18 January 2012
142 pages, Dowling Pr (August 1996)
"Ticket to Ride: The Extraordinary Diary of The Beatles Last Tour", by "Barry Tashian", is a unique day-by-day, city-by-city account of this magical twenty-one day tour. Includes Barry's tour journal, never-before-seen photos, reviews, memorabilia, and much more. Hundreds of photos and illustrations.
"Would you guys like to go on tour with The Beatles"? Asked Remains' manager "John Kurland". And thus, Boston University's own band, The Remains, was offered the chance of a lifetime. As startling, though, as this proposition was, their drummer, "Rudolph Damiani", had his own remarkable surprise. He decided not to go and he quit the group. So on Friday, August 12, 1966, a new lineup of "The Remains" gave its debut performance in Chicago, singing to an audience of 13,000 people who fully expected to witness the greatest show on earth. It must have been an exhilarating experience for "Barry Tashian", "Vern Miller", "Bill Briggs", and new-member "Norman Dow Smart II". Nerve-racking, too!
"The Remains" were a perfect band to open for "The Beatles". They were thoroughly professional in the way they prepared for concerts; and they were very energetic on stage, bringing much excitement to the show. On this tour, they played a set and then backed up The Ronettes and Bobby Hebb.
By the time John, Paul, George, and Ringo arrived in the United States, their visit was surrounded by controversy over Lennon's comment that "The Beatles" were more popular than Jesus. Protests followed, including parties where the group's records were burned. Did this issue cut into ticket sales? Was Beatlemania fading, either way? Would "Paul McCartney" marry "Jane Asher"? These seem to have been the great questions of the day, along the track of the 1966 Beatles tour of America. Meanwhile, Capitol Records released Revolver just a few days before the tour got started; and its charting history suggests that the once-and-future mania for "The Beatles" was alive and well in 1966. But the group's success varied from city to city; and, in a few places, ticket sales were disappointing. The trouble in Boston, though, was quite the opposite; the show at Suffolk Downs sold out weeks in advance.
Before this historic tour began, "Barry Tashian"'s father suggested that he keep a journal of his experiences. "Barry Tashian" seems not to have known good advice when he heard it... but he started a journal anyway. His notes are the core of this wonderful book, "Ticket To Ride: The Extraordinary Diary of the Beatles' Last Tour".
"Barry Tashian"'s book tells of events leading up to "The Beatles"' arrival in the United States and then takes us, city by city, along with the Fab Four across America. The tour started in Chicago, zigzagged between the Mid-West and East, and then skipped over to the West Coast.
The main text contains certain regular features: "Barry Tashian"'s journal entries; a contemporary report of the tour written by "Judith Sims", editor of "TeenSet Magazine"; an article about each concert from a major city newspaper; reminiscences of fans who attended the shows; and news of the day to put this whole thing in historical perspective. "Barry Tashian"'s introduction includes some of his own recollections. At the end of the book, he provided space for several of the other participants in the tour--including every member of "The Remains"-to reminisce about the experience.