By Hayden Wright
It’s hard to imagine a time before rock and pop stars could sell out arenas to many tens of thousands of fans. In 1965, however, the thought of a 55,000-strong crowd was unheard of before the Beatles performed at New York’s (now demolished) Shea Stadium. If numbers like that had been approached before, they’d never been publicized in quite the same way. The Shea Stadium show at the height of Beatlemania disrupted music culture and established a once-in-a-lifetime shift in touring.
Footage from the memorable August 15, 1965 date will be included in Ron Howard’s authorized documentary, The Beatles: Eight Days a Week—The Touring Years. The New York performance marked the tour’s first date, which took place about one year after the band’s appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. According to Variety, the doc will include 30 minutes of footage from the show, which puts the height and intensity of Beatlemania into perspective for viewers who missed it.
Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and Beatles widows Yoko Ono (wife of John Lennon) and Olivia Harrison (wife of George Harrison) are lending support to Howard’s documentary effort. The doc will get a limited theatrical release on September 16 and then air for Hulu Plus subscribers on September 17.