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         Concert At Shea Stadium (1965)

The Shea Stadium concert on the 15th of August, 1965, was record breaking and one of the most famous concert events of its era. It set records for attendance and revenue generation. Over 55,000 people saw the Beatles at Shea Stadium. The concert at Shea Stadium set a world record for attendance figures, and also for gross revenue. The Beatles pocketed $160,000 of the $304,000 box office takings. The event was promoted by Sid Bernstein, and 2,000 security personnel were enlisted to handle crowd control.

The Beatles were transported to the rooftop Port Authority Heliport at the World's Fair, by a New York Airways Boeing Vertol 107-II helicopter. Then they took a Wells Fargo armored truck to the stadium. The crowd was confined to the spectator areas of the stadium with nobody other than the band members, their entourage, and security personnel allowed on the field. As a result of this, the audience was a long distance away from the band, while they played on a small stage in the middle of the field.

Beatlemania was at one of its highest marks at the Shea Concert. Film footage taken at the concert shows many teenagers and women crying, screaming, and even fainting. The crowd noise was such that security guards can be seen covering their ears as the Beatles enter the field. Despite the heavy security presence, individual fans broke onto the field a number of times during the concert, and had to be chased down and restrained. Concert film footage also shows John Lennon light-heartedly pointing out one such incident, as he attempted to talk to the audience in between songs.

The deafening level of crowd noise, coupled with the distance between the band and the audience, meant that nobody in the stadium could hear much of anything. The company Vox had specially designed 100-watt amplifiers for this tour; however, it was still not anywhere near loud enough. The Beatles had to use the house amplification system. Lennon described the noise as 'wild', and also twice as deafening when the Beatles performed. On-stage 'fold-back' speakers were not in common use in 1965, rendering The Beatles playing inaudible to each other. This forced them to just play through a list of songs nervously, not knowing what kind of sound was being produced, or whether they were playing in unison. The Beatles section of the concert was extremely short by modern standards, (just 30 minutes), but was typical for a 1965 Beatles tour set list. Ringo opted to sing 'Act Naturally' instead of 'I Wanna Be Your Man'.

The journey to Shea Stadium, which involved a sightseeing opportunity over the skyscrapers of Manhattan, was filmed by Ed Sullivan's company “Sullivan Productions”, in association with NEMS Enterprises, and Subafilms, owned by Brian Epstein and The Beatles. The concert was also filmed by 12 camera operators.

Other acts on the bill were, in order of appearance, Brenda Holloway and the King Curtis Band, Cannibal & The Headhunters, Sounds Incorporated, and the Young Rascals. The Beatles were introduced by Ed Sullivan.