The Beatles banned segregated audiences

The Beatles showed their support for the US civil rights movement by refusing to play in front of segregated audiences, a contract shows.

The document, which is to be auctioned next week, relates a 1965 concert at the Cow Palace in California. Signed by manager Brian Epstein, it specifies that The Beatles “not be required to perform in front of a segregated audience”.

The agreement also guarantees the band payment of $40,000 (£25,338). Other requirements include a special drumming platform for Ringo Starr and the provision of 150 uniformed police officers for protection…

The Beatles had previously taken a public stand on civil rights in 1964, when they refused to perform at a segregated concert at the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Florida.

City officials relented, allowing the stadium to be integrated, and the band took to the stage.

“We never play to segregated audiences and we aren’t going to start now,” said John Lennon. “I’d sooner lose our appearance money.”

I knew there was another great reason why I always loved the Beatles. Actually, among folks active in the civi rights movement – in the Land of the Free – we all knew about the Beatles’ stance against racism. It was only the “official” newspapers and radio and TV stations that wouldn’t admit it.

One thought on “The Beatles banned segregated audiences

  1. Update says:

    Lost Footage of One of the Beatles’ Last Live Performances Found in Attic : music enthusiast recorded a 92-second clip on 8mm film that shows the Fab Four playing their song “Paperback Writer” on a 1966 episode of the British TV program “Top of the Pops.” https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/lost-footage-one-beatles-last-live-performances-found-attic-180972316/
    That find was considered significant: it’s the band’s only live “Top of the Pops” appearance (the show aired pre-recorded songs in previous years). The clip also captured the Beatles as their time on a tour bus came to a close. Later that summer, the Fab Four played their last commercial gig ever at Candlestick Park in San Francisco before becoming a studio band. (They did, however, play a final surprise show on a London rooftop in 1969.)
    “Remembering Beatles’ Final Concert : Hear recording of group’s fateful Candlestick Park show, which concluded doomed 1966 U.S. tour” (Rolling Stone 2016) https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/remembering-beatles-final-concert-247497/

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