RARE PIC OF A BEATLE PLAYING PORTLAND. BY GINO ROSSI
JOHN BACKSTAGE IN THE GLASS PALACE
In the morning of 22 August 1965 The Beatles held a press conference at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport, before flying to Portland, Oregon.
Shortly before their arrival in Portland one of the four engines on their Lockheed Electra aeroplane caught fire. John Lennon was frightened enough to quickly write a few messages which he enclosed in a film canister for safety. Fortunately for all, the plane landed without further incident, and a relieved Lennon was heard to shout: "Beatles, women and children first!"
The Beatles performed two shows at Portland's Memorial Coliseum, before a total of 20,000 people. Tickets for each of the shows were priced at $4, $5 and $6. There were also a number of pink tickets for the Coliseum's upper level which were free.
The support acts on the bill were Brenda Holloway and the King Curtis Band, Cannibal & The Headhunters, and Sounds Incorporated.
Among The Beatles' guests backstage were Carl Wilson and Mike Love of The Beach Boys. In the audience for one of the shows was beat poet Allen Ginsberg, who wrote a poem about the event titled Portland Coliseum:
A brown piano in diamond white spotlight Leviathan auditorium iron run wired hanging organs, vox black battery A single whistling sound of ten thousand children's larynxes asinging pierce the ears and following up the belly bliss the moment arrived
Apparition, four brown English jacket christhair boys Goofed Ringo battling bright white drums Silent George hair patient Soul horse Short black-skulled Paul with the guitar Lennon the Captain, his mouth a triangular smile, all jump together to End some tearful memory song ancient-two years, The million children the thousand words bounce in their seats, bash each other's sides, press legs together nervous Scream again & claphand become one Animal in the New World Auditorium --hands waving myriad snakes of thought screetch beyond hearing
while a line of police with folded arms stands Sentry to contain the red sweatered ecstasy that rises upward to the wired roof.