Live: Suffolk Downs Racetrack, Boston

The seventh date of The Beatles' final tour took place at the Suffolk Downs Racetrack in Boston, Massachusetts, where they gave one concert before 25,000 people.

The concert began at 8pm. The Beatles had previously played in Boston on 12 September 1964 at the Boston Garden. This time they were in the middle of a horse racing course.

The support acts during The Beatles' final tour were The Remains, Bobby Hebb, The Cyrkle and The Ronettes. The group's set consisted of 11 songs: Rock And Roll Music, She's A Woman, If I Needed Someone, Day Tripper, Baby's In Black, I Feel Fine, Yesterday, I Wanna Be Your Man, Nowhere Man, Paperback Writer and Long Tall Sally.

After the show The Beatles and their entourage stayed at a Boston hotel. They left the city at 11.30am the following morning and flew to Memphis, Tennessee.

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11 responses on “Live: Suffolk Downs Racetrack, Boston

  1. Gary Goudie

    I was in the Navy and my ship was in the yards in Chelsey Mass. Myself and 2 of my buddies went into Chelsey to Stanleys Bar to celebrate one my friends birthday. Old Stanley would serve anyone in uniform. He mentioned he thought we would be out at the track watching the Beatles. We new nothing of them being in town. Went rode the train out to the track but found no tickets were available and we could not get in to the show. We were leaving feeling down because we could not get in. A policeman saw us and asked what the problem was? We told him we couldn’t get tickets to get in. He saw we were in uniform and he said he would get us in. He took us down toward the front and asked people to slide down the bench style seats and make room for us. They did and we got to watch the show. When the Beatles entered they came down the track in 4 Limo’s and one Beatle got out of each Limo to go to the small stage. Numerous people tried to cross the track to touch the band or whatever and police on horseback would run them down and collar them and lead them off the track. It was very hard to hear them over the screams ofthe girls in the audience. My wife and I just returned from the Paul McCartney “Band on the Run” tour at Wrigly field 10/1/2011. and it was great to see Paul again 45 years later. What a change in the soundstage and performance 45 years later. Great Show thanks Paul.

  2. Andrew Kemp

    The Beatles played Long Tall Sally at this concert, according to the tape I’ve heard.

    I doubt they ever played I’m Down on the ’66 North American tour. They certainly played it in Germany and Japan (and presumably The Phillipines) but there’s no indication it was played on any of the North American dates and the setlist famously taped to Paul’s ’63 Hofner has “Long Tall” as the final song.

    It makes sense – they struggled with I’m Down in Germany. It’s nice to think they played Long Tall Sally instead of I’m Down at the final show but I suspect that’s just a myth.

  3. Ken Bass

    I was there with 4 friends and had front row tickets. The girls were screaming so loud ti was hard to hear the music. A few girls hyperventilated and passed out behind us. A couple of people jumped the fence between the track and the seats and got to the stage but not quite to them. At 14 years old it was quite something. I had no idea why it was so crazy bit I loved the Beatles and knew all their songs and words back then,

  4. mary jane pagano

    I was there too. It was hard to hear them, but I think the sound system was not appropriate, inasmuch as I don’t believe a concert was ever played there. Plus, all the screaming did not help at all. I was 15 and could not believe I was even in the same arena as the Beatles. I lived 2 streets up from the race track. I didn’t have a ticket but knew how and where to jump the fence. So, I can say, I saw them when.

    1. Don Crisafulli

      The Beatles as a live performing band was before my time by at least half a dozen years but I do know this. For a larger outdoor rock ‘n’ roll show in 1966, it’s doubtful that an appropriate PA or “sound” system even existed as such systems of the day were so very primitive when compared to what’s available today and has been for the last few decades or so. And even if a system with enough wattage to cover an area the size of Suffolk Downs did exist back in the day, the amplifiers would most likely have been overdriven to the point of distortion (at that time, such high-wattage amplification was rare and didn’t approach the power ratings of today’s gear, so in this scenario, the PA most probably would have been pushed to the max) while everything happening onstage would have “bled” into other onstage elements. As such, the actual sounds coming out of the main speakers, which also weren’t as advanced as they are now, would have been little more than a cacophony of distorted yet barely, if at all, discernible white noise.

  5. Kent Spottswood

    “I’m Down” is the song I remember best from the show. I was pretty close, something like 22nd row, but that didn’t matter much with everybody standing on their benches and screaming. It was my first rock concert. It was great, though at the time I thought they should sound just like their records. A friend who came with us got kicked out for handing out flyers supporting John, who had just made his famous Jesus quote.

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