The Beatles - “Candlestick Park” San Francisco, CA. August 29, 1966
Yesterday, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of The Beatles and Bob Dylan meeting for the very first time (aka, the day the Fab Four smoked their first joint). Today, we look back on another historical moment in the legendary group’s career: their final concert, which took place 48 years ago on August 29th, 1966 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.
(While they did perform together later in January 1969 on the rooftop of their label, Apple, the event was unannounced and thus, not considered an “official concert”.)
The Beatles’ last show in Candlestick Park, then home to the San Francisco Giants, featured an 11-song set over the course of about 30 minutes. Among the hits played were “She’s a Woman”, “Day Tripper”, “I Feel Fine”, “Yesterday”, and “Paperback Writer”.
Tickets for the event cost only about $4.50 to $6.50 a piece, and unbelievably enough, only a little more than half of the venue’s 42,500 seats were sold. (What even … ?)
As the band knew it would be their final proper concert together, John Lennon and Paul McCartney reportedly brought a camera onto the stage with them to take photos of the crowd and personally document the momentous occasion. The Beatles had also requested their press officer, Tony Barrow, to record the concert on cassette. However, since the tape could only hold 30 minutes on each side and Barrow forgot to turn it over towards the end of the set, the closing song (“Long Tall Sally”) was never recorded in full.
It’s unknown just how that recording was distributed and bootlegged — to this day only two tapes (the original and one copy) were known to have been made — but, boy, are we lucky that it did. Below, listen to the audio from that very special night, followed by a lengthy and detailed account of the show and a few of the events that came before and after it, including George Harrison saying on their flight out of San Francisco: “That’s it, then. I’m not a Beatle anymore.”