Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Crazy Little Women



"In the fall of 1964 Finley was in the doghouse in Kansas City because of his seemingly constanct efforts to move the team someplace else–it was Dallas one day, Seattle the next, Oakland every third Wednesday, etc.–and to gain fan approval he engineered a concert with the Beatles in Kansas City. Finley saw that the Beatles did not have a Kansas City stop on their first U.S. tour, and he tracked down manager Brian Epstein at the Cow Palace in San Francisco to try to bring the band to Municipal Stadium. He offered $50,000 for an appearance, but Epstein said that the going price was $100,000 so Finley countered with a $150,000 offer.


Epstein agreed to divert the band’s tour to Kansas City for an additional concert date at the Kansas City Municipal Stadium, and they played on September 17, 1964 for only 31 minutes to a crowd of about 20,208 fans. Drew Dimmel recalled that “When confirmation was announced on my local ‘rock’ station, WHB, that tickets were going on sale to see The Beatles, live, at Municipal Stadium in Kansas City I persuaded my dad to drive me down to the ticket booth. I bought two field-level tickets, paying $6.50 apiece; one for my little brother and one for me. I was 15 and he was 12.” In actuality, the standard ticket price for this concert was $8.50, making it the highest in the 1964 tour, except for one concert in New York City. But Finley also had a $2.00 ticket, which is one of the lowest admission prices of any Beatles concert. Never shy about publicity, the back of the $8.50 tickets featured Charlie Finley wearing a Beatles Wig as a joke.


Jim Schaaf, who ran the A’s promotions department in Kansas City, recalled the excitement surrounding that first Beatles tour through the U.S. The band “came in early in the morning, and there was all kind of people at the Muelbach Hotel. I mean, people lined up all over the place…young kids out there when the Beatles came in, and then…When these guys came in, they got in about 2:00am…and they were a bunch of fun guys. They didn’t go to sleep.” The next morning they held a press conference, inviting all of the high school journalists in the Kansas City area to meet the Beatles. Schaaf recalled trying to get them out of bed, “I felt a heck of a lot of pressure because they wouldn’t get up!” Schaaf knew this was something that Finley prized, and he eventually pushed the press conference back to noon and it turned out well. Finley was delighted. Schaaf concluded, “I thought we had a big crowd because we had people sitting on the infield.”


The Beatles began their set with the song “Kansas City/Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey,” and the crowd went wild. Some fans rushed the stage but stage manager Derek Taylor settled them down. The Beatles then continued their show. Because it did not sell out, Finley did not make back his promotion of the concert. Of course, some did make money on the deal, especially the two people who acquired the sheets on the beds of the Beatles rooms in their hotel. They cut them into small squares and sold them as souvenirs. They netted $159,000 for their efforts."


Source: http://launiusr.wordpress.com/2010/01/04/the-beatles-and-charles-o-finley-owner-of-the-kansas-city-as-in-the-1960s/


Here are a few recordings from The Beatles' only Kansas City visit:


press conference

Larry Kane interviews

KHB-AM interviews



3 comments:

  1. Interesting that they opened with "Kansas City"... I knew they preformed it but never as the opener.

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  2. Thanks very much for these John - I've been after the Kansas City press conference for ages! The Larry Kane interviews are quite amusing too...

    Cheers!
    Justin

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