How the Beatles said goodbye with their last official concert

Music 30/08/2017

On August 29, 1966 history was made as the Beatles took to the stage in a half empty Candlestick Park to end a troubled, controversy-filled tour.

“There was a sort of end-of-term spirit thing going on,” Beatles press officer Tony Barrows said in John, Paul, George, Ringo & Me.

“And there was also this kind of feeling amongst all of us around the Beatles, that this might just be the last concert that they will ever do.”

It was in fact their last concert.

The Beatles had endured a hectic schedule of 19 concerts in just over 17 days and 14 different cities and they'd all had enough of being on the road.

After that show in San Francisco, the Beatles became a studio-exclusive band.

Their final show began at 8pm with a few opening acts, including the Remains, Bobby Hebb, the Cyrkle and the Ronettes

They played from an isolated five-foot stage surrounded by a six-foot wire fence.

Paul McCartney apologised for the weather during his introduction to “Long Tall Sally.”

Six of the 11 songs at Candlestick were from the past two years, including a couple from 1965’s Rubber Soul.

The oldest track was “I Wanna Be Your Man,” a Ringo Starr showcase from 1963’s With the Beatles.

Starr admitted that he went in with some questions about whether this was their last tour.

“At that San Francisco gig, it seemed that this could possibly be the last time – but I never felt 100 percent certain ’til we got back to London,” he said in Anthology. “John wanted to give up more than the others. He said that he’d had enough.”

As they prepared to leave the Candlestick stage, Lennon teasingly played the opening bars from “In My Life,” his nostalgic tune from 1965’s Rubber Soul, before racing out of the stadium with the rest of the Beatles.

They were met by car that transported the band to the airport. During the flight, Harrison offered a quip that gave deep insight into their collective uncertainty about what lay ahead. “That’s it, then,” he said. “I’m not a Beatle anymore.”

Ultimate Classic Rock