• 🏠 Home
  • »
  • Live
  • »
  • The Beatles live: Memorial Coliseum, Portland, Oregon

The Beatles live: Memorial Coliseum, Portland, Oregon

In the morning of 22 August 1965 The Beatles held a press conference at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport, before flying to Portland, Oregon.

Shortly before their arrival in Portland one of the four engines on their Lockheed Electra aeroplane caught fire. John Lennon was frightened enough to quickly write a few messages which he enclosed in a film canister for safety. Fortunately for all, the plane landed without further incident, and a relieved Lennon was heard to shout: “Beatles, women and children first!”

The Beatles performed two shows at Portland’s Memorial Coliseum, before a total of 20,000 people. Tickets for each of the shows were priced at $4, $5 and $6. There were also a number of pink tickets for the Coliseum’s upper level which were free.

Ticket for The Beatles in Portland, Oregon, 22 August 1965

The concerts took place at 3.30pm and 8pm. The Beatles’ setlist featured 11 songs: ‘She’s A Woman’, ‘I Feel Fine’, ‘Dizzy Miss Lizzy’, ‘Ticket To Ride’, ‘Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby’, ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’, ‘Baby’s In Black’, ‘I Wanna Be Your Man’, ‘A Hard Day’s Night’, ‘Help!’ and ‘I’m Down’. Additionally, the second show opened with a truncated version of ‘Twist And Shout’.

The support acts on the bill were Brenda Holloway and the King Curtis Band, Cannibal & The Headhunters, and Sounds Incorporated.

Among The Beatles’ guests backstage were Carl Wilson and Mike Love of The Beach Boys. In the audience for one of the shows was beat poet Allen Ginsberg, who wrote a poem about the event titled Portland Coliseum:

A brown piano in diamond
white spotlight
Leviathan auditorium
iron run wired
hanging organs, vox
black battery
A single whistling sound of ten thousand children’s
larynxes asinging
pierce the ears
and following up the belly
bliss the moment arrived

Apparition, four brown English
jacket christhair boys
Goofed Ringo battling bright
white drums
Silent George hair patient
Soul horse
Short black-skulled Paul
with the guitar
Lennon the Captain, his mouth
a triangular smile,
all jump together to End
some tearful memory song
ancient-two years,
The million children
the thousand words
bounce in their seats, bash
each other’s sides, press
legs together nervous
Scream again & claphand
become one Animal
in the New World Auditorium
–hands waving myriad
snakes of thought
screetch beyond hearing

while a line of police with
folded arms stands
Sentry to contain the red
sweatered ecstasy
that rises upward to the
wired roof.

The Beatles’ contract for the show was posted on the internet in January 2013. The fifth clause in the contract received particular attention, and praise for the group. It said: “Artists will not be required to perform before a segregated audience.”

The Beatles flew from Portland shortly after their second and final show in the city. Their destination was Los Angeles, where they arrived shortly before dawn. The Electra was out of action so they flew in a Constellation aeroplane.

Last updated: 24 January 2024
The Beatles live: Metropolitan Stadium, Minneapolis
Day off in Los Angeles
Also on this day...

Want more? Visit the Beatles history section.

Latest Comments

  1. Andrew Thursday 3 February 2011
  2. Hank Unck Saturday 19 March 2011
    • Andrew Kemp Saturday 4 June 2011
      • Hank Unck Tuesday 7 June 2011
        • Andrew Thursday 9 June 2011
    • Karl Rudnick Thursday 5 March 2020
  3. Dave James Thursday 6 December 2012
    • Dave James Sunday 22 February 2015
  4. steve Wednesday 20 March 2013
  5. Scott brown Sunday 5 October 2014
  6. Diego Friday 26 February 2016
    • Joe Friday 26 February 2016
  7. Don Skeels Saturday 6 August 2016
  8. Connie Farrar Monday 4 December 2017
  9. Daisy Saturday 24 February 2018
  10. roger peet Thursday 7 April 2022

Leave a Reply