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Anniversary of the Beatles Last Concert

08/29/2011
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(Gibson) On this day in 1966, The Beatles played their last concert before a paying audience. Gibson takes a look back: Of the 25,000 people in attendance at The Beatles' 1966 concert at San Francisco's Candlestick Park, only six knew that this would be the band's final show: John, Paul, George, Ringo, the band's road manager, Neil Aspinall, and their assistant road manager, Mal Evans. As far as everyone else was concerned, this was just another stop for the rollercoaster that was Beatlemania.

But the mania had proved too manic for the Fab Four in the months leading up to the gig. Deafening (and non-listening) audiences, pushy promoters and local bigwigs, angry record-burners (following Lennon's infamous "Bigger than Jesus" comment) and a near riot in the Philippines had convinced the boys even the ever-enthusiastic showman McCartney that enough was enough. The circus had to stop.

There were also the band's musical ambitions to take into account. Emboldened by their ever-growing songwriting talents and energized by advances in studio recording technology, they would no longer accept the three-songs-in-a-day-squeezed-somewhere-between-tour-legs approach to recording. They wanted time to build layers upon layers of musical constructs that, themselves, would be too complex to ever reproduce on stage. Case in point is the band's set list from the 1966 tour, which included not a single track from their most recent album, Revolver.

So, when the band took the stage in the early evening of August 29, they knew this was truly the end of a significant stage of their career. To mark the occasion, they even brought cameras onto the stage to snap pictures of the event which must have seemed odd to the Beatle worshippers in attendance. more on this story

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