On this day in history, August 29, 1966, the Beatles played their last live paid concert

On this day in history, August 29, 1966, the Beatles played their last live paid concert

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The Beatles came together for their final live performance on this day in historyAugust 29, 1966.

The concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco Was never announced as the band’s last dance, but there was plenty of speculation that the boys were looking to call it quits, according to The Beatles Bible.

Although the Fab Four made a surprise appearance on the rooftop of the Apple building in London on Jan. 30, 1969, Ringo Starr wrote in an anthology that it was clear the Candlestick Park performance would be the band’s official finale.

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“There was a big talk at Candlestick Park that this had got to end,” Starr wrote in the anthology.

“At that San Francisco gig it seemed that this could possibly be the last time, but I never felt 100% certain till we got back to London.”

The Beatles perform “Rain” and “Paperback Writer” on the BBC TV show “Top of the Pops” in London on June 16, 1966.
(Mark and Colleen Hayward/Redferns)

Starr revealed that bandmate John Lennon was itching to give up more than the others.

“He said that he’d had enough,” he wrote.

Even though The Beatles have been recognized all over the globe — including in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — as one of the most influential bands of all time, the group’s final performance was not particularly show-stopping.

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While the park’s capacity was 42,500 people, only 25,000 tickets were sold, according to The Beatles Bible, which left large gaps in seating sections.

The Beatles’ fee to play was about $90,000 — while fans paid $4.50 to $6.50 per ticket.

The Beatles pull up to perform at Candlestick Park in San Francisco on Aug.  29, 1966.

The Beatles pull up to perform at Candlestick Park in San Francisco on Aug. 29, 1966.
(Bob Campbell/San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)

The show turned out to be a financial loss for promoter Tempo Productions, due to low ticket sales and the arrangement that 15% of sales would go to the city of San Francisco.

Candlestick Park was originally the home of Major League Baseball’s San Francisco Giants.

The stage was located on the field, just behind second base. He stood five feet high.

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The Aug. 29 show began at 8 pm, starting with supporting acts The Remains, Bobby Hebb, The Cyrkle and the Ronettes.

The show’s emcee, “Emperor” Gene Nelson of KYA 1260 AM radio, described the August night as “cold, foggy and windy” in the book “The Beatles Off the Record” by Keith Badman.

A poster advertising The Beatles' final concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California, on Aug.  29, 1966.

A poster advertising The Beatles’ final concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California, on Aug. 29, 1966.
(GAB Archive/Redferns)

“The funniest thing this night was one of the warm-up acts, Bobby Hebb. He stood up on the stage at Candlestick Park, with the fog, and the wind blowing, and he was singing ‘Sunny’!” he said.

Nelson remarked that emceeing the event was difficult, especially since The Beatles were “taking their time” backstage.

“The dressing room was chaos,” he said. “There were loads of people there. The press tried to get passes for their kids and the singer Joan Baez was in there. Any local celebrity, who was in town, was in the dressing room.”

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“They were having a party in there. They were having a perfectly wonderful time, while I was freezing my buns off on second base!”

George Harrison, center, Ringo Starr, partially obscured, and the rest of The Beatles walk onto the infield of San Francisco's Candlestick Park for their last paid public concert on Aug.  29, 1966.

George Harrison, center, Ringo Starr, partially obscured, and the rest of The Beatles walk onto the infield of San Francisco’s Candlestick Park for their last paid public concert on Aug. 29, 1966.
(Robert Stinnett/Oakland Tribune; Digital First Media Group/Oakland Tribune via Getty Images)

The band finally hit the stage at 9:27 pm and played an 11-song setlist, according to The Beatles Bible.

This included the tracks “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” and “Long Tall Sally.”

George Harrison recounted setting up the camera with a “fisheye, wide-angle lens” on top of an amplifier.

As the group realized the performance would be their last, Lennon and McCartney brought a camera on stage to document the moment.

They took pictures of the crowd and of themselves in selfie-style — well ahead of their time.

In “The Beatles Off The Record,” George Harrison recounted setting up the camera with a “fisheye, wide-angle lens” on top of an amplifier.

Police officers clear the field of enthusiastic fans as The Beatles perform at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California, on Aug.  29, 1966.

Police officers clear the field of enthusiastic fans as The Beatles perform at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, California, on Aug. 29, 1966.
(Bettmann/Contributor via Getty Images)

“Ringo came off the drums, and we stood with our backs to the audience and posed for a photograph, because we knew that was the last show,” Harrison said.

McCartney was set on fully memorializing the moment, asking Beatles press officer Tony Barrow to capture the concert on audio cassette.

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“I remember Paul, casually, at the very last minute, saying, ‘Have you got your cassette recorder with you?” and I said, ‘Yes, of course,'” Barrow said in “The Beatles Off the Record.”

“Paul then said, ‘Tape it, will you? Tape the show,’ which I did.”

Barrow went on to describe the performance as “nothing special” in comparison to other shows, except for some extra musical ad-libs.

Barrow recorded 30 minutes of the show on one side of the tape, which cut off during the last song, “Long Tall Sally.”

Only two copies were made — one for McCartney and one for Barrow — but bootleg recordings have been widely surfaced since.

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“If you hear a bootleg version of the final concert that finishes during ‘Long Tall Sally,’ it must have come either from Paul’s copy or mine,” Barrow wrote in his book “John, Paul, George, Ringo and Me.”

“But we never did identify the music thief!”

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