Live: Festival Hall, Melbourne

The Beatles’ final two shows in Melbourne, Australia took place on this day.

In the afternoon George Harrison went driving in an MG in the Dandenong Mountains with tour organiser Lloyd Ravenscroft. Concerned with more important matters, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr had their hair cut in their hotel, the Southern Cross.

This was The Beatles’ last of three consecutive nights of shows in the city’s Festival Hall, Each night they gave two concerts, which were enjoyed by a total of 45,000 people.

Cameras from the Australian Channel 9 recorded the sixth and final show of the Melbourne leg of the world tour. It was screened on 1 July 1964 as an hour-long special, The Beatles Sing For Shell, named after the oil company which sponsored the broadcast.

Nine of The Beatles’ Melbourne performances were included in the show: I Saw Her Standing There, You Can’t Do That, All My Loving, She Loves You, Till There Was You, Roll Over Beethoven, Can’t Buy Me Love, Twist And Shout and Long Tall Sally. During Long Tall Sally, a male audience member rushed onto the stage to shake John Lennon’s hand.

The Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein had initially agreed to allow Channel 9 to show just 12 minutes of the performance. However, after watching the recording an hour after the show he had a change of heart and increased the limit to 20 minutes.

In the end 22 minutes of The Beatles were included, the rest of the hour being footage of Australian and international performers. The only song from the set not broadcast was This Boy. Full bootleg recordings exist of both concerts from this day.

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2 responses on “Live: Festival Hall, Melbourne

  1. Ray

    Does anyone know of any other instances where one or more fans ran onstage during any of the Beatles’ performances to get to any of the band members, not just Lennon but any of them?

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