10 rare photos from the Beatles' only Minnesota performance

Categories: Gimme Noise
Beatles_MN_09.jpg
Photo courtesy of the Bob Bonis archive
Paul McCartney of the Beatles performing at Met Stadium in 1965.

The Beatles played Minnesota exactly once. During their 1965 U.S. tour, the legendary rock band played the since-demolished Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington.

Due to safety concerns, promoter Big Reggie Colihan decided no one was allowed on the field, which meant few close-up photos were taken. However, the Beatles' U.S. tour manager, Bob Bonis, snapped a few pictures from the side of the stage.

Here are 10 of the shots Bonis took that are part of the current exhibition "Ladies and Gentlemen... The Beatles!" now on display at the Mall of America's newly opened Midwest Music Museum.

See also:
Minnesota Beatle Project Vol. 5

Beatles_MN_06.jpg
Photo courtesy of the Bob Bonis archive
Beatles_MN_07.jpg
Photo courtesy of the Bob Bonis archive

The August 21 concert is still embedded in the memories of those who attended, though the show was far from a sell-out. Only 30,000 of 48,000 tickets were sold, and it was the only stop on the tour that didn't sell out.

Before these iconic Beatles shots were taken, Mike Valentine and the rest of the members in Gregory Dee and the Avanties were warming up the crowd.

Valentine, the band's drummer, set up outside one of the entrances and played for thousands of screaming Beatles fans for an hour. The setup was awkward, Valentine says, because the band was set up on the ground floor and all the screaming girls were pressed up against the fence.

Valentine says bassist Frank Prout resembled Paul McCartney and was mistaken for the Beatles bass player often. After the band finished their set, Prout headed for the parking lot and was mobbed by screaming girls. The girls reportedly tore off his shirt, pants, shoes, and socks, and left him in nothing but his underwear. That wasn't the only time that has happened to Prout, Valentine says.

Beatles_MN_02.jpg
Photo courtesy of the Bob Bonis archive
Beatles_MN_01.jpg
Photo courtesy of the Bob Bonis archive

During the Beatles' set that followed, Valentine was sitting in the second row right behind home plate. He says he was honored to be so close to the stage; however he wished he was able to get closer by moving to the floor.

"It was such a rush to be there, to tell all your friends, family, whomever, I played at the Beatles concert," Valentine said. "I still do it and people go 'you're kidding - oh shit.' It's my one singular serious claim to fame."

The Beatles Setlist:
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
Baby's in Black
I Wanna Be Your Man
A Hard Day's Night
Help!
I'm Down

Next: Even more photos of the Beatles at Met Stadium.

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38 comments
Jerry Steinberger
Jerry Steinberger

I was there. What a zoo!! Took 2 hours to get out of the parking lot.

Sue Dickey
Sue Dickey

I have 4 tix for sale for the Mpls concert if anyone is interested

Nick Maas
Nick Maas

crazy to think 18,000 seats were empty.

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Cathi Halbe
Cathi Halbe

Alison Voegtli your mom & I were there!!

Richard Winkelmann
Richard Winkelmann

I was 10 and my brother John must have been 8. We were dropped off by our parents and then met them back at the Thunderbird Motel after the show. I still have the photos I took with my instamatic. The Beatles look like fly specs way out on the pitchers mound stage even though we had the expensive $5.50 seats.

Eddie Valle Jr.
Eddie Valle Jr.

Jake W. Sorry, it's ok not to get it if you weren't around....but it was way more than the music.

Sam Danger
Sam Danger

"Surprisingly" may have been the wrong word choice.

Jeremy Hageman
Jeremy Hageman

Please list ur top 3 fave bands so we can understand ur problem

barbertj23
barbertj23

"Welcome to the only state that the Beetles didn't sell out at.

But really, our live music scene is good! Really! Seriously! I mean, I know bands skip us often... but really, it's good! Honestly!"

-person trying really hard to convince themselves

Mike Lindsay
Mike Lindsay

didn't sell out? typical MN folks not getting too excited about anything. lol

Ross Levine
Ross Levine

I like your Emily profile pic! I have a piece I got from some street artist of her hanging on my wall, but to this day I haven't familiarized myself with her beyond similar looking pictures to my wall art :p

Kathi Persell
Kathi Persell

That's because those of us who weren't old enough to buy a ticket-according to our parents-sat on the fence outside the stadium to listen. We could only hear screaming, anyway.

Ross Levine
Ross Levine

I wonder who would have opened for them if they played First Ave/Excel/Target Field/Center/State Fair Grandstand/Midway Stadium in 2014.

Jake Wood
Jake Wood

Is anyone going to pretend like this is a shocking fact?? Most. Overrated. Band. Ever. Seriously I DONT get why there so revered, just cause there first at doing it I guess? cool, not an accomplishment. Sure some of there songs are great but all rock/love-song artists that came after did even better songs... weird, I don't get it...

Scott Hurlbut
Scott Hurlbut

Here's one more. You can see the mn twins logo on the case behind Paul. Picture of a picture. So bad quality.

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