As they say “out of the frying pan, and into the fire”. The most volatile stop of the tour, and right in the heart of the bible belt. The Beatles faced protests and death threats. Even the Memphis City Council considered cancelling the shows as they felt rather than having “municipal facilities be used as a forum to ridicule anyone’s religion.”
2 shows at the Mid South Coliseum. 4:00 PM and 8:30 PM
During the evening performance, someone threw a firecracker or cherry bomb up on stage when The Beatles were performing the George Harrison song “If I Needed Someone” 1:10 in.
Immediately the other three Beatles looked over at John to see if he had been shot. There’s an audio recording of both shows that have surfaced within the past few years and you can hear the explosion during the aforementioned song. Interestingly enough, The Beatles don’t miss a beat during the performance and you can hear the crowd scream louder after the explosion. This show is know as the firecracker incident or “cherry bomb” show.
Attendance was 7,589 for the afternoon performance where The Beatles wore their gray suits with a red satin shirt. The evening show was seen by 12,539 and The Beatles wore their black suits with green lapels/buttons and the white shirts with the gold stripes.
There’s no known video of the afternoon performance, only clips of The Beatles walking from the dressing room to the stage. There’s b&w newsreel footage of the evening show and color 8mm home movies that was shot from the floor several rows back in decent quality.
Evening newsreel footage:
Tomorrow, a little less stress in Cincinnati?