Fans remember Beatles' Indy concert 50 years later
By Kevin Rader, WTHR political reporter
Posted: Sep 03, 2014
INDIANAPOLIS - It was loud. It was crowded and it was The Beatles.
Fifty years ago tonight, John, Paul, George and Ringo played the Pepsi Coliseum at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, with over 29,000 Hoosiers there to see them.
It was originally supposed to be one show in the Coliseum, but it quickly sold out, so a second was added in the grandstand.
"I can still see them. I can still feel that feeling and it feels wonderful," Tish Lenet remembered.
She was only 11. She was accompanied to the concert by her 15-year-old big sister. It was a different time. Their dad dropped them off and off they went to watch The Beatles.
"It was like a really fast stream. It was only 30 minutes," Lenet told me while we sat in the living room of her south Indianapolis home. "It was so fast they were there and then they were gone. I still can't believe they came here. Of all the places they could go, they came right here to my city."
The concert rider from that night 50 years ago shows The Beatles requested clean towels, chairs, a case of Coca-Cola, a portable tv set, and a clean dressing room and lavatory - quite a contrast from what musicians might demand today.
Alan January has quite a collection from that night at the Indiana State Archives. He says people are still contacting him asking if they can get a copy of a certain picture of The Beatles shows.
"It's amazing how many people come up and say they were there. It obviously made a great impression on them and they still remember 50 years later. Mostly the screaming," January said.
"All those girls kept screaming. Screaming and standing. You couldn't see anything. You couldn't hear anything. I wanted to say 'Please shut up. Let me hear the music. Let me hear them.' They wouldn't shut up," Lenet exclaimed.
Tickets were priced at $3, $4 and $5. But the concert itself only lasted 30 minutes. The handwritten set list at the Indiana State Archives showed 12 songs, including: "Twist and Shout," "You Can't Do That," "The Things We Said Today," "Rollover Beethoven," "Can't Buy Me Love," "All My Loving," "She Loves You," "Boys," "Long Tall Sally," "A Hard Days Night," "If I Fell" and "I Wanna Hold Your Hand."
"We must have had the $3 seats where we were sitting, but it didn't matter. I still get the tingles. I was there. I saw them. And we have seen Elvis. We've seen a lot of people, but nothing like The Beatles. Nothing ever could be or ever will be like The Beatles," Lenet said.
Fifty years ago today. It still seems hard to believe. In case you were wondering, the gross receipts for the two shows totaled $125,000. The Beatles take of that was $85,000.
13 WTHR Indianapolis