THE BEATLES! One Night Stand in the Heartland (Mania.com)
Review Date: Thursday, October 04, 2007
For those of us too young to have attended a Beatles concert, or for those who did but want to relive those days, Cumberland House Publishing has released “The Beatles! A One-Night Stand in the Heartland”. This is the story of the Beatles trip to Minnesota on August 21, 1965, for a concert at old Metropolitan Stadium. The story is told through the reminiscences of those wide-eyed teenagers who attended the show that balmy evening, and through the recollections of concert promoters, local radio personalities, and others involved in the one-day event. This was the peak of Beatlemania. Everywhere they toured, throngs of fans turned out to see their plane land as they greeted them with exuberant screams and Minneapolis was certainly no different. The book is also, and primarily told through the lens of photographer Bill Carlson. Carlson, just a high school student himself at the time, was an aspiring photographer and apprentice to the renowned Merle Morris.
Carlson’s remarkable, and beautiful photography traces the Beatles trip every step of the way…from their landing at Wold Chamberlain Airport, to their meet and greet press conference, to their big outdoor concert. The photos from the airport truly bring home the resounding sense of awe The Beatles inspired not only in their fans, but in the general public as well. Even old Eisenhower Republicans were curious about these four young men from England. You see the girls pressed up against the chain-link fence, waiting to catch a glimpse of John, Paul, George, and Ringo as they made their departure from their chartered Electra airplane. Four thousand fans mobbed the airport that day. A great picture shows five security guards leaning against a car, seemingly befuddled as to what all the fuss was about.
Beatles press conferences were always lively events and the boys’ reputations for playfulness and sarcasm was on full display in Minnesota. Included in the book are various excerpts from the news conference as well as local newspaper stories. You cannot help but laugh and you can’t blame the Beatles for being sarcastic when asked questions such as “Is your hair real?” or “How do you sleep with your hair that long?” Priceless! But the boys handled it all in stride; I guess by this time they had heard every dumb question and rumor under the sun. One of the more interesting anecdotes in the book was Ringo’s interest in the Minnesota Twins. He even got the Twins equipment manager to supply the boys with some team baseball caps.
It’s quite apparent when looking at Carlson’s photos that the Beatles were still having a good time touring. Even in the face of endless questions and travel, they have bright smiles on their faces and seem very happy. It’s also quite apparent how much of an impact this show had on the people who attended. Over forty years later, they seem to remember it like it was yesterday. They can tell you where they sat and about the entire atmosphere of the show, including being warned about not rushing the stage. They all have their unique tales to tell about their one-night stand with the Fab Four.
This is a gorgeous book. Carlson’s photography brings this lost era of innocence alive again for the legions of Beatles fans, young and old. Truly the next best thing to having been there yourself!
Mania Grade: A
Written By:: Bill Carlson
Publisher: Cumberland House Publishing