Saturday, September 28, 2019

The Beatles capsules: live bootlegs

The surviving recordings of the Beatles on stage -- including TV performances -- are a hit and miss crop, but have been dutifully compiled over the decades so that there's considerable representation in bootleg form of all of their major tours from mid-1963 onward. Said recordings vary as much in quality as the performances themselves. Famously, the overenthusiasm of audiences eventually took its toll on the band and their work suffered in this context; that said, they played together brilliantly at the start and, even if there's precious little variance between shows in the post-fame era, there are often interesting little things to hear for hardcore fans in the shows that were captured.

***

The only legally released Beatles concerts, apart from extracts on the Anthology series, are the two (or three) Hollywood Bowl shows -- first issued in condensed form in 1977 -- and the Star-Club tape most extensively described elsewhere; only the former was a band-sanctioned, proper "official" album. (The Budokan, Shea Stadium and Washington DC shows were filmed and have been variously issued in that form but aren't readily available through normal channels at this writing.)

The Beatles: Live: Star-Club Hamburg, Germany - December 1962 (Purple Chick bootleg [2CD] 1962) [r]
As noted in my full review of the Live at the Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany album, this free download is the definitive edition of the Beatles' most unfiltered live performances that survive, with what sounds like the entire source tape apart from the missing second version of "To Know Her Is to Love Her," presented in what seems to be the correct running order and is definitely the correct speed. It does add a bit of intrigue with a rather slapdash version of "Money" that no one seems able to agree is even the Beatles; it's certainly none of them singing. And in a possibly unnecessary twist, PC adds five "bonus tracks," in this case the songs from the tape that various cash-hungry labels over the years misidentified (accidentally or maliciously) as the Beatles, the thought being presumably that since many fans have come to think of these as "part of" the story, but it seems a little silly when I Hope We Passed the Audition didn't bother with all those Beat Brothers tracks, or Magical Mystery Year with the George Martin orchestrations, etc.; but who am I to carp about so splendidly complete a realization of this vital, unfairly stigmatized part of the Beatles' music and history.

The Beatles: Purple Chick deluxe- The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl (bootleg [2CD] 1964-65)
Purple Chick's "deluxe edition" of The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl is probably the most pointless item in their bootleg series, though it wasn't always thus; for decades, the Beatles' lone official live album was out of print in all formats, and it left a gaping hole in their discography filled by counterfeits and downloads like this. Disc one is just the original album with the subsequently released b-side "Baby's in Black" (and John Lennon's hilarious introduction of it), first heard officially in 1996 on the "Real Love" single, edited in at the halfway point. The LP sequence is followed by some barely distinguishable alt mixes: the '64 "Twist and Shout" as heard in mono and stereo on The Beatles Story, and the Anthology DVD mix of "All My Loving." This half of the package is made redundant by the widespread rerelease of the album itself in 2016. Disc two, meanwhile, is made redundant by PC's own live series (see below) which offers complete recordings of all of the band's Hollywood Bowl concerts. Still, the presentation of Capitol's vintage mono mix of the 1964 concert has a certain interest going for it, with more banter and a few songs that didn't make the final cut ("If I Fell" most significantly); it pretty much proves that the problem with the record at the time wasn't the performances or even really the audience but the haphazard method of recording it. The August 30th, 1965 show, on the other hand, is offered here in a crudely duplicated stereo mix that may or may not be vintage, and on the whole doesn't seem to me like an essential addition to the canon. There are simply better, more comprehensive ways to hear the band's Hollywood Bowl shows; and holding the LP up as some important fetish object no longer makes much sense. I was thrilled to have this when I first located it, though, so hats off.

***

There exists at least partial tape of a little under ninety live shows and live TV performances by the Beatles recorded between 1963 and 1966, though a large number of these -- indeed, speaking technically, the majority of them -- are incomplete, and quite a few are mere fragments. Tackling this less rewarding segment of the band's legacy is a bit tricky in terms of rating or reviewing. Apart from the December 1962 Star-Club performances, the band's live tapes don't tend to be revelatory in terms of volume in the way we might expect from any given one of our favorites from the late '60s onward, because the more generous traditions of rock concerts weren't in place yet and Beatles shows tended to be barely half an hour in length and to shirk any deviations from a carefully arranged setlist that lasted all across each tour. Add to that the well-known qualifiers of the Beatles' loud, frantic audiences and the absence of proper monitor equipment and you get a sense of why they're not exactly Hendrix or the Dead.

That said, one rumor that does need to be put to rest is the notion that the Beatles were not "good" live; even official releases like the Anthologies plus Hollywood Bowl and Live at the BBC are a challenge to such assertions. It was not until 1966 that the malaise of coping with the massive stresses of Beatlemania and its many attendant inconveniences and crises seems to overtake them. Up to then, in the right conditions, the Beatles were as extraordinary on stage as they were in the studio. Purple Chick has graciously gathered all of the band's non-BBC live or broadcast material together on their Live series, which supersedes previous collections of individual shows, though its strict chronology does make for a less than cohesive listening experience since you can quickly move from a well-recorded corker of a show to thirty seconds of a poor rendition of one of their hits on a TV show to a dire audience recording.

Nonetheless, if you're not interested in following this page and slogging through the entirety of the band's official and booted live tapes, I suggest that you use these files or Youtube to make a sort of best-of compilation. First of all, if you have time for just one Beatles show and you already know all the official stuff (most of their very best live recording, Stockholm '63, is on Anthology 1), then make it their 1965 Atlanta performance, at which they first encountered monitor speakers, could actually hear themselves, and tore through blistering versions of many classics; I sent the closing rendition of "I'm Down" to Greil Marcus and even he was impressed! But if you're more interested in a full-on highlights reel of mostly complete concerts, I suggest (in chronological order):
1. Stockholm '63 (partially released on Anthology 1; there's also a superb TV gig from the next day)
2. Washington '64 (officially released on film)
3. Adelaide '64 (no Ringo)
4. Melbourne '64 (afternoon show)
5. Blackpool Night Out '64 (partially released on Anthology 2)
6. Los Angeles '64 (partially released on The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl)
7. Philadelphia '64
8. Indianapolis '64
9. Shindig '64
10. NME Poll Winners' Concert '65
11. Paris '65 (afternoon show)
12. Shea Stadium '65 (partially released on film, though with overdubs)
13. Atlanta '65
14. Los Angeles '65 (second night; partially released on The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl)
15. San Francisco '66

Other historically significant shows, like the Sullivan performances and the 1963 Royal Variety gig, are worth consideration but are best experienced with the visuals, which are readily available -- in color, in the latter case.

But if you're interested in hearing more about these and the rest of the Beatles' live tapes, what follows are the informal notes I took this spring while listening to each and every one of the shows that exist. I've provided dates, venues and setlists and have given each show a letter grade where applicable, in {braces}, with judgment of the quality of the Beatles' performance followed by the quality of the tape itself. Because I'm using the PC sets to rate these, I've also averaged out a rating for each of their individual two-disc sets and have divided the shows accordingly. Also, if you want to hear any of these tapes, you almost invariably can type the year and venue along with "Beatles" into Youtube and listen (and sometimes see) the show without having to seek out these sets. Enjoy!

The Beatles: Live: Before America (bootleg [2CD] 1963-64) [r]
As you can also tell from the Anthology documentary, before the U.S. gigs began, the Beatles actually played before a lot of reasonably well-behaved and respectful audiences... though not always, with the second Palladium show particularly maddening and chaotic.

1963-05-16 "Pops & Lenny" TV series (BBC - Television Theatre, London): From Me to You [fragment, intrusive voiceover] {A-/C-}
- 39-second tidbit from a children's BBC show called Pops & Lenny

1963-08-27 "The Mersey Sound" TV documentary (BBC - Little Theatre, Southport): Twist and Shout [portions missing, voiceover]/I Saw Her Standing There [fragment]/She Loves You {A-/B+}
- from the Mersey Sound documentary produced for BBC by Don Haworth
- the Beatles played at a theater in Southport with audience dubbed in later
- a real pounding version of "She Loves You"

1963-10-13 "Sunday Night at the London Palladium" TV series (ITV - Palladium, London): From Me to You/I'll Get You/She Loves You/Twist and Shout {B+/D+ exc I'll Get You, B+/B-}
- Beatlemania day 1.
- the famous Sunday Night at the London Palladium, a watershed moment, which is funny because it's (mostly) not a spectacular performance; still, this established them as an actual phenomenon and you can hear it happening
- dreadful quality except the song that's been officially released on Anthology 1
- surely the only band that would announce on national television that the next song is "in E"
- the screaming is infectious, real sublime joy in this moment on "I'll Get You"
- ... though John tells them to shut up

1963-10-24 "Pop 63" radio series (Swedish National Radio - Karlaplansstudion, Stockholm): I Saw Her Standing There/From Me to You/Money/Roll Over Beethoven/You Really Got a Hold on Me/She Loves You/Twist and Shout {A/A}
- as noted above, this is partially on Anthology 1, which only misses the last two songs and reverses the order on the two prior
- at a Stockholm studio in front of an audience, well-miked
- one of the best Beatles live shows ever recorded; and if you require better than decent recording quality, surely the best, certainly making the strongest case for how vicious and hungry they could still be as of the early Mania period
- Ringo's really laying into the drums on "From Me to You"
- the heavy distortion makes the performance sound extremely immediate
- "You Really Got a Hold on Me" is truly stunning here
- fierce guitars on "She Loves You" too, and John is endearingly sloppy on "Twist and Shout"
- note that the With the Beatles songs weren't actually released yet

1963-10-30 "Drop In" TV series (Sveriges - Arenateatern, Stockholm): She Loves You/Twist and Shout/I Saw Her Standing There/Long Tall Sally {A-/B+}
- the recording is very clear but the vocals are miked heavily over instruments; George is really hard to hear
- John sounds a little listless on "I Saw Her Standing There," probably exhaustion from the prior song!
- the last two songs weren't planned; host Klas Burling persuades them to keep going
- this "Long Tall Sally" is pre-EMI and the solo is sloppy but forgivable because the performance overall is so thunderous and manic!

1963-11-04 Royal Command Performance - Prince of Wales Theatre, London: From Me to You/She Loves You/Till There Was You/Twist and Shout {A-/B+}
- 3/4 of this is on Anthology 1
- considering their nerves, they do quite well here, and really charge at the rockers
- some real emphasis on the "woos" on "She Loves You"
- Paul's "Sophie Tucker" bit goes over well but not as well as John's "rattle your jewelry" line
- George actually murders the solo on "Till There Was You"
- what an optimistic, pure moment for the band, you can hear how thrilling it was -- and things just kept getting more intense after this
- slower version of "Twist and Shout" but it still rocks, has kind of a dramatic lumbering quality
- listen to Ringo's drumming on "Twist and Shout"!
- they go over tremendously with a much older/more "dignified" audience

1963-11-09 Granada Cinema, London: I Saw Her Standing There [fragment] {?/D}
- all you can hear is count-in and bass, and very faint singing; it's almost all screams, a situation that will become more familiar as we press on

1963-11-16 Winter Gardens Theatre, Bournemouth: From Me to You [fragment] {?/D-}
- just the cacophonous hissing of the crowd and someone talking: "these guys have these crazy hairdos" and some sexist stuff about female fans
- there were several camera crews from U.S. networks there, which was presumably the source

1963-11-20 ABC Cinema, Manchester: She Loves You/Twist and Shout [fragment]/From Me to You [fragment] {B/B-}
- some screams are very loud ("JOOOHNNN!") but the band is quite audible; the source is the film of a Pathe newsreel
- "From Me to You" sounds awful, like something's actually wrong -- the guitar seems to fall apart

1963-12-02 "The Morecambe and Wise Show" TV series (ATV - Elstree Studio Centre, Borehamwood): This Boy/All My Loving/I Want to Hold Your Hand {B+/B+}
- all of this except "All My Loving" is on Anthology 1, as is the "Moonlight Bay" comedy bit
- the mikes are popping badly
- John can't quite make the bridge of "This Boy" here
- "I Want to Hold Your Hand" is very tight

1963-12-07 "It's the Beatles" TV special (BBC - Empire Theatre, Liverpool): From Me to You/I Saw Her Standing There/All My Loving/Roll Over Beethoven/Boys/Till There Was You/She Loves You/This Boy/I Want to Hold Your Hand/Money/Twist and Shout/From Me to You [reprise] {A/C-}
- a Liverpool show, which makes it a a very important and atypical homecoming
- muffled and washed-out, very badly balanced/recorded by the BBC, a lot of buzzing; but the band is outstanding
- "From Me to You" starts with a long drum-only bit
- great "WOWWW YEAH" from Paul on "I Saw Her Standing There," also boasting a good solo by George
- a looser than usual "Roll Over Beethoven"
- Ringo "was gonna learn the new number but he hasn't learned it"; his vocals are mixed too low to hear well... Paul's bass drowns out everything, the engineer seems to be trying to fix it in real time; the solo sounds ridiculous from what we can hear
- "a song from the musical The Muscle Man, sung by Peggy Leg; you'll probably remember it from the Cavern"
- interesting effect with half the vocals missing from "This Boy"!?!? the audience screams on "CRYYHIHIHIIII" are something else, though
- the tape wavers badly near end of "This Boy"
- the reprise of "From Me to You" is instrumental and... weird, with a little touch of "Third Man Theme"!?

1964-01-12 "Sunday Night at the London Palladium" TV series (ITV - Palladium, London): I Want to Hold Your Hand/This Boy/All My Loving/Money/Twist and Shout {B/D}
- how can this be such dreadful quality? the tape is godawful
- hard to tell how the performance is... it sounds a little draggy
- "This Boy" sounds like old-ass men singing
- banter: "shut up!!!"... "at this point we normally have a joke"
- the screaming is insane, almost insufferable

1964-01-15 Cinema Cyrano, Versailles: From Me to You [fragment] {?/B+}
- quite clear actually! but incomplete, cuts all around the song

1964-01-16 [afternoon] Olympia Theatre, Paris: From Me to You/I Saw Her Standing There/This Boy [fragment]/Twist and Shout/From Me to You [reprise fragment]/Long Tall Sally/From Me to You [reprise? fragment] {A-/B+}
- only a partial show, "This Boy" is only the spoken intro
- "Long Tall Sally" is pre-EMI, and possibly an actual encore?
- French guys chanting "BEATLES" at the close

1964-01-16 Olympia Theatre, Paris evening: From Me to You/She Loves You/This Boy/I Want to Hold Your Hand/Twist and Shout/From Me to You [reprise fragment]/Long Tall Sally [fragment]/From Me to You [reprise? fragment] {B+/B}
- slightly distant, echo-filled recording, but very clear
- "From Me to You" has something like a "Pretty Vacant" riff in the midsection
- noticeably quiet crowd (older), which means they actually can hear themselves on "This Boy"
- sharp guitar sound on "I Want to Hold Your Hand"

The Beatles: Live: Conquering America (bootleg [2CD] 1964) [r]
Historically, probably the most significant of these sets and also one of the most consistently listenable... though again, the Sullivan material is better experienced in its original context; however, the Washington show is a great enough listen even without the accompanying footage, though I recommend watching the whole package, which I really wish Apple would properly release on DVD or something.

1964-02-09 "Ed Sullivan Show" TV series (CBS - Studio 50, New York): Twist and Shout/Please Please Me/I Want to Hold Your Hand {B+/A-}
- broadcast as their third appearance, not live on air

1964-02-09 "Ed Sullivan Show" TV series (CBS - Studio 50, New York): All My Loving/Till There Was You/She Loves You/I Saw Her Standing There/I Want to Hold Your Hand {A-/A}
- the iconic first Sullivan appearance, "Till There Was You" is a weird choice but the rest cooks, and you know it by heart
- the Mania has fully translated to these shores; I like Paul's reflective vocal on "I Want to Hold Your Hand" -- he changes the melody a bit, even

1964-02-11 Washington Coliseum, Washington: Roll Over Beethoven/From Me to You/I Saw Her Standing There/This Boy/All My Loving/I Wanna Be Your Man/Please Please Me/Till There Was You/She Loves You/I Want to Hold Your Hand/Twist and Shout [fragment]/Long Tall Sally {A/B}
- badly recorded, at least initially; screams prominent but guitars are great when you can hear them
- George's microphone cuts out a lot on "Roll Over Beethoven"
- frenzied version of "I Saw Her Standing There," terrific solo
- John and Ringo ruin the whole building on the bridge of "This Boy"
- you can really hear the backing vox on "All My Loving," which incidentally takes flight on the instrumental break
- Ringo can't catch his breath at all on "I Wanna Be Your Man" which is total chaos
- "it's doing something, you know" - Paul on "Please Please Me" and its U.S. chart performance upon rerelease
- excellent version of "Please Please Me"
- Paul can't quite nail "Till There Was You" in this environment, it sounds kind of peculiar with screaming all over it
- no intro or setup to "She Loves You," which is effective; they should've done that more
- John is 100% saying "I get high" on "I Want to Hold Your Hand"
- Paul shouts out the Isley Brothers before "Twist and Shout"!
- once again, "Long Tall Sally" is pre-EMI (they recorded it there a few weeks later); Paul kills it as usual

1964-02-16 "Ed Sullivan Show" rehearsal (CBS - Deauville Hotel, Miami): She Loves You/This Boy/All My Loving/I Saw Her Standing There/From Me to You/I Want to Hold Your Hand {B+/B-}
- full audience present
- soundcheck so the microphones do lots of weird stuff
- it sounds like John and Paul are trading off lead vocal lines on SLY here!? George is also super prominent on vocals
- Paul's vocal inaudible on "I Saw Her Standing THere"

1964-02-16 "Ed Sullivan Show" TV series (CBS - Deauville Hotel, Miami): She Loves You/This Boy/All My Loving/I Saw Her Standing There/From Me to You/I Want to Hold Your Hand {A-/A-}
- Ed mentions the Beatles gathering the largest TV audience ever the previous week
- clearer sound on band/instruments! almost no screaming!
- "This Boy" is a nice performance
- Ed talking to Sonny Liston???
- Paul still isn't miked properly on "I Saw Her Standing There"!
- the Sophie Tucker joke is here again, and makes no sense
- really cool shuffling rhythm on "I Want to Hold Your Hand"

1964-04-26 [NME Poll Winners' Concert] Empire Pool, London: She Loves You/You Can't Do That/Twist and Shout/Long Tall Sally/Can't Buy Me Love {B+/B+)
- really great Murray the K intro
- band sounds a little under-rehearsed; they'd just wrapped filming on A Hard Day's Night
- close-miked on vocals, instruments harder to hear; clarity is fine
- John gets verses mixed up on "She Loves You"
- early performances of "You Can't Do That" (kind of awkward and poorly timed) and "Can't Buy Me Love"; they'd done both at the BBC
- Paul has no idea what to say before "Twist and Shout": "we made it as a record a few months ago"!?
- triumphant, fraying vocal on "Twist and Shout" from John
- giving love to Little Richard before "Long Tall Sally," also a tour de force lead vocal, here Paul's of course, though the rhythm guitar is very... clinky??

1964-04-28 "Around the Beatles" TV special (ITV - Wembley Studios, London): Twist and Shout/Roll Over Beethoven/I Wanna Be Your Man/Long Tall Sally/[A Midsummer Night's Dream skit]/Medley/Can't Buy Me Love/Shout {A-/B+}
- the band recorded new versions of the songs live in a studio, then lip-synced those versions before the audience; fairly sound technique actually!
- a very rare live-with-audience performance (rare, period, in 1964 and after) of an unrecorded song, namely the Isleys' "Shout"
- these recordings sound totally natural with audience reaction; Anthology 1 presented a few of them unadorned and in awful stereo mix
- George gets the lyrics right on "Roll Over Beethoven"; they're even wrong on the record!
- excellent performances, if only dubiously "live"
- the Shakespeare skit is totally worthless but whatever; it is funny when Ringo shows up
- the hits medley is an odd choice, clearly carefully put together but... why? and a major chronological outlier when it comes to the Beatles playing "Love Me Do," which they never trotted out on stage after '62 and hadn't played at the BBC since October

1964-06-04 KB Hallen, Copenhagen: I Saw Her Standing There/I Want to Hold Your Hand/All My Loving/She Loves You/Till There Was You/Roll Over Beethoven/Can't Buy Me Love/This Boy/Twist and Shout {A-/F}
- barely audible
- distant recording, probably from within the crowd, and tape degraded
- Jimmie Nicol is here on drums; this was their first show of several on this tour without Ringo, who was absent because of a tonsilectomy
- you can tell they're on fire still despite the personnel shakeup

The Beatles: Live: Adelaide Reaction (bootleg [2CD] 1964) [r]
Runs through the famous 1964 world tour -- including the largest-scale gig of all in Adelaide -- during the first portion of which Ringo was replaced by temporary Beatle Jimmie Nicol, who experienced the biggest short-lived whirlwind, and biggest cruel comedown, of probably anyone's life.

1964-06-05 TV special (Netherlands VARA-TV, Treslong, Hillegom): She Loves You/All My Loving/Twist and Shout/Roll Over Beethoven/Long Tall Sally/Can't Buy Me Love {C-/A-}
- in an interview, we meet "John Leopard"
- "it's like a football match"
- quite a weird one; it sounds like they are singing along to a record
- ... because they are; confusingly, it's a mimed performance for TV but with live sound!

1964-06-06 [afternoon] Veilinghal Op Hoop Van Zegen, Blokken: I Saw Her Standing There/I Want to Hold Your Hand/All My Loving/She Loves You/Twist and Shout [with voiceover interfering]/Long Tall Sally {A/B}
- still with Nicol in tow; "Jimmie, John, Paul and George"
- a bad audience recording but it's really fun to hear the audience singing along with enormous gusto to the songs, kinda brings home what it was all about
- I actually love this for some reason, though it's incomplete and some of it has irritating radio voiceover

1964-06-06 [evening] Veilinghal Op Hoop Van Zegen, Blokken: I Saw Her Standing There/I Want to Hold Your Hand [fragment]/All My Loving [fragment] {A-/B+}
- very incomplete show, obviously sounds a lot more clear (on the band) than the afternoon show... but less fun!

1964-06-12 Centennial Hall, Adelaide: I Saw Her Standing There/I Want to Hold Your Hand/All My Loving/She Loves You/Till There Was You/Roll Over Beethoven/Can't Buy Me Love/This Boy/Twist and Shout/Long Tall Sally {A/A-}
- the largest audience they ever played to (I think)... but alas, no Ringo
- the emcee demands "complete silence"!
- Paul loves saying that they recorded "All My Loving" "not so long ago"; why!?
- aside from George's vocal, "Roll Over Beethoven" sounds a little tepid; just the tape?
- John: "CRYYYHIHIHIIII" = that's a moment defined

1964-06-17 [afternoon] Festival Hall, Melbourne: I Saw Her Standing There/You Can't Do That/All My Loving/She Loves You/Till There Was You/Roll Over Beethoven/Can't Buy Me Love/This Boy/Twist and Shout/Long Tall Sally [intro only] {A-/B}
- tape is wobbly but not a terrible mix, kind of vocal-heavy
- "if i have to tell you bout that boy again"
- pretty jaunty version of "Till There Was You" (but bad solo); surprised how huge a response this song alwayss gets
- great backing vocals on "Roll Over Beethoven"
- "I think it's our latest record here. It is in England, anyway." - John, sounding tired, on "Can't Buy Me Love"
- they're having fun in a half-assed way on "This Boy"
- Ringo gets reintroduced!
- nice shout-out from Paul to the fan club presidents

1964-06-17 [evening] Festival Hall, Melbourne: I Saw Her Standing There/You Can't Do That/All My Loving/She Loves You/Till There Was You/Roll Over Beethoven/Can't Buy Me Love/This Boy/Twist and Shout/Long Tall Sally {A-/A-}
- alternate mix of this also included ("video mix" from The Beatles Sing for Shell), kind of pointless (and incomplete in places) but PC is nothing if not thorough
- they sound a tad fatigued but give it a lot of gusto, and it's a good sound mix
- reintroduction of Ringo is repeated here
- terrific versions of "Long Tall Sally," "You Can't Do That" and "All My Loving"

1964-06-19: Sydney Stadium, Sydney: I Saw Her Standing There [fragment]/You Can't Do That [fragment] {?/F}
- almost inaudible, with voiceover distorting it further

The Beatles: Live: Seattle Down (bootleg [2CD] 1964)
Two good shows -- Blackpool Night Out and Hollywood Bowl -- and a lot of garbage in between, with the usual added problem of repetitive setlists making it a difficult listening experience. General advice for all of the Beatles' live performances: if you choose to go through all these, take it a show at the time.

1964-07-19 "Blackpool Night Out" TV series (ITV - ABC Theatre, Blackpool): A Hard Day's Night/Things We Said Today/You Can't Do That/If I Fell/Long Tall Sally {A/B+}
- a fine gritty, raw performance, premier live Beatles
- a lot of hiss and some distortion on the tape, otherwise fine
- "Things We Said Today" is rollicking!

1964-07-28 Johanneshovs Isstadion, Stockholm: [intro only] {?/?}
- John and Paul both shocked by microphones at this show

1964-08-19 Cow Palace, San Francisco: Twist and Shout/She Loves You/A Hard Day's Night/Can't Buy Me Love [fragment]/You Can't Do That [fragment] {?/D-}
- band is almost inaudible; so is the tape, generally, it seems to have been recorded from some distance
- you do get a clear shot of the sheer insanity of peak Beatlemania at least
- some girl yells "OH BABY!"

1964-08-20 Convention Center, Las Vegas: Twist and Shout [fragment] {?/F}
- almost nothing here except the most horrendous hissing sound you've heard in your fucking life and the very faint opening strains of "Twist and Shout"

1964-08-21 Coliseum, Seattle: 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/Long Tall Sally {?/F}
- even more faint than the last two, a very very distant audience tape
- ...but an actual complete show at least; still pretty much worthless as a listening experience

1964-08-22 Empire Stadium, Vancouver: 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/Boys/A Hard Day's Night/Long Tall Sally {B/C-}
- wildly overdriven guitar sound on "Twist and Shout"
- severe distortion on tape, but you can actually hear the band
- the band is OK, not at their most professional, but this would be unlistenable if not for the fact that the prior two shows sound so awful
- John busts out laughing during "She Loves You"
- Paul screws up "Things We Said Today" lyrics: "be my one and only / if you say you're mine"... they're gettin' sloppy, man!
- George's voice cracks badly on "Roll Over Beethoven"
- "two kids crushed already"; the emcee asks people to back up: "the Beatles want to perform for you but they can't do it if you don't sit down"
- John: "we gotta hang on a minute while George changes a guitar... mmm mmmmm mmm mmm"
- they're cracking up again on "If I Fell," they just can't hold it together!
- Paul sings the word "pain" in country accent, then they totally wreck the harmonies, seemingly on purpose, which, okay, is pretty funny
- "we'd like to feature somebody who doesn't sing very often... BUT HE'S GONNA SING NOW!"
- someone comes onstage and warns the crowd again about moving back
- Larry Kane said this was a very rough night in terms of crowd control; show was cut short as a result

1964-08-23 Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles: 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/Long Tall Sally {A-/A}
- stereo sound! siren.gif
- pro recorded show, and they sound a lot better than they did last night
- golly these concerts are short (29 minutes!)
- "it's an oldie some of you older people might remember; it's from last year" - John on "She Loves You"
- vocals go out of sync briefly on "Things We Said Today," but the sudden acceleration on that song makes the crowd go crazy
- Paul says joining in for "Can't Buy Me Love" is "dead easy"
- John does the same "George changing his guitar" bit again, and will repeat it a lot from here on out
- crowd chants "WE WANT THE BEATLES" for some time after they leave the stage

The Beatles: Live: Convention Hall Wisdom (bootleg [2CD] 1964-65)
Another scattershot collection thanks to varying tape quality, but the actual complete shows and the TV appearances are nice.

1964-09-02 Convention Hall, Philadelphia: 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/Long Tall Sally {A-/B+}
- John at the start, in what will become a calling card: "hello?"
- some tape drag but overall pretty clear, and the band is extremely loud and tight here (except on "Things We Said Today" and "If I Fell")
- excessive rhythm guitar sound on "All My Loving"
- "Things We Said Today" gets screwed up vocally, and is a bit listless except the bridge which really kicks into gear again
- they really cannot nail the words to "If I Fell"
- splendidly wild "Long Tall Sally"

1964-09-03 State Fair Coliseum, Indianapolis: 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/Long Tall Sally [fragment] {A-/A-}
- unusually well-balanced recording for a bootleg
- John's sounding a little tired by this point; of course, was he ever really into playing for these huge crowds? could also just be vocal strain
- the banter is getting repetitive, it's nice when the cracks show ("the song is called... [off-mic] ready?... 'All My Loving'")
- "Things We Said Today" is far better than last night
- very strong, forceful drumming on "If I Fell"
- "thank you Ringo" "thank you John" "thank you Ringo"
- timing is fucked at the beginning of "A Hard Day's Night"
- bad tape flaws (digital transfer issues?) during "A Hard Day's Night"
- cuts off near the end of "Long Tall Sally"

1964-09-05 International Amphitheatre, Chicago: Twist and Shout [fragment]/You Can't Do That [fragment] {?/F}
- voiceover is an annoying Wolfman Jack-like freakshow
- band is basically inaudible, and only for nine seconds anyway

1964-09-06 Olympia Stadium, Detroit: Can't Buy Me Love [fragment] {?/F}
- radio news show voiceover
- also pretty much impossible to hear, like a homeopathic hint of them playing

1964-09-07 Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto: You Can't Do That [fragment]/All My Loving/She Loves You [fragment] {?/F}
- just tiny and very distant, boomy bits and pieces
- "All My Loving" is the whole song, but you can scarcely make it out; mostly crowd noise, recorded some distance from the stage

1964-09-08 Forum, Montreal: 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/Boys/A Hard Day's Night [fragment] {B+/D-}
- pretty much miserable to listen to because of bad tape
- ... though it seems like it was recorded close to stage (very clear vocals), problem is mostly the reproduction quality
- super muffled banter
- doesn't seem like a bad show but the quality is so so tinny and abrasive
- cuts off midway thru "A Hard Day's Night"

1964-09-12 Boston Garden, Boston: Twist and Shout [fragment] {?/F}
- mostly 30 seconds of screaming with irksome voiceover

1964-09-16 City Park Stadium, New Orleans: All My Loving [intro only]/She Loves You [intro only]/Things We Said Today [intro only]/Can't Buy Me Love [intro only]/If I Fell [intro only]/Boys [intro only]/A Hard Day's Night [intro only]/Long Tall Sally [intro only] {?/D}
- the banter alone, effectively pointless and difficult to hear under static-like sound (multiple generations?)

UNKNOWN: She Loves You [fragment] {?/F}
- a mess of bass and very faint singing and a crowd belting/screaming along

1964-10-03 "Shindig!" TV series (ABC - Granville Studio, London): Kansas City/I'm a Loser/Boys {A-/A-}
- finally something interesting...
- "Kansas City" and "I'm a Loser" hadn't been released yet at this point
- considerable clarity on these versions, which are simple, scaled-back and impressive
- one of the last handful of really excellent Beatles live performances
- "Kansas City" first heard w/o (most of the) audience interaction
- "I'm a Loser" is stunning here, a calm and reflective and appropriate performance... and the audience respects it! (maybe because they don't know it)
- a bold song for them to premiere on a big TV show, too
- "Boys" is kind of an antique here, weird choice, but enthused as always

1964-10-29 ABC Cinema, Plymouth: Twist and Shout [fragment] {?/F}
- 16 seconds, nothing to it

1965-04-11 [NME Poll Winners' Concert] Empire Pool, London: I Feel Fine/She's a Woman/Baby's in Black/Ticket to Ride/Long Tall Sally {A/A-}
- pretty much all new material except "Long Tall Sally," a relief to hear the band start to develop new stuff, and they sound relieved too
- "I Feel Fine" is a bit of a mess at this point vocally, otherwise terrific, and interestingly low-key
- obvious renewed enthusiasm on the part of the band in the banter
- "the song's called Baby's in Blackpool"
- extremely spirited version of "Ticket to Ride"
- Paul's wrecking the microphone on "Long Tall Sally" and there's an unusually improvisatory solo by George; one of the best versions of this they recorded

1965-04-28 Grammy Award presented by Peter Sellers on the set of Help! - Twickenham Studios, London: It's a Long Way to Tipperary {?/B+}
- "present them with their grandma that they have won from America"
- not much of a performance, not sure why it's here

The Beatles: Live: Les Beatles en Europe (bootleg [2CD] 1965) [r]
Documenting yet another long hot summer for the Beatles, their European tour and then the post-Help! publicity rounds in the runup to their most iconic live show ever, at Shea.

1965-06-20 afternoon Palais des Sport, Paris: Twist and Shout/She's a Woman/I'm a Loser/Can't Buy Me Love/Baby's in Black/I Wanna Be Your Man/A Hard Day's Night/Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby/Rock and Roll Music/I Feel Fine/Ticket to Ride/Long Tall Sally {A/A-}
- a lot of screaming but decent clarity on the band, who really pound thru "Twist and Shout" and "She's a Woman" to start out
- a surprisingly polished performance, and a slightly more respectful than usual audience (only slightly); this would've been a great show to see
- Paul speaks French: "un chanson qui s'appelle 'I'm a Loser'"
- "I'm a Loser" sounds... angry here! and killer harmonica solo
- "merci beaucoup, everybody"
- "Baby's in Black" and "I'm a Loser" are such weird choices to join the regular setlist, were the Beatles havin' a laff?
- impressively assured version of "Baby's in Black" too.
- "a haaard dayyy's NOIGHT"
- great band interplay and vocal on "Rock and Roll Music"
- John flubs the lyrics to "I Feel Fine", and Paul exhausts himself on "Long Tall Sally," but it's fun

1965-06-20 evening Palais des Sport, Paris: Twist and Shout/She's a Woman/I'm a Loser/Can't Buy Me Love/Baby's in Black/I Wanna Be Your Man/A Hard Day's Night/Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby/Rock and Roll Music/I Feel Fine/Ticket to Ride/Long Tall Sally {B/A-}
- the announcer only mentions Paul and Ringo, a premonition!?!?!?!
- audience singalong on "Twist and Shout"
- Paul wrecks the first verse of "She's a Woman" and they extend it
- they're a little weaker but it's forgivable on the second show on the same day
- John's voice is a bit worn out and doesn't seem to know where he is: "our new LP, Beatles '65 or something" [note: as it turns out, this isn't a reference to the Capitol LP; Beatles for Sale was called 1965 in France, and George mentions it as well]
- "Baby's in Black" is still pretty good though
- "A Hard Day's Night" has a cool, slightly slowed-down, almost bluesy vibe
- John forgets the second verse of "Ticket to Ride" and is off-key
- "Long Tall Sally" seems to be an encore, which is not something the Beatles typically did

1965-06-27 afternoon Teatro Adriano, Rome: Twist and Shout/She's a Woman/I'm a Loser/Can't Buy Me Love/Baby's in Black/I Wanna Be Your Man/A Hard Day's Night/Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby/Rock and Roll Music/I Feel Fine/Ticket to Ride/Long Tall Sally {B/D}
- the band is a muffled mess underneath crowd noise and hobnobbing, though you do get a feel for the atmosphere I guess
- the timing is really fucked on "She's a Woman," is this the band or a tape glitch?
- some girl yelling in Italian starting just before "Can't Buy Me Love" is the most amusing element of the tape
- severe tape problems on "A Hard Day's Night"
- ... and finally, tape hiss overtakes during "I Feel Fine"
- the tape gets severely bad again during "Ticket to Ride," stops and starts and drags, a terrible transfer of an already poor quality recording

1965-06-27 evening Teatro Adriano, Rome: Twist and Shout/She's a Woman/I'm a Loser [fragment] {B+/B-}
- "Twist and Shout" sounds fantastic and is a wonderful performance (though still the abbreviated version), would love this level of clarity on the afternoon show
- sadly, the tape gets muffled again after that, though stronger than the afternoon show, and of course most of this one is missing anyway

1965-08-01 "Blackpool Night Out" TV series (ITV - ABC Theatre, Blackpool): I Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside/I Feel Fine/I'm Down/Act Naturally/Ticket to Ride/Yesterday/Help! {B+/A}
- starts out with a weird comedy sketch, the usual contrived goofiness
- this is partly released on Anthology 2; it's a middling performance at times (great intro on "I Feel Fine") but has excellent moments and the tape quality is terrific
- "I'm Down" would eventually be so sloppy live but it's still fresh here and sounds pretty close to the studio version
- Ringo introduces himself in Paul's usual language ("someone who doesn't normally sing"). a very sweet moment.
- ...and he pokes fun at himself for being out of key but actually sings "Act Naturally" better than on the record.
- quite surprised "Act Naturally" wasn't included on Anth2
- the famous premiere performance of "Yesterday"; George: "so for Paul McCartney of Liverpool, opportunity knocks"; and after the song finishes, John's best-ever joke, which again won't be spoiled here
- anyway, it's a totally acoustic solo performance of "Yesterday" with canned strings and occasional insane screams
- John gets very exasperated at the screams
- an audibly bored or pissed off John: "our latest record, or our latest electronic noise depending on whose side you're on"

1965-08-14 "Ed Sullivan Show" TV series (CBS - Studio 50, New York): I Feel Fine/I'm Down/Act Naturally/Ticket to Ride/Yesterday/Help! {B-/A}
- a fairly workmanlike performance but not bad, without the flashes of inspiration in Blackpool -- and with an identical setlist
- far from a triumphant return to Ed's studio
- Paul does an Ed Sullivan "shoe" then starts I'm Down with "man buys ring woman throws it away" for some reason; John is already fucking off on the electric organ
- the song has clearly devolved in just 13 days, and Paul keeps cutting up and laughing, on coast to coast TV!
- Ringo's self-intro is virtually the same as at Blackpool, but a lot less affectionate and more rushed
- Ed, ending the first half: "now be quiet!"
- it sounds like John misses his cue at the start of "Ticket to Ride" but this is actually because the series producers wanted the band to vamp for a few bars for a video effect they were doing; you can see this on the Sullivan DVD
- George's intro of Paul for "Yesterday" has far less flavor than in England, but the performance is almost exactly the same; same stupid strings that wreck it
- John completely loses it on the lyrics to "Help!", and there's really no excuse cause he could probably hear himself here; also, didn't they rehearse!?
- Ed takes time out to speak to the band: "... just want to congratulate the four of you on the way you've handled yourselves"... !?!?

The Beatles: Live: Sheaken, Not Stirred (bootleg [2CD] 1965) [r]

1965-08-15 Shea Stadium, New York: Twist and Shout/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/Act Naturally/A Hard Day's Night/Help!/I'm Down {A-/A-}
- obviously, one of the most famous shows the Beatles ever played, with highest attendance (55,000) recorded for a single-headliner rock concert in the U.S. until 1973
- Ed Sullivan introduces, just a day after their return to his series
- this was filmed for a TV film so we get a professional recording, with screams muted, but there are surprisingly a lot of minor screwups on the band's part
- perhaps because of the outsized and unusual nature of the event, there's a lot of tuning on stage here; they all yell out "HELLOS" and then start greeting each other
- whatever the flaws of their performance, it is a pretty singular fucking moment in time
- "our album, Beatles VI I think"; "the album before last"... the Beatles sucked at banter by this point
- a rollicking "Dizzy Miss Lizzy"; though John's (amazing) vocal is a tiny bit out of sync, he seems to be having a better time today than he has in a while
- "Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby" is on Anthology 2 but this is a different mix
- pretty nice bass sound on this tape
- some odd pseudo-jazz phrasing by Paul on "Can't Buy Me Love"
- "it's also off Beatles VI or something. I don't really know what it's off. I haven't got it."
- fucking hell "Baby's in Black" is a weird song, so macabre!
- interesting that "Act Naturally" got 86'd after this, though it seems to come off well enough here
- John's in such a weird state here but he's fun to listen to, especially on "A Hard Day's Night"
- some confused chat from John just before "I'm Down"; there is famous footage of him playing the keyboard with his elbows while cracking up
- we are treated to the sound of someone dicking around with the microphone or recorder at the end

1965-08-18 Atlanta Stadium, Atlanta: Twist and Shout/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/Help!/I'm Down {A/B}
- intro: "make all the noise that you like, wave all the banners you have, but please take good care of yourself"
- "how you doin' there, Mal?"
- although this is perhaps the best Beatles performance we have aside from Stockholm and tape is very listenable and loud, it is a bit distorted/degraded, and there's some dropout during "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" and hiss during "Baby's in Black"
- George's guitar is a little sloppy on the "Twist and Shout" opener
- this was the Beatles' first show with monitors, and you start to hear the difference right away with "She's a Woman," which sounds actually good here; the Beatles -- or rather, Brian Epstein -- tried to hire the sound engineer!
- quotes from the band about the situation: "ooh, it's loud isn't it? great" - Paul; "it's great, you can hear it!" - John
- maybe the best-ever performance of "Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby," especially in terms of George's vocal
- they're really very clearly enjoying themselves on this show
- "we bring this song to you at great expense" re: "I Wanna Be Your Man" (something to do with the discarding of "Act Naturally" maybe?), an extremely raucous performance
- Paul breaks a string and John has to cover for him but says he can't think of anything to say
- did they play "A Hard Day's Night" and it's missing? can't tell, but before "Help!" John says "another song from a film"
- man they are ferocious and messy at this show!
- best "I'm Down" ever by far too. actually it's incredible, you can barely catch your breath when it's finished
- things could have been so different if every show was this well orchestrated

1965-08-19 afternoon Sam Houston Coliseum, Houston: Twist and Shout/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!/I'm Down {B/B+}
- there's an opening announcement that Help! will open in Houston a week later
- emcee has bad crowd control skills
- you can tell John's frustrated that he can't hear himself anymore when he steps to the microphone a day after Atlanta
- very bass-heavy tape
- John's voice sounds shredded on "Twist and Shout"
- some serious feedback emanating from somewhere during "She's a Woman"
- did we mention the outro from "She's a Woman" that was lopped off the master always shows up in live versions? groovin'
- Paul says "howdy, y'all"
- the backing vocals sound dreadful on "I Feel Fine," like an old-man chorus or something
- more banter about LPs: "Beatles 5 or '65 or '98 or something"
- George breaks up several times during "Everybody's Trying to Be My Baby"; vive la difference when unable to hear oneself
- "though it's only a whim, I think of him"... this kind of sloppiness permeates
- John wonders if anyone's listening and scats
- "our last single but one single but one single but one single"
- the tape starts to fray during "A Hard Day's Night"

1965-08-19 evening Sam Houston Coliseum, Houston: Twist and Shout/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!/I'm Down {D+/B+}
- announcement of safety concerns at outset; interesting!
- John's voice is 100% shot
- two shows in one day not good for John... he sounds awful (and Paul doesn't sound great either)
- solid guitar sound on "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" anyway
- John gets confused on the "Lizzy" lyric and they don't know when to end the song
- "my baby don't care" with miserable strain from both John and Paul / afterward, Paul: "ahem. Thank you, sorry about that"
- George's amp is barely miked?
- "Baby's in Black" comes off a llittle better, but even on the banter you can tell John is hoarse and miserable
- re: Ringo -- "someone who doesn't sing often, drunk much... etc."
- Ringo is totally silent vocally after the halfway point of "I Wanna Be Your Man" (not microphone dropout because you can hear him on the chorus)
- "Help!" is a train wreck, "I'm Down" actually isn't nearly as bad as I'd expect in this context
- the worst they've sounded, as a band, on any bootlegged show up to this point; there were no dressing rooms and it was hot, which probably aggravated the problems

The Beatles: Live: Bowled Over (bootleg [2CD] 1965-66) [r]

1965-08-21 Metropolitan Stadium, Minneapolis: 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!/I'm Down {B+/D}
- they skipped "Twist and Shout" due to John's voice still having problems
- this stadium was located in the spot where the Mall of America now stands
- this is an audience tape recorded from seemingly quite far away; you can hear the band a bit but you can hear the crowd chattering a lot more; still, there's a certain sociological appeal to this
- the band seemed to really cut loose on "She's a Woman" around this stage
- can't make out the banter but the crowd seems to really love it
- the screams are somewhat sporadic but enormous when they arrive, and it's usually hard to tell what prompts each big uproar
- a chunk of "Ticket to Ride" is missing
- some dad in the crowd is asking his kid to "pick ONE" of something
- at some point a girl near the recorder just says "BEATLES!"
- George prompts hysteria at the end of the Perkins cover
- "clap your hands! stamp your feet!... not now." gets a big laugh
- "Can't Buy Me Love" (the oldest single they're still playing at these shows) gets a thunderous reaction; there are tape glitches during the song
- "we'd like to do a song with that helicopter"... which you can hear on the tape

1965-08-29 Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles: Twist and Shout/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!/I'm Down {B+/B+}
- a complete three-track recording in stereo; since it's official, it's obviously much better quality and closer up with the band than usual
- only John is miked at first (on the tape), kind of interesting to only hear his harmonies... so "She's a Woman" is essentially instrumental until the chorus (which John sings on), you can just faintly hear Paul echoing
- John: "we can't really see you down here, you know"
- John's sardonic "Baby's in Black" intro is here and grafted onto the next night's performance, which is why it's not on the Giles remix, a source of consternation from yours truly when the reconstructed Hollywood Bowl album came out in 2016 -- whatever, I still miss it!
- despite the problems, one of the better "Dizzy Miss Lizzy" performances
- "we'd like to carry on with a song from our Beatles '93 album" - George
- George's timing gets all wacked out on the Perkins cover
- Paul's audio is finally fixed roundabout "Ticket to Ride"
- John says "nice boy, Ringo. we get on well with Ringo"

1965-08-30 Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles: Twist and Shout/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!/I'm Down {A-/A-}
- source for a lot of the official live album The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl (and if they'd just offered this night and the 1964 show in complete form, it would've been a better record)
- mostly impeccable sound quality (some tape wavering here and there) and a really solid performance
- nice, rough John vocal on "Ticket to Ride"
- banter: "a little bit of trouble with the amplifier"; "thank you Paul, it was great working with you"; "featuring somebody who doesn't normally sing, except every night"
- John seems to be having serious trouble with his microphone (he says "hello?" about 40 times toward the end), but we can hear him fine

1965-08-31 afternoon Cow Palace, San Francisco: Twist and Shout/Dizzy Miss Lizzy [fragment]/Can't Buy Me Love [fragment]/I Wanna Be Your Man [fragment]/A Hard Day's Night [fragment] {?/D-}
- just bits and pieces, and very bad quality
- Greil Marcus was at one of these shows, as he mentioned when I wrote him about the Atlanta gig; he recalled "I'm Down," which doesn't survive, as the highlight

1965-08-31 evening Cow Palace, San Francisco: Twist and Shout/She's a Woman {?/C-}
- only the beginning of the show is preserved

Jan 1966 - sweetening for Shea Stadium TV special: Twist and Shout/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/A Hard Day's Night/Help!/I'm Down {B/B+}
- doesn't sound like they did much to improve this, and of course it removes some of the spontaneity/authenticity
- "A Hard Day's Night" is interrupted by interviews from the TV show (lots of Brian Epstein)

The Beatles: Live: Far East Men (bootleg [2CD] 1966) [c]
Things start to go south here; if you care, you'll want to hear this anyway, but don't say we didn't warn you. Whether because of tape quality or (largely) lackluster performances there's nothing here a non-hardcore fan needs to hear, and even obsessives can stop with Budokan, which is best experienced with the visuals anyway.

1966-06-24 afternoon Circus-Krone-Bau, Munich: Baby's in Black/I Feel Fine/Yesterday/I Wanna Be Your Man/I'm Down {C/B}
- a bit under-rehearsed perhaps? they sound super ragged and disorganized
- on "Baby's in Black" they sound like old-ass men, and it's draggy
- kind of cool guitar sound in this setup, a bit more abrasive than usual
- "I Feel Fine" is wildly out of tune but it's kind of punk?
- George claims "Yesterday" is from Beatles for Sale
- extremely strange version of "Yesterday" with Paul straining to stay in key and a Paul Westerberg-like overdriven guitar!
- "I Wanna Be Your Man" is just a (highly aggressive and chaotic) clip preceded by radio voiceover
- "I'm Down" is mostly audience screams but Paul does his best, the rest of the band sounds tired

1966-06-24 evening Circus-Krone-Bau, Munich: Rock and Roll Music/She's a Woman/Nowhere Man/I'm Down {D+/C-}
- tuning for a while, then it does not a bit of good as "Rock and Roll Music" starts in insane disarray
- I think John sings "I'm tired of playing that rock and roll music"
- "She's a Woman" is just a fragment of wildly out of tune guitar
- they're really not together on the "Nowhere Man" harmonies, who thought this would be a good live number? it gets worse as it goes along, sounding like an intentionally warped My Bloody Valentine tape by the bridge
- this is the show at which the band intensely discusses how "I'm Down" starts then Paul completely fucks up every verse; John can barely hide his amusement
- the "I'm Down" guitar solo makes no sense, it's two steps from being a Dave Davies thing but of course not quite good enough!

1966-06-25 afternoon Grugahalle, Essen: Rock and Roll Music/She's a Woman/If I Needed Someone/Day Tripper/Baby's in Black/I Feel Fine/Yesterday/I Wanna Be Your Man/Nowhere Man/Paperback Writer/I'm Down {?/F}
- band is only faintly audible behind a wall of screams, and indeed it's impossible to determine whether they're any good here; it's quite a pity since this is actually a complete show
- note that they've started playing two songs from Rubber Soul plus recent singles "Paperback Writer" and "Day Tripper," and that "Twist and Shout" has finally been retired
- despite the claims including from yours truly that the setlists totally stagnated, this tour incorporates nothing older than Beatles for Sale except Ringo's sole centerpiece number
- synergy: the terrible harmonies on "If I Needed Someone" kind of resemble the fade of "I Want to Tell You"
- audience singalong to "Day Tripper" is kind of fun

1966-06-25 evening Grugahalle, Essen: Paperback Writer {?/F}
- band just faintly heard in background underneath German conversation

1966-06-26 afternoon Ernst Merck Halle, Hamburg: Day Tripper {?/D-}
1966-06-26 evening Ernst Merck Halle, Hamburg: Baby's in Black/I Feel Fine/I Wanna Be Your Man/Nowhere Man/Paperback Writer {?/D-}
- also: alternate sources with voiceover for "Nowhere Man" and "Paperback Writer"
- really disappointing you can't hear either of the Hamburg shows at all, as they'd be fascinating to hear
- some truly freaky acoustics in this place; random audience members' individual shouts are louder than the band
- what we can make out of "Paperback Writer" sounds like... rockabilly!? mach shau!

1966-06-30 Nippon Budokan Hall, Tokyo: Rock and Roll Music/She's a Woman/If I Needed Someone/Day Tripper/Baby's in Black/I Feel Fine/Yesterday/I Wanna Be Your Man/Nowhere Man/Paperback Writer/I'm Down {C-/A-}
- these were the shows that sparked controversy in Japan because staging a rock show at this venue was widely considered disrespectful; maybe, maybe not, but playing this badly in it certainly was
- raw and unkempt but sort of interesting in its fashion -- Paul wrings soul out of the situation, John is a bit listless
- audience sounds much more excitable than oft reported, though they do stay quiet for brief stretches unlike American crowds
- "our guitarist George"; his vocal is terrible on "If I Needed Someone"
- "Day Tripper" is an ungodly mess
- they were so exhausted of touring at this point and it's readily apparent, but they did take it to heart enough to try harder the next night
- okay but I really like "Yesterday" with drums
- "Paperback Writer" also sounds like shambolic trash though
- that this was pro-shot and recorded (and years later, officially released) makes it more distressing how rough-hewn they are

1966-07-01 Nippon Budokan Hall, Tokyo: Rock and Roll Music/She's a Woman/If I Needed Someone/Day Tripper/Baby's in Black/I Feel Fine/Yesterday/I Wanna Be Your Man/Nowhere Man/Paperback Writer/I'm Down {B+/B+}
- right out of the gate the band's a lot tighter; sadly the sound isn't quite as good
- this is an excellent representative stage show for this Beatles era but of course they are still sort of imprisoned in their live concerts
- George is still off-key here on "If I Needed Someone"; no wonder I saw this clip in Compleat Beatles and came to feel like "live" recordings sucked
- they still can't hack "Day Tripper" live either, though hellish menacing guitar sound
- one of the better live versions of "I Feel Fine," oddly; John sounds actually passionate on it
- this also is my favorite version of "Yesterday" pretty much anywhere, Paul is frayed in a nice way and the full band arrangement is cool
- Ringo's a little more relaxed on "I Wanna Be Your Man" too
- lyric problems on "Nowhere Man," otherwise a nice version
- ... and nice guitar stuff on "I'm Down"

The Beatles: Live: The Last Tour (bootleg [2CD] 1966) [NO]
Probably the worst Beatles disc you can listen to; pretty much nothing redeemable to hear till the very end, reflecting the misery among the band during the period in which these recordings were made. Useful only as a very convincing argument that they were right to cease touring when they did. That said, whatever method you must use to hear the Candlestick Park show is worth it -- though I must confess, it's more interesting if you are aware of how listless they are on the other shows that circulate from the tour.

1966-08-14 Cleveland Stadium, Cleveland: Day Tripper [fragment]/I Feel Fine [fragment] {?/D}
- the show has to stop because the crowd broke through the barrier; this is a bad, distant audience tape of just some bits but there's also a radio annoucement
- "some of the equipment has been broken"; this was the show where Mal had to save the instruments from the crowd at the end
- there was a 30 minute break before the Beatles returned to the stage
- "it was just an emotional show of Beatlemania, which proves the fans still love the Beatles!"

1966-08-17 afternoon Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto: If I Needed Someone {?/F}
- can barely hear them, mostly audience noise, which you can hear in better detail than the music!

1966-08-17 evening Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto: Rock and Roll Music/She's a Woman/If I Needed Someone/Day Tripper/Baby's in Black/I Feel Fine/Yesterday/I Wanna Be Your Man/Nowhere Man/Paperback Writer/Long Tall Sally {?/F}
- even more crowd chatter, even further from stage! it's like the homeopathy-style impression of a Beatles show.. though you can make out the bass well!
- would only mean anything to someone who was there
- person who's making the tape says something about a camera flash, and the intrigue of wondering what's being said outweighs the musical value here
- from what little we can hear it sounds like a blistering version of "Day Tripper"!
- "PAAAAAAAAAAAAAUL!"
- the crowd is very very into "Yesterday"
- "remarkable, isn't it?" some guy says

1966-08-18 Suffolk Downs Racetrack, Boston: She's a Woman [fragment]/Long Tall Sally [fragment] {?/F}
- a panicked sounding announcer: "the Beatles are continuing to play while the police try to restore order"

1966-08-19 afternoon Mid-South Coliseum, Memphis: Rock and Roll Music/She's a Woman/If I Needed Someone/Day Tripper/Baby's in Black/I Feel Fine/Yesterday/I Wanna Be Your Man/Nowhere Man/Paperback Writer/Long Tall Sally [fragment] {?/F}
- girl close to recorder keeps repeating that the Beatles are "beautiful" and then proceeds to freak out on a continual basis
- already bad tape starts to wow/flutter badly during "If I Needed Someone"
- the screaming is really annoying, one of the worst tapes for that

1966-08-19 evening Mid-South Coliseum, Memphis: Rock and Roll Music/She's a Woman/If I Needed Someone/Day Tripper/Baby's in Black/I Feel Fine/Yesterday/I Wanna Be Your Man/Nowhere Man/Paperback Writer/Long Tall Sally {?/F}
- one of the most nightmarish shows, and one of the most nightmarish recordings, in the Beatles (non-)canon
- it's basically another audience tape, but this one is exceptionally distorted (like the Italian one from '65) and idle chatter far from the stage overtakes
- vocals are very hard to make out except during quiet instrumental moments; and again, what we mostly get is bass
- because of the breathless reporting of John's supposedly anti-Christian remarks, the KKK was picketing outside the venue
- there's something fascinatingly hellish about the whole situation, and then the explosion happens
- this is the show (during "If I Needed Someone") at which some idiot set off a firecracker and each Beatle thought one of the others had been shot
- given what happened later, it's a chilling moment, which you can hear very clearly here; you can tell they're shaken by how frenzied the rest of the song sounds and by the comments afterward
- the tape starts to waver badly during "Yesterday" and it sounds fucking insane

1966-08-21 Busch Stadium, Boston: Rock and Roll Music [fragment]/She's a Woman [fragment] {?/F}
- barely anything here, just the segue between the two songs, bad watered-down MP3 quality

1966-08-23 Shea Stadium, New York: She's a Woman [fragment]/If I Needed Someone [fragment]/I Feel Fine [fragment]/Yesterday [fragment]/Paperback Writer [fragment] {?/D}
- opens with massive chorus of "We Love You Beatles"; radio announcer mentions "Yellow Submarine" which of course they never played
- all we hear is a radio news piece and a woman freaking the fuck out: "oh they're so great I love them" and "how can you just sit there when they're in our atmosphere?"
- some guy says the girls are screaming less this year; "they're not as popular as they were before"
- it's kind of a fun listen in a way but nothing musical
- typical sexist shit when radio announcer is talking to female fans about Beethoven and such
- someone talks to a "38 year-old Beatle fan"
- "we didn't pay $5.75 for nothing"
- a girl wishes they played longer, hear u sweetie

1966-08-29 Candlestick Park, San Francisco: Rock and Roll Music/She's a Woman/If I Needed Someone/Day Tripper/Baby's in Black/I Feel Fine/Yesterday/I Wanna Be Your Man/Nowhere Man/Paperback Writer/Long Tall Sally {A-/B+}
- last-ever Beatles concert, recorded by Tony Barrow; relatively low attendance
- they knew it was the end, hence the tape, and hence the photos they took
- George is having a lot more fun with guitar fills than usual during "Rock and Roll Music"
- Paul gives a rough-hewn, reflective vocal on "She's a Woman" as though he won't ever sing it again
- Paul typically refers to "If I Needed Someone" as a Rubber Soul track though of course it wasn't in America; a better than usual live take on that song, sort of mournful
- "this one's about the naughty lady called Day Tripper" - John
- "Day Tripper' has an interestingly lumbering, heavy classic rock quality on this tour, and this is the only tape where you can really hear it, with huge guitar and screams; more "what could have been" in re: their live presence
- the end of "Day Tripper" is a dirge, with a little guitar improv... great version; "Baby's in Black" is jarring afterward and suffers from tape distortion
- you can't really hear the screaming on this tape, apparently because of where Barrow was standing
- Paul says "oh very good" during "Baby's in Black" solo
- George sounds elated, announces "I Feel Fine" as being from "about 1959"
- drums aren't audible on "Yesterday"; Paul's vocal is excellent, more pained and less overly controlled than studio version, nice electric guitar too
- "it's a bit chilly" and it was, Candlestick Park was freezing at night
- a nostalgic "all right, George" during "I Wanna Be Your Man"
- John and Ringo thank each other several times; "lovely working with you, Ringo"
- "from our BBC album" ???
- the harmonies are weird on "Nowhere Man," is the microphone just not catching them? it sounds so out of place in a stadium anyway
- "we'd like to carry on... I think.. not really sure yet"
- "we'd like to say that it's been wonderful being here... sorry about the weather" then the craziest Paul intro to "Long Tall Sally" ever then it cuts off abruptly, and that's it, it's all over

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