While it was twenty years ago today that Sergeant Pepper taught a band to play, it was forty-four years ago yesterday that John, George, Paul, and Ringo packed up their touring gear. Penny Shears, this one’s for you!
It was August 29th, 1966, Candlestick Park, San Francisco. The air was heavy with anticipation, but the sky was dark with secrets. While no fan knew exactly what they were about to witness, The Beatles had already decided it was to be their last concert. They were burnt out from the colossal Beatlemania that had swept the world – and they had only been touring for three years.
All in all, the statistics don’t add up to a rousing farewell: the concert only lasted thirty-three minutes (largely due to technical difficulties); out of the 42,500 seats, only 25,000 will filled; and to top it off, the screaming fans were so loud, the band could not hear themselves sing.
While The Beatles retired to the studio for their remaining years together, their music never suffered. Some argue that the group dismissal of live performance allowed them to grow as musicians. Didn’t The Beatles miss performing to thousands of screaming, crying, slobbering girls? The concert hiatus lasted until January 30th, 1969, when the fearsome foursome climbed atop the Apple building and played an unannounced lunchtime concert to lucky passersby. This concert appears on the Let it Be film.
- Check out these choice cuts from the Candlestick concert: Yesterday, I Wanna be your Man, Nowhere Man