Today is the 45th Anniversary of Beatles’ Candlestick Park Concert — The Group’s Last

Photo: Library of Congress
Today marks the 45th anniversary of the Beatles’ last live concert, held at Candlestick Park in 1966. Here’s the set list of 11 songs, from “Rock and Roll Music” to “Long Tall Sally.” At which point a strong gust of Candlestick wind blew Ringo off his drumset and over the left field fence, discouraging the band from ever touring again.

The real story from The Beatles Bible:

There was a big talk at Candlestick Park that this had got to end. At that San Francisco gig it seemed that this could possibly be the last time, but I never felt 100% certain till we got back to London. John wanted to give up more than the others. He said that he’d had enough. –Ringo Starr

The Park’s capacity was 42,500, but only 25,000 tickets were sold, leaving large sections of unsold seats. Fans paid between $4.50 and $6.50 for tickets, and The Beatles’ fee was around $90,000. The show’s promoter was local company Tempo Productions.

The Beatles took 65% of the gross, the city of San Francisco took 15% of paid admissions and were given 50 free tickets. This arrangement, coupled with low ticket sales and other unexpected expenses resulted in a financial loss for Tempo Productions…The stage was located just behind second base on the field, and was five feet high and surrounded by a six-foot high wire fence.

Some audio/video:

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  • jerry stickel

    An awesome time to remember when the beatles played SF in ’66 the apex of the social reformation and beginning underground counter culture in California. Vietnam
    was on a surge – fans (mostly girls) were screaming for the british invasion – beatles, herman’s hermits, dave clark 5, chad and jeremy, the association, turtles, byrds omg……….. what an awesome time – fire one up and remember the days when we actually felt things and did something about it. *now were on the couch like a bunch of geriatric losers watching our govt implode and smiling politicians stealing our children’s future.

    • thatsrich

      Social reformation? It was the beginning of the not-so-slow decline of the Great American Experiment. The attempt of the “counter culture” to create, actually created nothing, and destroyed a lot. Unless somehow the pendulum swings back, the late 60s will be known as the beginning of the end of the USA.

  • Vlad Florescu

    To thatsrich,

    It seems to me that you have a nagging case of neo-con selective memory. History moves forward through struggle. The people in the 1960s saw an injustice and tried to right it. Where are the protests NOW against BIG OIL who you conservatives approve of as they make RECORD BREAKING PROFITS while we ALL just “accept” it. Where are the protests about Iraq? That war is EVERY BIT as UNJUST as the Vietnam debacle. Oh but to you and people like Limbaugh and Beck, things were SOOO good under Ronald Reagan. REAGAN was the beginning if indeed there IS an end, but, I faith that the gloom of doom of tea party neo-cons is antithetical to the spirit of this country.

Author

Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks writes mostly on film for KQED Arts. He is also an online editor and writer for KQED's daily news blog, News Fix. Jon is a playwright whose work has been produced in San Francisco, New York, Italy, and around the U.S.

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