Out of the flurry of live shows The Beatles performed worldwide, they only made it to Michigan twice: two shows on September 6, 1964 and two shows on August 13, 1966.

I remember that 1964 evening show: my sister's best friend was squealing through the house, 'cause she had her Beatle tickets and was on her way to the show. I'll never forget how giddy she was.

On that night The Beatles performed at Olympia Stadium to 30,000 screeching fans, who drowned The Beatles out so you couldn't hear a thing. If one of the band members (usually George Harrison) did a quick wave to the audience, it brought even LOUDER screeching.

Get our free mobile app

One of the most fortunate Michigan deejays ever was Bob Green from WKNR in Detroit...he was the lucky slob that got to introduce The Beatles onstage. However, it wasn't all rosy for Bob onstage. Sure, he was thrilled to intro the band, but possibly he walked offstage somewhat bummed. Why? According to MichiganRadio.org, Bob and someone else had to stand onstage and kill some time 'til it was time for The Beatles to come out. So they bantered and talked about their station until the girls in the audience got fed up and started yelling to “get the hell off the stage – we want to see The Beatles!!!”

Other acts on the bill included Bill Black's Combo, Clarence 'Frogman' Henry, Jackie DeShannon, and The Exciters.

The Beatles' setlist for the 1964 Olympia shows was as follows:
(click on any song title to listen!)
Twist and Shout
You Can't Do That
All My Loving
She Loves You
Things We Said Today
Roll Over Beethoven
Can't Buy Me Love
If I Fell
I Want to Hold Your Hand
A Hard Day's Night
Long Tall Sally
(Thanks to Setlist.fm)

The second time The Beatles arrived in Michigan was August 13, 1966, also at Detroit's Olympia Stadium. Again, they did two shows: one in the afternoon, another in the evening. For these shows, they wore red pin-striped suits, which always seemed to me to be out of character for them...it just didn't seem to look right. This would be their last time in Michigan, and it took place just two weeks before they stopped touring altogether.

Other groups that preceded The Beatles for the two shows included Bobby Hebb, The Cyrkle, The Remains, and The Ronettes.

The playlist for the 1966 Olympia shows was as follows:
(click on any song title to listen!)
Rock and Roll Music
She's a Woman
If I Needed Someone
Day Tripper
Baby's in Black
I Feel Fine
I Wanna Be Your Man
Nowhere Man
Paperback Writer
Long Tall Sally
(Thanks to Setlist.fm)

So at the end of August, touring was a thing of the past for The Beatles. Fans and the press wondered: Is that it for them? Are they gonna break up? The public didn't hear much out of the group for the rest of the year. But nine months after they quit touring, they unleashed something on the world that they spent all that time working on. A little thing called Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band.

PLUS: Find out how the town of Owosso helped boost the Beatles popularity in Michigan by clicking HERE!



Beatles Michigan Memorabilia

The Graves of Three Michigan Rock Musicians

The 40 Best Cover Songs by Rock Bands

More From WBCKFM