Showing posts with label Shea Stadium. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shea Stadium. Show all posts

Monday, August 9, 2021

Coming up: "Top of the Mountain: The Beatles at Shea Stadium 1965"

Out next June. Available for advance order now from Amazon


In August 1965, during a sweltering heatwave, 56,000 people traveled by plane, car, bus, ferry, and subway train to pack New York's Shea Stadium on a Sunday evening—not for a baseball game, but for a rock and roll concert. This idea was the crazy dream of concert promoter Sid Bernstein. No rock band had ever played a baseball stadium, and no one believed he could pull it off. But on that glorious night, The Beatles sold out Shea Stadium, shattering all existing box office and attendance records in show business history. Oh, and they also changed the world.

Against the backdrop of a remarkably volatile year in our nation's history, Top of the Mountain: The Beatles at Shea Stadium, 1965 delivers all the detail and excitement of Shea and the spirited, curious new generation who would soon claim the decade for its own. Told through first-person interviews and quotes, a unique cast of characters tells the story: celebrities then and celebrities now, writers, agents, producers, photographers, opening act performers, fans, security guards, radio personalities, cameramen, and media—all of whom were part of the night. Caryn Johnson (Whoopi Goldberg) and Steven Lento (Little Steven Van Zandt); future Beatle wives Linda Eastman and Barbara Bach; established stars like Bobby Vinton and Ed Sullivan; and artists hoping one day to equal this success, such as Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Felix Cavaliere and The Rascals, Marvin Gaye, and more share their memories of this remarkable night in Top of the Mountain.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Vintage Beatles news clipping: Shea '67

The third time wasn't a charm when it came to the Beatles playing in New York's Shea Stadium. 

After playing shows there in 1965 and 1966, the group rejected a $1 million offer from promoter Sid Bernstein to perform at Shea in the summer of 1967. By that time, the group had permanently sworn off touring, preferring to focus on studio work instead. 

Bernstein would go on to pester the group for decades with big money offers to reunite and perform live again. As we all know, they never did.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Letter: Beatles Shea Stadium details

A letter explaining logistics involving the Beatles' arrival in New York in 1965 for their concert at Shea Stadium.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Something new by the Beatles coming - but what is it?

Hints are surfacing at a new release announcement by the Beatles - maybe as soon as tomorrow.

The Daily Beatle (formerly WogBlog) says:

Two different Beatles releases (and a total of three physical new releases to purchase and one HD Digital audio release) available on the same day, one is a LIMITED EDITION BOX SET. Official announcement expected soon... Nov 1.

But what are they? Two different releases. That seems to mean two different products. A film and an album? Two albums? A compilation album and a catalog album?

Could we be getting a 50th anniversary Magical Mystery Tour remaster squeezed into the tail-end of 2017? The TV film came out on DVD and Blu-ray only a few short years ago, but an audio-video package featuring a remixed MMT album could be a possibility. The film and music, plus movie and audio outtakes, could make a nice box set and the stand-alone album and/or video would likely be released concurrently. Perhaps the MMT album is also the HD Digital audio release, or maybe it's the newly remixed version of Sgt. Pepper.

How does this sound:

  • Magical Mystery Tour limited edition box set with LP and film.
  • MMT remixed album on CD.
  • MMT remixed album on vinyl.
  • MMT remixed (or Sgt. Pepper?) album in HD Digital audio.

I doubt we'll get the rumored "White Album" remix during the same calendar year as the big Sgt. Pepper anniversary package. Maybe they're announcing it early. But I figure we'll be waiting on it until sometime in 2018.

Also too early, I figure, is any sort of a audio-video "Let it Be" release. Same with "Abbey Road." Now that the Beatles have discovered anniversaries, I think those will roll out sequentially, after "The White Album" package.

Another possibility is some sort of Shea Stadium release, but I don't know how that fits the configurations hinted at. A DVD, Blu-Ray and some sort of a commemorative box? And the HD Audio release is Pepper?

But then there's this image shared today by Richard Porter of London Beatles Walks:

Very festive. The Christmas decorations make me wonder if this is the long-awaited mass release of The Beatles' collected Christmas recordings. But those are also Sgt. Pepper colors on the bows attached to the Christmas "apples." So, the Christmas records and Pepper?

Additionally, these decidedly pre-psychedelia images, shared on the Daily Beatle Facebook page, are supposedly from the booklet to one of these new releases. That makes me want to rule out any sort of MMT release, but they also could be part of a Shea Stadium release.

Still, I kinda think the Christmas records may be in the offing.

For background, if you need it, the Beatles' sent out a Christmas message on flexi-disks to members of the group's fan club each year between 1963 and 1969. In 1970s, all of the messages were compiled onto a vinyl LP, titled The Beatles' Christmas Album.

So, maybe I'm wrong, but here's my guess at what we might be getting:

  • The Beatles Christmas Album on CD.
  • The Beatles Christmas Album on vinyl.
  • A limited edition featuring the Christmas messages on individual flexi-disks (or 45 rpm records) with facsimile cover art. The box may also include the CD and/or vinyl mentioned above.
  • A HD Digital Audio Release of the 2017 Sgt. Pepper remix.

Any thoughts?


This is a pretty impressive forgery if it's not the real deal, leaked early:


From discussion on the Steve Hoffman Forum, it looks like we're most likely getting:

  • Sgt. Pepper 2017 remix on a single LP (who cares?)
  • Sgt. Pepper 2017 remix on single picture disk LP (who cares even more?)
  • Sgt. Pepper HD Audio (this is actually cool, though I'm still of mixed feelings about the format. I like the audio quality available, but with there was an easier/better way to play them. You have to buy an expensive player, hook up a computer to your sound system, or listen through headphones).

And, as the video (which may no longer be active) seems to confirm, there's boxed set of the Christmas recordings on 7-inch records. Which is pretty nifty, but also sort of a novelty. It's a Record Store Day-style manufactured collectible. I'd rather have the messages compiled onto a CD and/or vinyl LP.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


Via Sotheby's:


Signed by the Fab Four to the armored car driver as they were transported to Shea Stadium from the Unisphere Heliport at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park on one of the most historic nights of their career. This collection of material comes directly from the employee of Wells Fargo, who shares his first-hand account of the evening in an accompanying 2 page letter; with 12 behind-the-scenes color Kodachrome slides of the concert taken by the guard, and a Wells Fargo six-point star badge (Wells Fargo deputized the Beatles that day, and they wore the badges during the concert). An audience of over 55,000 saw the band live, with the music no match for the noise continually erupting from the crowd.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Beatles Bits

This lovely pic of Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr made the social media rounds in advance of "The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years" premiere this week.


The New York Fair could've scooped Ed Sullivan by bringing the Beatles to America several months  ahead of their February 1964 U.S. television debut, a former disk jockey claims.
Phil Schwartz said he was on the air at York’s WSBA-AM radio station in the late 1970s when the station’s news reporter Robert Markham read him an interesting article that came through the wire service.

“Anxious to book a popular band for the 1963 Great York Fair, several Fair board members stood around a phonograph listening to an obscure British rock group,” the article said. “After a few songs, the consensus among the board members was clear. This band will never sell out the grandstand. And so, the York Fair refused to book the Beatles.”

The article then quoted former York Fair board member George Hartenstein, who said, “When (the Beatles) played on the ‘Ed Sullivan Show’ several months later, the board realized they made a mistake.”
 The fair, however, did include performances by Anita Bryant, Guy Lombardo and accordionist Myron Floren.


Ringo Starr and Yoko Ono are among celebrities lending support to We Are Not Afraid, "a global campaign aimed at raising funds for the refugee crisis and victims of religious and political violence."

According to Rolling Stone, the campaign:

... centers around the song "We Are Not Afraid" by Nigerian singer Majek Fashek.
On September 29th, a video for the track, directed by Kevin Godley, will features images of the 175 artists involved in the campaign holding signs declaring they are "Not Afraid."
All proceeds generated by the project will be donated to Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the International Rescue Committee (IRC).


The combined sound of the Beatles and their screaming audience at the 1965 Shea Stadium crowd was really loud, new research shows.
Just how loud was the concert? Research conducted by James Dyble from Global Sound Group, which provides audio mixing and mastering services, and shared with Newsweek finds that at 131.35 decibels, the sound within the stadium would have been 28 decibels louder than a jumbo jet flying at 100 feet and 11 decibels louder than a crash of thunder.

EMI wasn't happy about the Beatles' "Twist and Shout" being used in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off,"  the film's music supervisor recalls.
We paid EMI a huge sum of money at the time --- I think it was $100,000. But [EMI execs] weren't happy, because the song was fucked with: Brass was added in the editing room because there was a brass band [in the film]. When you saw the band playing and you're hearing 'Twist and Shout,' it would've been weird if you didn't hear any brass, so they added it in. I don't know if the Beatles weren't happy, or if EMI wasn't happy, but somebody wasn't happy: You're not supposed to fuck with the music.

A judge has ordered Sean Lennon to remove a 70-year-old tree in his front yard because it's leaning over the front stoop of his neighbors, the parents of actress Marisa Tomei.
The Greenwich Village soap opera on West 13th St. has been broiling for years as the tree — leaning toward the sun to the west — has slowly twisted and dislodged the wrought iron handrail on the stoop of the Tomei townhouse.

Unable for years to communicate directly with Lennon, who bought his townhouse in 2008 but only recently started to renovate, Gary Tomei, the actress' father, sued Lennon last year for $10 million.
The judge on the case quoted the Beatles in her ruling:
"No one I think is in my tree, I mean it must be high or low, Strawberry Fields Forever (Lennon/McCartney)," James wrote.

The Daily Mail has a gossipy (surprise!) story about the children of George Martin's first marriage saying they were short-changed in the late producer's will. Unpleasant, but it does share some little covered historical background on Martin and his career.
On one side of the settlement there is his first family, who one old friend described as Martin’s ‘Cinderella’ offspring. On the other, his second — Lady Martin and her children, who have been reaping the rewards of Martin’s success for years.

Stella McCartney went for a spin in George Harrison's old psychedelic mini.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Complete Shea Stadium concert included in theatrical screenings of new "Eight Days a Week" documentary

The Beatles' full 1965 Shea Stadium concert will reportedly be shown at theatrical screenings of Ron Howard's "Eight Days a Week" documentary about the band's touring years, according to a  fresh news release about the film.
The Beatles played Shea Stadium on August 15th 1965 in what was to be the first rock concert ever staged in a stadium in front of more than 55,000 people. The event was filmed using fourteen 35mm cameras by Ed Sullivan Productions and Brian Epstein and for the very first time, the fully restored, remastered, 30-minute performance will be available to screen as part of the worldwide theatrical release of Academy Award®-winner Ron Howard’s authorized documentary feature film, The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years.
Only available in theatres, the 4K restoration with sound remastered at Abbey Road Studios by Giles Martin and Sam Okell, includes performances of the classic songs such as “A Hard Day’s Night,” “I’m Down,” “Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby” and “Dizzy Miss Lizzy.”
The news release lists 11 songs in the Shea set list:

Twist and Shout
She’s a Woman
I Feel Fine
Dizzy Miss Lizzy
Ticket to Ride
Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby
Baby’s in Black
Act Naturally
A Hard Day’s Night
I’m Down

This list misses "Can't Buy Me Love," which was also performed. Perhaps it was mistakenly left off in the news release.

This evidently means those of us watching the film when it start streaming on Hulu Sept. 17 will be missing out on the full Shea experience, but hopefully the complete concert will be included as a bonus on an eventual DVD/Blu-ray release.

It should be noted that the 1965 Shea concert has been available on TV and video before.

"The Beatles at Shea Stadium," a 50-minute film of the performance and additional footage from the event aired on television in Britain and West Germany in 1966 and the following year on ABC TV in the United States. It was released on home video without the Beatles' permission in 1978 and circulates on bootlegs.

The Beatles went into the studio in early 1966 to overdub the original live recordings from Shea in order to bolster the sound and, in the case of "Help!" and "I Feel Fine" recorded completely new versions of the songs because the live recordings were of poor quality. These new recordings are heard in the 1960s version of the concert film.

Additionally, the film used the 1965 studio recording of "Act Naturally" and a version of "Twisted Shout" not from Shea, but from one of the band's concerts at the Hollywood Bowl.

The Shea performances of "She's a Woman" and "Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby" weren't included in the original film.

It will be interesting to learn whether Howard's film is using any of these overdubs or substitutions or if Giles Martin was able to improve the concert recordings enough to use them unadulterated.

"Eight Days A Week: The Touring Years" debuts in select theaters Sept. 15 and begins streaming on Hulu Sept. 17.

See another trailer for Ron Howard's "Eight Days a Week" documentary

Sunday, May 29, 2016

History: Beatles Book Monthly May 1966

While providing no explicit details about the Beatles in-production new LP (Revolver), the May 1966 issue of the group's official magazine mentions that band has been busy in the studio.

Contrary to an article in the mag's previous issue that mentioned the group's interest in recording in the U.S. - potentially Stax Studios in Memphis - the lead editorial makes clear that these sessions are taking place at Abbey Road:

In the Beatles Talk section, however, George Harrison again mentions that he'd still like to record in Memphis at some point:

Unfortunately, the band never made good on the plan.

George also discusses his continuing interest in Indian music:

The Beatles News section, meanwhile, includes an item about a new Beatle-model Vox amplifier:

... Ringo sympathizing with fans about Capitol Records' slicing and dicing of the band's British LPs:

... along with an article about the group's planned summer U.S. tour, which notes that a scheduled engagement in Philadelphia's JFK Stadium, a larger venue than Shea Stadium but will be attended by fewer people:

and, finally, this mention of the group's ever evolving-style changes:

Tune in next time, when we'll learn more about the group's next single, album and tour.

John and Paul with Beatles assistant Neil Aspinall (center) and press officer Tony Barrow (back to camera)

Monday, August 10, 2015

Fans remember the Beatles at Shea, 50 years ago

The New York Daily News interviews a few fans who saw the Beatles play Shea Stadium 50 years ago, including Trea Hoving, who was just 9 at the time.
“I thought, ‘This is like meeting the Pope,’” she recalls. “This is going to be a holy vision.”

A nervous Hoving spent most of her audience with John, Paul, George and Ringo staring at the floor. “But Paul McCartney came over to me to make me less uncomfortable,” she says. “He had an envelope with a cartoon on it, which looked like a Blue Meanie.”

Then, she had her picture taken with John Lennon, who leaned down paternally.

“Believe it or not, it wasn’t a frenetic scene backstage at all,” Hoving says.
“Everyone was just milling around. It was very relaxed.”