“We really didn’t care”
George Harrison said the Beatles’ performance at Shea Stadium in 1965 was “impersonal”. By the time the band played their record-breaking gig, they had already been through the wringer as they toured the world at the height of Beatlemania. When they landed in New York, they didn’t care anymore.
The Beatles were tired of touring before their performance at Shea Stadium
Touring through Beatlemania was exhausting for the four guys from Liverpool. Most of the time they were hiding from hordes of screaming girls in cars and hotel rooms. They often had to be escorted to the stage in armored vehicles.
In Here Comes The Sun: The Spiritual and Musical Journey of George Harrison, Joshua M. Greene wrote, “At a concert in Kansas City in September 1964, hundreds of screaming fans broke through police barriers and attacked the band’s mobile locker room.
“The van swayed back and forth until it finally tipped over with a groan. To restore order, the police retaliated by attacking the crowd with rubber clubs… The Beatles had managed to survive the circumstances of their career thanks to an unlimited supply of friendship and an ability to laugh at everything, even the tragedy, but the humor was gone. of their life. »
When the Beatles heard about their upcoming performance at Shea Stadium, they were hardly thrilled.
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George said the Beatles’ performance at Shea Stadium was ‘impersonal’
When the Beatles performed at Shea Stadium on August 15, 1965, they didn’t care what was going to happen. About 56,000 people gathered in the sports arena, “the largest crowd ever assembled for an entertainment event,” Greene wrote.
“The group arrived by helicopter on top of a building near the World’s Fair, then climbed into a Wells Fargo armored truck which took them inside the stadium. They got out of the truck and from the stands spat an apocalyptic roar. The police held their ears against the pain.
“Within minutes, the emergency nursing stations under the bleachers were packed with girls who had passed out from their own screams. Stadium concerts had never happened before. No singer or band could fill such a big space.
“For the Beatles concert, sound company Vox created custom amplifiers with their usual thirty watts of power boosted to a spectacular hundred watts. Nothing helped. The audience was a rabid animal, in the distance, straining against wire-mesh barriers.
This was not what the group had committed to in its early days. They liked to engage with their fans, not cage them for their safety.
A day after the concert, a reporter asked John Lennon, “Do you mind not being able to hear what you sing during concerts? He replied, “No, we don’t mind. We have the records at home. It was the usual witty remark, but underneath, the Beatles hated it.
A reporter asked George what he thought of the near riot at Shea Stadium. He replied, “It was very impersonal. Worst of all. . . we really didn’t care.
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Cousin Brucie said the group was afraid something bad was going to happen
George claimed the Beatles didn’t care what happened during their performance at Shea Stadium. However, radio personality Cousin Brucie, aka Bruce Morrow, claims otherwise.
He befriended the Beatles after playing “I Want To Hold Your Hand” on heavy rotation. Then he and Ed Sullivan introduced the Beatles on stage at Shea Stadium. “About 65,000 screaming fans,” he said. “There was an energy like I’ve never felt. But now I’m saying it was an energy of love.
Cousin Brucie said the Beatles were nervous before the show; he was too but reassured them. He said: “And in the dugout before we introduce them, John Lennon comes up to me with Paul McCartney and John says, ‘Cousin, is this going to be safe? Is it dangerous?’
“And I put my fingers behind my back and crossed my fingers because I was scared, and I said, ‘John, Paul. It will be safe. All they want is to be in the same space as you because they love you. Frankly, I was scared – I had never felt a cacophony of energy like I had ever felt.
“So I’m walking up the stairs with Ed Sullivan and we just felt this tremendous energy – you could feel it through your body. And Ed said, ‘Is it going to be safe Cousin?’ So I said to him since I wanted to give him a hard time, ‘Well Ed. I don’t think it’s going to be safe. It’s going to be dangerous.’ He then asked, ‘What do we do?’ I said, ‘Pray, Ed, pray.’
The Beatles didn’t play or tour much longer after their performance at Shea Stadium. Their nerves were gone.
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