Beatles Candlestick Park: The Barry Hood Story

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What was it like to be at the Final Beatles Concert?  Barry Hood was there with his movie camera all day long, and a brief section of his film appears in the recent DVD release "The Unseen Beatles."  But there's more.  Much more Candllestick footage and much more footage than just Barry Hood's. And it's right here in "The Beatles Live In San Francisco" DVD. Order by clicking the links on this page above and below. There are still some collectible limited edition signed DVDs available.

The Beatles at Candlestick - Myths & Legends of the Last Concert
A New Look at August 29, 1966, Candlestick Park, San Francisco. 47 Years Later!

by Barry Hood

Imagine you're 15. You attend an event in a baseball stadium. You are just one of the crowd. But you happen to bring along your movie camera. You come home with three 8mm reels of film. And that film changes the rest of your life! Because the film was not just some county fair or parade, though you had filmed those too. This was film of The Beatles last concert!

Now imagine 40 years later you find new detail in the film. Detail which busts some urban legends and adds even more intrigue to that concert in the baseball stadium! I've done some meticulous detective work on the "Zapruder film of Beatledom," my color 8mm 15 minute movie of the day's events. Parts of this film are featured in the video and DVD "One Last Time" and "The Beatles Live In San Francisco."

Lennon Didn't Play "In My Life" At Candlestick!

I suddenly had an idea. Check out the footage one frame at a time. Although it was late one night. This was an imperative mission! My 11-year-old son, Robin, and I decided to view the Beatles last concert footage as nobody has seen it before--a frame at a time. Sure enough, there were even more myths to be busted and more legends to be created by viewing the footage with new equipment. Now I feel confident in answering some of the questions which have been floating around for decades.

Here's a bit of background on how this footage came to be. In 1966 I won the Kodak teen-age movie awards for a sound-on-tape 8mm film I made on Disneyland. I had a habit of following Walt around Disneyland. As a matter of fact, I think that's why Walt created security. Their first target? Me. I had long hair. Tidy but a little long over the ears. So what? I simply cut it, and still followed Walt all over the park even more. When he stepped out the gate behind the firehouse above which he had an apartment, there was that darn kid again stalking Walt with his movie camera. That was me.

For the next year, 1967, I was going to enter the Kodak contest with a film about The Beatles, but admit, I lost interest when the foursome didn't show up again on another tour in '67 or ever again. My intent was to add more film to that which I had. And I was disappointed. But it wasn't until years later that I realized the historical importance of the document which I had already shot.

8/29/66: I Remember It Like It Was Yesterday

I had grown up in San Francisco but at age 11 moved farther north. In the summer of '66 I sent for tickets to the Candlestick Park gig. These were being sold by KYA radio through mail order. As I sit here at my keyboard today, I vividly remember the ancient typewriter I used to neatly write out the envelope addressed to KYA San Francisco.

I rode the Greyhound bus 250 miles with my mother all night long on the 27th in order to get to San Francisco on the 28th. I skipped the first day of a church camp to attend the Candlestick show with my mother on the 29th.

We left our hotel in the Market Street area, at about noon. Our Muni bus arrived at the far corner of the parking lot just as the fog was breaking up. Here I began watching, listening and filming the day's events.

I remember it like it was yesterday. We spent the day at Candlestick. We even brought a sack lunch. As music from the new album "Revolver" played on the park's P.A., I shot various angles of the stage being built out on 2nd base, along with the sound system and two wire fences which surrounded the stage. Other kids were busy doing their job of putting up handmade posters. The sound crew was busy setting up two massive columns of speakers on the infield.

As the spectators began to fill the ball park, there was a sudden scream which was coming from an area very nearby. I sprinted in my Beatles' boots to the end of the stadium. Just then the Beatles' bus rolled under me and I got a clear shot of George taking a photo of me. Neil Aspinall, now head of Apple Corps, is seated in the window directly in front of George.

Manually Carrying the Equipment to the Stage. Imagine the biggest act in the world not being allowed to haul their equipment to the stage. They were forced to manually cart their equipment across the field.

Mal Evans and the roadies did get into a bit of a "row" with the Giant's groundskeeper. He told them point blank they could not drive onto the field with their equipment van. You can see Evans clearly exchange some terse words and display obviously disgruntled body language. In my footage we see Evans, Ed Freeman, also The Ronettes road manager, and Sandy Scott, the tour manager from GAC, General Artists Corp, the booking agency who put the tour together.

Ringo Does Not Sing Into the Counterweight.

Ringo does not swing the mic. around and sing into the counterweight at the beginning of the Concert, as the sound system manager says in One Last Time. I have heard this misnomer in other places but never challenged it. You can see this clearly in my film. The mike is in the same position as it was prior to entering the stage. Later when Ringo's solo comes up, the mike is positioned before him.

Is That Someone Recording The Beatles?

One gentleman dressed in a dark trendy suit with white shirt goes to two cases sitting side-by-side on the field, picks them up and moves them closer to the stage. He walks out from behind some people a split second later without the cases! I can see this clearly by viewing it a frame at a time. Perhaps this is Tony Barrow and one of the cases is a tape recorder, the source for the famous recording which was never released in audio.

George Played "In My Life"

The Beatles take one last final stage bow, and my footage ends. But we see George in the playing position, both head and hands, and he just stands there while John's right hand is not in playing position. John is swiftly walking to the amp and appears to unplug his guitar. Many say that the first few notes of "In My Life" were played. If this is true it was definitely George! As George plays, Paul walks over to the stage mike but stops, turns around, and says something to George. offstage, inaudible to the audience. George looks up and says something back. Then Paul continues to talk into the mike.

What were these final words? A final good-bye perhaps? Does anyone know? There my footage cuts out. The audience got the impression that an encore was starting but, suddenly there was nothing and The Beatles abruptly climbed into the Loomis armored car and left the stadium, and their public performing career was over. Forever.

I'm proud of the old color 8mm Kodachrome footage. It still sparkles, and the color has not faded. With today's technology we should be able to extract even more detail. Plus there is a whole section of material which has never been transferred nor released, which contains the opening acts! There's Barry Tashian and The Remains and also Bobby Hebb backed up by The Remains.

My mother, now 90, remembers it well. She even attended the concert with me. But she sat in the cheaper seats where there was plenty for screaming. I was in the box seats. I could hear the concert perfectly. Some say they couldn't hear a thing. Much was dependent on where you were seated. It all has to do with which way the wind blows and apparently the wind was blowing the music directly to me. Candlestick was famous for its circulating winds. This was one of the reasons the San Francisco Giants had a new stadium built.

When I got to the church camp a day late, where I was the night before made me the envy of every teenager, and the object of annoyance to the counselors and staff. 1966 was that kind of a year.

I'm also proud when I receive letters and calls from fellow fans who recognize me as the 15-year-old kid who began a whole new genre in video and filmmaking. Some refer to this as the first "Fan-Made" video. This is the 47th anniversary of the event. What will the 50th bring us?
                                                           --Barry Hood
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