googled06bb313055e587a.html Rock N Roll Rehab for the Control Of Rock and Roll Starring Greg Piper and The Tooners: The Beatles’ Black Fans

The Beatles’ Black Fans

    In 1965 the Beatles played San Francisco’s Cow Palace and according to their performance rider they refused to go on stage if the audience was racially segregated. This rider recently sold at auction for more than $23,000.00. It was estimated to go for $3,000.00 to $5,000.00 so someone really wanted it. The year before the Beatles threatened to cancel a performance in Florida when they found out the audience was to be segregated so apparently after that they added that provision to their standard rider, at least in America.
    This is of course highly commendable and as always the Beatles showed they were ahead of their time but I’ve seen tons of audience footage from Beatle concerts over the years and segregating their audience really shouldn’t have been much of a problem. Maybe in Florida and the South they had more nonwhite fans, but at Shea Stadium, The Hollywood Bowl, Candle Stick Park and other venues you’d be hard pressed to find a black face in the massive crowds. Most of the black attendees were the musicians on stage from the opening acts. Remember, back in the Sixties, Motown was huge, the equal of the British Invasion and loved by white kids as well as black kids. Those shows were segregated in areas prone to that mentality but the Beatles were for the most part a white kids’ musical phenomena. You could probably segregate an entire Beatle audience of 65,000 by putting the non white fans onto one bench.

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1 comment:

  1. As the fuglemen of modern pop music, it comes as no surprise that The Beatles would be outraged to think that any audience of theirs would be segregated along racial, or any other line. This is for the simple reason that in human terms, music is the greatest transcendent experience. Music blends all colors into infinite yet tangible tones, and music connetcts us immediately to our sphere without the confines of the intellect. The universe itself is composed of an infinte series of never-ending vibrations, and so we vibrate as musical creatures, regardless of individual favorite key or gamut. I personally believe that race does not exist; that a skin hue exists only as an impression in the mind, and not as some sort of objective truth. Our absolute nature--our appearance--is known only to God. I can't say that The Beatles would agree or disagree with me on the subject, but surely their gorgeous music speaks for itself without delivering any heavy-duty metaphorical homily. Clearly, in 1965, they were more concerned with righting an egregious social wrong, than with meandering through metaphysical waters. All I know, is that their music moves me in a primal way--the relative and transient color of my skin notwithstanding.