The Beatles in Detroit 1966

The Beatles Detroit 1966

The Beatles played at Olympia Stadium in Detroit on August 13th, 1966. There was an afternoon and evening concert and I had the privilege of photographing the afternoon concert from on stage. I was assisting photographer, Tony Spina, who had been given permission to photograph the concert. When the concert began, I was backstage and Mal Evans, the Beatles road manager, gave me a nod to get on the stage during the concert and from that vantage point I made the following photographs. When the lights went up I found myself between the Beatles and a double row of Detroit Police who were protecting the stage.

They were serious about trying to give a good concert, even though they knew virtually nobody could hear them through the hysteria. When the Beatles ran up on stage I heard the loudest, spontaneous roar I ever experienced. In the ninety degree heat, I thought the top of the stadium would blow off. During the concert I stood not more than ten feet from John Lennon and Paul McCartney, watching them laugh and joke … John broke a string and just kept on playing. I also had the opportunity to observe the Beatles before and after the concert. They seemed to truly enjoy what they were doing; they were very friendly, posing for photos, talking and joking with anyone who could get through the security. They spoke with such thick accents that I had to listen very hard to understand what they were saying.

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