The Beatles At Shea Stadium: The Beginning of Stadium Rock

by  Author Dave Schwensen

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Celebrating The Beatles in America, this program focuses on their legendary August 15, 1965 concert at New York’s Shea Stadium. Considered the first modern outdoor stadium rock show, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr performed in front of 55,600 fans and were filmed for a network television special.

This program includes film clips and rare audio of The Beatles’ performance. Discussion by Dave Schwensen, author of The Beatles At Shea Stadium: The Story Behind Their Greatest Concert.

The program begins in early 1963 when Sid Bernstein, a young entrepreneur in New York City, scheduled the group to perform at Carnegie Hall in February 1964. Brian Epstein, the Beatles’ manager, insisted the group must have radio airplay in America by December 1963 or the deal was off. Beatlemania hit just before the deadline and their debut on The Ed Sullivan Show guaranteed the shows would sell-out.

Based on their phenomenal success, Bernstein took another chance and scheduled the group for New York’s Shea Stadium. It was the first time a pop music group would attempt a concert on a scale this large. Without advertising and relying only on word of mouth, a capacity crowd watched The Beatles perform on a hot August night in the media capital of the world. Author discussion includes planning and preparation, backstage and onstage insights, and comparisons with modern stadium shows.

The concert was filmed for a primetime television special, but the Beatles were unhappy with the sound and secretly re-recorded songs before the broadcast. Dave will talk about this recording session and include examples from the actual concert and the “fixed” versions.

This is your VIP ticket and backstage pass to one of the most influential and exciting events in the history of popular music. The Beatles At Shea Stadium - the story behind their greatest concert and the beginning of stadium rock.

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About This Program


Multipoint: $175.00
Multipoint Premium: $150.00


45-60 Minutes

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Parent, Adult Learners college Public Library: Library Patrons Public Library

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Primary Disciplines

Family & Consumer Science, Fine Arts, Language Arts/English, Leadership, Literacy, Performing Arts, Reading, Social Studies/History, Writing

Program Delivery Mode

Videoconference – Webcam/desktop (Zoom, Google Meet, Cisco WebEx, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, etc...)

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Author Dave Schwensen

Vermilion, OH
United States

Dave is the author of six books and has designed and instructs courses in communications and presentations skills for Cleveland State University, Youngstown State University and others. He's a former talent coordinator and consultant for television and live events in Hollywood and New York City.

In addition to school and business training programs and keynotes, Dave is a nationally recognized comedy coach for The Improv Comedy Club. He is author of How To Be A Working Comic and Comedy FAQs And Answers, and includes humor and entertainment in all his programs. Yes, he really can be called the nutty professor!

Dave has been featured on PBS Television and Radio, U.S. News & World Report, Chicago Tribune, The Hollywood Reporter, Ohio Magazine, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Insidebiz.com Magazine and many others.

A pop culture historian and enthusiast, he is the author of The Beatles At Shea Stadium and The Beatles In Cleveland. Both Top 40 Best Sellers on Amazon.com, Dave is a featured author at Beatles conferences throughout the U.S. and presents programs on the 1960s and the impact of The Beatles to schools, organizations and lifelong learners. Both books were added to The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum's Library & Archives.

For details about Beatles / pop culture video conferences and webinars visit www.BeatlesProgram.com.

Dave Schwensen

Program Details


1. This program begins with a short film overview of news events and popular culture during 1963 and how it influenced the baby boomer generation. A second short film shows The Beatles 1964 debut on The Ed Sullivan Show and ensuing Beatlemania in America.

2. Author Dave Schwensen discusses events leading up to the concert, beginning in early 1963 with promoter Sid Bernstein taking a class in International Business encouraging him to “think outside the box.” He contracts The Beatles, then unknown in America, for shows at New York's Carnegie Hall and two years later, Shea Stadium. Topics include business dealings within the music industry and selling-out 55,600 tickets with no advertising; relying only on word of mouth. All discussion segments are presented in an informative, humorous and fun manner since Dave is also a professional comedy coach, motivational speaker and humorist.

3. The day of the concert. Dave talks about the differences between this first major stadium rock event and modern shows, including equipment and security. Insights are shared about The Beatles arrival at Shea Stadium in an armored truck and backstage events.

4. A short film of television personality Ed Sullivan introducing The Beatles at Shea Stadium, the group running to the stage and performing their opening song, Twist and Shout. The clip demonstrates the enormity of this event with sweeping shots of the capacity crowd, screaming teenage fans, police and security, and the Beatles nervously singing, playing, laughing and sweating in front of their largest audience.

5. Making the television special. The Beatles At Shea Stadium was a primetime event on ABC Television, airing in January 1967. But the music wasn’t always what fans heard at the concert. This is a short discussion of the secret recording session (against the wishes of ABC, Ed Sullivan Productions, and the Beatles’ record label) to overdub (re-record) songs before the Beatles would allow the film to be broadcast. Audio (with video) examples of songs are played comparing the actual live performance to segments “fixed” in the recording studio.

6. Questions are always welcome (and encouraged!)

7. If there is adequate time at the end of the program, another short film clip of the Shea Stadium concert will be available.


1. Understand the entrepreneurial spirit of thinking outside the box.

2. Explore music, news events and popular culture from the early 1960’s and the impact of the Beatles on American youth (baby boomer generation).

3. Give examples comparing stadium rock concerts in 1965 to modern concert events.

4. Discuss the experience of a Beatles concert during the height of their popularity.

5. Learn insights into making the television special and secretive Beatles recording session.

Standards Alignment

National Standards

NA-M.K-5.7 Evaluating Music and Music Performances

NA-M.K-5.8 Understanding Relationships Between Music, the Other Arts, and Disciplines Outside the Arts

NA-M.K-5.9 Understanding Music in Relation to History and Culture