Friday, August 25, 2006

When the Beatles invaded Houston

They only played for 35 minutes. But during that time, they were pelted with paper, keys and jelly beans.

The Beatles put on two shows at the Sam Houston Coliseum on Aug. 19, 1965. Billed as KILT's "Sixth Annual Back-to-School Show," ticket prices were $5. Russ Knight -- The Weird Beard -- was master of ceremonies.

Much has been written about their stop in Houston. The Chronicle's coverage can be found here. Images of the tickets (and the newspaper ad seen here) can be found here.

I've provided an MP3 from the show. This file contains four minutes from a recording made from the Beatles' 3:30 p.m. show. The file fades out at the beginning of "Twist and Shout." What's important is the level of screaming inside the arena leading up to when they took the stage!

Some tidbits from the local media that covered the event:

  • John Lennon, speaking at a press conference at the Sheraton-Lincoln hotel:
"We haven't seen much of (Texas). We've only seen Dallas and here. We nearly got killed both times."

  • Some girls donned maids' uniforms to sneak into the hotel:
"We haven't hired any 14-year-olds here, though," a hotel spokesman said. "We stopped them all."

  • A gaggle of teenagers swarmed around the Beatles' chartered airplane after it landed at Houston International Airport. Some managed to walk on the wings and knock on the windows.
"They were scared to death," said Ira Sidelle, the Beatles' company manager. "They didn't want to go out unless they could have protection."

"Terrified," said Ringo Starr.



At 10:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 2:01 PM, Blogger Lynda said...

I was there too! It was unreal. I loved it!

At 4:45 PM, Anonymous earl said...

My friend mike his sisters Jenny Peggy and Marylue Front row
Jenny Held her sign with Howdee written on it and John Said Howdee Back at her What a good time
From Earl

At 11:34 AM, Blogger andy said...

The Houston Coliseum "Back to School" 65concert and much,much more is available at I was in Houston those days, but Daddy said no.

At 8:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello. My great grandfather was a police officer at the time of this concert. He was backstage, and after the performance, Ringo handed him his drumsticks. My grandmother saw him hand them to my great grandfather. She passed them on to my mother, and my mother passed them on to me. So, long story short, I am the owner of an actual pair of Ringo's drumsticks!

At 1:20 PM, Anonymous Johnney said...

I got downtown at 6am.after riding a bus from Victoria. There was allready several hundred peple standing around. Around noon the police rounded us up and put us on a valcant lot across the street fron the Music Hall. Someone steeped off the curb like to make run for the doors and the rush was on. I was about the 60th person thru the doors, I set on the 5th row as there were policemen standing in front of the stage. Loved it but don't see how anyone behind me could have heard them. Would do it all over again if I could. John

At 6:47 PM, Anonymous Gary M said...

I was there with my GRANDMOTHER!!!!!!!!! I still remember the sound of those screaming teenage girls! I've never heard anything like it since! I can also see thousands of flashes from their cameras. Those girls would all be in their 60's now! I remember they brought the Beatles into the Coloseum in an armored car and pandemonium broke out. A stage hand took the name of the opening band off of the kick drum to reveal the name"The Beatles" and that's when the screaming began! Pretty cool memory for a 68 yr old grandfather!

At 11:21 PM, Anonymous Cheryl said...

For anyone who wants to hear the entire show - check out youtube. Also the Houston Chronicle has posted many photos - and there are many more at the Houston Archives. I was at the first show. Screamed my fool head off. My eyes were totally glued to Paul - rarely glanced at the other three. After the show I had to have my tongue rolls back up!! Incredible day and all that for a show hardly half an hour in length!!!

At 11:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy 50th Anniversary of that day.
Several of my fellow 'Beatlemaniac' friends and I came all the way to Houston from Texarkana. Thoroughly ENJOYED SEEING AND HEARING John, Paul, George, and Ringo....ALL our dear and darlin' BEATLES.
I'm the girl who accidentally sent one of my John Lennon books sailing above some of y'alls' heads....I Quickly retrieved my copy of "In His Own Write". {Had to climb down several of the balcony steps to get it. Sorry. Thanks to y'all for not scooping it up for yourselves. That book had INSIDE it autographs of John Lennon, Neil Aspinall, and Derek Taylor from the previous year of 1964 when the Beatles had played their one Texas concert that year.}


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