February 24, 2018

50th anniversary of KC Beatles concert coming up

Finley was reviled by KC baseball fans but loved by its Beatle fans.

Finley was reviled by KC baseball fans but loved by its Beatle fans.

Sir Paul McCartney returns to Kansas City for a concert this Wednesday, July 16, at the Sprint Center as part of his “Out There” tour. It will be the first time I have seen him perform, but it’s the rock icon’s fifth visit to our town.
The first, of course, was when the Beatles played a concert on Sept. 17, 1964, at old Municipal Stadium as part of their first American tour.
Paul’s next KC appearance came on May 29, 1976, at Kemper Arena on the “Wings Over America” tour. Four tracks – “Maybe I’m Amazed,” “Listen to What the Man Said,” “The Long and Winding Road” and “Letting Go” – recorded at Kemper appear on the triple live album bearing the title of the tour.
McCartney performed at Arrowhead Stadium on May 31, 1993, on his “New World” tour, followed by a July 24, 2010, show at Sprint Center on his “Up and Coming” Tour.
We’re blessed to have both surviving Beatles visit KC this year. Ringo Starr brings his All-Starr Band to Starlight Theater Oct. 4. He was last here June 28, 1992, playing at Sandstone.
John and George never returned after 1964.
I have been gathering information about the Beatles’ 1964 KC concert in preparation for a presentation on the 50th anniversary of the event. It’s set for 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 14 at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St., as part of the KCMO Public Library’s free Missouri Valley Speaker Series.
I’m honored to have been asked to give this talk. And while I have some materials, I am desperately seeking more, both for the talk and for the book I hope to publish on KC Rock History. So if anyone out there has photos taken at the show, no matter how grainy, or other memorabilia, please write me at rick@kcrockhistory.com. You can scan and send it to me (high-res, please!) or loan it to me for scanning and be assured I will take good care of it. And please post your memories of the show below.


  1. Hello Rick, I was at the concert on September 17, 1964. It was a Thursday night, threatening to rain all day. It may have rained earlier in the day but not during the concert.

    I took pics, but they didn’t turn out so good. Over the years I lost them. I DO have clips of the articles that appeared in the KC newspapers.

    One thing I’d like to clear up. It’s a mistake that has appeared in almost every book that mentions the concert: The Beatles did NOT, repeat, DID NOT, sing “Kansas City, Hey Hey Hey.” Anyone who was there will tell you that. And the newspaper accounts of the songs sung, support my statement. If someone says they were there, and The Beatles sang “Kansas City,” they weren’t there or they’re not remembering correctly.

    They came on stage after a short break following the warm-up acts, and started in the middle of “Twist and Shout.”
    I had an $8.50 ticket which was a lot for those days. I was with two neighbors: one was my cousin and the other was a friend down the street. Both girls.

    I’m not sure why else to say, but I can try to answer any questions about the event that you have.

    Best Wishes,

    David Briscoe
    Oroville, CA

  2. My sixteen-year-old brother, Mark Smith, had two tickets to The Beatles show at Municipal Stadium. His date, Sherry Smiley, was the sister of a friend, Butch Smiley. Sherry’s dad nixed her going at the last minute because it was a school night and the show was in the inner city. Mark only had a drivers license for a few months and the possibility that Sherry might be in a wreck or get trampled by a crowd of teenagers was too much to risk, in her dad’s eyes.

    I was a twelve-year-old fledgling drummer on that fateful day in September, 1964 . When I arrived home from Nallwod Junior High School in Overland Park, Kansas, I was depressed that I was not going to see the most famous drummer in the world, Ringo Starr. Walking into the house, I overheard my mother say to Mark, “Maybe Dan would like to go.” Excitedly, I asked, “Go where?”. I was then informed of Sherry’s bad luck and my good fortune. I gave Mark all the money that I had (two dollars) and we jumped into the family’s Ford Falcon and we made our way down to KC’s old jazz district. After parking the car in somebody’s front yard for a small fee, which was the custom at KC Athletics’ baseball games, we hurriedly headed towards the stadium, laughing for a brief moment when we heard an older lady shout “Hurry or you’ll miss the game!”.

    Entering the stadium, I just about jumped out of my shoes when I saw The Beatles logo on the front of Ringo’s drum kit as it sat on the stage that was placed where second base would normally be. When they announced The Beatles, we realized that we could not hear the band over the screaming in the box seats that Mark had purchased. So, we moved back up the aisle and stood under a loud speaker where we could still see the band and also hear the show.

    Years later, I read that A’s owner, Charlie O. Finley, paid $150,000.00 for a less than thirty minute show by The Beatles that night. That’s more that $5,000.00 a minute in 1964 money. When my band, Riverrock, was at it’s peak of popularity in Kansas City, we were never paid $5,000.00 for a whole night. But, The Beatles we ain’t. I’m just glad that I was there that historic night to see my favorite band of all time.

    Dan Smith
    8829 E. 61st Terrace
    Raytown MO 64133

  3. Bev Humphrey says:

    I was there. My father was friends with Charles Finley and got front row tickets for me and a friend from St. Louis. It was amazing! My friend and everyone around me screamed the whole time. I kept telling everyone to stop so that I could hear the music….to no avail. Girls were even passing out around me. But it was amazing and I now wish that I had kept some keepsake from that night. Somehow later, my friend and I managed to get a phone number (from my father?) for the hotel they were staying at and all I can remember is dialing the number and someone with a British accent answered the phone (it sounded like George) and he hung up when we couldn’t say anything and just giggled.

  4. Those of you with KC Beatles photos or home movies – Ron Howard and Apple want to hear from you.

  5. Cynthia Hill says:

    I was 14, totally in love with the Beatles, and somehow convinced my parents to let me go. My dad drove me and a friend to Municipal Stadium, and since it was so far from our house in Leawood, he waited out in the parking lot. He told me later he couldn’t believe the mayhem as he watched through the fence. Before the concert started, I remember someone on the loud speaker telling us to stay in our seats, but the minute the Beatles came out, we all got up and rushed as close as possible. I still have a program that I believe I bought at the concert — not positive but pretty sure that’s where I got it. The cover is the same photo as is on the Beatles’ first US album and the same size. I kept my ticket for many, many years but it has since disappeared so was glad to see the one on this page. $8.50 was like a fortune!

    A week or so after the Beatles left town, my friend and I took the bus downtown (as we often did in those days on Saturdays — downtown was great fun to us for shopping and hanging around) and went into the Muehlebach Hotel, took the elevator up to the penthouse suite, and rubbed our hands on its door handle, knowing that “they” had stayed there and probably had touched the door handle. That’s how bad our crush on the Beatles was!

    Just last night, I saw Paul in concert at Target Field (Twins stadium) in Minneapolis last night and at age 72, he’s just as phenomenal as ever.

  6. I was only 8 years old when the Beatles came to K.C. My friend Jim Tatum’s father lost a $100 bill and Jim found it. We used the money to take a cab to and from the concert and buy 2 tickets. We told the cab driver that our parents were already there and we were meeting them at the concert. We had told each other’s parents that night that we were staying at the other guy’s house pretty late that night to watch a couple of long movies. Everyone at the concert assumed that we were with our parents, so we crowded toward the front as much as we could. There were tons of cute girls screaming as load as they could.


  1. Kopf Cajon says:

    Kopf Cajon…

    50th anniversary of KC Beatles concert coming up…

Speak Your Mind