one point, Bear allegedly pushed George away from his microphone, as the police chief cleared the stage.

Blackwell also arrived onstage and gestured to The Beatles to stop performing. They reluctantly put down their instruments and temporarily left the stage, amid the sound of booing fans.

In their dressing room backstage, John Lennon told Art Schreiber from local radio station KYW: "This has never happened to us before. We have never had a show stopped. These policemen are a bunch of amateurs."

An angry Brian Epstein nonetheless put up a diplomatic front, saying "The police were absolutely right. This has never happened before, but it was clear to me from the start that there was something very wrong. The enthusiasm of the crowd was building much too early."

After a 10-minute delay Blackwell told the crowd the concert would continue if they remained in their seats. The morning hosts from KYW, Specs Howard and Harry Martin, were brought onstage to tell the audience to remain sitting, and shortly afterwards the show continued.

When the concert eventually finished, The Beatles escaped through a rear door while the police once more drove a decoy riot bus at high speed from the venue. They were taken to Cleveland Hopkins Airport, from where they flew to New Orleans.

The next year, The Beatles and all rock 'n' roll shows were banned from appearing in the city.

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September 16: City Park Stadium, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
On September 16, 1964, The Beatles came to New Orleans, where they played in City Park Stadium before a sellout crowd of 27,000-plus. The Beatles fee for the concert was reportedly $5,000.


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
"Local cops did a horseback cavalry charge through fans. The Beatles hung out with Fats Domino."


The Beatles began their eventful stay in New Orleans by traveling in a motorcade from New Orleans International Airport to the Congress Inn. In nearly every city on the tour, the Beatles encountered problems reserving hotel rooms; most major hotel chains feared damage to their property by the mobs of teenagers. As a result, the Congress Inn, today the site of a nursing home, became the focal point of worldwide rock 'n' roll attention that evening. Brian Epstein was horrified to learn that the hotel was a single-story building and found little comfort in that their rooms' windows had been boarded with plywood.

In a sequence of events not unlike the film A Hard Day's Night, the band had been taken from a concert at the Cleveland Public Auditorium directly to their aircraft for the two-and-a-half-hour flight to New Orleans, remembers Eva Van Enk, a flight attendant on the Beatles' chartered airliner during the 1964 and 1965 tours.

"The airplane served as both a platform for interviews to the lucky few members of media that flew with them, and a rare opportunity for sleeping," she recalls. "The faces of the reporters were constantly changing from city to city. Brian Epstein maximized exposure with exclusive interviews between cities. But no one was allowed in the Beatles' lounge area in the rear of the plane, and they came out when they were ready. As flight attendants and crew members, we were the only ones allowed unrestricted access."

Once on the ground, the motorcade from Kenner to eastern New Orleans took about 45 minutes. Following episodes (which the band had become accustomed to) during which their limousine became separated from the motorcade and even collided with a Kenner Police Department escort vehicle, the band went directly to their rooms, remaining there until the customary, late afternoon pre-show press conference.

Mayor Victor Schiro arrived at the Congress Inn by late afternoon and greeted the Beatles in the lobby of the hotel. The press conference began as Schiro presented the Beatles with a key to the city and proclamation declaring September 16, 1964, "Beatles Day" in New Orleans. The official proclamation signed by the Beatles has long since disappeared, but copies bearing a photograph of the Fab Four with Schiro were made available to City Hall visitors. After signing the proclamation, Lennon set the tone by returning Schiro's pen, saying, "Your pen, your Lordship!"

The New Orleans press conference was unique in that, according to several sources, it was the only press conference on the tour that was filmed by a Los Angeles newsreel agency. Unfortunately, like the mayor's proclamation, the newsreel remains unaccounted for but hopefully has not been lost to history. The expected comical remarks delivered by the band following each question were in abundance.

Typically asked about haircuts, favorite things about America and the lunacy that followed them wherever they went, each Beatle responded in kind. McCartney was asked, "What do you expect to see in Dallas?" to which he replied, "Oil wells."

Harrison was asked, "What do you think of topless bathing suits?" and replied, "We've been wearing them for years."

Asked about his biggest problem with the visit to America, Starr threw back, "The quality of your tea."

Lennon was asked if the United States was "reaping the harvest of the musical garbage it had exported to England"; he replied, "Quite true!"

Another bond in the relationship between the Beatles and the city of New Orleans is that one of their opening acts was local favourite and New Orleans' native son, Clarence "Frogman" Henry. Henry had joined the tour two weeks earlier in Philadelphia, replacing the Righteous Brothers, who complained to Epstein that audiences shouted, "We want the Beatles!" throughout every opening performance. Henry happily accepted an invitation to perform in 15 of the 24 cities on the tour.

Tickets were $5.

The concert began after 9:30 p.m. The noise of the screams, from the moment they appeared until long after they departed the stadium, was so deafening that no one in the stands could hear the music.

A recording of the concert, of unknown origin, eventually surfaced. It was broadcast by WNOE-AM radio station on the 10th anniversary of the concert, long before the station's transition to a country-music format. Although the songs are inaudible, the recording microphone was close enough to the stage to capture the band's remarks between the music. Their frustration with the chaos that followed them is obvious in the recording.

At the start of "Can't Buy Me Love," about halfway through the 10-song concert, about 100 teenagers broke through the police barricades and ran toward the stage. The police pursued and tried to restrain them. Lennon remarked, "We'd like to continue with our next number ... if you would stop playing football in the middle of the field."

Just before performing the song "A Hard Day's Night," Lennon again exclaims, "For our next song ... for those of you who are still alive ... !"

Finally McCartney introduced their last song, "Long Tall Sally," by saying, "We'd like to thank everybody for coming, including the football players."

"It was pandemonium. It was nuts," said Herb Holiday, who booked the Beatles and promoted the concert, with WNOE-AM radio handling the advertising and on-air promotion.

"We had kids dropping out of trees hanging over the fence (around the stadium) like they were apples. The cops were trying to round them up and I told them, "Let 'em go. I don't care. We're sold out. Get your guys in front of the stage now!"

For the most part, the officers managed to hold off a sea of hormones run amok, frenzied, out-of-control fans who at times shrieked and made so much noise it was difficult to hear the songs, Holiday said.

Retired WTIX DJ Bob Walker watched the concert through the fence where there was an opening in the stands because, he said, "I couldn't afford the $5 ticket. All I saw was Ringo's back for the entire time." Which prompted Holiday to say, "He probably heard the music better than being inside."

Beatles historian/author Bruce Spizer said not long into the concert, several hundred female teens bolted from their seats and raced onto the field. Police and security guards had difficulty holding off the surge but finally got it under control.

One guy broke though the police line, got behind the stage and was approaching Ringo Starr when he was tackled, said Holiday. "What's significant," said Spizer, "is that it was the only Beatles concert where fans ran onto the field. It had never happened before."

But it should have been predictable.

Just as the Beatles were overwhelmed by their reception back in February in New York, the same thing happened here — only worse.

WNOE DJ Captain Humble (Hugh Dillard) recalled how crazy it got. "Hap Glaudi let the cat out of the bag on the air that the Beatles were coming to Lakefront Airport and not Moisant," he said. The Captain went there to meet the Beatles "but the fans had beaten us there," he said.

The word had also leaked that The Beatles were going to stay at the Congress Inn on Chef Menteur Highway. And when the Beatles and the WNOE entourage and Holiday got there, it was a madhouse, a hysterical mob scene. The fans had beaten them there, too.​

"It was just mobbed, surrounded," said Humble. "They (police and security) whisked us into the lobby and literally shoved us into broom closets. I wind up in this little one-hole john and I'm with . . . George Harrison?

"He and I are looking at each other and I say, 'You're him, aren't you?' And he says yeah, I am." Well, this is all pretty awkward and weird at the same time and there isn't any room to maneuver. Harrison sees that Humble is wearing a silver serpent ring on his hand, tells him it's neat and Humble proceeds to give it to him.

"That was my 35 seconds of fame, a toilet between me and George Harrison," he said.

Holiday witnessed a similar incident, watching a panicked Ringo trying to elude several girls. He jumped into a janitor's broom closet and locked himself in. "He was quite a character. All he wanted to do was go to the French Quarter. So we put two cops on him."

Paul McCartney, he recalled, was personable and outgoing; George Harrison, "a little on the arrogant side," and John Lennon seemed "moody and introverted."

New Orleans was the second to last stop of the Beatles tour. Afterwards they headed for Kansas City where Charlie Finley, the eccentric owner of the Royals, put on the final concert at his baseball park.

Another significant aspect of the New Orleans' stop, said Spizer, was that "the Beatles got to meet one of their idols, Fats Domino." Lennon would go on to record "Ain't That a Shame" and McCartney recorded others. Also, the ticket from that concert is an extremely rare collector's item.

And while the Beatles' bed linens were cut up and distributed as souvenirs as they had been in other cities, New Orleans was the only stop that sliced up microphone cords and microphones and packaged them.

Not long after the New Orleans' concert, a rumor began that has persisted through the years: New Orleans was the only stop on the Beatles North American tour that lost money.

Holiday laughed at the thought. "The rumors were that we lost our butt," he said. That's all they were, though. Holiday simply didn't see any reason to refute them. "I made money — don't worry about that."

But he did have to sweat it out. Lloyd's of London told him it would cost $8,000 to insure against a rainout. A quarter of an inch of rain had to fall, but that's a fairly significant amount. So Holiday did some weather research on that date, Sept. 16. He went back 30 years and discovered it rarely rained.

So he gambled and passed on the insurance.

"The storm clouds started gathering," he said. At the time, he was watching from a wheelchair and thinking, "I'm gonna take a bath." He had $30,000 invested. The Beatles came on, did the show and left."

And after the stands emptied, he said, "All hell broke loose. The skies opened. It was one of the hardest rains I've ever seen. I looked upward and breathed a sigh of relief. I rolled the dice and came up a winner. Somebody up there was watching over me."

Paul McCartney said the concert in City Park, "was the closest we've come on the tour to getting worried. When I saw them coming for the stage," he added, "I wondered, would they stay at the barricades or rush the stage and we'd be massacred?"

"It really was like a football game," said Frogman Henry. "I mean, they were running from the policemen and the policemen were tackling them. I really enjoyed it because it was so comical. And those policemen, man, they were laughing the whole time."

Following the Beatles' appearance in New Orleans, the original plan was to use September 17 as a rest day in the city, then continue the tour with a concert in Dallas on September 18. However, money intervened.

Kansas City promoter Charles Finley, the owner of the Kansas City A's baseball team, offered Epstein a last-minute $150,000 to add a Kansas City stop, which Epstein accepted.

The extra performance was scheduled for the open date, one of the few on the tour. The Beatles left immediately following the City Park performance. The sum was the highest paid to any entertainer to date for a single performance. As a result, their planned day off in New Orleans was scratched in favor of a two-day stay at a private ranch owned by their charter plane operator, Reed Pigman, following the performance in Dallas

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September 17: Municipal Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri, USA
The concert in Kansas City was a last-minute arrangement. The Beatles were to have a couple of days off from the tour, but Charles Finley, the owner of the Kansas City A's baseball team, offered Brian Epstein a last-minute $150,000 to add a Kansas City stop, and The Beatles manager accepted the offer.


Set List
  • Kansas City/Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey!
  • 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
"Biggest Beatles payday: $150,000 for a one-nighter — courtesy of sports team owner Charles O Finley."


On the evening of September 17, 1964, twenty thousand fans gathered at Municipal Stadium to hear the Beatles, who were paid the, then unheard of, fee of $150,000 for the 31-minute concert.

Mr. Finley, owner of the city's baseball team and Municipal Stadium's major client, had initially offered Beatle manager Brian Epstein $50,000 but was turned down. He increased his bid to $100,000 and, again, Mr. Epstein declined. Finally, when Mr. Finley raised his offer to a record-breaking $150,000 — the highest sum of money ever paid a band for a single performance at that time — Brian Epstein accepted.

The Beatles arrived at Municipal Airport at 2 a.m., with around 100 fans waiting in the pouring rain to greet them. The group were taken by limousine to the Muehlebach Tower Hotel, where they stayed in the 18th floor penthouse. The hotel later sold their bed linen to a Chicago businessman, who resold it in small pieces as souvenirs.

Throughout their inaugural tour of North America, the Beatles attracted "capacity crowds" at every concert ... except for the Children's Mercy Hospital benefit held in Kansas City (the one and only Beatles concert ever performed there). The crowd of 20,207 was just over half of Municipal Stadium's estimated capacity of 35,000 with seats installed on the field. The turnout at the performance was nearly 15,000 below the venue's maximum capacity.

The low attendance wasn't because Kansas City residents disliked the Beatles; rather, the Beatles were caught in the crossfire of local animosity toward "Charles O. Finley," owner of The Kansas City Athletics Baseball Team since 1960.

Besides the team's losing record, Finley stirred feathers with his notorious gimmicks to attract fans. The schemes included dressing the team in gaudy green and gold uniforms, paying the players extra to grow mustaches, releasing sheep to graze in the outfield during games, having the team ride into the stadium on mules, and using a robotic rabbit to deliver balls to the umpire.

The city was also aware that Finley was making plans to take the major league baseball team, the Kansas City A's, uniformed the year before in green and gold, to Dallas, Atlanta, San Diego, anywhere.

Eventually, he would move the team to Oakland, California.

So, the city's resentment toward Finley likely resulted in low sales for the concert, causing a loss to Finley of reportedly somewhere between $40,000 and $100,000 ... part of which was a $25,000 minimum donation that he pledged to local Children's Mercy Hospital in the event that the concert did not earn a profit.

20,280 fans attended the unscheduled concert, with tickets costing between $2 and $8.50, and the crowd delighted in witnessing the live performance of 12 hits of the Beatles including "Ticket to Ride," "Can't Buy Me Love," and "A Hard Day's Night." But the hit of the night was the opening number, the "Kansas City/Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey!" medley that was added to the usual setlist.

A 7-foot-tall chain-link fence was erected between the performers and the $8.50 field seating — just about the most expensive on the tour; stadium box seats went for $6.50; general admission $4.50, until it was knocked down to $2. Ambulances would stand by. The Red Cross was said to be prepared.

Of the 350 Kansas City police officers (all leaves had been canceled) assigned to deal with the Beatlemaniacs, 100 were to be in front of the stage. During a police planning meeting, someone said those 100 should get medals.

"I agree," said Chief Clarence Kelley, who was on record saying he would have preferred an invasion from Mars.

David Whitaker was one of the Rockhurst College students given free tickets to sit in the front row of the stadium's upper level to keep anyone from falling or jumping.

"When the Beatles came on stage, all hell broke loose, " he recalls. "Being devious college students, we tried our best to get some of the girls to jump so we could save them, but no one took our bait."

The crowd members were admonished to stay in their seats or risk cancellation of the concert, but that was before The Beatles came on, according to The Kansas City Times. The only rush forward noted by the paper was when the boys were whisked away in a black limo and several hundred girls surged forward to cry goodbye.

Following their concert in Kansas City, the Beatles and their entourage moved onward to Dallas, Texas for their September 18th performance at Memorial Auditorium.

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September 18: Memorial Coliseum, Dallas, Texas, USA
When the group arrived in Dallas they were driven to the Cabana Motor Hotel, which was then owned by Doris Day.


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
"With Beatles trapped in their suites, their roadies shopped in flagship Neiman Marcus store to buy cowboy hats, boots and other gear."


There were chaotic scenes outside the Cabana, with fans pressing so hard against a glass door that it broke. The Beatles' journey from their car to the building's rear entrance proved equally hazardous, with both George Harrison and Ringo Starr losing their footing in the mêlée.

Prior to the show they held their customary press conference, their last of the tour. A number of enterprising teenage girls, purportedly from radio stations, managed to talk their way in.

Some 10,000 folks packed the Dallas show, a 30-minute set that included a dozen songs and wall-to-wall screaming. Writing for the Dallas Morning News, Denton writer Bonnie Lovell noted, "It was the highlight of my almost 14 years. Nothing was as exciting before — or possibly since."

Another Beatles fan, James Robert Watson, described it as "a blur of constant screaming, music, and sheer joy."

After three opening acts (that thankless task fell to the Bill Black Combo, the one-hit wonders The Exciters and Jackie DeShannon), the Beatles played their standard blink-and-you'll miss it set to a deafening roar. The stoked crowd even went nuts when stagehands came out before The Beatles to set up Ringo's drumkit.

Watson wrote: "You'd think it was the greatest event on earth, judging from the hysteria and screams over just seeing that drum."

Police took extraordinary precautions to prevent what could have been a dangerous crush of fans trying to get closer to their idols. 200 uniformed officers, with 200 more on standby, lined the stage area, which was three times higher than normal for most concert performances. That left Ringo and his drums some 15 feet above the auditorium floor.

All precautions aside, it was a wild night.

The opening of the show was delayed because of a phoned in bomb threat. No bombs were found. However, fans were discovered hiding in washrooms and under the stage.

After the show, five girls broke through a police cordon to meet The Beatles at The Cabana Hotel where the band was staying. When they found all the entrances to the hotel blocked off, they did the only thing a love-struck Beatles' fan could do. The jumped into the hotel's fountain and shouted, "We love The Beatles, oh yes we do!"

On September 19th, the group took a well-deserved day off in Missouri at the home of rancher Reed Pigman. Here the Beatles rode horses, ate home cooking, and relaxed, enjoying the friendly hospitality and country atmosphere. Brian Epstein celebrated his 30th birthday with the Beatles at the Pigman ranch.

The Beatles would return to New York City on September 20th for the special charity event that was the conclusion of the current North American tour. The event entitled "An Evening With The Beatles" was in support of United Cerebral Palsy. The Beatles gave their performance for free, as did the other supporting artists.

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September 20: Paramount Theater, New York City, New York, USA
The Paramount Theater in New York City was the final venue on The Beatles' 1964 North American Tour.


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
"Beatles sang for charity — then sampled pot with Tambourine Man Bob Dylan."


The Beatles performed for no fee at this charity concert in aid of the United Cerebral Palsy of New York City and Retarded Infants Services. It was the last date before they returned to England.

This concert was and remains The Beatles only U.S. benefit show of their 3 tours in North America.

Because it was a benefit concert, tickets were pricey — between $5.00 and $100 per seat. At least 380 $50 seats were sold and 225 more went for for $100.00. In all, the concert raised $75,000.

A capacity crowd of 3,682 people attended the show. Also on the bill: Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Nancy Ames, The Brothers Four, Jackie DeShannon, Bobby Goldsboro, The Shangri-Las, The Tokens, and Leslie Uggams.

Earlier in the morning, The Beatles had left a ranch in Missouri, where they had enjoyed a short break from the tour. Around 200 people descended on the small Walnut Ridge Regional Airport in Arkansas, in anticipation of The Beatles' return, since the group had switched planes there the previous day. The aircraft they had arrived in waited on the runway, and a number of photographs and home videos were made by local residents.

Although this concert — "An Evening With The Beatles" — had the trappings of an upscale social event, the show was no different from any other Beatles' concert. The audience was made up of mostly teenage girls, who screamed and carried on for the lads from Liverpool.

Afterwards, the group stayed at the Riviera Motel near John F Kennedy International Airport. They were accompanied by Bob Dylan and his manager Albert Grossman.

The 1964 North American Tour was complete, and the group flew back to England on September 21st, arriving at London Airport at 9:35 p.m.

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After 32 shows in 34 days, the tour was over. After the thousands of miles and the thousands of fans, after the unexpected encounters and the even more unexpected close encounters, the hysteria that was The Beatles 1964 North American Tour had come to a sudden end. Memories, both good and bad, would live on for a lifetime. Some hearts had been filled with a loving excitement that had never before been experienced; other hearts had been broken.

Clearly, it's difficult to put into words how the experience of seeing The Beatles in concert affected each person who attended one of the shows. Each of those in attendance surely has a unique story to tell. Each has been left with a moment in time that would not be equaled, likely for years to come.

Time, however, does move on, and these Beatles fans from so many years ago, have moved on to study, to find careers, to marry, to have children, and generally, to live normal lives. Well, perhaps not quite as normal as the young couple living next door or the new family who just moved in down the street.

After all, if you were there, you were there. And, like it or not, your life would never be the same again.








The Tour Ends







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











  








       






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