Live: Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Canada

The Beatles performed two concerts on this night at the Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, Canada. A total of 35,522 tickets were sold for the shows, making $93,000 for the group.

They flew to Toronto in their charter Electra aeroplane and, after signing autographs for immigration officials, were driven to the King Edward Hotel.

Between the car and the hotel Paul McCartney's shirt was torn by an overzealous fan. He and Ringo Starr were separated from John Lennon and George Harrison, but the police managed to restore order and they arrived in their suite safely. Once there, however, they found a 14-year-old girl hiding in a linen closet.

Toronto's mayor, Philip Givens, and his wife, called at their suite at 1.30pm, but was turned away. A blonde woman is said to have answered the door, and told the couple that two of The Beatles were asleep and two others were with relatives. Canadian newspaper the Daily Star ran a story afterwards headlined "Beatles' Blonde Snubs Mayor".

To get to the Maple Leaf Gardens, The Beatles left by the hotel's back entrance and boarded a police wagon. At the venue 4,000 police officers and Mounties were on duty, and a five-block surrounding area was sectioned off for 12 hours before the group's arrival.

The first show was due to begin at 4pm, but The Beatles took to the stage after 5.30. They were introduced by Jungle Jay Nelson of radio station CHUM. 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 their standard 12-song set: 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.

In between the two shows the group posed for photographs with local DJs, fan club presidents and Miss Canada, and gave a press conference to reporters. Their second performance began at 10pm.

The Beatles returned to Maple Leaf Gardens on two occasions: 17 August 1965 and 17 August 1966.

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7 responses on “Live: Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Canada

  1. fred houpt

    I was at the first show, in the afternoon. I was 9 years old. My seats were up in nose bleed area, way up at the top. I found the experience unforgettable. The constant flash of brownie cameras going off coupled with pandemonium and hysteria was a bit frightening. We couldn’t hear the music at all. Just a wall of shrieking from beginning to end. Never will forget it.

  2. Gale Brown

    I was at the first show as well, age 14, with a girlfriend. Everyone screamed so much the music was impossible to hear, but we didn’t care…we knew the music by heart….it was the joy and excitement of being there. Great experience.

  3. Gene Fritsch

    I was there as well. I had won 4 tickets from CHUM. My father had to drive us in from Alliston to be part of this amazing event. I remember it like it was yesterday.

    1. Gene Fritsch

      Now that I think of it, it was Bob McAdorey who hosted the show and Little Caesar and the Consels along with many other Canadian acts played in the first part of the show. Maybe I was at the second show then. Doesn’t matter-didnt hear one song thru the screaming.

  4. d kastle

    Went with my cousin who happened to know what hangar they were departing from. We watched everyone roll up in 2 black Cadillac’s with George scrunched against the window. They then walked out of the hangar with the other acts and climbed up the stairs into the 4 engine Electra and off they went.

  5. Paul Mitchell

    I was one of 3 who went down the night before tickets went on sale. Stayed under the Odeon Carlton marquee with sleeping bags and a stove to make coffee. It was a fun night. I still have the stubs and the memory of all that screaming during the concert.

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