Philadelphia Fans Enthusiastic: 20,000 cheer the Beatles at Stadium
August 17, 1966
Beatle John Lennon’s remarks about Christianity and his subsequent apology apparently haven’t dampened the enthusiasm of the quartet’s fans, their cheers indicated last night.
And a sampling of fans, most of whom said they weren’t offended by this first remarks stood up for his right to speak his mind about the popularity of Christianity and rock n roll music.
“The church isn’t doing its job—that’s what he meant when he said it,” said Denise Savelli, 14, a Philadelphia High School student. “If the church was doing its job, rock n roll wouldn’t be more popular than religion.”
She was one of the 20,844 persons at John F. Kennedy Stadium last night to see the long-haired foursome.
Janet Young, 13, of Abington PA said, “He didn’t offend me, although his remarks were offensive to Christianity. He has the right to say what he wants to say, but he shouldn’t have said it. “Asked if she was still a Beatles fan, replied, “You bet!”
“If he had said it before I bought the tickets, I wouldn’t have come,” said 13 year old Margaret Schwakoff of Clifton Heights. Why didn’t she stay home anyway? “Well,” she said, “when you get back to school, you want to tell your school-mates you did something this summer.”
Peter Manon, 17, of Springfield, who will attend college this fall, said he was glad Lennon made the remarks.
As Ringo Starr, John Lennon, George Harrison, and Paul McCartney began their act, it was obvious this was not a normal Beatles crowd. It was orderly. The fans only screamed when the Beatles broke into one of their tunes and then settled down to the point where the twang of the electric guitars could clearly be heard.
When the concert was over, the fans calmly left the stadium without attempting to storm the steel barricades between the stands and temporary stage, about 125 feet away.
And a check with the first aid room, showed just how unusual a Beatle crowd this was. “Only two girls fainted,” said a nurse.