40 years ago tomorrow: The Beatles in Minneapolis

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Cheepnik, Aug 20, 2005.

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  1. Cheepnik

    Cheepnik Overfed long-haired leaping gnome Thread Starter

    Some interesting tidbits here. It's nice to know that the guitar heard on "If I Needed Someone" has local roots. I also didn't know that they almost never made it to their next show.
    Fab 40
    Jon Bream and Kevin Odegard
    Minneapolis StarTribune

    It was 40 years ago tomorrow that the Beatles made their first and only Minnesota appearance at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington. Here are 40 things you should know about this historic occasion:

    1 The Beatles' second North American tour -- 20 shows in 10 cities -- began six days earlier at Shea Stadium in New York City, for a crowd of 55,600 -- at the time, the largest ever for a U.S. concert.

    2 Twin Cities promoters said they sold 28,000 tickets to the Aug. 21, 1965, concert at 40,000-seat Met Stadium, home of the Twins and Vikings. Tickets cost $3.50, $4.50 and $5.50, and the Beatles were paid $50,000.

    3 The stage was near second base, about 40 yards from the closest fan.

    4 The decibel level of the audience was so high that the Beatles could not hear themselves play through the woefully inadequate public-address system. This was a problem in nearly every stadium in which they played, with the exception of Shea, which had a state-of-the-art system. (Fans at least could experience the Shea concert through a documentary broadcast in 1966 and now on DVD.)

    5 "I couldn't hear much, but didn't care," recalled Minneapolis musician David Rivkin, who went on to become a successful producer working with Prince, Jonny Lang and Fine Young Cannibals. "Until I saw the Beatles play live, I had no idea that musicians could generate that kind of adoration. I was transformed by the whole experience."

    6 Each member of the Met Stadium security crew of 150 ushers and police was equipped with smelling salts in case fans fainted.

    7 The Beatles performed for about 30 minutes, offering 12 songs, all from "Meet the Beatles" and "The Beatles Second Album" plus "Help," the title song from their second film. The set was nearly identical to those on other tour dates. The Fab Four closed every show with "I'm Down," available for years only as the "B" side of "Yesterday."

    8 George Harrison sang "Everybody's Tryin' to Be My Baby." Paul McCartney and John Lennon sang the rest.

    9 In an unofficial survey, 78 percent of the girls at Met Stadium said Paul was the cutest Beatle.

    10 Opening acts in the Twin Cities were tour regulars King Curtis, Cannibal and the Headhunters, Brenda Holloway and the Sounds Incorporated.

    11 A helicopter flew over Met Stadium with flashing lights declaring "Welcome Beatles."

    12 About 3,000 teenagers greeted the Beatles when they arrived at the Twin Cities airport at about 4:15 p.m. for the 7:30 p.m. concert.

    13 "I've never seen a mob like this in my life," Ramsey County Deputy Sheriff Douglas Sherry told the Minneapolis Tribune that day. Police officers carried 42-inch-long sticks. "I thought Frank Sinatra was bad. But the mob for this thing has him all beat to pieces."

    14 As Lennon stepped off the plane, a reporter came up to him and asked a question. John slapped her before heading into a limousine, according to "Lennon Revealed," a new book by Larry Kane, a Philadelphia broadcaster who traveled with the Beatles in 1964 and 1965. Kane says Lennon told him later, "The @&*# asked me if I was faithful to my wife."

    15 After taking a limousine to Met Stadium, the Beatles hung out in the Twins locker room. All four of them took saunas for the first time, according to Twins clubhouse manager Ray Crump.

    16 Before the concert, the Beatles staged a press conference in the stadium's Minnesota Room. They were ushered in by five policemen. About 150 bodies crowded into the room.

    17 During the press conference, all the Beatles smoked cigarettes, except Paul. He chewed gum.

    18 Our favorite question: "Is your hair real?" George: "Our hair's real, lady. What about yours?"

    19 Next favorite: "How do you sleep with your hair that long?" George: "How do you sleep with your arms and legs still hooked on?"

    20 Q: "What do you do with all your money?" Ringo Starr: "We bury it."

    21 The highlight of the press conference came when the host, Twin Cities disc jockey Bill Diehl from WDGY, introduced two staffers from Minneapolis' B-Sharp Music, who presented George Harrison with a new Rickenbacker 360-12 guitar on behalf of the musicians of Minnesota.

    22 George "lit up like a kid in a candy store" when he received the new 12-string model, recalled Ron Butwin, then of B-Sharp. George immediately began tuning the instrument, which he used at that night's performance. (Beatles manager Brian Epstein later invited Butwin to sit in the dugout VIP area for the concert.)

    23 John, looking slightly forlorn, gazed at the instrument and muttered, "Did you bring one for me, too?

    24 Ringo lightened the mood by asking, mock-seriously, "You didn't bring a drum kit out here for me too, did ya?"

    25 Two months earlier, another British band from Liverpool, the Remo Four, had visited B-Sharp and bought a new Rickenbacker. They mentioned casually that their fast-rising friends, the Beatles, especially guitarist George Harrison, would "love to own one of these."

    26 Harrison played the Rickenbacker on "If I Needed Someone," a cut for the "Rubber Soul" album recorded Oct. 15 at Abbey Road Studios in London, according to Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn.

    27 Promoter Ray Colihan, whose name was on the tickets for the Twin Cities' Beatles concert, was known as "Big Reggie" in ads for various events, most notably "Big Reggie's Danceland" at Excelsior Amusement Park.

    28 In the concourses of Met Stadium before the show, concertgoers heard live performances by local favorites the Underbeats, the Accents and Gregory Dee and the Avantis.

    29 Earlier that summer, Met Stadium had been the site of baseball's all-star game. That fall, the Twins played in their first World Series there, losing to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

    30 Before the Beatles took the stage, they and manager Epstein played roulette in the Twins locker room to see who would keep the money from sales of souvenir programs. The game took about 45 minutes before one took all the loot, according to Crump.

    31 The Beatles were very business-like backstage, Crump said, in contrast to their silliness during the press conference. "It reminded me of [pro] wrestlers being different on camera and off," he said.

    32 After the concert, while excited fans surrounded a limo waiting outside the stadium, the Fab Four sneaked into a Falconers' laundry truck, where they sat on folding chairs during the ride to the old Leamington Motor Hotel in downtown Minneapolis. (A parking ramp now occupies the site, near the convention center on 3rd Av. S.)

    33 Security at the hotel was apparently understaffed, and the Beatles were hounded all night by fans, musicians and even hotel employees. Minneapolis Police Inspector Donald Dwyer told the Minneapolis Star: "Those people are the worst I have ever seen visit this city." He threatened members of the Beatles entourage for having "lured" underage girls into their fifth-floor rooms. Dwyer threatened to take McCartney to jail unless a young woman left the room within two minutes. The blonde emerged, showing identification that she was 21 and from Cleveland.

    34 The next day, en route to Portland, Ore., the Beatles' Electra aircraft experienced a near-disaster. The airplane was on automatic pilot, with one of its engines on fire while the pilots chatted up John and Paul in the galley. The plane limped into Portland, and was replaced by a Constellation aircraft for the remainder of the tour. That Electra later crashed in the Oklahoma hills in 1966.

    35 The Beatles' performance in Minnesota caused regional guitar sales to boom. "We couldn't keep them on the walls in the store for months after the show," said B-Sharp's Butwin. "Guitar sales alone must have quintupled."

    36 Turtlenecks, which were part of the Beatles' onstage wardrobe, also were sold out through the winter at Dayton's.

    37 An ad agency paid Crump $800 for the sheets and pillowcases on which the Beatles lounged in the Twins locker room. They were cut into scraps and given away in drawings at Dayton's stores.

    38 George's new Rickenbacker disappeared after the end of the Fab Four's final U.S. tour on Aug. 29, 1966, at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. It has not been found.

    39 Met Stadium was demolished in 1985 to make way for the Mall of America, which opened there in 1992.

    40 B-Sharp Music burned to the ground in May 2005, along with autographed photos of the Beatles on the wall.
  2. Joe Koz

    Joe Koz Prodigal Bone Brotherâ„¢ In Memoriam

    Thanks for the great read, cheepnik! :thumbsup:

    I had know idea that Mall of America was a site for a Beatles concert. Interesting...

    I found one error in the authors writing. "I'm Down" was the b-side of the single "Help!" not "Yesterday." Not a big deal, IMO.
  3. mudbone

    mudbone Gort Annaologist

    Canada, O!
    Great post! Thanks.

  4. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits, Abbie & Mitzi: Best Dogs Ever

    Alexandria VA
    The writers made a lot of mistakes about the origins of the songs. First they said everything but "Help!" was off the first two American albums. Then they mentioned "I'm Down" and "Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby", which undermines their claim right there.

    According to Mark Lewisohn - a much more credible source - the only song from "Meet..." or "Second" that EVER got played in the 1965 US tour was "I Wanna Be Your Man", which apparently alternated with "Act Naturally" in the Ringo slot. The authors got a lot more wrong than right about the music...
  5. ManFromCouv

    ManFromCouv Employee #3541

    :laugh: Everyone likes a freebie.
    Thanks for sharing. :thumbsup:
  6. MikeP5877

    MikeP5877 Senior Member

    Northeast OH
    Thanks for posting. I remember reading that story last year about George getting the Rickenbacker. It was either in Beatleology, Goldmine, or Discoveries. Can't remember which...
  7. shepherdfan

    shepherdfan Western European Socialist Music Lover

    Eugene, OR
    God! George had a wicked sense of humor. LOL! Also, I'm extremely happy that the boys never used that plane again.
  8. MikeP5877

    MikeP5877 Senior Member

    Northeast OH
    By the way, I think one of the authors of the above piece, Kevin Odegard, played on Dylan's "Blood on the Tracks".
  9. Cheepnik

    Cheepnik Overfed long-haired leaping gnome Thread Starter

  10. John Carsell

    John Carsell Forum Resident

    Northwest Illinois
    Too about George's Rickenbacker guitar being stolen after Candlestick Park. He must of enjoyed it for a whole week.

    Thanks for those neat bits of information there Cheepnik!
  11. Jeff H.

    Jeff H. Senior Member

    Northern, OR
    Great post Cheepnik! I actually found a video that has most of the press conference The Beatles gave in Minneapolis. The footage does include the guys from WDGY and B-Sharp Music presenting George with the Rickenbacker 12 string.
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