Saturday, January 10, 2009

August 22, 1964 - Royal Canadian Air Force Station & Empire Stadium, Vancouver

Taped: Saturday 22 August 1964

The show began at 8.14 and The Beatles came on at 9.23. Despite the long show, many reporters still thought that The Beatles' 29-minute set was too short. William Littler, in a grumpy piece in the Vancouver Sun, said, "Seldom in Vancouver's entertainment history have so many (20,261) paid so much ($5.25 top price) for so little (27 minutes) as did the audience which screamed at The Beatles in Empire Stadium Saturday night."

Three attempts were made to smash the ten-foot high stadium gates, and it finally buckled under the strain seconds after The Beatles began their performance, but only a dozen or so fans managed to get in before police and ushers got it closed again and held it shut with their bodies. Their exit was timed to perfection. They completed 'Long Tall Sally', bowed low while unstrapping their guitars, bolted from the stage into waiting limousines and with motorcycle outriders, they were out of the stadium fewer than 30 seconds from their last note. The Beatles drove straight to the airport where they caught a plane to Los Angeles.

Thousands of teenagers left their seats and rushed the stage, crushing hundreds of young girls against the restraining fence. Dozens of girls suffered broken ribs and hundreds were treated for hysteria and shock.

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