Hear the Beatles Play Their Final Concert 50 Years Ago Today (August 29, 1966)

50 years ago today, the Bea­t­les played their final offi­cial con­cert and put an end to their tour­ing career. It all hap­pened at the now defunct Can­dle­stick Park in San Fran­cis­co.

As Josh Jones told us in 2014, “know­ing it would be their final show, the band brought a cam­era onstage to take pho­tos of the crowd and them­selves.” And “Paul McCart­ney asked the band’s press offi­cer Tony Bar­row to record the con­cert on a hand-held tape recorder.” Bar­rows even­tu­al­ly talked more about how this record­ing came to see the light of day. He said:

Back in Lon­don I kept the con­cert cas­sette under lock and key in a draw­er of my office desk, mak­ing a sin­gle copy for my per­son­al col­lec­tion and pass­ing the orig­i­nal to Paul for him to keep. Years lat­er my Can­dle­stick Park record­ing re-appeared in pub­lic as a boot­leg album. 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, but we nev­er did iden­ti­fy the music thief!

Above, you can hear the Bea­t­les’ last 28 min­utes as a live act—save, of course, their impromp­tu gig played on a Lon­don rooftop in 1969. For all its rough­ness, there’s a good chance that the sound qual­i­ty rivals what fans heard that cold August night in Can­dle­stick. Like oth­er sta­di­ums from that era, Can­dle­stick had a god-awful sound sys­tem, ill-equipped to com­pete with an end­less bar­rage of teenage screams and gusts of wind. But that did­n’t stop fans from enjoy­ing the show all the same.

Find a setlist for the 11-song con­cert below:

01. “Rock and Roll Music”
02. “She’s a Woman”
03. “If I Need­ed Some­one”
04. “Day Trip­per”
05. “Baby’s In Black”
06. “I Feel Fine”
07. “Yes­ter­day”
08. “I Wan­na Be Your Man”
09. “Nowhere Man”
10. “Paper­back Writer”
11. “Long Tall Sal­ly” (Incom­plete)

If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newslet­ter, please find it here. Or fol­low our posts on Threads, Face­book, BlueSky or Mastodon.

If you would like to sup­port the mis­sion of Open Cul­ture, con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your con­tri­bu­tions will help us con­tin­ue pro­vid­ing the best free cul­tur­al and edu­ca­tion­al mate­ri­als to learn­ers every­where. You can con­tribute through Pay­Pal, Patre­on, and Ven­mo (@openculture). Thanks!

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Peter Sell­ers Reads The Bea­t­les’ “She Loves You” in 4 Dif­fer­ent Accents: Dr. Strangelove, Cock­ney, Irish & Upper Crust

Watch HD Ver­sions of The Bea­t­les’ Pio­neer­ing Music Videos: “Hey Jude,” “Pen­ny Lane,” “Rev­o­lu­tion” & More

The Bea­t­les’ Rooftop Con­cert: The Last Gig Filmed in Jan­u­ary 1969

by | Permalink | Comments (2) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Comments (2)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.