Friday, 28 November 2014

Most significant Beatles performances

In honour of the 40th anniversary John Lennon's last concert appearance: 28th November 1974. I'm going to list the top 5 most significant Beatles performances of their career.

The band's touring schedule was famously cut short in 1966, after becoming increasingly annoyed with the fact that they could not hear themselves perform, and the fact that there songs could no longer be recreated for a audience with just 4 Beatles.

Tour with Roy Orbison (May 18th - June 9th 1963) 

Riding high off their Please Please Me album, Brian Epstein (The bands manager), organised a 'joint' tour between the Beatles and Rock N Roll superstar Roy Orbison. 

The Beatles during the tour were reportedly shown up by Orbison's performances, and reports claim that Roy stole almost every show. 

During the performances The Beatles wrote She Loves You and All My Loving during the tour. 

George and John continued their friendship with Orbison after the tour, and George and Roy created the Travelling Wilbury's together alongside Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty & Bob Dylan.



Ed Sullivan Show - February 9th 1964. 

The only certainty on a list like this. Its said their appearance changed the world. Its hard to argue it didn't. 

The show was possibly the first moment of international Beatlemania, and their unthreatening performance would set the stage for a live career of being unable to hear themselves. 


Shea Stadium - August 15th 1965 

The world's biggest concert ever. At that point. 

55,000 teenage fans, Sunday evening, and The Beatles, perhaps the hysteria at the performance was valid. 

The record-breaking nature of the concert is what makes it significant. But the concert was also filmed, and shows a remarkable visual capture of Beatlemania, and the hysteria, and fandom which the Beatles spawned.

Manilla, Philippines - July 4th 1966 

This gig is significant not for being anything special of a performance, but for the aftermath of the concert. 

The significance started because the first lady of the Philippines, Imelda Marcos (Still alive), invited them to lunch. Brian Epstein refused (As it was The Beatles policy to refuse such requests). In return the public lashed out as they saw the refusal as a affront to Marcos, as did Marcos herself. 

The band quickly fled out of the Philippines, however not their way to the airport they were attacked by a mob, and Mal Evans (The band long-tern roadie) was even carried off by the mob. 

In the end the band had to pay their earning from the concerts in Manilla, just to escape.

This escapade made the Beatles become far less enthusiastic about touring. They would stop touring a month later. 

Rooftop of Abbey Road Studios - January 30th 1969

Perhaps the most stereotypical Beatles moment. Due to its inclusion in the Let It Be film. 

The 4 Beatles, as well as Billy Preston went on the roof of the Abbey Road Studios to give the film something interesting. The passers-by no doubt agreed that it was interesting. 

In the performance the band played a series of their unreleased songs from their Let It Be album, before the police arrived to order The Beatles to stop playing. 

Upon which John Lennon said in typical Beatles enduring fashion "Thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we passed the audition".