The Beatles In Cleveland
Since launching www.beatlesincleveland.com, we've received quite a few emails sharing memories of the concerts performed by The Beatles in Cleveland. The first was September 15, 1964 at downtown's Public Hall and caused the Beatles to be banned from Cleveland the next year. The ban was lifted in 1966 for a show at Municipal Stadium on August 14th - with the same fan reaction on a LARGER scale. Both concerts and many of these fan memories are included in The Beatles In Cleveland.
If you were at either of these concerts, we'd love to hear from you. This is the place to share those memories...
Please keep in mind that the book and website are not only for enjoyment, but also to record the historical impact The Beatles made in Cleveland and to fans around the world. Contributor's email addresses and last names will NEVER be shared with anyone - but we reserve the right to use your comments in future editions. As any Beatle historian should tell you, personal memories are a major part of the complete story. If you'd care to share - you'll be a welcomed contributor.
Since all the emails sent to us couldn't be included in the new book, The Beatles In Cleveland, they were still fun to read. I've included a few below and hope you enjoy them. Also - because some of the following emails do not pertain specifically to either Cleveland concert - they are included here rather than in the book because... well, as I just mentioned, they're fun! Thanks for the memories...
I did attend their Cleveland Municipal Stadium concert and me and my friend, Joan LaManna, from my high school, camped out overnight on the sidewalk to buy our concert tickets. We were one of the first people in line and literally got our Beatles tickets for $5.50. Can you imagine?
I have to tell you tho, that in terms of musical quality, the concert sucked because their sound system was barely working so we could hardly hear the music. Because of that problem, a bunch of us rushed the stage to get close, including me and Joan, who was very petite. Because so many people crowded the stage, we almost died, no lie, we were crushed into other bodies. But we did get close enough to the stage that I distinctly recall watching the sweat drip down on John's and Paul's faces, causing their orange-ish makeup to run. I was disappointed that they wore so much makeup.
We had to get out of the crowd, so somehow, we got away from the stage area. On the way back to our seats, we literally ran into these wooden sticks with roping they had put out for crowd control and our shins were bleeding. But we survived and I am eternally grateful I got to see the Beatles in the 60s for five bucks! - Kitty O'Brien
I was there -- sitting in a box seat behind home plate. Ticket price: $5.50. A wonderful evening, warm and clear. The opening acts were the Remains, Bobby Hebb, the Cyrkle (also managed by Brian Epstein), and the Ronettes. When the fans broke through the barricades and went running onto the field, I watched using a pair of binoculars my dad had brought home from WWII. I remember the look of panic on Ringo's face as a fan grabbed his arm and was pulling on it almost pulling Ringo off his seat.
An Israeli student came and sat next to me. He asked "What's happening? Does this happen often?" I replied "I've never seen anything like this." John Lennon was egging the kids on. Jack Armstrong addressed the crowd and said the show would resume only if everyone took their seats. He also said that after the concert they were to stay away from the exit in left field so the Beatles could get through easily. Of course, after the concert, the Beatles left the stage and got into the limo which then left the stadium through the right field exit. It was a wonderful night and I was glad that I was there.
I might mention that my mom's cousin, Angelo Gagliardo, was a judge of the Juvenile Court in Cleveland for many years. He attended the 1964 Beatles concert at Public Hall accompanying his young daughter Terry. He provided input to city government that the police coverage was inadequate and they eventually imposed a ban on future concerts at Public Hall. I look forward to receiving your book. - Rich DellaRosa
The book sure brought back a lot of memories!! I was there. I took my girlfriend at the time, she was 17 and I was 18. Anyway we started out early, parked on the docks – caught the Goodtime II (I think it was the II) and watched the air show from the lake – at least I remember the Blue Angels flying over the lake. Does anyone else remember the air show being there? Anyway found our seats - $5.50 upper deck box – and enjoyed every minute of the show. I remember also being able to hear the Beatles – we must have been near a speaker! I made it from my seat onto the field but by the time I got there, the Beatles had made their way to the trailer. Also made the dash at the end of the concert to get to the field and followed the wrong limo. But what a thrill and life time memory…and now to have your book as proof of what happened!
I had no recall of the Remains, or the Ronettes, but thought the Cyrkle was very good as well as Bobby Hebb. But I was probably yelling “We want the Beatles” at the time! I remember the album Revolver being played before the concert started and for some reason a small record player down near home plate as the source of the music. Oh well, I have lots of great memories and appreciate having your book. - Thanks, Jeff Slutz
I am from Mansfield, Ohio and was at the Sept. 15th, 1964 Beatles concert at Public Hall. I was 15 and won a ticket from the WKYC radio station with Jerry G. and the crazy deejays. My mom took me to Cleveland for the concert. I then met up with the other contest winners and we had a buffet dinner served at a hotel restaurant and the deejays were there. Jackie DeShannon came to the diner and was so nice. She was really awesome doing her part of the concert too. I was in the 6th row of the balcony on the right side... practically overhanging the stage! I still have my ticket. It is priced at $6.50!! When the crowd went totally berserk, I remember it was at the beginning of Paul singing "All My Lovin'." It was insane! I was so overwhelmed by the whole evening. I couldn't and still can't believe I saw The Beatles, won the ticket and that was my very first concert! I will be purchasing your book, for sure! Thanks for triggering a lot of memories!! - Peace, Toni S.
An incredible experience! One that could never be repeated. The pandemonium, screaming... unbelievable. Things were fine until they rolled out Ringo's drums and then everyone went berserk. That's when all hell broke loose. When they finally came out, I think they made it through a couple songs when the police chief came on stage and said, "This concert is over," to which everyone responded with boo's! Once the deejay got everyone calmed down, someone in the audience started chanting, "Don't stand up! Don't stand up!" It worked for the most part and the Fab Four came out and the concert continued with no further incidents. I couldn't hear for two days afterwards. One other disappointment was when they landed at Cleveland Hopkins Airport. Instead of landing at a gate they deplaned them way out at the end of the runway. We never got to see them and the Beatles were also wondering where all the fans were. Don't know who's idea that was, but it sucked. At any rate, I was forbidden to see them when they came in 1966, but I had a friend who lived in Chicago. She got tickets and I went to visit her and see them there. I was way in the back, but it was still "THERE!" I am so glad I was able to be a part of the whole scene! - Lyn
I have always been a big Beatles fan. I was only ten when they came to Cleveland's Public Hall, but I remember it like it was yesterday. A friend of my dad's got the tickets for my mom, sister Jeri and myself. We were up in the balcony front row. Sitting there, I heard them announce The Beatles were about to come on stage. Screaming and crying was all around me. My mom turned to me and asked, "Why are all these girls screaming and why in the world are they crying?" Well, there I was crying and mom just smiled and hugged me. I do remember getting out of our seats and going really close to the stage. I was maybe twenty feet away if that. There they were... MY BEATLES!! I just wish that we had the cameras that are available today. Who would have thought these guys from England would make such an impact on my life. I have all the vinyl records and albums of the Beatles and of course, the same on CD's. I even have the ticket stubs from the concert in 1964 and all my old Beatle cards and buttons from the 60's. No one will ever be close to The Beatles. - Jackie R., North Canton, OH
A couple of months ago I was leafing through an old OHIO MAGAZINE when I saw a picture of the Beatles concert ticket. I was so excited! I was there in August 1966 at the stadium. Went with my cousins, was going in to the 8th grade and I'll never forget it. I even remember what I wore. We had good seats, right behind home plate, which was a good thing as it served as a marker on how to find my seat after running up to the stage. I remember watching a girl run across the field to the stage. I remember 4-6 policemen trying to carry her off the field, her arms flailing and legs kicking. Then all of a sudden I saw a guy running up to the stage to I think get a hold of Ringo. By then the crowd started headed toward the stage...me included. All of a sudden I remember almost tripping. It was a girl lying on the ground but I just kept on running. I've thought of her off and on over the years...not knowing who she was and hoping she hadn't really gotten hurt. Well there I went. All the way to the stage. It was awesome! I was about 3 feet from Paul as they were being led away. There were 2 or 3 policemen running up and down the stage's edge to fend off the fans. I got my knuckles clubbed a few times and that to me was the ultimate (besides being so close to the Beatles). Then a guy came on the loud speaker scolding everyone, threatening to not bring back the Beatles if we did not behave. ( My how concerts have changed...). Anyhow, that's when I realized that my home plate seat would be easy to find and I wouldn't get lost. My dad teased me about never wanting to wash my hands again....I've told this story several times over the years and have NEVER run into anyone who was at the concert. I will say that reading through your Beatles web site you mention how they stopped at a Lorain County rest stop near Vermillion. A 10 minute drive from my home. I would've had to wake up my dad to run me up there. Anyhow, just wanted to give you my little story on when I saw the Beatles. My daughter has already checked on ordering a book. I'm looking forward to it. - Judy M.
Yes, I was at the Beatles concert in Cleveland in 1964. My dad worked at WERE Radio at the time and got tickets through someone he knew at WHK. I sat in the balcony on the right side of the stage, very close to the stage. I think there were two warm-up acts, though I can only remember one, Jackie DeShannon. She really rocked the place. I think she helped get everyone in the mood for the pandemonium that ensued! She really go that crowd going. She was one of the best warm-up acts I have ever seen. That crowd was not only warm, they were HOT! When the Beatles hit the stage, girls were fainting, throwing things, screaming, etc. It was unbelievable. The screaming was so loud we couldn't hear much of anything, perhaps a bit of Ringo's bass drum from time to time. I borrowed some opera glasses from the girl next to me and was able to read their lips, as I had memorized the lyrics to mist of their songs already. I screamed once at the top of my lungs, just because everyone else was, and I literally could not hear myself at all! I was 11 years old at the time and had to come with my mother to the show. She was in her 40's and actually was a Beatles fan herself. Neither she nor I ever felt we saw anything that even closely resembled that pandemonium ever since. (My mother said up until that day, the most excitement she ever saw in one place was Madison Square Garden in 1951 when Rocky Marciano knocked out Joe Louis in the 8th round). The girls on the main floor got up on their chairs to get a better view. People were falling off the chairs and rushing the stage. At one point, they had to stop the show and put down the fire curtain on the stage. Someone came out and said if everyone would PLEASE sit down, they would allow the show to continue. They said the Fire Marshall could not allow the sHow to continue if people did not get away from the stage. Amazingly, the unruly crowd did calm down and attempt to return to their seats. However, some of the folding chairs were broken or pushed away and it was impossible to return the main floor to order. Finally, the Beatles came back onstage and the crowd was subdued maybe five percent for the rest of the concert! When the Beatles returned to Cleveland, my mother absolutely FORBADE me to go to the show! I will say one thing, I have followed the Beatles throughout my life. They were a most amazing group of talented men. If anyone was worthy of such devotion, it was truly them. - Becky B., Orlando, FL
Can you believe it's been 40 years? I didn't see the Beatles in Cleveland, but I found this website while researching their 1966 tour. I saw them the following night in Washington, DC - RFK Stadium. We didn't have the stage rushing problem that the Cleveland show had, nor did we have any rain. But the band was far away from the crowd and the sound system was anemic. I remember the whole stadium lighting up with flashbulbs when the band came on. I asked my brothers, who are both older than me and drove me to the concert what they remember. The following response is from one of them... - Bruce
(Sent August 15, 2006) - Forty years ago today, (Washington, DC) - what do I remember? I remember seeing a man faint, about 12 rows down in front of us. That was a surprise. A couple of females got the vapors too, but that was to be expected at a Beatles show.
I remember the roar from our section when McCartney turned and waved our way. (He had to turn to his right about 50 - 60 degrees to do so). I remember a fan behind the home plate area breaking loose and making it to the stage during, "I Wanna Be Your Man." The guy actually bellied up onto the edge of the stage enough to grab John Lennon's foot - or maybe he just touched him. Maybe he just wanted to be able to say he touched a Beatle - such was the power of the Beatles then. John backed up and the police hauled the guy away - none too gently. Later we found out that John had the flu this night - had a fever while he was performing.
But most of all I remember "Yesterday." After the initial scream of recognition died down, the crowd - something like 32,156 - quieted down and actually listened. The song was magical then - spellbinding, to me anyway, and when I saw him do it in 1976 with Wings, it still held quite a bit of power.
Anyway - I don't remember much else except that when it was over, I couldn't believe it was over already. I didn't know they only did 35 minutes. And I have often wondered about how that came to be. This is the band that did 7 hours a night in Hamburg at times. Heck, a couple Saturday nights they did 12 hours at one club - one or two hours on - and then off, then on and off - alternating with Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, (whose drummer was Ringo Starr). How could these marathon jammers let their act morph into 35 minutes??! But what they heck - what did they know? They were the first to do so many things, they had no path to follow.
Love this site about The Beatles Cleveland visit!! I was also in that trailer. I can't remember the year, but it may have been 1966. I always went to the Geauga County Fair since my grandmother was on the Women's Auxiliary Board. I paid twenty-five cents to enter the trailer for as long as I wanted. I DO remember light bulbs encircling floor to ceiling mirrors, and bright colored bedcovers. At the time, to me, it was like visiting The Beatles themselves! To actually be IN the trailer they were in only a few days previous!! - Sincerely, Brian P.
Hello. I just wanted to let you know I enjoyed your 1966 Beatles review, with WIXY 1260. Especially since my father who recently passed away used to be a DJ with that station. Do you remember WIXY Appreciation Day at Geauga Lake Park? Well anyway just wanted to say hi and thank you for bringing back some memories. - Thank You, William
I'm from the Detroit area, so I saw The Beatles about the same time, (actually, the night before on August 13th), at Olympia Stadium in 1966. Man, what a show that was! I couldn't hear much, but the screams... I could make out some of the songs, though we were facing the backs of The Beatles. But they would turn around and wave after each song, so we still had good seats. We had a lotta fun before the show as well, watching the fans, seeing Mal Evans rolling out the front of Ringo's bass drum and hearing the screams. One girl got down there and walked by the stage and gave one of the drums a tap and sent another roar through the crowd! It could be a little scary as well when after the show we were walking down the steps when someone thought they saw Paul. All these screaming girls started rushing the stairway and we just held on to the rail hoping not to get knocked down the stairs or over the railing! IT COULD ONLY HAPPEN AT A BEATLES CONCERT! What an adventure! When we got home my poor sister cried her eyes out, her hopes dashed that she would have been one of those girls who would have met The Beatles back stage, like those stories you would read about in "16 Magazine." She got over it and now over 40 years later I still look back to that day and say to myself, "I was there! I had a part in Beatle history!" - Dave (Dr. Swave) Piper
I just read your review of the Beatles 8/14/66 concert, I really enjoyed it. I was at their concert the next night, August 15, at D.C. Stadium in Washington D.C. Every year on that date, I remember how great it was. (Actually, I remember it a lot more frequently than that). I wish I could find some pictures of that concert. I have seen one or two, a long time ago and I don't remember where. Anyway, thanks for bringing back some really terrific memories for me. (My ticket only cost $5.00 - the best deal in Rock and Roll to this day!!) I still have my dress I wore that night. My great-uncle paid for it, it came from Sears. I call it my "Beatle Dress," oddly enough!! I do remember some photographer taking my picture. I had these goofy binoculars you wore like glasses on (borrowed from the same uncle). Somewhere, maybe is a really silly picture of me in them. - Thanks!! Karen S.
No such luck - I wasn't at either show, (by The Beatles in Cleveland). BUT my first girlfriend was actually present at the first show, in 1964. This was before we met. She had entered a contest by WHK Radio, which sponsored the show, and she won two tickets. So I can give you HER eyewitness account... She was actually on the floor of the auditorium, in front of the stage, where folding chairs had been placed. Everyone stood on top of the chairs because they couldn't see. Otherwise, she couldn't hear any music because of all the screaming - and she could see "figures" on the stage. That was about it!!!!! It was more of an "event" than it was a musical concert. By the way, I was fortunate to get to see Elvis at that same Public Hall, seven years after The Beatles performed there. - Steve S.
Thank you very much. Is an honor to read this chronicle about Beatles At Cleveland Stadium. Truly, you are very lucky and I admire you. Nevertheless I am satisfied to have seen Paul in Mexico during his last tour. - Sergio Orozco Abarca