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After bringing Beatlemania across The Pond in 1964, George, Paul, John and Ringo decided to take things to a whole new level on their second American tour the following summer. Packing 55,000 people into Shea Stadium in the New York City borough of Queens, the Beatles set records for attendance and profits from a concert on August 15, 1965 – and the ability to pull off large-scale outdoor events suddenly became feasible for promoters and bands all over the world.
For many, the two-week tour that kicked off in New York City represented the height of the Beatles’ popularity in America. Arriving at the Port Authority Heliport in Flushing Meadows Corona Park by helicopter, a handful of the 2,000-strong security team quickly huddled the band into a Wells Fargo armored truck for the 14-block drive to a rocking Shea Stadium.
Four opening acts – King Curtis, Cannibal and the Headhunters, Brenda Holloway and Sounds Incorporated – had taken the stage, but the arrival of the main act brought a deafening roar from the stands. The Beatles took the stage on a large platform near the center of the field, joined on the playing surface only by security guards and members of the management team. Despite their best efforts, only a handful of spectators were able to make it down to the same level – and those few were quickly wrangled and transported out. …(Read more)