Wednesday, October 5, 2022

That Day at Shea


If you have seen the Beatles at Shea TV Special of the 1965 concert, you have the beginning where they show the Beatles getting ready for the show in the dugout.   And you see John pick up a baby sweater and hold it up (see the screenshot I made above).    And if you are like me, you have thought, "why is John holding a baby sweater?  Why was there a baby sweater backstage to begin with?"   Well, Beatle friends, I discovered the answer to that question in a 1982 issue of the fanzine Good Day Sunshine.  Once again, one of the biggest Beatles mysteries has been discovered right here on MTBFR. 

That Day At Shea

By Patty Saksa

Good Day Sunshine

December 1982


As I was reading a past edition of Good Day Sunshine, I was reminded in “Beatle News and Other Interesting Views” that 17 years ago, on August 15th, I was part of THE concert at Shea Stadium.

That day dawned after weeks of anticipation.  As a 14-year-old girl, I thought the day would never come.  My friends and had saved our babysitting money to purchase our prized possessions – TICKETS – months before the show through Show Bus Tours.  What more could a Beatlemaniac ask for?

My friend Mary and I had decided that we would buy a present for Ringo and Maureen for their yet unborn first child and then somehow get it to him.  Again, we saved more babysitting money, and on August 12, 1965, we purchased an infant’s sweater set.  Having wrapped the present carefully in paper decorated with babies and flowers and with a letter included inside to Ringo, we held on to our gifts to go as the bus left Norwalk, Connecticut, at about 5 pm.

Beatlemaniacs of all ages were on that bus, singing songs and screaming as the bus converged with other Beatle buses onto the roadway to the home of the New York Mets.  As we drew near, someone spotted a helicopter, and immediately we hung out of the window, hoping that they would see us!  Our bus pulled in at 7:55 pm, and since the concert started at eight, a mad rush ensued to find our seats:  LOGE BOX – SECTION 7 – BOX 341B – SEAT 7.  Having located our seats (we agreed that although they were good, the seats at Forest Hills the year before were better), we tried to be patient as the music began.  From where we sat, we could see the dugout from where THEY would come!  On stage, Murry the K introduced his dancers, and then N.Y. DJ Scott Ross brought on King Curtis.

What? Isn’t that Mick, Keith, and Brian in the dugout?  There, look, Ringo just walked through followed by – oh my God – John!  Nobody was interested in what was going on on stage.  Mick started waving to the audience, and our screams drowned what music could be heard through the small speakers.

The WMCA radio Good Guys next introduced Cannibal and the Headhunters.  During their act, Mary and I decided to somehow get the present to Ringo.  Holding onto the gift, I told Mary and her younger sister Margie to just walk down to the dugout as if we belonged in that section – but we were separated.  There I stood at the dugout, present in hand, heart beating and knees shaking as policemen stood guard on top of the dugout – sentries to keep us from our Heroes.  Nervously, I asked one policeman to please give my present to Ringo.  He tried to tell me no one was in there (but I knew better).  I asked if he could give it to someone who could give it to Ringo, but again he said there was nothing he could do.  In tears, I screamed, “What am I supposed to do?  We spent all our money on this gift!”  Angrily, I threw the gift, and it landed on the field just outside the dugout.  Those around me cheered, and I floated on air, thinking I had come this close to meeting them.

We made it back to our seats just as Brenda Holloway and Sounds Inc performed.  Finally, the roadies brought their guitars on the stage, and screams rang through the stadium. Cousin Brucie then introduced Side Berstein, who introduced Ed Sullivan, who introduced The Beatles!  Alas, the rest is history preserved for prosperity in the film “The Beatles At Shea.”

Oh yes, our seater did make it to them!  In the film, John holds up the sweater!  Also, a few weeks later, I received a letter from a girl in Canada named Gloria, who found my letter in their room in Toronto.  We corresponded for a while – a treasured clipping from a Canadian paper forever captures John holding the sweater but unfortunately, through years and moves, her letters have disappeared.  However, the fond memories I have will never disappear.  Preserved in scrapbooks of used tickets, yellowing tape, and newspaper clippings of a time 17 years ago when I experienced that day at Shea. 


  1. Thank you Sara for clearing up this great mystery. Indeed a revelation. Also thanks to Patty Saksa for her story, now 40 year ago. American Beatles fans were so enterprising and their stories are always great. These girls were true heroes by their endeavors and I love them.

    1. (Obviously) I love the fan stories too. I think they are such an important part of Beatles history. And that is why I have kept this site running for over 13 years.

  2. Pretty cool to see that they did take fan mail to read while on tour. Great story!

  3. I always thought it was a gift for Julian. For Zak, now it makes sense!

    1. I know! It is just a little thing, but I never understood why John was holding a little sweater. And since John was holding it, you automatically think, "Julian." But fans would have known that Ringo and Maureen were expecting their first child in a month and would have given him gifts for the new baby. I just never made that connection before reading this.

    2. hello sara, i like your site. i wanted to share this with you, the compleat beatles remake, a project that took me a year to finish, i replaced all the videos and pictures and gave this old documentary some much needed upgrading in footage and quality. only thing i didn't replace were the george martin interviews and the audio commentary since those are essential.oh and i also have a new shea concert edit where i fixed many bad edits and speed issues in the concert,anyways here is the link.