Beatles Create Stadium Rock at Shea Stadium
The 15th of August 1965 AD
Just a couple of years earlier The Beatles were playing to audiences of a few dozen at some of their Cavern gigs in Liverpool ; on August 15 1965 55,600 fans crowded in to Shea Stadium, the home of baseball team the New York Mets, to hear the group play the first concert of their American tour. Or rather not hear them: with Beatlemania at its scariest (there were 2000 security personnel on hand, and the Fab Four arrived in an armoured truck), the band took the stage in the centre of the field to deafening screams; twelve songs later they left, the screams having drowned out what they had been playing. For the record the songs that night included: Act Naturally; She’s a Woman; and Twist and Shout. It mattered little to an army of women and girls determined to scream, cry, faint and worse.
With the band members unable to hear themselves in spite of using the massive stadium PA, the concert descended to the absurd, John Lennon at the end playing the keyboard with his elbows to demonstrate the futility of the exercise. Futile, but profitable: the concert grossed more than $300,000, and is seen as the genesis of Stadium Rock.
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