Live: Memorial Auditorium, Dallas

This was The Beatles' only concert in Dallas, Texas. They topped a bill which also included, in order of appearance, The Bill Black Combo, The Exciters, Clarence 'Frogman' Henry, and Jackie DeShannon.

When the group arrived in Dallas they were driven to the Cabana Motor Hotel, which was then owned by Doris Day. There were chaotic scenes outside the Cabana, with fans pressing so hard against a glass door that it broke. The Beatles' journey from their car to the building's rear entrance proved equally hazardous, with both George Harrison and Ringo Starr losing their footing in the mêlée.

Prior to the show they held their customary press conference, their last of the tour. A number of enterprising teenage girls, purportedly from radio stations, managed to talk their way in.

The brother of American singer Trini Lopez, who had toured with The Beatles in 1963, was present at the press conference. He wore a suit that Trini had given him, which had been worn on the English tour. The Beatles recognised the suit and invited Lopez's brother to join them for dinner that evening.

At the Dallas Memorial Auditorium, the stage was three times the normal height for a Beatles concert. A telephoned bomb threat delayed the start of the show, although no bombs were found. However, during the search a number of fans were discovered hiding under the stage and in washrooms.

There were 12 songs in the group's setlist: 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.

The Beatles performed in front of 10,000 fans; each of the tickets had sold out in a day. Following their 30-minute set, the group were driven to the Dallas Love Field, from where their charter aeroplane took off at 11.08. The Beatles were taken to a Missouri ranch for a day off.

During the flight, in the early hours of 19 September, Paul McCartney led The Beatles' entire entourage in a rendition of Happy Birthday for manager Brian Epstein, after which a number of gifts, including glassware and a vintage telephone, were presented.

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8 responses on “Live: Memorial Auditorium, Dallas

  1. Jerry Kasten

    I was one of ten Dallas Police Reservists assigned to sit in and wait in a side lobby until we received further orders.
    We could hear the music coming up from the basement. After awhile we heard the echo of running steps getting louder from the floor below.
    Up the stairs come regular police with the Beatles.
    “Line up five on each side!” is the command. The doors fly open. Two unmarked police cars roll up, one behind the other with their doors open.
    I heard someone down the street yell, “Their they are…Let’s get ‘um”.

    Without stopping, the police yelled for the Beatles to jump in, which they did except for, I think Ringo, right in front of me, hesitating to get in.

    I finally pushed him into the back seat.
    Someone jumped on my back trying to grab at Ringo. I was knocked down as the cars pulled away to get to the airport.
    Instead of a teenager on top of me, it was a middle-aged woman. She apologized afterwards and meekly walked away.

    Five minutes later, I realized that my wristwatch had broken from the fall.

  2. Becky Randolph

    I was there, 7 years old, with my mother and my step father’s assistant, who at the time was the #1 DJ in Houston @ KILT, Jim Wood. My mom was at the press conference, she talked her way in with the radio station rep story which was true, from what I understand it was last minute thing and as she didn’t work for KILT, couldn’t get press pass so she worked it. Hate to here they stopped doing them after that. Worked for me, she met someone she said was thier PR Mgr, who put me on his sholders directly in front an center of the stage with The Beatles (legs) in my face. She also got one of those photos signed by them to me that was later stolen after we moved to LA when my dad put it in a display for some stupid reason. Saw them again in LA at Doger Stadium which I just realized was thier next to last concert. It was just me and Jim Wood, and never a bad concert seat with him but that day in Dallas, made me feel like the luckiest girl in the world for a long time. God Bless Jim Wood, RIP. Oh and just in case anyone knows about a autographed photo to Becky, theres a reward for it and no questions ask.

  3. kari acord

    I have a t-shirt that is vintage that says “BEATLES CITY DALLAS” on it and it’s yellow. I was told many years ago that this was the original shirt from the concert. I looked it up and didn’t know that they only performed in Dallas one time. Do you guys happen to know what shirt they came out with for that concert? If it’s yellow and has the name Beatles in red with their faces (with a shadow on their profile) on it…. please let me know. I probably shouldn’t be wearing this shirt anymore.

  4. Darlene

    I was there too. I was 14 years old. It changed my life. 🙂 I will be 64 in a few days. I think about the Beatles song “When I’m 64” and smile. “Will you still need me ? Will you still feed me?…… when I’m 64”.

  5. Keith Durrett

    I also was lucky enough to have been at the Dallas concert on Sept. 18, 1964. I was only 5 years old at the time, but was already a huge Beatles fan! Every time we went to Dallas I would take my $1 to Woolworth’s at NorthPark and buy one of their 45s, and sometimes my mother gave me $3 for one of the $2.98 33s (albums). The only reason me and my brother, sister, mother, and father all got to attend the concert was because after driving from our home in Tyler (Texas) in a rainstorm, my mother found herself a long way back in the ticket line, somehow slipped down and a sympathetic gentleman walking to join his wife near the front of the line asked her how many tickets she was looking for and she told him she had a family of 5 and (true story) he returned shortly thereafter and gave her the 5 tickets! Incredibly fortunate because the show sold out and the ticket window at Memorial Auditorium closed down before we even left the parking lot! Honestly, the main thing I remember about the concert was that I could barely hear the music over all of the incessant screaming of teenage girls. I remember that the show seemed to be over really quickly too (about 30 minutes or so), but I feel incredibly fortunate to have attended the show, even at 5! There will never be another band loved by so many people as the Beatles. The genius of Paul and John as writers of so many great songs in such a short timespan is a truly remarkable feat and has no equal. (I believe their hotel was on the west side of Stemmons Freeway not far from Industrial Blvd. if I remember correctly.)

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