Driving down 295 today I grabbed a quick glance to my right to peek at RFK Stadium. Forty-four years ago tonight I was sitting on the 400 level between home plate and third base, although the Senators were in Cleveland that night.
I was there to see the Beatles make their final appearance in the District, a show that also featured a band from Boston, the Remains; the Ronettes; the Cyrkle; and Bobby Hebb, whose only hit, “Sunny,” was currently on the charts. Hebb passed away earlier this month.
You could actually hear the bands pretty well, thanks to a big-time PA system that featured 32 “Voice of the Theatre” speaker boxes lining the foul lines. At many of their stadium shows the Beatles had used the house PA system, usually to poor results.
The RFK show was a year to the day after the very first stadium show, at Shea Stadium in New York, a show attended by the woman I would marry 22 years later.
Funny how those things work.
Anyway, given the incredible popularity the Beatles still enjoy, it’s nice to be able to say that I had the chance to see them in person.
By the way, if you’re a Beatles’ fan, don’t miss “Abbey Road on the River,” coming to the Gaylord National resort Labor Day weekend. I took my family to the one in Cleveland a few years ago and we had a spectacular time. Former Beatles’ drummer Pete Best will be appearing. He’s a charming fellow - he’s been real kind to my family over the years, and it’s worth stopping by just to shake his hand. Also, a long list of the better Beatles’ tribute bands from around the globe will perform pretty much non-stop.
One baseball sidebar to the Beatles’ show in 1966: Senators’ lefthander Mike McCormick - who would go on to win the Cy Young Award with the Giants the following season - asked equipment manager Fred Baxter to get a ball signed by the Beatles, since Fred would have access to the clubhouse that night where the Fab Four would dress. He did, and a couple of years ago Mike sold the ball at auction for more than he made in salary that season, proving, I guess, that he was the smartest guy on the club that year.