August 29 proves to be an extremely vital and sad day in The Beatles music history 5 years ago

August 29 proves to be an extremely vital and sad day in The Beatles music history

"That's it, then. I'm not a Beatle anymore."

August 29, 1966 and The Beatles are playing a concert to thousands of their adoring fans in Candlestick Park, San Francisco.


The Beatles were sick of being on the road at this stage. Their fans were too loud and as silly a statement as that is to make, when it begins to affect your music, it defeats the whole purpose of playing live.

Two weeks previous, they played Shea Stadium to a staggering 56,000 Beatles-loving crowd and although the concert will go down as The Beatles' best of all time (described by Rolling Stone as the third and final pivotal moment in Beatlemania), it was here where the cracks began to show.

Touring and playing live became more of a chore for the band instead of a happy experience and this came down to a few factors.

For a start, the demand for tickets to see the band play live was out of this world. It was unheard of at the time to play stadium gigs but such was the interest in seeing the band, promoters had no choice but to book stadiums.


The stadiums affected the band's sound quality because amplification technology at the time was unable to fill the vast spaces in the grounds.

The sound was an absolute mess and in turn, add tens of thousands of screaming fans into the mix and you have a recipe for disaster.

The Beatles couldn't even hear themselves play and this was something that the band pointed to when explaining their decision to pack it all in, as Ringo Starr points out in their Beatles Anthology documentary:

"It was coming to the end for me. Nobody was listening at the shows. That was OK at the beginning, but [now] we were playing really bad."


Starr would watch on carefully from the back and often tried to pick up on certain movements from the front three in order to determine what part of the song they were on for his drumming.

Clip via MikMacBoum 

Fast forward 14 days, and it might not have just been the band that were angry with the poor sound and inadequate concerts.


Candlestick Park could hold 42,500 but just over half of the tickets were actually sold. The show ran at a huge loss and was a major disappointment for both the band and fans alike, considering the triumphant show half a month before.

They played: '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'.

The band had learned from the Shea Stadium gig that if they wanted to have any chance of being heard, 'She Loves You' and 'I Wanna Hold Your Hand' needed to be axed.

It seems as though the thought of quitting for good had been present in the minds of Lennon and McCartney before this, both of whom dropped big hints during the gig.

Firstly, Lennon took a camera onto the stage in San Franciso (something they had never done before), where they took pictures of the crowd, the band and even snaps of themselves. The world's oldest selfie perhaps?


The second major hint is the few words spoken by McCartney before introducing the second last song of the night.

"We'd like to carry on, I think. We're not really sure yet. I'd like to carry on, certainly. Definitely. Well, shall we just watch this for a bit? Just watch it. The next song is called 'Paperback Writer'."

It may not have been a unanimous decision but it was happening. In truth it was inevitable. the next Beatles album wouldn't have stood a chance in a stadium, a song like 'Tomorrow Never Knows' wouldn't have got the justice it deserved.

According to the Beatles Bible, as the Fab Four flew back to Los Angeles, George Harrison was overheard saying on the plane: "That's it, then. I'm not a Beatle anymore."

They did play their famous rooftop performance in 1969 but to many fans, this was their final farewell in live music.

Luckily, their press officer Tony Barrow was on hand to record their gig at Candlestick Park.

Clip via TheBeatlesAtTheStudio231