Tuesday, December 23, 2008

September 17, 1964 - Municipal Stadium, Kansas City

Taped: Thursday 17 September 1964

This was originally supposed to be a rest day but after seeing the amazing reception the group received elsewhere in the country, a wealthy promoter, Charles O. Finley, approached Brian Epstein with an offer of $100,000 to add Kansas City to their tour. Brian asked The Beatles if they would mind and without even looking up they said, ''Whatever you think, Brian." Brian turned the offer down, despite the fact it was an enormous figure for the time. But Finley saw it as a matter of civic pride and was determined that Kansas City should see The Beatles. He offered $150,000, a higher figure than an American artist had ever received and almost guaranteed to show a loss. The 41,000 seater stadium was half full, with 20,280 paying spectators. Finley, the owner of Kansas City Athletics, lost between $50,000 and $100,000 for sponsoring the show. Despite this he donated a further $25,000 to Mercy Hospital. He said, "I don't consider it any loss at all. The Beatles were brought here for the enjoyment of the children in this area and watching them last night they had complete enjoyment. I'm happy about that. Mercy Hospital benefited by $25,000. The hospital gained, and I had a great gain by seeing the children and the hospital gain." An Athletics official said that ticket sales of 28,000 were needed to break even.

The Beatles flew in at 2am in pouring rain. About 100 fans waited, staring at them from behind a wall of wet policemen. George slipped on the wet runway apron on his way to the limousine which transferred them to the Muehlebach Towers where they had the $100-a-day, 18th-floor terrace penthouse. It took seven bellmen to carry in the 200 items of luggage The Beatles party had with them. A Kansas City actress had sent up a Missouri country ham, apple cider, a mincemeat pie and a watermelon.

To commemorate this extraordinary concert, The Beatles added 'Kansas City'/'Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey' to their repertoire, which the local fans loved. Excitement ran so high that the concert had to be stopped, with a threat of cancellation, if the audience did not calm down. They did and The Beatles played on.

The Muehlebach Towers sold the group's bed linen-16 sheets and eight pillow cases - to a Chicago man for $750. As in Detroit a few days earlier, these were later chopped into small pieces and turned into instant souvenirs.

1 comment:

Bridge Waugh said...

Where did you get this footage of the Beatles at Municipal Stadium? I am looking for this footage in color exactly as you have posted in full; do you know who owns it and where i can obtain rights and footage, for use in a museum exhibit?
Thank you! amazing post by the way,