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Aug. 22, 1964: Beatles give first Canadian concert

In 1964, the Beatles released the album Something New, which is what they were to North American audiences. Their first Canadian concert took place that year at Vancouver’s Empire Stadium, where tickets topped out at $5.25. The concert was broadcast live on CKNW and, for a performance that lasted 27 minutes, the band was contracted to be paid 60 per cent of the $100,000 box-office take. According to Vancouver Sun music critic William Littler, the money was barely earned by the “Liverpudlian tonsorial horrors” who looked “anthropologically interesting” but were loud, monotonous and unmusical. Littler, who went on to write for the Toronto Star, predicted the Beatles phenomenon would soon dissipate and allow “music lovers everywhere [to] rejoice – yeah, yeah, yeah.” The band never played Vancouver again.

(George Diack/Vancouver Sun/The Canadian Press)

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