Monday, November 14, 2016

Rock And Roll Detective Uncovers Lost Beatles Concert Tape. It's Back On The Auction Block!

Fans line up to buy tickets to see The Beatles at Forest Hills May, 1964

After 52 years, it is incredibly rare to discover a complete, previously unbootlegged or unreleased 1964 concert by The Beatles. It is extremely exciting when a new live recording of The Beatles is not only unearthed, but is one that was recorded through a soundboard rather than in the middle of a screaming audience. This means that you can actually hear the vocals and the guitars. Ringo's drums do not sound like they were mic'd, but his drums do appear to be picked up by the three vocal mics.

And here are the details dug up by the Rock And Roll Detective:

The Beatles at the 1964 Forest Hill Music Festival
Fifty Two years ago this month, The Beatles played a live concert at the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium. They performed for free and donated the proceeds in aid of the United Cerebral Palsy of New York City and the Retarded Infants Services. The show has never been released officially or on bootleg (although one Seventies bootlegger erroneously tried to pass off a vinyl boot as this show.) Previous interviews with The Beatles at this time, and short film clips of the show have surfaced in the past. However, this is the first time a Soundboard recording of the complete show has surfaced.  It was apparently recorded by the WMCA DJs. 

The original reel-to-reel tape is up for auction again on November 27, 2016, at Cordier Auctions, after failing to meet the minimum bid of $2000 last August. Of course, whoever is the winning bidder will own the tape, but the not the copyright or publishing rights to the recordings. 

The Rock And Roll Detective has listened to the recording which contains the complete show. Given the primitive state of live recording in the mid Sixties, this is a decent soundboard.  There is a significant drop in volume and quality that persists during and after George Harrison is heard singing "Roll Over Beethoven". It comes back a little better when John introduces a new song "If I Fell" from their "new movie" "A Hard Day's Night". However, this tape is nowhere near the quality of the newly issued true multi-track soundboard Apple release of The Beatles Live at the Hollywood Bowl. But it is still an exciting artifact nevertheless.  

The Beatles live at Forest Hills as a fan tries to hug George Harrison.

Here is the description of the recording by Cordier Auctions from the August sale.

Lot #234 Estimate 2,000.00 - 4,000.00 USD

The Beatles August 29, 1964 Concert Recording
DESCRIPTION: A reel to reel recording of The Beatles in concert at
Forest Hills Tennis Stadium in Queens, New York on August 29, 1964
(they had also played there the night before). The recording, with loud
screaming throughout, includes twelve tracks:
1) Twist and Shout
2) You Can't Do That
3) All My Loving
4) She Loves You
5) Things We Said Today
6) Roll Over Beethoven
7) Can't Buy Me Love
8) If I Fell
9) I Want to Hold Your Hand
10) Boys
11) A Hard Day's Night
12) Long Tall Sally

Of note is the band's reaction to a young lady sprinting towards the stage
while dodging police barricades during the last song.
Also included is John introducing the song "Hard Day's Night" from "our
new movie", George singing "Roll Over Beethoven", and. Ringo being
introduced and singing "Boys".
PROVENANCE: Per the consignor, the tape was won by the consignor
from a New York radio station sometime after the concert,
probably from the WMCA Good Guys as research shows they were
the hosts of this concert.
MEASUREMENTS: 7" diameter.
CONDITION: The beginning of the tape has some crinkling/creasing
with the opening being somewhat fuzzy and flat. Otherwise audio is clear.
Some buzzing begins after Roll Over Beethoven and before George
changes out his guitar after Can't Buy Me Love.
A digital recording of the tape was provided by the consignor.

2016 (c) The Rock And Roll Detective(r). All Rights Reserved

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