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Beatles Rarity Of The Week – “If I Needed Someone” (cherry bomb version)

Posted by on April 29, 2009 at 6:14 pm.

This week’s BROW is a follow up to another that I posted a little over a month ago that you may read here if you like. It comes from an audience recording of the August 19th, 1966 Memphis, TN performance of George Harrison’s “If I Needed Someone.” Due to John Lennon’s recent “Beatles are bigger than Jesus” remark taken out of context by a US teen magazine, The Beatles were already a bit apprehensive about their safety while performing in the Bible-belt southern US, where ritualistic burnings of Beatles records were being organized by churches, radio stations, etc. along with actual life-threats from the Ku Klux Klan. It was during this evening performance when a cherry bomb exploded on or near the stage and each of the Beatles looked at the others to determine which one had been shot. This moment in history was one of numerous deciding factors in the decision to quit touring after 1966. The explosion occurs in this recording at about one minute and 12 seconds in. My apologies for the horrendous sound quality of this recording but since it’s sourced is from a portable reel-to-reel tape machine running somewhere in the chaotic bed of a frenzied audience, it’s good to be able to make anything out.

The Beatles - If I Needed Someone
The Beatles: Memphis, TN on August 19, 1966

The Beatles: Memphis, TN on August 19, 1966

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Want to make a suggestion for a future Beatles Rarity of the Week? If so, I will do my best to deliver, so let me hear from you. To browse for ideas, check out this search-able listing of 10,130 Beatle-related recordings to choose from. Then let me hear from you here.


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