Paul August: Looking back on the Fab Four’s final concert |

Paul August: Looking back on the Fab Four’s final concert

It was Aug. 29, 1966, at Candlestick Park, San Francisco. This was the Beatles last live performance, but no one knew it at the time.

I was the Northern California record promoter for independent labels like Atlantic, Stax, Chess Checker and others. My boss, Bob Chatton, got box tickets from KYA, the big top 40 radio station at the time.

When the Beatles came on, it was pandemonium. At that concert, everyone was seated and the Beatles had a stage in center field. There was no festival seating for the relatively small crowd of 24,000. The park burst out in such loud screaming – it never subsided – that we could barely hear the Beatles sing.

Another sidelight was an occasional dare devil guy or girl who jumped from the stands and ran for the stage. The police spent the entire concert chasing runners, catching them and escorting the culprits out.

Brian Wilson, of the Beach Boys, could never understand why kids never screamed for the Beach Boys like they did the Beatles. It was personality. Any one Beatle had more personality than all the Beach Boys combined.

Somehow, the personalities came through at this concert.The Beatles pranced around on stage for only 33 minutes. We left with the resonance of yeah, yeah, yeah and love, love, love echoing in our minds.

The Beatles were the beginning of an era of stadium rock. In 1965, the Beatles filled Shea Stadium with 55,600 people. In 1966, at Dodger stadium, 45,000 attended. As Bill Graham said, rock music was now using the most enormous structures ever built, thanks to the worldwide popularity of the Beatles.

Paul August wrote the biography of the Beatles, and other rock artists, for the original People’s Almanac. His CD, “Welcome to Nevada City, God’s Country,” is available at local record stores and online at

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