Book Shares the Story Behind the Beatles’ Historic Concert at Shea Stadium | Books

Nick Thomas Tinseltown Talks

Producing a book featuring her favorite band was a dream come true for lifelong Beatles fan Laurie Jacobson. A celebrated author of five previous Hollywood books.his last effort required the help of others.

In “Top of the Mountain: The Beatles at Shea Stadium 1965,” released August 1, Jacobson meticulously weaves together first-person interviews and quotes from dozens of writers, agents, producers, photographers, fans, friends and celebrities including Meryl Streep. and Whoopi Goldberg, who have teamed up to deliver the compelling story behind the Beatles’ historic New York concert.

Jacobson didn’t just recount a day in the life of the Fab Four’s historic 30-minute show that performed a 12-song set to some 56,000 screaming fans of the twirling and screaming generation. She describes the long and winding road that led to the event on August 15 and, in the end, its influence on music history as the first pop music concert held in a major American sports arena, breaking attendance records.

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“I spent close to seven years collecting incredible information and photos, hundreds never seen before,” Jacobson explained from his home in Northern California.

Jacobson was just 10 years old when the Beatles began to consume his teenage world.

“Like so many others, I saw them in ‘Ed Sullivan’ and was immediately hooked,” he recalled. “Those smiles, that hair. I ran out to buy his 45’s of ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ and went crazy with posters and magazines, anything Beatles.

Although she was unable to attend Shea’s famous event because she lived in St. Louis, almost exactly a year later her parents provided her with a ticket to ride the wave of Beatlemania that was still sweeping the country when the group came to town in their last tour of the United States.

“Rain was threatening,” he recalled. “So, they cut out the opening acts and immediately introduced the Beatles. I watched in silent wonder, teary-eyed, knowing this was my moment with them. I wanted to soak up every detail and memorize every move. Honestly, I don’t remember anything about the crowd, just them. Nine 3-minute songs and it’s over. It was raining and my parents took me away.”

Barely a teenager, Jacobson let everyone know that this girl had joined the ranks of devoted Beatles collectors while embracing their musical revolution that sparked the so-called British Invasion of the 1960s. The whole country was declaring it all too much, shrugging their shoulders at the group’s tousled hairstyles, their raucous music inciting their liberating social influence and the almost hypnotic effect on their teenage fans, but she was sympathetic.

“They were 100% behind it and often surprised me with Beatles items that I cherished and still have,” said Jacobson, who maintains a collection that includes dolls, models, T-shirts, a yellow submarine, rare albums and books, posters, buttons. . , ticket stubs, and several decades of scrapbooking cutouts.

With the Beatles’ touring days dwindling in ’66, last year’s Shea Stadium concert the year before remained the most memorable, not only for the fans but for the band as well.

“The biggest crowd they’ve ever played and the biggest paycheck ever,” Jacobson said. “You can see in their faces when they step onto the pitch, the moment they realized their power.”






For the title of her book, the author even paraphrased something John Lennon later commented on Shea’s concert in 1971: “I saw the top of the mountain on that unforgettable night.”

For those who lived through the ’60s, the Beatles provided musical fun to help them survive the ever-tightening social, cultural, and political chains that grip the country. Today, in a post-Beatles world seemingly also awash with unsettling national and global issues, baby boomers can still, however briefly, recapture that uplifting spirit their music sparked.

“It was much more than their music for us: they changed our appearance, the way we think and, for many, the paths we choose,” explained Jacobson. “Our memories are full of love and emotion, and we have passed that on to our children and their children. I would like readers to experience the pure joy at the height of Beatlemania when optimism reigned supreme and anything was possible.”

Nick Thomas teaches at Auburn University in Montgomery, Alabama, and has written reports, columns, and interviews here, there, and everywhere for numerous magazines and newspapers. Watch getnickt.org.

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