The 40 greatest concerts in Boston history: 7

The Beatles | Suffolk Downs | August 18, 1966
By PHOENIX STAFF  |  October 26, 2006


Promotional poster for the Beatles' Suffolk Downs show
It was impossible to see the Beatles and actually hear them. “All you could hear was the screams and a kind of low rumble, which was the music,” says Johnny A, the Boston-based guitar star whose life was changed by the Fab Four. Although the Beatles had appeared in Boston once before, on September 12, 1964, this Suffolk Downs show nearly doubled the Garden audience of 13,000 as the group was ramping up to the height of its success touring behind Yesterday . . . and Today (Capitol). A’s account of the raggedy sound and swirl of humanity click with the Beatles own frustrations about the sonic and experiential quality of their live performances, which would make the Suffolk Downs show one of the very last Beatles dates. “This was my first real concert,” A says. “I was at the front with my face pressed into the chain link fence. They had the band playing out in the middle of the racetrack. It seemed like they were a mile away but it was maybe 100 feet. It was chaos through the whole set, which lasted something like 20 minutes. What they played is kind of blurry. You had to block your ears to filter out the high end, all the screams, to hear some of the music. George Harrison did ‘If I Needed Someone,’ they did ‘Long Tall Sally’ and, I think, ‘Nowhere Man.’ It was hard to hear, but still an amazing experience.”
<< U2Green Day >>

Were you there? Wish you were? Seen better? Tell us about it below.

Related: RI DOT marks the spot, Gal Costa, The Major Labels, More more >
  Topics: Live Reviews , The Beatles, U2, George Harrison,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   DEAR PROVIDENCE PHOENIX...  |  October 15, 2014
    Some made us chuckle, others made us choke up.
  •   BACK TO REALITY  |  September 18, 2014
    If you’re a student in southern Maine and are at all interested in arts and humanities, and have a budget of exactly $10 to spend on any one event, there’s a lot in your favor.
  •   FALL ARTS PREVIEW  |  September 12, 2014
    Week-by-week highlights until the holiday season
  •   PRIMARY ENDORSEMENTS  |  September 03, 2014
    Picking a 2014 Democratic gubernatorial candidate isn’t simple.
  •   TOUR DE RHODE ISLAND  |  May 28, 2014
    Plus, biking myths debunked, driving etiquette tips from a bike messenger, and more

 See all articles by: PHOENIX STAFF