Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The diary of a 15 year old Beatlemaniac after the Shea concert

The time is 8:10pm.  The Remains come on and everyone screams for the Beatles.  They sing “Money” and everyone is mad because, I think, it is generally thought of as a Beatles song.  All the deejays take turns introducing each other.  Then they introduce Bobby Hebb, who sings his hit, “Sunny.”  Again, come on all the deejays, this time to introduce the Cyrkle.  When they mention Brian Epstein as a manager, everyone screams.  Everyone loves the Cyrkle – they are really terrific.  They sing their two hits, among others, but play it smart and don’t sing any Beatles songs.   After them come the Ronettes.  They sing “Shout” (with their other big hits) and we almost boo them off.     Finally, Cousin Bruice gets on and says, “Now here’s what you’ve all been waiting for.”  And the screams come.  The time is 9:17pm.  Here they come.  First George, then John, Ringo and Paul, in their brown and beige chalk-striped suits with regular shoes, not boots.   They begin – so does the roar.  At first, I can’t tell what they are singing, then I hear “Rock and Roll music” and I scream.   I realize I can’t see Ringo.  I go into the big dividing aisle  and run down to the center – almost directly above the dugout.  Then I slip under a guard and run forward to the front.  I still can’t see, so I stand up on the metal railings between the seats.  I am leaning on a girl’s head, but I don’t think she feels anything.  She just keeps sobbing one word over and over:  Ringo.  From where I am, I can hear every last word, every golden note.  Every time Paul comes to the mike, he says, “Happy Anniversary, John.”  After a while, I think John gets a little annoyed.   The program follows:  Rock and Roll Music – John, She’s a woman – Paul, If I needed someone – George.  He just stands there most of the night.  Paul and John are giving most of the action.  Day Tripper – John and Paul.  John introduces it.  He says something like, “We’re going to sing a song that we wrote way back in 1948.  We think you’ll remember it.  It’s called ‘Dear Chipper.’   Baby’s in Black – John and Paul, “I Feel Fine,”- John.  He tries to get that funny buzzing effect they get on the record.  He almost succeeds.  “Yesterday” – Paul.  A sort of hush falls over us.  It is so beautiful.   “I wanna be your man” – Ringo.  His mike goes out several times he hits quite a few flat notes.  So do all of them, for that matter.  Especially John.  I don’t care thought because I love him anyway.  George, standing right near Ringo, is giving him the funniest looks.   “Nowhere Man” –John.  It comes out so gorgeous.  He doesn’t hit one flat.  I think it’s better than “Yesterday.”  The funniest thing is during the part where they play a few bars without singing; Paul comes all the way over to the end of the stage and flirts with everyone on our side.  All of a sudden, he remembers that he has to get back to the mike to sing, and half-runs, half-skips back to his place.  “Paperback Writer,” -Paul.  He is so cute, so human and so tired.  You can hear him taking breaths between phrases.  This concert finally makes me realize something that I guess I’ve known all along – that they are just people.  “Long Tall Sally”- Paul “Our last song tonight” says John.  They bow—I run back to my seat.  They go off in a car—I yell.  They wave from the car and we wave back.   Hundreds of girls leave in hopes of catching them departing.  Later I find one girl in a trance.  I ask her what is the matter and she replies, “I touched the truck.”  It’s a small thing like that that keeps the feeling alive.  The time is 11:39pm.  A plane lifts off from Kennedy Airport.  They will be back next year.  I know that. – Sue (15 years old and written directly after the concert)

Fans remember Shea '66

Two days after my sixteenth birthday I saw The Beatles perform at Shea Stadium.  I was a veteran of the 1965 Beatles concert at Shea, but that experience, exciting as it was, paled in comparison to their 1966 performance.  I had field-level seats and could actually wee them without the aid of binoculars.  There were about 5,000 fewer people in attendance than in 1965.  Also, there were more male fans at Shea in 1966.  These factors resulted in less noise.  Although the conditions were still less than ideal, I could hear The Beatles sing and play.
That is my fondest memory of the 1966 concert, being able to see and hear them, unlike a year earlier as I sat in the upper deck, trying to figure out what song they were singing, or if they were playing anything at all.  Three decades have passed since August 23, 1966, but I can still recall watching and listening in amazement as the Beatles did “Nowhere Man,” “If I needed someone”, and “Day Tripper,” introducing the latter as their “Number One hit form 1965.”
At times, I did use my handy pair of opera glasses and observed each Beatle individually.  At one point, I thought John Lennon was waving at me, only to realize he was acknowledging a poster behind me that congratulated the Lennons (John and Cynthia) on their fourth wedding anniversary.  Although we now know The Beatles were sick and tired of performing live, the smiles on their faces indicated they were having fun that evening.  I know I did!

I’m a veteran of both Shea concerts:  Aug 15, 1965 and August 23, 1966.  The second concert happened to be on John and Cynthia’s anniversary, so I decided to make a banner for them and hang it at the concert.  Imagine my dad’s reaction when the paint leaked through the sheet, and the message, “Happy 4th Anniversary, John and Cynthia” was now on the driveway!
Both concerts were a thrill for me, as I was a major fan (still am).  The second time (’66) I could actually hear some of the music.  I was so pleased that I got the braces off my teeth the day before the ’66 concert in case Paul looked my way.  I was miles from the man, but when he did glance my way, I happily flashed him my new found teeth.

I saw them in 1966 in Shea Stadium with a fellow Nebraska friend.  We were in seventh heaven!  Here we were, seventeen year old Beatlemaniacs, getting to experience our heroes.  It was sheer pandemonium.  Everyone was in ecstasy.  I remember a young man two rows in front of us screaming, “George, I love you, George.”  We thought that was pretty funny.  The police formed several rows around the stage and people still got through.  It was something Ill never forget.
--John R.

 I was stationed at MacGuire AFB and the service club got us tickets to the concert....We sat in left field....The Ronettes and the Cyrkle also performed....It was difficult hearing them because of all the noise....What a wonderful time especially the trick they performed at the end of the concert where they sent an armored truck out as a decoy and after everyone chased it out the came by us in a station wagon and waved to us....we picked up MANY 8X10 glossy's in the parking lot that had been dropped during the mass exit. – Wayne

 My sister and I were at this show. My dad drove us all the way to NY from WVa to see it. I saved my ticket stub for the longest time, then my mother threw it out when I went to college. My sister and I were debating whether we would scream when they came out, but you really just couldn't help it! Still one of the highlights of my life. -  Amy

Only 40,000 fans

‘Only’ 40,000 Screech at Beatles’ Stadium show
UPI (New York)
The Beatles visited the home of the baseball’s lowly Mets last night, but it wasn’t one of their grand slam appearances.

In their third New York concert performance, The British rock n roll quartet failed for the first time to pack a full house at Shea Stadium.

Playing their hits for 40,000 fans – a mark topped more than a dozen times by the Mets this season – the Liverpool four had a relatively routine appearance.

Only a dozen youth- including one stopped I his tracks by a policeman’s judo chop—tried unsuccessfully to clamber upon their stage in the second base area of the diamond.

Only 500 police and firemen were on hand to maintain order.  And, according to their estimates, no more than forty teenagers were treated at the scene for hysteria.

The teenagers who burst through the barriers were merely removed from the stadium.  As one policeman explained, “we decided the worst punishment for a fan was to throw him out.”
While two limos decoyed the hundreds waiting outside the Beatles hotel, the rock n roll group was whisked away in a motorcade which had waited beside a back door.

Encased in a Wells Fargo armored truck, the teenage idols arrived at the stadium and were hidden away in safety in the umpires’ dressing room.

The four acts preceding them – the Ronettes, the Cyrkle, the Remains and Bobby Hebb managed to keep the audience attentive.  Then at 9:17pm the Beatles came out.

“We love you John” or Paul or George or Ringo signs waved, the audience stood and began a screech that lasted the entire time the group sang.

A spokesman for promoter Sid Bernstein said the receipts totaled $292,000 and that was enough for the Beatles to be back again for a sell-out performance next year. 

The 2nd time at Shea Stadium

These three are from the collection of Benjy Greenberg and found on his facebook page

Eppy at Shea '66

That is Brian's secretary, Wendy Hanson standing on his left. 

Making their way to the Field....

Shea '66 letter

Don't forget that you can click on the photos to make them larger.

Backstage at Shea

Not a lot of photos from the locker room at Shea Stadium-- I only know of these two that popped up last year (and I have been saving them for a full year and it has been killing me because look at John with that girl!).  

Opening up

The "Good Guys" try to warm up the crowd at Shea Stadium 

Bobby Hebb performs "Sunny" at Shea.  Notice the Beatles signs in the audience!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Their day off

August 22, 1966 was labeled as a "day off" for the Beatles, but it really wasn't a day off at all.   They had two press conferences scheduled on this day.   The first was a regular press conference for the press and the second one was a new idea that the Beatles came up with along with one of the New York radio stations.    They decided to have what was called a "Junior" press conference after the regular one.    150 fans (50 from a contest with the radio station and 100 picked from the New York fan club) were invited to come and ask the Beatles questions.     Things were a little wild and there was some screaming, but overall the Beatles enjoyed the atmosphere of the Junior press conference and a chance to talk to their fans.    A few fans asked questions like "do you know so and so??"  But most asked pretty good questions that the press folks wouldn't have thought of.

And do you know what Brian Epstein did on this day 50 years ago?  Yes, he was at the press conference, but he also was on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson!    I found this out when I was doing research for my book.    Brian was interviewed all by himself and as far as we know, no audio, video or even photographs exist.     We wouldn't have even know that this happened if it wasn't for a major Brian Epstein fan that wrote about it in her diary!  

Since the Beatles wore the same thing during both press conferences, it is impossible to tell from which part of the press conference the photos are from.