November 05, 2010

Candlestick Park - San Francisco - 08-29-1966 - The Last Beatles Concert

August 29, 1966 marked the date of the last show of Beatlemania. It was the beginning of a hot, wet and windy evening in a stadium. Candlestick Park was the venue for the Beatles' last appearance before a live audience. It was the end of the third and troubled American tour with the Beatles tired of hysteria and threats, since months before John Lennon dared to say that Beatles were more  popular than Christ.  American Conservatism muzzled them until the last show and John, Paul, George and Ringo took the stage for short 28 minutes of music knowing that this was the last of an era. Nobody knew what would be after that, but they were sick of airplanes, hotels, and wherever they went it was crazy. Not even Brian Espstein attended the last show.

Below are cover scans of a widely available bootleg CD of the concert.


by JPGRles

August 29 2010 marked the 44th anniversary of the last Beatles concert. EVER!

August 29 1966 saw the most famous pop / rock n roll band in history perform to 25,000 screaming fans at San Francisco’s Candlestick Park. This was just over half capacity at 42,500 and whole sections of the park were unsold. Only a few years earlier and it would have been standing room only and unthinkable. WHY was this?
Here is a quote from George Harrison at the end of the last Beatles concert at Candlestick park which may give a clue.

“We’d done about 1,400 live shows and I certainly felt that was it…it was ridiculous , and it felt dangerous because everybody was out of hand and out of line. Even the cops were out of line…we’ve got to stop this…we’ve got to pack this in”.

Hindsight is a great thing

“Twenty-four thousand screaming fans couldn’t be wrong. But what they didn’t realize on that late August evening was that the Beatles didn’t want to be there, that the band couldn’t hear itself enough to sing on-key, and that this would be the last Beatles concert ever.”

The last Beatles concert only lasted for 33 minutes. There were technical problems and the Fab 4 could not even hear their own voices and consequently sang off key the whole time.

At this point only the iconic foursome and a few insiders knew this would be the last Beatles concert (maybe THEY didn’t even know the tag “EVER”)?

Site of the last Beatles Concert
Candlestick Park circa 1966 (Wikepedia)

Did You Know

  • With the lack of sales the promoters made a loss. The Beatles received 65% of the gross takings of the concert while a further 15% went to the City of San Francisco – Leaving only 20% for Tempo Productions who promoted the last Beatles concert.
  • The ticket machines could not process the oversized tickets so they needed to be processed by hand.
  • Paul McCartney asked Tony Barrow (Press officer) to record the performance and bootleg copies were made. One problem was the tape ran out, and the last song of the last Beatles Concert was not recorded in its entirety.
  • John strummed the intro guitar notes of “In My Life” just prior to leaving the stage.
  • The famous stadium which housed the last Beatles concert in 1966 was later renamed 3Com Park then Monster Park. However in 2008 it was formally renamed once again to Candlestick Park.
Their last performance however was years later on January 30 1969. It was the now famous concert on the rooftop of the abbey Road Studios where they performed songs from their albums Abbey Road and Let it Be Albums and is immortalized in their film “Let It Be
They just came to the place, screamed like crazy and had a good time. You have to remember we were only on for 30 minutes” Ringo Starr on Shea Stadium concert 1965

You can listen to the entire concert digitally remastered here:

Check out Last Beatles Concert at Candlestick Park Videos.

You can get it here: