Live: Convention Hall, Philadelphia

The Beatles performed before an audience of 12,037 at the Convention Hall, part of the Philadelphia Civic Center.

Also on the bill were, in order of appearance, The Bill Black Combo, The Exciters, Clarence ‘Frogman’ Henry, and Jackie DeShannon. Henry joined the tour on this date, replacing The Righteous Brothers who had complained to Brian Epstein that their music was drowned out by the audience’s cheers for The Beatles.

The Righteous Brothers were on stage singing You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling, when we came hovering over in this sodding big Chinook. All the people were up in the stands, pointing up to the sky, screaming and shouting, paying not a blind bit of notice to The Righteous Brothers – which pissed them off a little. In fact, they got so pissed off that they decided to leave the tour. Righteous indignation.
George Harrison
Anthology

A few days before the concert there were race riots in Philadelphia. To The Beatles’ disgust, the audience at the Convention Hall was all-white. The concert was broadcast live on local radio.

The art deco hall was built in 1931, and was located at 3400 Civic Center Blvd, on the edge of the campus of the University of Pennsylvania. It was demolished in 2005.

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3 responses on “Live: Convention Hall, Philadelphia

  1. jenn

    My mum, 18 years old at the time, was one of the 12,037 at this gig. It’s telling that, while my dad grew up in England and shared an equal love of their music with his future wife, he can’t say he ever saw them live. He was from a working-class, coal-mining family in Yorkshire, and it would have been beyond his means. My mum, on the other hand, came from a middle class, suburban Philadelphia single-parent home; all she had to do was ask for a few dollars to get the El (elevated train) and a concert ticket.

    I’ll hopefully find that ticket stub somewhere in the house when I go back to America in September. She swears she still has it.

  2. Glenn McCurdy

    As a freelance writer-photog for the Main Line Times I covered this show using a YashicaMat 2 1/4. In those days we processed our own negs using acufine, a super fine-grain developer that produced 3500 meg results. I still own seven medium format negs from the show. The feature I did was named the top weekly newwpaper feature in Pa. for that year.

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