Monday, December 30, 2013

The Beatles at Shea Stadium: A Book Review

When I told some online Beatles pals that I was supporting a book all about the Beatle's 1965 Shea Stadium concert on Kickstarter, I got a bunch of gripes.  "Uh...another book about Shea?  Don't we know all about that already?"   "There are too many Beatles books out.  This one won't be any good."     I just wanted to stare at them (but since I was online, that was impossible).  Too many Beatles books???     Ummm...I do not recall there EVER being an entire book written about the Shea concert.    So I scoff at you who do not want another Beatles book or who think we know it all on a Beatles topic.   Scoff Scoff!

The book The Beatles at Shea Stadium is written by Dave Schwensen, the same guy who brought us an amazing book about the Beatles' Cleveland concerts.   I really enjoyed the Cleveland book, and this one is just as great.  Dave has done some extensive research in finding people to interview for this book.   He has spoken to insiders who were there backstage with the Beatles as well as fans who were in the stands and everyone in between.

The book takes you song by song through the concert and explains what was going on with the Beatles and their fans during the songs.  

My favorite story told about the concert comes from one of the fans in the stands, Judith Kristen (that name should sound familiar).   She explains what was going on in her section of the stadium that caused John Lennon to do this:

The information about the actual concert was great, but what I really found interesting was how the Shea Stadium television special came to be.  I especially liked reading about the Beatles re-recording parts of the audio for the special.  They did this recording in early January 1966, right before John and Ringo left on their holiday and George got married to Pattie.  There is a detailed letter in the book from one of the guys who worked on the project that was written back to his son in the United States (who was a Beatles fan).  This letter goes into a lot of detail that we would not know otherwise about this recording session.  Reading that letter alone was worth the book for me.  Although there are a lot of things like letters, telegrams, etc in that section that just kept me wanting more. 

There are many great Beatles books that just came out or are coming out this year, and I would put The Beatles at Shea Stadium on the list of ones to read. 

The link below is the affiliate link to Amazon, where you can purchase this book.  I get a small percentage of anything purchased through this link.  Money made from the Amazon Afflication is used to pay the annual fee to keep this site online.  Thank you for your support.  Sara


  1. Wow, this is a masterpiece of a blog post and I will tell you why!

    1.) Yes, I would have been one of the people to say "What?!! Another Beatle book?"

    2.) You put me in my place!

    3.) You hilariously point out that there hasn't been a book about Shea.

    4.) You have now completely whetted my appetite for this book, the tantalizing teases of the fan account (that goes with that classic picture), and the letter about the recording session. I am way behind on my Beatle purchases for this year, but this book is definitely on my list now. Damn you, Dave Schwensen!!! Damn you......but also.....bless you!!!! And congratulations also because just from Sara's review, it looks like you have truly added something to the Beatles literature!

    (and also.....happy new year!!!)

    Thanks for the review, Sara, very helpful and informative!!!

  2. Thanks for the review Sara! Last night after I toasted in the new year, I decided to finally download it (yes I'm a kindle person). I had been going back and forth on whether or not to get it because although there are a lot of great Beatles books out there, there are also a lot of really bad ones. Even after I got it I still wondered if I hadn't just wasted part of my gift card. But after reading this review I'm glad I bought it. It sounds just great and I can't wait to star reading!

  3. my favorite Beatles concert was Shea 1965 despite some of their flat notes sometimes & the incredible screaming going on - their energy was fantastic & they were gorgeous besides; I was in 7th heaven