Live: Balboa Stadium, San Diego

Following a five-day break at a Beverly Hills mansion belonging to Zsa Zsa Gabor, The Beatles' 1965 North American tour resumed on this day with a concert at the Balboa Stadium in San Diego, California.

The Beatles should have flown from Los Angeles to San Diego, but an airline strike meant they travelled in a hired 10-seat touring coach. The two-hour journey took them along the coastal highway.

Prior to the show the group gave their customary press conference, during which they were presented with keys to the city by four female fans. The presentation was the idea of Susan Clark, a local fan who petitioned Mayor Frank Curran with the idea.

The concert had been added to the tour itinerary on 7 June 1965, due to local demand. Previously it had been felt that San Diegans would be willing to travel to the two shows at the Hollywood Bowl on 29 and 30 August, so the city was left out until local demand forced a reconsideration.

Two promoters from the Los Angeles area, Louis Robin and Allen Tinkley, had been offered either a Salt Lake City or San Diego show by The Beatles' American agents, General Artists Corporation, and the Balboa Stadium was agreed upon for a guaranteed appearance fee of $50,000.

Tickets for the concert were on sale for $3.50, $4.50 and $5.50. The event did not sell out, however, with just 17,013 of the 27,041 seats being unoccupied. For their appearance, The Beatles earned $50,135.17, only $135.17 over their guaranteed fee, and the promoters made a profit of $6,476.15.

Robin and Tinkley provided the group with four beds and sheets, five one-gallon bottles of water, 120 cups, two cases of soda, 24 assorted sandwiches, and two tubs of Kentucky Fried Chicken. The total cost for food was $33.96.

The Beatles performed 12 songs at the concert: their truncated version of Twist And Shout, followed by 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.

The other acts on the bill were, in order of appearance, King Curtis Band, Sounds Incorporated and the Discotheque Dancers, Brenda Holloway, and Cannibal & The Headhunters. The Beatles took to the stage shortly after 9pm.

On their way back to Los Angeles after the concert, The Beatles' tour bus broke down needed extra California Highway Patrol escorts to help them on their journey to downtown Los Angeles. They were forced to stop at a San Diego mortuary livery company, Abbott & Hast, and transferred to limousines for the remainder of the journey.

Also on this day...

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10 responses on “Live: Balboa Stadium, San Diego

  1. Nan Rose

    When I found this article about the Beatles performing 8/28/65 at the Balboa Stadium in San Diego I was elated! A few people didn’t believe me, because Balboa Stadium was torn down. This was one of the HIGHLIGHTS of my entire life — I will never forget it. Thanks for the article.

  2. Andrew Kemp

    Here’s a follow up to the Twist & Shout discussion from the 21st and 22nd pages. It’s an interview with Jerry G. Bishop supposedly from the 28th at Balboa Stadium, San Diego (if dated correctly, from before the San Diego show):

    JB – “How’s your throat first of all John?
    JL – “It seems…I seem to have got me voice back so you know…”
    JB – “Are you gonna do Twist & Shout tonight?”
    JL – “Oh yeah I forgot about that.”
    JB – “You’re gonna put it back in?”
    JL – “Yeah well, it’s, we only do half of it anyway – it’s just an introduction, you know, nobody hears it really.”

  3. Stephen Nimz

    Just a correction. On the way back the bus did NOT break down. Due to overwhelming fan interference on the freeway they had to have extra CHP escorts to make it to down town L.A. where they did go to a Mortuary Livery Company Abbott & Hast who ran the bus and made it the rest of the way to the Mansion without as much problem.

  4. Joanne S.

    I went to this concert with my sister — paid $4.50 each — people I talk to now can’t believe we saw them — it’s like being part of music history and what a time it was!

  5. Patrick

    It was a great concert. But the playlist on this site leaves out “Mister Moonlight”, which I distinctly recall, and possibly some other songs. as well. Management made such a point announcing before hand that any rushing of the stage, and the Beatles had sworn they would leave immediately. But I wondered if it was purposeful hype. Fans rushed as soon as the Beatles mounted the stage and never stopped til they finally made their mad exit. The cops/rent-a-cops, of whom there must have been a couple hundred, were very rough with some of the young girls and boys. It looked as if some fans were very seriously injured. It was quite a wild scene, but the Beatles’ playing was actually really, really good, though John was noticeably somewhat hoarse. Cannibal and the Headhunters (“Land of a Thousand Dances”) was a great warm up act, the others not as good. The fan screaming began before the first act came on and reach stratospheric decibels long before the Beatles appeared, then went to maximum and stayed there til after they left the stage. It was absolutely head-splitting but before the last warm-up number I’d adjusted and could actually hear the Beatles fairly well. The cop handling of the stage-rushers and the nearly crazed rushing and sometimes taunting and chasing scene was rather frightening. it felt at moments like a full on war might erupt. Welcome to the beginning of the end! But I managed not to get knocked about much and had a good time in spite of the groundswell of cop vs fan craziness.

  6. chuckography2014

    How great to see my pictures of the Beatles again after all these years! As a staff photographer for the Union-Tribune, I was assigned to cover the morning press conference of the Beatles AND the concert that evening. The actual “proof sheet” of the morning conference shows what I submitted and the ones the Photo Editor selected. Best of all, my “credit” for the photos is included. I saw Paul McCartney a few years ago in Atlanta but he and I did not get to chat about the first time I saw him.

    Chuck Boyd (

  7. Edna

    This was my first concert ever, it was in Balboa stadium 1965. My mother took my sister and I, the neighbors Joan and son Billy. We lived in Poway. We were the popular kids after that. My mother, like us girls, loved the Beatles and cried, screamed and fought over the binoculars. It looked like the rent a cops were beating the girls going over the fences like waves at the beach. I was 9 yrs old, and always have the best first concert story. Love the Beatles forever ?

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