The Beatles came to town on August 21, 1965 and had a
terrible time. "Big Reggie" from Danceland brought them in and put up the
money. He asked Bill Diehl of WDGY to be the
Diehl went to Chicago to see them in action and to spend a day with them.
He brought back 16 mm film he took of the concert.
Photo of Ringo and Ray Crump posted on Old Minneapolis Facebook page by Jill Griffith; taken by her father, who worked in concessions.
Before the concert, the Fab Four held a press conference in the Minnesota
Room of the stadium. Bill Diehl knew George's sister, Louise Harrison Caldwell, and got
exclusive coverage, as well as WDGY flags on their
microphones and a "Welcome to WDGY Land" banner behind the table.
Sam Sherwood at KDWB retaliated by telling his
reporters to take all the front spots and prefacing their
questions with "KDWB wants to know..." Donald K. Martin worked
for KDWB at the time and persuaded Paul McCartney to give the station's call
letters on the air. Most of the questions
were silly but then so were most of the answers.
Ron Butwin, local musician and B-Sharp Music employee:
At the press
conference, Butwin and Resnick presented George with the
guitar on behalf of the musicians of Minnesota. A picture of the
presentation appeared in the Minneapolis paper. George was genuinely
touched and used
the guitar during the show, but it disappeared a year later
after their last concert in Candlestick Park in San
Francisco. [Another account says the guitar was not used on the US tour,
but Harrison played it on "If I Needed Someone" on 1965's "Rubber Soul."]
Local groups the Accents, Underbeats, TC Atlantic, and Gregory Dee and the Avanties played in the concourses (the Underbeats were embarrassed by that more than anything, according to an interview.)
The Beatles played to only about 28,500 people at the 40,000 seat Met Stadium. It was the only show in the tour that wasn’t sold out. Bill Diehl said that Colihan only publicized it by word of mouth and some print, but not on the radio, for fear of pandemonium (which they got anyway). Tickets ranged from $2.50 to $5.50, and the group was paid $50,000. Enduring terrible acoustics, the lads sang 11 songs in 35 minutes:
There is a plaque at the Mall of America at the
spot near second base where they played. Security guards and ushers were armed with smelling salts
for fainting fans. The number of police has been estimated as up to 350 and came
from Bloomington and Hennepin and Ramsey Counties. Reports conflict as to
whether the concert had to be cut short when fans
rushed the field. A typical Beatles escape was made in a
Falconers’ laundry van (they sat on folding chairs).
Photo Minnesota Historical Society
Their not-so-luxurious accommodations were the entire 5th floor of the Leamington
Motor Lodge (not the hotel) at 4th Ave. and 10th Street in downtown Minneapolis
- decoys were set up at
much better digs but word got out and the place was mobbed. The coup de grace was when Police
Inspector Donald R. Dwyer found a girl in Paul’s room and
charged him with making a “false hotel reservation.”
Fortunately, the girl was able to prove that she was 21 (and
from Cleveland). Dwyer told the Minneapolis Star that “Those
people are the worst I have ever seen visit this city.”
Correspondent Richard reports that "the next day my friends showed me certificates they had gotten that stated that they had seen the Beatles live at Met Stadium. The format of the certificate was loosely based on the format of a graduation certificate."
Lou Riegert, James Frances Patrick O'Neill, Don Bowman, Charlie Brown, Sam Sherwood, & Car Owner
Photo courtesy Sam Sherwood