At Shea and Candlestick Park 1966 (Medusa MD-010/11)
Disk 1 ; Intro – We Love You, Beatles / She’s A Woman / If I Needed Someone / I Feel Fine / Yesterday / Paperback Writer / Outro / Lee Gray Locker Room Interview / KYA 1260 Promo / 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 / Long Tall Sally ( excerpt ) (41:10)
Disk 2 ; Press Conference / The Beatles With Bruce Morrow / Junior Press Conference / Offline News From Boston / The Beatles at Shea Stadium / WTRY Promo / VOXX radio commercial (69:30)
The Beatles’ concert at Shea stadium entered in to bootleg lore early on in the production of the illegal platter mainly by utilizing tapes dubbed from the U.S. TV documentary to reel to reels and then pressed from those recordings. The Candlestick Park show was most famously released on Spank’s “Shea! / Candlestick Park” CD where Vigotone managed to get their hands on Tony Barrows’ personal cassette of the Beatles final U.S. show or last ever paid show, period. As common Beatles lore will have it, Tony’s tape was cut short due to the time of the concert running longer than the time of the side of a cassette so the final notes of ‘Long Tall Sally’ are lost forever.
Medusa records continue with their theme of concerts ( A series that began with their copy of the Hollywood Bowl upgrade ) with a compilation of the two shows that were held just 6 days apart in August 1966. What this fledgling label bring to the table is the fact that this release is blown up to a 2 disk set, rather than revealing any new musical revelations ( Something that seems to be more difficult to do with Fabs releases any more with only dribs and drabs seeing release over the past few years. )
It’s a great concept for the minuet collecting fan. A healthy grab – bag of the artifacts of the week are presented and anyone who is familiar with the previous releases of the shows will be more than acquainted with them anyway but here soundbites of the girls and boys in the crowd, the police men who were there to protect the event and some of the parents who were also in attendance are interviewed while the Beatles play far in the background. If you were expecting, like I was, another version of Shea then you’ll most likely be disappointed. Following on from this is Les Gray’s locker room interviews with the Beatles. It’s a really atrocious tape that is used rendering most of the interview unlistenable.
Much clearer is a local radio promo for the show. It’s passable for the fact that it’s something new, something Beatles related but hardly merits core collection status.
On to the Candlestick Park show and, as noted, its audio is from a hand held tape recording. Granted, Tony was in a very good position to have captured the show and the Fabs were in good shape, the cloud of the final show evidently looming large so they were bound to pick themselves up and give it one last push but, notwithstanding a soundboard recording, is collectible only by design.
Disk two brings us more of the artifacts that surrounded the show rather than the shows themselves. Beginning with The press conference at the Sheraton Hotel, New York on the 6th of August, 1966. Another day, another barrage of inane questions for the band and, as the individuals have notated before, they were bored with acting out their parts, granted given such a poor collection of questions to answer each and every time, it would have been tiresome for anyone.
The Bruce Morrow interview is more interesting as, faced by only one interviewer, the Beatles are much more confrontational, John refusing the microphone as he doesn’t want to be cajoled in to giving answers out, how filming “How I Won The War” was little more than a holiday. When pressed on whether any of the Beatles are considering marriage, Paul jokes about being queer to gales of laughter from the band but other wise won’t be swayed on an answer either way. George has obviously caught on too and won’t give specific answers to his questions, they’re either drawn out and vague or brief and disinterested. Ringo is a little more chatty and friendly but as everyone has left him alone it’s not long before the interview is cut short. It’s annoying from an inquisitive point of view if you’re expecting unheard gossip you won’t hear anything unsaid before but as from a point of view of the Beatles state of mind at the time it’s invaluable.
The Junior press conference falls part way between the Shea samples and the first conference on this disk. A really tinny sound mixed with whoops and cheers from the kids asking the questions. If you can make it through the shrill sound then you might hear a few new, bored, answers.
The offline news is just as difficult to listen to at first and features only brief extracts of actual Beatles involvement.
The Beatles at Shea segment is another reportage piece from prior to the show. Pieces from this segment were heard on the Anthology home video in much better quality. Some of the interviewees are a little more verbose than others but the Fabs, again, don’t make an appearance.
The WTRY promos and Voxx radio commercials are just as they say on the tin. Radio pieces to advertise stations or products – neither here nor there but of historical curiosity only.
From a musical point of view it’s hard to recommend this release as it only features one show and as it has been released on a few high profile releases before it’s hardly rare. The interview and conference segments are only of partial interest due to the inclement nature of the source recordings.
I’d confidently say, if you need and have to collect everything Beatles, then, of course, you need this set. If you can still find any of the other releases of the Candlestick Park releases. I’d purchase them instead.