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The Beatles
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Elvis Presley
When the Beatles Rocked Dodger Stadium

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Dodger President Walter O’Malley approved staging the first concert ever held at Dodger Stadium, which has since developed an impressive lineup of bands and musicians who have performed in the 56,000-seat ballpark — among them Elton John, The Rolling Stones, Simon and Garfunkel, KISS, Michael Jackson, The Bee Gees, David Bowie, Eric Clapton, Genesis, Bruce Springsteen, U2 and The Three Tenors in their “Encore — The Three Tenors” show with conductor Zubin Mehta.
With the unprecedented worldwide popularity of The Beatles, logistics became a nightmare to move them in and out of Dodger Stadium. On the Wednesday before the concert, they arrived in Los Angeles and loaded into a white armored truck before traveling to Hollywood to stage an evening press conference for 30 minutes at Capitol Records sound studio. There and wherever they traveled, The Beatles were inundated with the incessant sound of girls screaming. When asked at the press conference, “Would you rather play the Hollywood Bowl again than Dodger Stadium?” Harrison responded, “We don’t really mind.”
Dodger Stadium operations prepared for months in advance for the expected onslaught of fame and hysteria. But, no Dodger event could have readied them for what was about to unfold that Sunday. The Beatles were winding down their 14-city 1966 North America Concert Tour, as Dodger Stadium was their 13th stop. Other venues had difficulty keeping the over-enthusiastic “Beatlemaniacs” from mobbing the field and stage areas at the concert.
“We planned on everything,” said Bob Smith, who was Manager of Dodger Stadium representing Allied Consolidated Services and the individual responsible for operations and security at the concert. “I think when they first announced that The Beatles were coming to Dodger Stadium there were some doubts that they could sell 45,000 tickets. I think promoter Bob Eubanks had to put up some pretty high financing for them to agree to come there. Rumors were that he was concerned before, but then when the tickets finally took off, he was happy about it. As soon as we heard they were coming to the stadium, we started working with the (Los Angeles) Fire Department and a lot of people to see what we could do to keep the crowd from taking over the field, which they had done in a lot of other places.”
Smith describes some of the measures that were taken in advance of The Beatles’ arrival at Dodger Stadium.
“We talked to the Fire Department and they let us put an eight-foot chain link fence around the whole field from the bullpen around home plate all the way to the other bullpen,” said Smith. “We had it right up against the seats on the field level, so nobody could come off field level onto the field. It really was an exit area for those on the field level, but they let us do it if we would make sure that all exit doors were open and we could keep people from the upper levels from coming onto the field level. The fence was set in a way that if it got really run, it could have fallen over. We worked with a good professional named Jim Jones from the Fire Department.

Bob Smith was in charge of operational issues and security at Dodger Stadium, representing Allied Consolidated Services, during “The Beatles” concert. Smith joined the Dodger organization in 1969 and worked at Dodger Stadium for more than 30 years.

The first concert held at Dodger Stadium featured “The Beatles” on August 28, 1966. In subsequent years, many more musicians of note have performed concerts at 56,000-seat Dodger Stadium.

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