One of the joys of digging through old newspaper microfilm is finding things you didn’t expect to find. So it is as I’ve started a project to live-tweet, sort of, the Green Bay Packers’ championship run of 1965, 1966 and 1967 as it happened, 50 years after it happened.
It’s been barely a month and already the late summer of 1965 also has seen the Watts riots, the Beatles at Shea Stadium and Lassie at the county fair.
Fifty years ago today, on Friday, Aug. 20, 1965, as the Packers rested for the next’s afternoon’s preseason game in Milwaukee, the Beatles played two shows at Comiskey Park in Chicago.
Sharon Simons, an 18-year-old woman who’d graduated from Green Bay West High School just two months before, took the train to Chicago, went to one of the shows and wrote it up for the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Tickets were $3.50, $4.50 and $5.50, or about $27, $34 and $42 in today’s dollars.
Before the Beatles ever took the stage, she saw the King Curtis Band, Cannibal and the Headhunters, Brenda Holloway, Sounds Inc. and Gordon Waller, the latter half of Peter and Gordon. The whole thing was emceed by Ron Riley, Art Roberts and Don Phillips of WLS, the mighty top-40 AM station in Chicago.
The Beatles played a typically fast but short set: “Twist And Shout,” “Baby’s In Black,” “She’s A Woman,” “I Feel Fine,” “Dizzy Miss Lizzy,” “Ticket To Ride,” “Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby,” “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “I Wanna Be Your Man,” “A Hard Day’s Night,” “Help” and “I’m Down.”
Then the wild Comiskey Park scoreboard went “TILT!” and blasted off fireworks.
Here’s a little of what that day was like.
Some other memories from that day …
— Larry Kane interviews all four Beatles in the basement at Comiskey Park.
Ringo didn’t care for shows in ballparks.
“Not as much as indoor with the people a bit closer, you know. ‘Cuz they’re too far away, really.”
John didn’t care for the stands left empty behind the stage, which sat on second base on the Comiskey infield.
“Yeah, it does put you off a bit, you know. Even though they keep saying, we don’t allow them to sit there. I dunno, I wish they’d hide it. Whereas there’s also kids always half behind, you know. And I’m really looking ’round so they get to see something, anyway.”