Live: Metropolitan Stadium, Minneapolis

7.30pm, Saturday 21 August 1965 (48 years ago)

The Beatles performed just one concert in Minnesota, at the Old Met stadium in Minneapolis before 25,000 people.

They flew to Twin Cities airport at around 4.15pm, and were taken by limousine to the Leamington Motor Inn. The hotel had previously announced that the group were staying, causing large crowds to form outside.

Inside the stadium The Beatles had use of the Minnesota Twins’ locker room. All four took saunas for the first time, according to the clubhouse manager Ray Crump, and played roulette with Brian Epstein for the proceeds of the souvenir programmes.

A press conference was held at the stadium’s Minnesota Room, which was attended by around 150 reporters. Local radio station WDGY, along with Ron Butwin and Randy Resnick from local store B-Sharp Music, presented George Harrison with a new Rickenbacker 360-12, an electric 12-string guitar in a Fireglo red sunburst finish.

When the Remo Four – another English group – were in town a few weeks back we showed them this guitar when they visited our store, and they flipped over it. The group knew The Beatles, and one of the fellows said that George Harrison would love to have a guitar like this. I decided that Randy and I should present it to him when he came to town, with our thanks to The Beatles for causing the guitar business to boom.
Ron Butwin
B-Sharp Music, Minneapolis

The guitar was not used on the US tour, but Harrison brought it to the studio upon The Beatles’ return to Britain. It was used on If I Needed Someone on 1965′s Rubber Soul.

Tickets for the concert were priced at $2.50, $3.50, $4.50 and $5.50, and The Beatles were paid $50,000. The other acts on the bill were, in order of appearance, Brenda Holloway and the King Curtis Band, Cannibal & The Headhunters, Sounds Incorporated, and the Young Rascals.

The Beatles’ setlist featured 11 songs: She’s A Woman, I Feel Fine, Dizzy Miss Lizzy, Ticket To Ride, Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby, Can’t Buy Me Love, Baby’s In Black, I Wanna Be Your Man, A Hard Day’s Night, Help! and I’m Down.

The stage was situated near second base, with around 40 yards separating them from the nearest fans. Each member of the stadium security crew, including police and 150 ushers, was equipped with smelling salts in case fans fainted.

After the concert, fans surrounded a limousine outside the stadium, presuming it to be The Beatles’ car. The group hid inside a Falconers’ laundry truck, and were taken back to the Leamington Motor Inn.

The hotel was besieged by fans throughout the night, a number of which managed to gain entry. Police Inspector Donald Dwyer threatened to arrest Paul McCartney unless a young blonde woman left his fifth-floor room within two minutes. When she emerged, she presented identification to prove she was over 21.

The Met was demolished in 1985. The Mall of America shopping mall, which opened in 1992, now stands on the site.

11 Responses to “Live: Metropolitan Stadium, Minneapolis”

  1. Andrew

    Hi

    I think it’s possible they didn’t play Twist & Shout at this show or the two shows in Portland. There’s circumstantional evidence on the tape: there’s no Twist & Shout and it begins with She’s A Woman. In this show John Lennon is noticeably hoarse.

    Far more convincing, however, is that in several interviews from the 21st, 22nd and 28th (when they got to San Diego) Lennon talks about his throat problems and the interviewers ask him mention whether they will start playing Twist & Shout to the setlist again after dropping it.

    I’m certain they didn’t play it at the first show on the 22nd. The interviewer asks Lennon directly about it.

    I thought it was worth mentioning. She’s A Woman is quite a set-opener!

    Reply
    • Joe

      Thanks Andrew. I didn’t know they’d dropped that song for some shows – I just added the standard setlist they used for the tour. I’ve amended the article accordingly.

      Reply
      • Andrew

        Hi Joe. Thanks for updating the 21st and 22nd entries.

        I’m really surprised this has not been reported. The evidence is in the interviews from the time. I’d never heard of it before but was thrilled to find this little piece of information.

        Of course, if anyone has proof that they DID play Twist & Shout, they should speak up but I’m as certain as I can be they didn’t. It’s very odd they didn’t try a different song but I suppose they only played the abbreviated version of Twist & Shout. In one of the interviews Lennon even refers to it as an intro that no one can really hear anyway!

        I’m going through all the available interviews and audio from the 1966 World and US & Canada Tours. I’ll let you know if I find out anything unusual. Unfortunately, the 1966 stuff isn’t documented anywhere near as well as the 1965 stuff. Even so, it’s fascinating to hear how much more fed up they sound than they did just a year earlier. If only something from the December 1965 UK Tour survived. Holy grail!!!

        Thanks again for taking my feedback. I absolutely love your website. Please keep up all your efforts.

        Reply
  2. Joseph Brush

    If you want to read some stories about the December 1965 UK Tour, you might try the Beatle Fanclub magazine shortly after the tour.

    Reply
    • Andrew

      Hi Joseph

      Thanks for the suggestion. Do you know if there are there electronic versions of these somewhere on the internet or are these only available second hand floating around?

      I’ve got a bit of information about the tour from this website and various books. It seems that it’s a very badly documented tour, unlike the US Tour that preceded it. It’s a shame as they were playing the Rubber Soul-period songs for the first time and evidently had a fun on this tour. The available recordings from the next tour in June and July 1966 aren’t particularly impressive. In my opinion they pull it together during the final US tour and play a good show to finish off their live career, but the mystery of this final UK Tour intrigues me.

      Reply
      • Joseph Brush

        I do not know if the Fan Club magazines are available in electronic form.
        I believe the Moody Blues (with Denny Laine) were on tour with the Fabs using vans for transportation.
        Both groups had the run of an arcade room with a pool table on a day off or one night after a concert.
        Let me dig out my magazines and I will try to get back to you.

        Reply
  3. Alan McDonald

    I’m not sure about Twist and Shout, but I distinctly remember them playing, “Yesterday”. It was one of the few songs you could actually hear. I’m not sure why it’s not on your list.

    Reply
  4. Plus Real Time (@PlusRealTime)

    Ron Butwin had little to do with Mpls press conference. I think it’s worth knowing that this was my idea. I thought rather than present them with the key to the city, we’d give them a guitar. We kept one of the keys to George’s guitar case to give away on WDGY after the concert. As we near the fifty year anniversary of the Mpls concert, people are starting to talk about this again. Butwin had little to do with it. If you think about it, had it been his idea, why would I be the one presenting the guitar and shaking the hand of all four Beatles? I called Bill Diehl, I arranged the presentation and I’m not sure what part Butwin played (he did work there), but it’s time he stopped claiming credit for this.
    You need not publish this, but I though you’d want to know.
    Randy

    Reply
    • Arne Fogel

      Photographic and audio evidence absolutely shows that both boys were there, both boys came up to The Beatles and gave their names over the air to the radio listening audience, both boys were seen approaching The Beatles to make the presentation. All is captured on film and on tape (both of which I possess) – So what’s the big deal?

      Reply
  5. Douglas Webster

    I was 16 and a devoted Beatles fan when I saw them at Mets Stadium. We had very good seats right in front of one of the monstrous speakers so we heard the music quiet well. It was like having an out of body experience. You just could not believe you were hearing the Beatles live in concert. Paul would wave in our direction and hundreds of girls would literally pass out. Thousands of flash bulbs were going off making the sight absolutely surreal. Seeing the Beatles quite literally changed my life because after that August night me and my mates went back home and started a band and became professional musicians, and I am still playing music to this day. Thank you John, Paul George and Ringo for the music and inspiration you have given to me and to millions.

    Reply

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