Prior to performing two concerts in the village of Blokker in the Netherlands – their only two shows on Dutch soil – The Beatles and Jimmie Nicol toured the canals of Amsterdam in a glass-topped tourist boat.
50,000 people turned out to see them in Amsterdam, and police leave was cancelled so all 15,000 officers were on duty. Some fans dived into the canals to try and reach the group, but were quickly dealt with by police.
While on their canal tour The Beatles saw some local students wearing capes, which later inspired their look for the Help! album cover and film.
We were boating along the canals, waving and being fab and we saw a bloke standing in the crowd with a groovy-looking cloak on. We sent Mal to find out where he got it from. Mal jumped off or swam off the boat and about three hours later turned up at our hotel with the cloak, which he’d bought from the guy. When we flew from there to Hong Kong we all had copies made, but they were in cheap material which melted in the rain storm at Sydney Airport.
Following their Amsterdam jaunt, The Beatles performed two shows in Veilinghal Op Hoop Van Zegen, an auction hall situated on Veilingweg in Blokker, a village 40km north of Amsterdam. The first show was a matinee for 2,000 fans beginning at 2.30pm, after which they gave an evening performance to a sell-out crowd of 7,000.
In between the two shows The Beatles had been expected to attend a civic reception held in their honour at a local restaurant, followed by a visit to a traditional Dutch village. Unaware of the plans, they slept in their dressing room and inadvertently insulted the people of Blokker.
The Beatles took to the stage following eight support acts. They played for around 25 minutes, and their stage times were 4.30pm and 10.05pm. The second show was filmed with television and newsreel cameras.