Here’s the complete ‘Shindig’ from October 7, 1964 which features The Beatles bookending the show. They begin with ‘Kansas City’ which features a rocking (though barely audible) McCartney vocal and then everyone has to wait twenty minutes for their return. Meanwhile another seven performers take the stage, possibly feeling the heat as the audience is clearly there for you-know-who. Among the middle acts are Lyn Cornell who does an acceptable ‘Fever’, the wonderful Sandie Shaw who does her hit ‘Always Something There To Remind Me’, the silly Tommy Quickly doing a ‘Stagger-Lee’ routine…anyway, lets be fair; they were all professional enough to make it through a show that they clearly realized belonged to the act that had become a world phenomenon a year and a half earlier. This was aired nine months after their first visit to the US, when four-thousand fans saw them off at Heathrow and another three thousand fans greeted them at JFK. Their hit movie ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ had opened only a few months earlier, during the summer of ’64. So one can be excused for wondering how ‘Shindig’ had them at their disposal and managed to only allot them less than a quarter of the shows twenty-five minute airtime. Perhaps it was at the band’s request–one could read their reluctance to dominate the show as a generous way to gain a larger audience for the other performers. And generous they were, enough to give Ringo a vocal on ‘Boys’. One can forget that they were, above all (in my view) a great club band, a performing group with an extreme and charming energy. The second-half of their career, for all its brilliance, has never rung the bell for me as much as their earliest appearances of which this is a prime example. They’re loose, casual and even little details–like McCartney singing along with Lennon while off mic (which reads as infectious enthusiasm for the lyrics) and Harrison saying ‘Hello’ to the camera when he realizes he’s getting a closeup (26:55)–go far to show how endearing they were to their earliest supporters.


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