Live: Olympia Stadium, Detroit

The Beatles performed two concerts at the 15,000-capacity Detroit Olympia on this day. The other acts on the bill were, in order of appearance, The Bill Black Combo, The Exciters, Clarence 'Frogman' Henry, and Jackie DeShannon.

The Beatles performed the standard 12-song set which they retained for most of the US tour: Twist And Shout, You Can't Do That, All My Loving, She Loves You, Things We Said Today, Roll Over Beethoven, Can't Buy Me Love, If I Fell, I Want To Hold Your Hand, Boys, A Hard Day's Night and Long Tall Sally.

After the show they stayed at the Whittier Hotel. Following their departure the sheets they slept on were purchased by a radio station and cut into small squares, which were then sold to fans.

The Beatles performed on one other date at the Olympia Stadium, on 13 August 1966.

Also on this day...

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23 responses on “Live: Olympia Stadium, Detroit

  1. Gayle

    I was at this concert and saw Paul McCartney again at Comerica Park July 24, 2011. He mentioned that you could not hear songs for all the screaming. So true. I was bummed because you could not hear at all. Girl next to me fainted and missed entire concert. Did enjoy Jackie DeShannon but don’t remember the other acts. I have never run into anyone who was at that concert and everyone is always impressed that I saw them in 1964. I live in East Lansing, MI. Who else was there???

    1. Mark Calice

      I also attended the 1964 concert. The event was so influential in my life that it is etched in my mind forever. Interestingly, I don’t remember any other bands performing at the concert. I remember that they only played for about 20 minutes and were set up at one end of what was normally the Olympia ice hockey surface. The screaming was constant and deafening and as fate had it, I was seated to the band’s right and just slightly behind them, but up in the second or third tier so I had a great view and could actually hear them play and sing, (except when Ringo sang the song “Boys”). Thoughtfully, they all turned around and acknowledged the fans seated behind them after every song.

      Another image that has stuck with me is all the jelly beans that fans threw at them during the performance. After the concert, two rows of cops with arms interlocked surrounded the stage, barely stopping some and dragging others off who had leapt over them to grab the jelly beans they stepped on during the concert. An absolutely, unbelievably amazing Beatlemania scene! Afterwards, on the way out, people were breathing so hard from 20 minutes of screaming, that the walls of the exit corridors were literally dripping with exhaled moisture!

      1. Bob Powojski

        My sister was at that concert. She still has a couple of the jelly beans that the Beatles stepped on and threw back at the crowd. I went with my dad to pick her up from the concert. She was 17 at the time and came out of Olympia with her girlfriends hoarse and drenched in sweat.

    2. Barbara Harrell

      I was also there….up in the Press Box with the son of my Dad’s boss and his fiancee’. I remember a girl fainting and all the screaming. Though I had no idea what this word meant at the time, I can now describe it all as “surreal”…like I was almost dreaming it. I was 8 and it’s one of the best things I can ever say I’ve gotten to do in my life.

    3. Mary Lou Estes

      I was there Gayle, and although there was a lot of screaming, I did hear them sing. I had forgotten there were other bands at all, I was so excited about the Beatles! I think I was 12 then! lol

  2. Mike Griffin

    I was there with two sisters and my mom. Yes, etched in my memory, John or Paul were only heard as the girls calmed down to hear them mention what song was next. One cord maybe, then couldn’t hear any of the songs the Beatles played but the screaming, the jelly beans the Beatles had to dodge. One girl kept jumping up and down screaming in front of us. My mother beat her with her purse cause she was blocking her view. The energy, the pandemonium. All worth to live a moment in the history of the Beatles. Heard they grossed more in Detroit than any other city that tour. I now live in Singapore, and yes, there is a bit of reverence, when you tell the world “you saw the Beatles live.” Mike Griffin

  3. marina pombar

    I was then Miss Michigan 1964, I am the woman in the picture behind them in the interview they had in Detroit. I have just found out that there are 2 more picutre found in London.We were all taken off stage after the jelly beans

  4. Robyn Schoch

    I was at the 1964 concert. My family lived in ann Arbor. My dad got tickets from one of the Red Wings hockey players he knew through his job at Ford and he took me since I was only 12. This was a very special occasion since I was one of six children at this time. We were seated up and to the left of the stage and had a very good view. I was timid in the midst of all the screaming. When I finally worked up enough courage to scream, the woman in front of me turned and gave me a strange look. I stayed pretty quiet but was elated. If I covered my ears, I could actually hear the songs through all the noise. My dad wore airport ear gear! Funny! I was motivated to learn to play the guitar and I was convinced I would someday marry Paul McCartney. My best friend was going to marry John Lennon. What a childhood memory! I still have the original program from this concert.

    1. Margaret Baker Hendricks

      Robyn, your sister mentioned on FB that you were there. Went to Pioneer with Pat. B I was there too. On my way to see Ringo tonight in Albuquerque.

  5. Marian

    Saw the evening performance at Olympia. Main floor seats and we were allowed to get up and approach the stage. I laughlingly tell my boys, my Brownie picture of the Beatles is their inheritance. 2 tickets 4 Beatles, $8.00. 2 tickets Sir Paul, $570.

  6. Mary Lou Salvaterra

    I was there , I lived in Detroit at the time. I don’t remember hearing much of anything because of the screaming and I think I was doing quite a bit of it myself. But, it was great fun, and I will always have that memory as I was only 12 at the time. The father of a friend of mine said they would never last and bet her a 6 pack of colt 45 that they would be gone in a year. Don’t know if she ever collected it or not!

  7. David Szymanski

    My Dad, a Probate Judge, scored 4 tickets in ’64. He was to take my three older brothers; one who loved hockey didn’t care to go so I did. At 10 years old I recall hearing only one bit of music through all the screaming. I remember a girl behind me, the veins in her neck bulging as she screamed. As Ringo walked off stage I think a woman leaned over a railing and swung her purse to hit him over the head, likely so she could say her purse touched a Beatle. Amazing night and, yes, people have that reverence when I mention that I was there.

    1. Catny

      after watching the grammy tribute I have Beatlemania all over again, I too attended the concert at Olympia. Whenever I have talked about the concert, readily admit that we could not actually hear the music, but we knew what song they were singing and could hear it in our head! Still have the tix stubs and a special section of the Detroit News that they published that weekend.

  8. Kelly

    Due to unbelievable good fortune, I was able to see the Beatles TWICE that day. My father had driven me to the first concert, which was at 2 P.M. and, just as was mentioned previously, the noise was so overwhelming from all the screaming that the songs could barely be heard, if at all. On my way out from the first concert, a father on the street who apparently had heard reports of the impossibility of hearing any actual music (and who was probably deterred by the pandemonium from entering the venue), handed me his ticket for the second show! I found my father, and asked him if he would wait for me. He agreed (since he worked in the area and could go to his office). So I returned for the 6 P.M. concert and experienced all the Beatlemania all over again! I’ve never told anyone I went twice until now, so I don’t have any idea what the “reverence” factor would be. (I also got to see Little Stevie Wonder perform when he was 12. I think he was a drummer at the time. In any event, one of the reasons the Beatles put Detroit on their tour was their reverence for Tamla-Motown. It was very influential at the time.)

  9. Carolyn

    I was there too. I was 14 years old and it was awesome that you could go to a concert and not have to bring your parents. I took a bus from Clinton twsp. to the stadium with some friends. Everyone was fine. Most awesome thing I ever went to. But boy were the girls crazy with taken off some of their clothing. That was a trip. I was amazed at all the crying too. Of course I was a little crazy with the screaming. Wasn’t everyone?

  10. Cynthia Mauro

    I saw them in Detroit on September 6, 1964. Unforgettable!!! I saw them again on August 13, 1966 and this time I was determined to get close to the stage. I managed to get close and Paul McCartney looked right at me and smiled when he was singing!!! I was screaming so loud—I was HYSTERICAL!!!!! I was only 14 years old and I can still see it in my mind!!! I will always remember those two days! I have been a Beatles’ fan ever since the first time I saw them on a film clip that was shown on Jack Paar’s Tonight show on January 3, 1964. It was love at first sight for me!!!

  11. M Fleming

    I was there also. I was 16 and we got the tickets through an entertainment book. Buy one get one. My friends and I were actually Motown fans and thought the Beatles were just okay at the time. We couldn’t get over the screaming and were caught up in watching all the girls go crazy. I do remember not being able to hear because my ears were plugged. We still laugh about it.

  12. Sue Gries Smock

    I was there. I was 15. Went with a friend from school (SMR). It was indeed amazing, but I too was upset that I couldn’t hear them. All the screaming – and no one sat down! It is something I shall always remember…screaming, fainting, waving, dancing, jumping up and down – they did it all at that concert. I do not remember any other groups performing that night, but it was a wonderful concert. I too get the same reaction when I tell folks I saw them.

  13. Kathleen Sullivan

    I was there and it was my 1st concert. My dad dropped my girlfriend and me off as we were only 14. We screamed our heads off, of course, and had a blast. We even made it to the stage somehow and grabbed all the jelly beans we could. Pretty fun behavior for us ” good little Our Lady of Mercy” girls. I kept those jelly beans in a glass jar on my dresser for years. Great memories!! My kids of course don’t believe me LoL!!!

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