Music History

An Oral History of the Last Beatles Concert

This comes to us from SFGate:

Last month, The Big Event and the San Francisco Chronicle started searching for readers who went to the Aug. 29, 1966, The Beatles show at Candlestick Park. The concert, the last commercial show for the Beatles, is arguably the most famous musical event in Bay Area history.

More than three dozen came forward, many with heartfelt and funny stories. Some are returning to see Paul McCartney’s Farewell to Candlestick event this Thursday.

Aidin Vaziri, editor Sue Adolphson and I put together a very cool package in today’s Sunday Datebook about the 1966 show, filling the Pink section with trivia, a set list, images by rock photographer Jim Marshall and memories from several fans who were there.
Below is a longer oral history of the event with more of their words and less of mine.

(All were young Beatles fans at the time of the show, unless specified otherwise.)

* * *

The Beatles show was announced early in the summer — the band’s first appearance in the Bay Area since a 1965 visit to the Cow Palace. The Candlestick show was the end of a controversial tour that included John Lennon’s famous “more popular than Jesus” remark. Fans had no idea at the time, but the Candlestick tour finale was the last commercial show the band would perform together.

SUSAN KOOP: I was a newly minted teen and had been crazy out of my mind about the Beatles since 1964. By 1966 I’d carved John’s name with a buck knife in my mother’s antique desk and sent away $2 to Clearasil without the two required boxtops explaining in a note that I was too young to have zits yet but would still treasure the faux-canvas portrait of the Beatles they were selling. They sent me one.

NANCY SITTON: On August 11, 1966, I correctly identified the song being played on KYA as “Love You To,” thus winning two tickets to The Beatles concert at Candlestick. Being only 14 at the time, my mother said I couldn’t go unless I got two more tickets so that my older sister and her husband could take me and my younger brother. So the next day KYA played “Till There Was You” and I had my brother call and win two more tickets. …

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Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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