For all the concerts they played between 1963 and 1966, The Beatles only undertook one world tour. It began on this day in Copenhagen, Denmark, and continued in the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand.
In the morning The Beatles were driven by their chauffeur, Bill Corbett, to London Airport where they were taken to their aeroplane ahead of the other passengers. There they signed autographs for the captain and crew.
More than 6,000 fans awaited their arrival in Copenhagen, and Danish police had to quell crowds of around 10,000 who brought the city centre to a standstill. As they checked in to the Royal Hotel fans attempted to storm the doors.
Ringo Starr remained in London, having been hospitalised with tonsillitis and pharyngitis the previous day. His temporary replacement, Jimmie Nicol, had to swiftly adjust to life in the whirlwind of Beatlemania for the next five dates of the tour.
The group rehearsed their set in the afternoon, and Mal Evans taped the setlist to their guitars to help them remember the running order. They were also visited by the British ambassador to Denmark.
The Beatles performed two shows at the KB Hallen venue, at 6pm and 9.15pm, with 4,400 fans seeing each. The setlist for the first was: I Saw Her Standing There, I Want To Hold Your Hand, All My Loving, She Loves You, Till There Was You, Roll Over Beethoven, Can’t Buy Me Love, This Boy and Twist And Shout.
Long Tall Sally was left out of the setlist as it had been performed by Danish support act The Hitmakers. The Beatles requested that The Hitmakers not perform it during the night’s second show, and it was duly performed as the last show in the headliners’ set.
The order of the first two songs was switched for the second show of the night, and for all subsequent dates in the tour. At the end of the evening the stage announcer told the audience that The Beatles would not return to the stage, and a potted delphinium was thrown in protest.
As the tour progressed, occasionally Twist And Shout replaced Long Tall Sally as the closer.
[John Lennon] drank in excess. In Denmark, for example, his head was a balloon! He had drunk so much the night before, he was on stage sweating like a pig.
At the Royal Hotel after the second show The Beatles were treated to smørrebrødsseddel – Danish sandwiches. Paul McCartney also sent Ringo a telegram which read: “Didn’t think we could miss you so much. Get well soon.”
Also on this day...
- 2012: Paul McCartney live at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee concert, London
- 2012: The Beatles named as UK’s biggest-selling singles act in Queen’s reign
- 1969: US single release: The Ballad Of John And Yoko
- 1968: Recording, mixing: Revolution 1
- 1967: McCartney and Harrison watch Jimi Hendrix in London
- 1965: UK EP release: Beatles For Sale No 2
- 1964: Recording, mixing, editing: Long Tall Sally, Matchbox, I Call Your Name, Slow Down, When I Get Home, Any Time At All, I’ll Cry Instead
- 1963: Live: Town Hall, Birmingham
- 1962: Rehearsal: Cavern Club, Liverpool
- 1961: Live: Top Ten Club, Hamburg
- 1960: Live: Grosvenor Ballroom, Wallasey
Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.