Showing posts with label Charlie Finley. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Charlie Finley. Show all posts

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Charlie Finley and the Beatles in Kansas City

In 1964, the Beatles were paid the then-unheard-of sum of $150,000 to squeeze a Kansas City performance into their summer U.S. tour. The date was supposed to be a day off, but the money was too good to pass up.

At the height of Beatlemania, you'd think this would be a sure-fire moneymaker and local fans would be ecstatic. But that's not factoring in who booked the show.

Promoter Charlie Finley was a hated man in Kansas City. He'd come to town in 1960 as owner of the local major league baseball team, the Athletics. After promising never to move the team, he immediately broke the pledge and started scouting new locations. He clothed the team in hideous green and gold uniforms and his dismal management led to huge drops in game attendance and a long losing streak.

He was so disliked that not even the Beatles could help him. The Kansas City urged a boycott of the concert and much of the expected crowd stayed away, leaving around 1,500 seats in Municipal Stadium empty.

Not that it wasn't a great show. The band even added "Kansas City/ Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey" to its repertoire, recording the medley in the studio later that fall for inclusion on the Beatles For Sale album.

There's a good write-up of the Finley/Beatles story here.

And here's some blurry footage from the show: