I was in the fourth grade when The Beatles came to Indianapolis on their first ever North American tour. I did not attend the show but remember the hype and the folklore (urban legends) very well and thought I should write a posting on my memories of these days. I tell the story of their first trip to the US and the events in Indianapolis often as the city has changed much and many don't even remember the Coliseum where concerts were played and the Indiana Pacers had their first home some 40 years ago.
The Beatles traveled from Philadelphia to Indianapolis, playing 2 shows on September 3rd at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. They had played one show at 8:00 pm on Wednesday, September 2 at Conventions Hall. After a fun and entertaining chat with the press, and a quick meet-and-greet with a group of lucky locals, the Beatles took to the stage.
|Beatles arrive at Indianapolis Airport|
Following their two performances that day in Indianapolis, the Beatles departed for Milwaukee Wisconsin, the next stop along their frantically paced 1964 North American Tour.
I remember most of the "hype" centered around where the Beatles stayed during their visit to Indianapolis. As a young boy at the time, I recall every news report speculated they were staying at the now demolished "Essex House", an upscale hotel in downtown Indianapolis which sat on the east side of Pennsylvania Street across from University Park; the actual address of the Essex House was 407 N. Pennsylvania Street. Various plans have been reported through the years for former Essex House site.
Crowds camped out by the hotel in hope of viewing the "mop tops" who were the sensation of the world at this time. Also fans made their way inside the hotel ripping off wallpaper, removing door nobs and other artifacts. The promoters then moved the Fab Four to the Speedway Motel.
|The Fab Four on stage in Indianapolis|
The Speedway Motel was built in 1963 and renovated in 1981. It is now called the Brickyard Crossing Resort & Inn which includes a complete renovation of the former "Speedway Golf Course" by local Indiana golf course architect Pete Dye. By visiting the pro shop, you can view a photo on the wall of the Beatles in 1964 just off turn 2 putting golf balls; on what was at that time the location of the practice putting green.[recollections by David Steele]
The Indiana State Fair's finest moment was the booking of the Beatles. For two shows, one at 6 p.m. in the Coliseum, the second at 9:30 in the Grandstand. It was Sept. 3, 1964. (The Fair was held later in the summer then.)
David Humphrey was one of the some 15,000 people who saw the second show, sort of. He watched at a distance, through a fence, with his parents. "We were on Paul's side of the stage," Humphrey said. "We could see the Beatles." Humphrey was 8. He and his parents were not paying customers, but his two teenage sisters and cousin were. They were in the Grandstand.
Some parents were lukewarm on the four long-haired English musicians who were cutting such a swath through the culture, but Humphrey's parents liked the Beatles, and for the next few years Beatles music pulsed through the Humphrey house, which was in Anderson.
Humphrey grew up and became a freelance writer and photographer (his work has appeared in The Indianapolis Star), and now he has written a book about the historic Hoosier night, "All Those Years Ago: Fifty Years Later, Beatles Fans Still Remember" ($19.95, Butler Books.com).
The book is illustrated with 10 pages of photos and photocopies of some hilarious letters from fans seeking tickets. For example: "Dear Congressman Brademas: Could you please use all the influence you can possibly muster to obtain these Beatles tickets for me?".
The bulk of the 84-page paperback is made up of interviews with some of the 30,000 people who were at one of the concerts. There are 40 interviews in all.
|Twist & Shout|
Humphrey interviewed them both. McDaniel noted that he "rubbed against the car the Beatles arrived in and got a good look at all of them." He said his favorite Beatles were Paul and Ringo.
Gregg also had a thing for Ringo. "We were seated near the back of the stage, just to the left of Ringo Starr," he says in Humphrey's book. "I'll never forget when Ringo was introduced to the crowd. He was kind and gracious enough to stand and wave to the fans seated behind the stage. Ringo waved in our direction too, and the crowd went wild."
Fans packed the State Fairgrounds Coliseum for one of the two concerts by the Beatles on Sept. 3, 1964.
Despite the mania surrounding the bands' visit, 1964 was still a simpler time, as evidenced by the Beatles' contract rider, the portion that details musicians' hospitality needs.
In 1964, the Beatles were very easy to please. In his letter to Robert Weedon at the Indiana State Fair, dated Aug. 10, three weeks before their historic appearance, Beatles' handler Ira Sidelle of General Artists Corp. wrote that "we would appreciate it very much" if the lads' dressing room could be equipped with "a supply of clean towels, chairs, a case of cold Coca Cola, and if at all possible, a portable TV set." [extract from beatlesmagazine]
.This post consists of MP3's (320kps) ripped from my Grapefruit CD Bootleg and includes the usual 'red' CD artwork. I have also included some covers for other releases of this show and select photos from the concert. Please note that the 2nd set on this bootleg is not from their 2nd Indianapolis show but rather from their Philadelphia concert held the night before on the 2nd of September, 1964. Both concerts are crystal clear on this release and free from the distraction of the screaming masses normally associated with their concerts.
01. – Intro (1:21)
02. – Twist and Shout (1:22)
03. – You Can’t Do That (3:10)
04. – All My Loving (2:18)
05. – She Loves You (2:41)
06. – Things We Said Today (2:16)
07. – Roll Over Beethoven (3:15)
08. – Can’t By Me Love (2:41)
09. – If I Fell (2:13)
10. – I Want To Hold Your Hand (3:13)
11. – Boys (2:29)
12.– A Hard Day’s Night (3:04)
13. – Long Tall Sally (0:53)
14. – Intro (0:30)
15. – Twist and Shout (1:19)
16. – You Can’t Do That (3:14)
17. – All My Loving (2:21)
18. – She Loves You (2:34)
19. – Things We Said Today (2:10)
20. – Roll Over Beethoven (3:09)
21. – Can’t By Me Love (2:39)
22. – If I Fell (2:10)
23. – I Want To Hold Your Hand (2:59)
24. – Boys (2:30)
25. – A Hard Day’s Night (2:52)
26. – Long Tall Sally (1:59)
John Lennon: vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar
Paul McCartney: vocals, bass guitar
George Harrison: vocals, electric guitar, acoustic guitar
Ringo Starr: vocals, drums
The Beatles Unauthorised Link (115Mb)