January 29 – Sarah Topped A Flood Of Canadian Talent Doing Good

Yesterday’s birthday girl, Sarah Mclachlan (she turned 55 in case you were wondering) was busy showing again why she was given the Order of Canada. And that the message of Live Aid lived on two decades later. On this day in 2005, she headlined a concert at GM Place in her adopted hometown of Vancouver that she’d hastily arranged along with Nettwerk Records boss Terry McBride. It was to raise funds for charities helping victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami which had occurred a month earlier.

Sarah was winding down her tour and promotion for the late-’03 album Afterglow but had done a set on Good Morning America the previous week. She had, of course, experience setting up multi-star concerts through her involvement in the successful Lilith Fairs or the late-’90s.

A sell out crowd of 18 000 turned out to see the event, including according to local newspaper the Georgia Strait, an “older portion…dressed in their Sunday best.” The crowd was “bitch-free” according to the newspaper, with only one police officer, a female patrolling the arena halls “eating an overpriced hot dog” seen. Sets included ones from  Avril Lavigne, Sum 41, the Barenaked Ladies (whom apparently “drew the largest applause and brought everyone to their feet”) , Raine Maida (of Our Lady Peace) and his wife Chantal Kreviazuk and perhaps most surprisingly, comic Robin Williams “resplendent in a crimson suit” were on before Sarah’s set. the four hour event was event hosted by TV comics Brent Butt and Rick Mercer and . The show raised over a million dollars (about $3 million by some accounts) and she did it again two nights later in Calgary.  The event took place a week after a similar and even larger benefit concert in Wales drew 66 000 to see a lineup headlined by Eric Clapton, with Jools Holland and Manic Street Preachers among others on the bill.

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December 3 – Promoters Tragic Lesson On Concert Seating

One of the single worst events in pop music history took place at the gates of Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati this night in 1979.

It should have been a great fun night on the banks of the Ohio River. The Who. were booked to play, on the 14th anniversary of the release of their breakthrough My Generation no less.  Some 14000 tickets had been sold as “general admission”, with first come, first-served seating . Therein lay the problem. 

According to Cincinnati Police, crowds had begun to form outside the stadium around 3PM, five hours or more before the show. People wanted to be first in line to get great seats. By about 7:30, “too few doors were opened too late too handle the sellout crowd,” the police reported. People rushed the gates and tried to fore their way in. As a result, 11 people, aged between 18 and mid-20s died, being crushed against the doors. Eight or more others were hospitalized. The tragedy eventually caused the practice of general admission seating to be stopped in most locations, but it was a tough way to correct the problem.

The Who played on, unaware of what had transpired outside and were horrified when they found out. Roger Daltrey said “there’s no words to say what I feel. I’m a parent as well…” The event was also covered with surprising solemn gravitas by the sitcom WKRP In Cincinnati, which was in its second season and revolved around a fictitious rock radio station in that city at the time.

November 26 – Show May Not Have Been ‘Cream’ Of The Crop

It was a show to see…although the home version was hardly cream of the crop. Cream played their final regular concert this night in 1968 at Royal Albert Hall in London. It was recorded for British TV viewers and later released for home viewing as the video Farewell Concert.

Cream were, as you likely know, a short-lived but highly influential trio sometimes considered rock’s first “supergroup.” when they formed in early ’66, Eric Clapton was already well-known and respected for his guitar work in the Yardbirds and John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. Drummer Ginger Baker and bassist Jack Bruce came from the Graham Bond Organisation, an early sort of prog/blues rock band which was well-regarded in Britain but lacked any significant commercial success. They quickly put out three albums, the third being the double-album Wheels of Fire, which came out in the summer of ’68. Along the way they’d had some international success with both the albums and singles like “White Room” and “Born Under a Bad Sign.” Wheels of Fire made the British top 10, as did the preceding pair of albums, and made it to the top on North American charts. Cream was touring regularly and a hot act, on the way up.

Nonetheless, they were getting tired of the road, and even more tired of each other… Baker and Bruce especially. Bruce was said to be enthralled by the idea of maximum volume and tried to turn his amps up loud enough as to drown out the drummer. “That last year with Cream was just agony,” Baker would later say. “I’ve still got a hearing problem because of the sheer volume…it just went into the realm of stupidity.” Clapton suggested that many of the shows on their last American tour, in the fall, “mainly consisted of (us) showing off.”

So after winding up the American tour in early-November, they decided to say a proper farewell to their home fans at the prestigious Royal Albert Hall in London on Nov. 25 and 26. The BBC recorded it, although apparently they only recorded short bits of the first one but the entire second show. Which unfortunately, according to Baker “wasn’t a good gig…Cream was better than that.”

Better or not, the Farewell Concert was what the Brits got to see a few weeks after, in January ’69, on the BBC. The TV show was produced by future record company magnate Robert Stigwood…although some would say not very well. The program ran 51 minutes, with six songs – “Sunshine of Your Love”, “Politician”, “White Room”, “Spoonful”, “Toad” and “I’m so Glad.” That was what was also released on VHS in 1977 but the DVD, in 2005, ran about an extra half hour with three added songs and John Peel bringing them on stage.

Critics had a lot to work with. The sound quality was not considered very good, and at times seemed out of sync with the video. Because the BBC used a variety of cameras, some film and some video, the actual visual quality was uneven, and worse, some shoddy editing involved mixing clips from both shows in one song, resulting in Eric Clapton mysteriously playing a different guitar than he was seconds earlier and Ginger Baker wearing different clothes.

For all that, it was a good souvenir of the band’s last stand. They had a chance to get it right 25 years later, when they appeared at their Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction, and in 2005 when they played a brief reunion of four shows at the Royal Albert Hall again.

November 9 – Night Brought Changes To Bowie’s Career

Well, another day, another story of a “last chance” for fans that no one expected to be a last chance. David Bowie made his final public performance this night in 2006 in New York City. It was an elegant but a bit underwhelming appearance given its eventual gravity. He did three songs that evening at a fundraiser at the Hammerstein Ballroom.

It was the “Black Ball”, set up by songstress Alicia Keys, an annual event to raise money for Keep A Child Alive. That is a charity she co-founded designed to help out people suffering from AIDS and their families in the Third World. Bowie shared the spotlights with Keys herself as well as Damian Marley (one of Bob’s sons) and comedienne Wanda Sykes. He came onstage looking suitably dapper for the “black tie” event, in tuxedo jacket and yep, black tie, and did three songs – a cover of Johnny Mathis’ “Wild is the Wind”, “Fantastic Voyage”, an obscure song of his from 1979’s Lodger, and as a finale, “Changes.” Keys joined him onstage for that number, which was well-received. However, the night wasn’t really about David…but if his fans knew they’d not see him perform again, there might have been a bit of a feeding frenzy in order to get tickets, no matter what the price!

It wasn’t a busy year for Bowie, so the lack of a big tour was no surprise at all. In fact, just after getting a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Grammys early on in ’06, he announced “I’m taking a year off. No touring, no album.” Seemed entirely reasonable. Bowie was 59 at that time and he and his wife Iman were scaling back their careers a little to spend more time together and with their young daughter Lexi. That aside, he did make an appearance with another David, Gilmour, at one of the Pink Floyd man’s London concerts in May.

However, the year turned into years, with his next album not arriving until 2013, for which he did no concerts and limited publicity. After that it was the well-reviewed Black Star, which sadly arrived only two days before his untimely death in 2016, so to state the glaringly obvious, there were no shows to promote that.

So if you were among the 2000 or so people at the Hammerstein 16 years ago, you were helping out a good cause. But also witnessing history.

November 6 – Pistols Started With A Bang

About a dozen people at St. Martin’s Art College in England got to see something this night in 1975 that probably made them say “Well, that’s something!” In a land where Art Garfunkel, Leo Sayer and Rod Stewart had all had #1 singles in the previous couple of months – the Sex Pistols performed live for the first time ever.

Mind you, only for about 10 minutes. The band had just recruited John Lydon to sing, based on his looks (he showed up at Malcolm McLaren’s ‘Sex’ clothing store with green hair, a sneer and a Pink Floyd t-shirt modified to say “I Hate Pink Floyd”) and given him the name “Johnny Rotten.” They got the gig, opening for a local band called Bazooka Joe, because bassist Glen Matlock was a student there. They played only four songs from all accounts – covers of the Who’s “Substitute”, the Monkees’ “Steppin’ Stone”, Small Faces “Whatcha Gonna Do About It?” and something called “No Lip” by Dave Berry. Apparently they were rather forgettable but very loud. The Pistols likely had planned to do their own “Pretty Vacant” as well, as they had it written by then, but the plug was pulled on them before they could. Some say Bazooka Joe cut the power, worried their amps (which the Pistols were using) were going to be wrecked, others (such as Canadian music historian Alan Cross) say a horrified school official cut off power to the stage! Either way those four unremarkable songs ended up changing the face of modern rock more than any number of better-trained, more accomplished bands of the mid-’70s did.

October 29 – Floyd Record, 2: For 112 Nights, Division Bell United Fans

If you were a Pink Floyd fan in the ’90s, there was only one place to be on this day in 1994 – London. More precisely, Earl’s Court in the British capital, as that’s where the Floyd would be playing their last-ever “regular” concert.

Of course, as is the case in many such events, those in attendance had little idea at the time it would be the last time to see David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Richard Wright together in a full, conventional concert, with or without Roger Waters. All they knew was it was the finale on the wildly-successful “Division Bell” tour, some 27 years after they’d embarked on their very first tour. In the years between, Pink Floyd had become the most popular “prog rock” band in the world and put out a run of hit albums including two of the biggest-sellers ever – Dark Side of The Moon and The Wall. And their concerts had become famous for the incredible light shows, special effects and props (flying pig anyone?) involved.

The “Division Bell” tour was going to be no different, other than perhaps a bit more over-the-top still. It had been seven years since their previous new record and over five since their last tour, so David Gilmour wanted to make it a memorable one. To whit, they had a 180-foot wide stage with a huge arch, designed to look like the Hollywood Bowl to play on, the most elaborate light show yet (including expensive copper lasers only used in scientific experiments and high-tech industries before) and an exploding model plane flying over. In all, it took some 53 trucks to transport, with over 150 crew. No wonder they played two or more nights in many locales!

They changed up their set lists a little from night to night, and quite noticeably between the North American part which began it and the European leg that concluded. But in general, they played two sets with about ten songs in each and came back for a two or three song encore, in all covering their whole career but concentrating on Dark Side of the Moon, which in most of the European shows they played in its entirety during the second set. Which made the eight extra musicians they brought along to back them all the more necessary. They generally opened up with the song that opened up their lengthy career – “Astronomy Domine”, a Syd Barrett song from their first album, Piper at the Gates of Dawn, before heading into recent territory with “Learning to Fly.” The encore included in various shows “Wish You Were Here,” “Hey You” and ended with “Run Like Hell”. Even though The Wall had been almost entirely Roger Waters pet project and he’d famously left the band under less-than-cordial terms, they didn’t shy away from playing a good portion of it for the ecstatic fans.

And there were lots of those. The tour kicked off in Miami on March 30, and ran 112 shows through 21 countries, wrapping up with an unprecedented 14 concerts at Earl’s Court, a 21 000 seat venue considered England’s premier indoor events center. Most concerts along the way were sold out; on this side of the ocean, stops in L.A., San Francisco, Boston, Montreal, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Toronto and Detroit (or their suburbs) all saw over 100 000 people attend over two or three nights; in New York City it was over 220 000 over four nights in two different stadiums. In the European shows, Volkswagen gave away a limited-edition Golf, with high-end stereo and a particularly fuel-efficient engine, every night. Little wonder then that by the time it was over, it had raked in over $250 million, even though tickets weren’t outrageously expensive for the era. In New York, Yankee Stadium tickets averaged about $32 each. At the time, it was the most lucrative concert tour ever, although another aging British band, the Rolling Stones, would top it just a year later.

Of course, no one then knew that it would end up being the end of Pink Floyd’s illustrious concert-giving career. But by 2001, Gilmour said “you never know what the future (holds), but I certainly don’t see myself going out for a big Floyd tour again.” And he hasn’t; and with Richard Wright’s death in 2008, it would seem all the less likely to occur now. That isn’t to say it was the very last time they appeared and performed together mind you. They played at their Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction in 1997 (with Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins filling in for Waters), two songs at their manager, Steve O’Rourke’s funeral in 2003 and a couple of songs at a Syd Barrett tribute in 2007. Waters performed at the same concert, but avoided his old band. And more notably, they did get together for the 2005 Live 8 concert, in which Roger Waters joined them – even appearing amicable – for a five song set.

Those who weren’t at Earl’s Court, or who were and want to relive it can have a chance. They put out a live CD and DVD, Pulse, taken from shows in London and Rome from the tour.

September 26 – The Stones Keep Rolling On

Well, their nickname is the “Glimmer Twins” not the “Glimmer Triplets”…the Rolling Stones began a new chapter in their lengthy history a year ago today. For the first time, they played a concert without longtime drummer Charlie Watts, who of course had passed away a month earlier.

It was a continuation of their “No Filter Tour”, which had begun, incredibly enough, in Hamburg, Germany over four years earlier. The first leg ended in Miami in August, 2019 but the planned resuming in early-’20 was scuttled by the pandemic. By the time they took the stage again, over two years had transpired and their beloved drummer had succumbed to cancer.

The tour itself resumed this night in 2021 in St. Louis, although they had done a bit of an unannounced, impromptu rehearsal in Massachusetts the previous week. 38 000 or so fans showed up to the America’s Center in the Gateway City (which actually was the smallest crowd of the regular concerts for this leg of the tour) and weren’t disappointed. As had been the case earlier in the tour, it was something of a greatest hits show, with many of the shows running over three hours and being heavy on the hits.

According to St. Louis Today, the show began “with images of Jagger, Richards, Wood and Watts flashing on video screens. The final image, a photo of a smiling Watts cued the band’s entrance to the stage for ‘Street Fighting Man.’” Needless to say, they paid homage to their drummer of 50+ years, with Jagger saying “this is our first tour we’ve ever done without him. We all miss Charlie so much on the stage and off the stage and we’d like to dedicate this tour to Charlie.” They then kicked into “Tumblin’ Dice” and ran through a good selection of hits including “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”, “Sympathy for the Devil”, “Honky Tonk Women” and “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”, the final song of the main set. New for the show was the song “Living in A Ghost Town” which they’d recorded the year before during the pandemic lockdown. They jumped on back to do an encore of “Gimme Shelter” and “Satisfaction.”

Filling Watts big shoes was Steve Jordan, appropriate enough since Keith Richards said Watts had once said if he couldn’t play anymore, “Steve Jordan’s your man.” The Stones were pretty familiar with Jordan, even though he was only five years old when the band began! Jordan had played in Richards’ side-project, the X-spensive Winos in the ’80s. And kept busy on a host of other projects including being in the Saturday Night Live house band (which led to him being with the Blues Brothers when they were active), then David Letterman’s on his Late Night show for four years and doing session work for a who’s who of ’80s and ’90s stars including Stevie Nicks, Don Henley, John Mellencamp, Bonnie Tyler and Bob Dylan as well as being Eric Clapton’s touring drummer.

The tour carried on to huge box offices and good reviews through November, wrapping up with a small show at the Hard Rock Cafe in Hollywood November 23.

August 30 – Texas Said If NY Can Do It, So Can We

Everything’s bigger in Texas? Well, not always, despite what the Lone Star residents would like to think, but it usually is pretty big anyway. Case in point, this day in 1969 when it held its own version of Woodstock – the Texas International Pop Festival. It didn’t quite rival the upstate New York event of a couple of weeks earlier in crowd size, number of star acts or historical importance, but it was still a pretty big deal.

The event was probably not actually inspired by Woodstock as much as by another 1969 live music event, the Atlanta International Pop Festival at the start of the summer. In attendance there was Angus Wynne III, part of the family who owned the Six Flags amusement parks. He wanted to do something similar in his Dallas area, and quickly put together a pretty good three-day event.

They held it in an open field beside the Dallas Motor Speedway, close to a large campground. They advertised free camping at the camp, which had a little lake as a bonus for over-heated revelers, and brought in a good lineup of mixed musical talent, which went on stage at 4PM Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Grand Funk Railroad opened up each of the three nights, and B.B. King was also on stage for each night, apparently doing not only the same songs but offering up the same patter and jokes. He mistakenly thought each day had its own new audience, but in fact people came for the long weekend and were essentially all the same bodies for each night. And there were a lot of those bodies… no official attendance was released but most estimate it to be around 125 000, perhaps a little more.

Besides Grand Funk and B.B., they got to see Chicago on two nights (then billed as Chicago Transit Authority), local Johnny Winter, Nazz featuring a young Todd Rundgren, Janis Joplin and quite a few more. The first night Sam & Dave were the final act, the Sunday it was Santana, and the final show Tony Joe White. Also, perhaps suspiciously in light of future events, also on the bill were both Spirit and Led Zeppelin. Many will recall that Zep got sued by Spirit (or families of the members of) for plagiarizing a Spirit song to come up with the melody for “Stairway to Heaven”. Though Zep prevailed, few could really deny that there did seem something borrowed there, and despite some claims that Page and Plant never heard of, or anything by Spirit, they showed up on the same stage only hours apart.

The campground had a free stage as well, for secondary acts or main ones warming up and on there was poet Hugh Romney… who B.B. King listened to and nicknamed “Wavy Gravy” that day.

The event seemed to come out well, and as at Woodstock, no violent crimes were committed and people seemed to have a good time although once again weather wasn’t the fans friend. In Woodstock of course, cold rain dampened spirits and created a quagmire of mud; in Texas the opposite was the problem. Dallas is still very hot in late August (normal high still well above 90F) and standing out on an open field for hours isn’t a great idea. One person died of heatstroke.

Although it played second fiddle to Woodstock, it is perhaps surprising so little is recorded of, or about the show. There is a bootleg tape of some popularity going around with Zeppelin’s set, which is said to be of high quality, but there didn’t seem to be any sort of official release of footage or recordings. If you search online though, you will come across a DVD of the event, which seems to also be bootleg. It has about 19 tracks, although some – bizarrely – are studio recordings of acts who didn’t play the show like Linda Ronstadt, and some of the footage of the concert seems to have been dubbed in later with studio music. But you will get an idea of the scope of the concert and see things like an opening welcome from the local police chief, Chicago doing “I’m A Man”, Tony Joe White performing his one hit “Polk Salad Annie” and an apparently good segment of Led Zeppelin doing “Dazed and Confused.”

The event was a one-off, and now the site is a commuter rail station (Hebron St.) which has a plaque commemorating it. However, it did set a trend perhaps as later on Dallas would host annual one-day, big name artist concerts dubbed “Texxas Jam.” they were held annually from 1978-88, almost always in Dallas but occasionally in Houston instead. Headliners there included, through the years, Fleetwood Mac, Eagles, Heart, Foreigner, Journey, Rush, Aerosmith and Van Halen among others.

August 30 – John Said If George Can Do It, So Can I

Call it playing catch-up or call it being a terrific humanitarian…likely both were true, and about 30 000 New Yorkers were all the better off for it this day in 1972. That was the day John Lennon held two concerts, an afternoon and an evening one, at Madison Square Garden. The concerts were quickly arranged benefit shows, and although no one knew it at the time, they’d be the last full concerts Lennon would ever give. He was the only one of the Beatles who never toured as such after the Fab Four split up.

Lennon decided to do the shows to raise money for the Willowbrook School after seeing a TV news story about it. Willowbrook was a state-run school for mentally disabled kids and none other than Geraldo Rivera, an up-and-coming newsman at the time, brought to light stories of both abuse of the children and poor conditions at the school caused by disrepair. Lennon and Yoko Ono felt moved to act, and so the concerts were arranged, with all proceeds going to the school. They brought in Stevie Wonder, Roberta Flack and Sha Na Na to play on the bill as well; in a surprisingly magnanimous move, Lennon also invited Paul McCartney, who declined.

The idea was wonderful, but it was also highly reminiscent of a double concert George Harrison had done the year before to raise funds for Bangladeshi relief at the same venue. As even the Beatles Bible point out, “the success of George Harrison’s ‘Concert for Bangladesh’ the previous year may well have influenced his decision.” No doubt it irked him a little to see Harrison come to the Big Apple – John’s adopted hometown – and become a hero, not to mention score a hit record, with a charity event that was exactly the type of thing they’d expect Lennon and Ono to do.

Whether a bit of jealousy played a role or not, it was hard to argue with Lennon’s gesture. They sold tickets at between $5 and $10 (depending on seat location) and both shows sold out quickly. ABC filmed it and turned it into a TV special, paying $350 000 to the cause for the rights.

Lennon and his wife brought in session drummer Jim Keltner, and the Elephant’s Memory Band (a group of session musicians from the New York area who often backed Lennon at the time) to play, with John playing rhythm guitar himself. They rehearsed for three days. After Rivera welcomed them to stage for the afternoon show, it was apparent to some that a bit more practice might have helped. The sound was a bit off, and at one point John joked “welcome to the rehearsal.” They played 17 songs, starting with “Power to the People” through a finale of “Hound Dog”. He powered through his Beatles tour de force “Come Together” and a number of his early hits or near-hits like “Imagine,” “Cold Turkey” and “Instant Karma”. Yoko took center stage to do a couple of numbers, “Born in a Prison” and “Sisters, Oh Sisters.” The evening set apparently sounded a bit better, and had 14 songs, including “Give Peace A Chance” to end it. The two Yoko songs were dropped from the bill, with no record of if any fans felt short-changed because of it.

The shows ended up raising over a million dollars for the school, making it a great humanitarian success. Commercially, it wasn’t a massive, or immediate hit. In 1986 (after John’s death of course) a live album and videotape of it were put out, produced by Yoko.

Two surprises came of that fact. One, she chose the afternoon set to use, which even the musicians themselves thought the lesser of the two, performance-wise, and two, that she had an unusual lack of egotism, basically editing herself out of the record. Her songs weren’t included and on songs where she was singing harmony, her voice was mixed very low so as not to detract from Lennon’s. The video had a different selection of songs. Rolling Stone would say of it while it “could have used a few more hours of practice” it was still a decent listen as “classic Lennon, because it’s all here – his humor, pain, anger and unshakeable faith in the power of rock’n’roll to change the world.” Traits his ex-bandmate George Harrison would no doubt admire. The album was a minor success, hitting #41 in the U.S. and eventually going gold.

What no one there knew of course was that it was going to be the last time to see John do a concert of his own. Even though he was active recording through the ’70s and up until his death in 1980, he gave up playing live entirely after this show. The only exception was a brief appearance, also at Madison Square Garden, to be on stage with his friend Elton John in 1974 at one of his concerts.

August 15 – Beatles Saw A Mountain Of Fans

Seems like it’s a good day for a big show if you are in New York. For starters, on this day back in 1965 The Beatles played the biggest concert of their career and ushered in a new era. That was when they started an all-important North American tour with a sell-out at Shea Stadium in the Big Apple. With about 55 600 in attendance, it was not only their biggest crowd, it was the first really big stadium rock concert.

The show came only a year and a half after they first visited the U.S., bursting on the scene with their famous Ed Sullivan appearance. In the time between, they’d scored an incredible seven #1 songs and were riding high on the success of Help, which had just been released. It was according to some of their biographers, “the ultimate pinnacle of Beatlemania.”

They had to be helicoptered in, and John Lennon would later say “at Shea Stadium, I saw the top of the mountain.” Ringo Starr said “what I remember most about the concert was that we were so far away from the crowd…it was very big and very strange.” Indeed, as unlike most modern concerts in such venues, the crowd was limited to the actual stands – there was no on-field seating or standing. So with the stage placed in the shallow outfield area, some of the more distant seats were in the range of 400 feet away!

The Young Rascals acted as an opening act, and then Ed Sullivan himself introduced the Fab Four, saying “now, ladies and gentlemen, honored by their country, decorated by the Queen and loved here in America, here are the Beatles!” The 55 000 fans (including Keith Richards and Mick Jagger) went wild and stayed loud throughout the 12-song show, often drowning out the actual music which was being played on a rather small and inferior sound system. They opened with “Twist and Shout” and did early classics like “I Feel Fine”, “Ticket to Ride” and “Help” before finishig with “I’m Down.” While predictably Paul and John dominated the set, both Ringo and George got a turn to have the spotlight, the former singing “Act Naturally” (later in the tour he’d do “I Wanna Be Your Man” instead) and the latter singing “Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby.”

They’d spend the rest of the month doing shows in eight more American cities as well as Toronto, typically playing the same set list. In Atlanta and Chicago they played similar baseball stadiums but to smaller crowds; in other cities they played smaller outdoor venues or indoor arenas.

For those who wanted to relive the New York show, a 50-minute video was made and debuted on the BBC in 1966, then shown on ABC in the States a year later. It contained many of the songs they performed as well as little clips of them on their way into the stadium and getting ready in the baseball clubhouse. Due to the noise of the crowd during the concert, producers had them overdub some tracks and the audio from “Act Naturally” was scrapped totally and replaced with the original studio recording.

The Beatles would play Shea once more, almost a year to the day later, but to a somewhat smaller and perhaps less enthusiastic crowd. That was the famous tour in which they had death threats and were met with protests in the South due to John Lennon’s statements regarding them being more popular than Jesus. It would then be over 40 years before a Beatle would be doing a concert at the home of the Mets; Paul McCartney was a guest at Billy Joel’s concert there which closed the stadium in 2008.

Perhaps the ’65 show gave promoters an idea. As we mentioned, August 15 seems a popular day for concerts in the Empire State. Woodstock kicked off upstate on the date in 1969 and in 1991, something in the range of 600 000 people went to Central Park in the city to attend a free Paul Simon concert.