In September 2007, on a Beatleg website, a person announced he had in his possession a copy of the Beatles concert performed in Toronto Canada in 1966 at Maple Leaf Gardens. This is the last concert the Beatles performed in Canada. These tapes are going up for auction sale on August 11, 2008.
Here is what was written then by the owner of the tape in September 2007:
“I have been collecting Beatles items for nearly all of my life. I came accross one of the most unique items. I now own a reel to reel tape and the original shoulder type reel to reel recorder that is still in working condition of the Beatles concert that was made August 17, 1966. It was thought that only one crude tape that you could only hear the crowd yelling existed but this tape is great. The man that made the tape is dead but he interviews people before and after the concert and just to listen to it is absolutely amazing. There were no copies made of this tape as this is the only original that exists. Two auction houses have contacted me wanting it to be in their 2008 auction but I would like it to go to a private collector who really appreciates the Beatles. It is always amazing when something like this pops up and was never known to be around. This is why I think that there are recordings, video etc that are out there, it is just a matter of finding them. I feel very lucky to have found this historicaly piece.
“The son of the man that recorded it went to the concert. There is a letter of provenance that came with the tape as well as the business card that was taped on the reel to reel machine. He was an attorney and thought that he would take the recorder and record the entire concert. It was recorded on a portable UHER 4000 report-L. The entire concert was recorded from beginning to end. Compared to what the concert goers were asked before and after the concert, their answers and compared to the known rough tape that was made and the order of the songs it is definately the 1966 tape. To my knowlege there is only one other tape of that concert and you cannot hear the songs or harmonies very well due to the roar of the crowd. This is the first time that the news of the tape has been made public. The tape and recorder are part of my private collection. No copies of this tape were ever made making this even more rare. I have been appproached by 2 auction houses but I want this to go to a person that is a great fan of the Beatles. At this point I have not made up my mind if I want to part with it but I would be happy to answer any questions.
“At this moment I am taking the tape to a studio and having it put on cd to protect this piece of history. I may make some parts of this tape public so that people can hear it because it is so amazing to hear a live concert knowing that they only played 7 more times before they broke up. The concert that was recorded was the night concert. I do not know what part of the day that the the other known copy was but to listen and hear them introducing the songs was amazing.
“I feel like it is Christmas with the tape, I had the choice of obtaining just the tape or the tape and the machine. I chose the machine also because it is also part of the story. At one point in the interview you can hear the crowd erupt thinking that the beatles were coming out on stage but it was just a stage hand adjusting Ringos drums, you can hear the interviewer give a count by count. I do not know anything that exists on the other tape that is close to what is on this one. From my knowledge no one knew that there had been another copy that you could actually hear the Beatles playing thier instruments and singing. I think what makes this better are the interviews of the fans. I would like to release this tape for Beatles fans around the world. Again I am happy to answer any questions as I know that I did not have any idea that it would bring this much attention. I know from the past that when a supposed new tape comes to light it is taken with a grain of salt but I can state for a 100% fact this is a new unknown tape and can be viewed upon request.
“This is the list of the concert as it is on the reel to reel tape:Track list:
1. Interviews with fans (before concert)
2. Rock & Roll Music
3. She’s a woman
4. If i needed someone
5. Day tripper
6. Baby’s in black
7. I feel fine
9. I wanna be your man
10. No where man
11. Paperback writer
12. More interviews with fans (after concert)You can here the Beatles introducing the songs and talking before each one, it is truly one of the most historical tapes that I have seen in a long time.”
So, that is what the tape owner wrote then.
This tape was then authenticated as being the real deal by Beatles expert and author John C. Winn (Way Beyond Compare/That Magic Feeling/Beatlegmania, etc.). On the heals of another tape recently getting a large amount, this one will certainly have a chance to garner the owner a nice reward for this prized possession. It appears the reel to reel tape and machine are now up for auction. Starting bids are at $10,000.
Here’s what we’ve read today:
It was the summer of 1966, and the Beatles were making what was to be their last North American tour. As the “Fab Four” made their way across the United States, they took a quick detour north into Canada—Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens to be exact—for a concert on August 17. Among the 16,000 or so fans in attendance that day was a corporate attorney from Ontario, who packed his family and a battery operated, UHER 4000 REPORT-L reel-to-reel tape machine to watch … and record … the last appearance of John, Paul, George, and Ringo in Canada.
Offered is an amateur recording—a previously unknown audio example of the Toronto show—that amounts to a 2 hour and 20 minute documentary detailing one family’s experience at the final concert appearance of the Beatles in Canada. And “detail” is the name of the game here, as the tape begins with its narrator introducing his family to an unseen audience as they drive to the venue. The family spent the first few minutes discussing what they think the concert will be like, with succinct and sometimes prophetic observations offered, as well as checks on the time, weather conditions, and the overall pre-concert atmosphere. The sound of the crowd, traffic, program vendors … it’s all here. The original owner can be heard later in the tape spending his time interviewing anxious fans anticipating the appearance of the Beatles.
The opening acts are here: The Remains, Bobby Hebb, The Cyrkie, The Ronettes (including “Be My Baby”). After a false alarm (a stagehand came onstage to adjust the drum set causing some young fans to faint), the stadium announcer utters the words everyone had been waiting to hear: ” … the BEATLES!”
The immediate response from thousands of screaming, ecstatic fans is overwhelming. After some fine-tuning of their instruments by Lennon and Harrison, the band can be heard launching into “Rock and Roll Music.” Every note of the Beatles’ ten-song concert was captured on a 1/4″-tape, with the lead song followed by “She’s A Woman,” “If I Needed Someone,” “Day Tripper,” “Baby’s in Black,” “I Feel Fine,” “Yesterday,” “I Wanna Be You Man,” “Nowhere Man,” and “Paperback Writer.”
After the show, the would-be newsman leaves the stadium and, along the way, inquires of the hoarse fans why they came to the show and what they thought of the concert. With this running commentary, he makes his way outside in the hope of catching the Beatles on their way out. But alas, the Beatles had already left the building. Too often, perhaps, the phrase “one of a kind” is used when referring to collectibles. Without hesitation, Mastro Auctions proudly affixes that title to this lot. Although the original audiotape is the true gem here (in its box with a vintage label affixed to the spool reads “Beatles #112 / Aug 66 / Maple Leafs Toronto”), this remarkable find also includes the original reel-to-reel tape machine (with its case) used to give a blow-by-blow account of the concert. A CD-R with samples of the original recording accompanies. The tape player has not been used in a number of years, though its very existence, and that of the original recording, is a true piece of Rock & Roll history.
Accompanying as provenance is a typed letter from the son of the original owner, the original sales receipt from the day his son sold it to a private collector, and a typed, detailed description of the tape’s content. Please note: Due to the size and/or weight of this lot, the cost of shipping may be substantial.