Thursday, October 07, 2010

The Beatles at Shea Stadium

The Beatles at Shea Stadium is a fifty minute-long documentary of the Beatles' 1965 concert at Shea Stadium in New York, the highlight of the group's 1965 tour. The documentary was produced by Ed Sullivan (under his Sullivan Productions, Inc. banner), NEMS Enterprises Ltd. (which owns the 1965 copyright), and the Beatles company Subafilms Ltd. The project utilized twelve cameras to capture the mayhem and mass hysteria that was Beatlemania in America in 1965. The documentary first aired on the BBC on May 1, 1966. It aired in the United States on ABC on January 10, 1967.


The film not only captures the concert, but also the events leading up to the concert, including the Beatles' helicopter ride from Manhattan to Flushing Meadows, their preparation in the dressing room (i.e. the visiting baseball team's locker) at Shea Stadium, and clips from the show's other acts, including Sounds Incorporated. Television host Ed Sullivan introduces the band when they finally take the stage.

The film is not a completely candid concert film, however, as overdubs were recorded by the Beatles in London in January 1966 to cover audio problems throughout the concert recording. Although the film has not been officially available on DVD or VHS, it has been widely available on the bootleg circuit for decades.

The group's performance of the song "Act Naturally" shows the visually live rendition from the Shea Stadium show, synced with the 1965 studio recording from the British "Help!" album and American "Yesterday" single.


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