It was fifty years ago today on August 23rd 1966 that the Beatles played their last date at New York’s Shea Stadium. The Beatles final Shea Stadium performance came a year after their initial concert on August 15th 1965 at Shea Stadium. The Beatles first performance at Shea was met by a sold out audience and a crowd that bordered on mass hysteria. It’s funny how things changed dramatically only one year later. The August 23rd concert did not sell out. There have been reports that over eleven thousand seats went unsold. However, those in attendance witnessed a Beatles group that had grown dramatically over the course of one year from 1965 to 1966. In between the two Beatles Shea Stadium shows, the band released the albums Rubber Soul and Revolver.
In today’s world, most major acts play stadiums on a consistent basis. However, The Beatles only performed at Shea Stadium twice. The reasons the Beatles stopped performing stadium shows were explained by John Lennon and recently published in the Beatles Anthology Book.
“You could never hear what we were doing. It would just become a sort of happening-like Shea Stadium was a happening. You couldn’t hear any music at all. That got boring. That’s why we stopped it.” John Lennon
Tickets for the Beatles concert averaged around five dollars a ticket. It funny that the same price of a Beatles concert ticket at Shea Stadium in 1966 is what concert attendees now pay for small bottle of water at most venues. In 1966 Pizza averaged around 25 cents a slice. Buying a slice of Pizza at a concert will cost you around ten dollars in today’s world.
The Beatles 1966 appearance at Shea Stadium was not only cast as their final New York appearance but also marked the last commercial tour the band would undertake. The Beatles U.S tour of 1966 lasted for nineteen performances including two performances in Canada. When the tour ended the Beatles focused exclusively on studio material and ended up releasing the rest of the legendary records that have filled the most cherished band catalog in popular music history.
August 23rd Setlist
Rock and Music
She’s A Woman.
If I Needed Someone.
Baby’s In Black.
I Feel Fine.
I Wanna Be Your Man.
Long Tall Sally.