REVIEW: The Beatles in Cleveland

I have to admit this review will be a little biased.  You see, I am from the fabled city featured in this book, so my views may be a little slanted.  However, hopefully my bias will not get in the way of you all enjoying the lovely little piece of Beatles’ tourography in the rock and roll city, long before it was deemed so.

Author Dave Schwensen has managed to encapsulate the hysteria of The Beatles tours within the pages of this book, and focused it on two separate tour stops within The Beatles’ touring hurricane.  If you are at all interested in the Fab Four as a touring entity, then this book is written for you.  You get the wonderful first-hand accounts of the two chaotic and riotous Beatle appearances in Cleveland, OH.  You get to hear fan accounts, radio personality accounts, and more.  The author manages to recreate the pandemonium of the Fabs concerts, appearances, and press conferences in vivid detailing.  Most of the bootleg material surrounding the Cleveland apperances is sub par at best.  The author is able to paint a vibrant picture of the scenes with his first-hand accounts and stories that most bootleg audio and video of do not provide.  In many ways, this title is the only way to experience the Cleveland Beatle concerts due to the lack of recorded audio and video of these performances.   The author has managed to preserve these concerts through his retelling.

At first, I thought it nearly impossible to focus an entire book on two single events in the history of a group.  The book manages to cover almost every angle, and keeps the reader’s interest throughout.  Instead of simply being a laundry list of guest hosts retelling their story, the author manages to swirl you into the hysteria.  It’s almost as if you were are there hearing these people recount their stories.  Once I read this book, I passed it along to my mom, who actually was there at Public Hall, and got to see The Beatles perform.  She was astonished at how much the book had captured from the evening.  It is as close as we can get to reliving the magic.  One of the things that we absolutely love about this book is the unique content.  It is unlike most Beatle titles.  You will details illustrated here that you will find nowhere else.  Instead of the all-encompassing history of the group that is retold in almost every Beatle book (yeah, yeah, yeah….we’ve heard it all before…), you get a take on the Fab Four that has been rarely told and is truly unique.  One can imagine a series of titles like this told for some of the other Beatles’ tour stops.  Sit back, and enjoy The Beatles as they romp through the heart of the rock and roll city. We know we enjoyed the ride!  If you are looking for a read that will place you directly in the eye of the hurricane, as John himself liked to call it, then this book is for you.

You can order the book, and check out more details about it at the book’s website, aptly named: http://www.beatlesincleveland.com/
(There are some photos there we have never seen before on the website too.)

Here is a bit of the book’s description from their website.

Banned following their 1964 concert at Public Hall, a scheduling change brought the Beatles back to Cleveland in 1966 for the first outdoor show of their final tour. The results at Municipal Stadium were the same – but on a much larger scale. The uncontrollable hysteria of Beatlemania reached a fever pitch as thousands of fans poured from their seats and crashed over police lines to be near their British Idols.

The Beatles In Cleveland brings to life two of the wildest, out-of-control concerts in Beatle – and rock – history. Follow behind the scenes dealings by Cleveland’s rival Top 40 radio stations to bring John, Paul, George and Ringo to the city, then grab a front row seat for back stage and on stage excitement through eyewitness accounts from the promoters, concert MC’s, deejays, journalists, opening acts and fans, along with rare, never-before published photos, video stills and memorabilia. A concert by the Beatles was not just about the music, but also the emotions stirred by the most influential group in the history of popular music.

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4 Responses

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  2. I was in attendance at the 1966 concert at Cleveland Stadium. I was one of the people without a ticket who was let into the stadium when the Beatles came to the stage. I followed the crowds down onto the infield while the Beatles stood around not knowing what to do. Once they disappeared into a trailer at second base, the crowd was told that the concert would not continue until people returned to their seats. I got a front row seat in the second tier. As I am sure is detailed in the book, the crowd only stopped yelling like maniacs when the Beatles sang “Yesterday.” A very special night in the life of this Beatles fan!

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