Beatles quit live performances because 'we had just had enough'


Sir Paul McCartney has spoken of the moment he realised it was time for The Beatles to give up their live performances.

The four-piece played to a screaming crowd at Candlestick Park in San Francisco in 1966, their last big concert.

Sir Eric Harrison, the High Commissioner, with The Beatles at Australia House, London prior to their visit to Australia
The band with the Australian High Commissioner in 1964 (PA)

Ahead of the world premiere of a film documenting their touring years, Sir Paul and Ringo Starr recalled the manic period in their careers.

In conversation with comedian and fellow Liverpudlian John Bishop, Sir Paul told The One Show: "I think I was the last to give in.

Sir Paul McCartney plays songs from his new album during a surprise concert in Covent Garden, London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday October 18, 2013. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
(Steve Parsons/PA)

"We did Candlestick Park and it was OK, a lot of screaming and we didn't enjoy the gig and we were just hustled into this meat wagon which was just like a chrome box and we are all just sliding around looking at each other thinking 'bloody hell'."

Ringo, who will join Sir Paul in London for a screening of Eight Days A Week on Thursday, added: "We had just had enough, we knew that was the last gig, it was time, you can only do that for so long."

Ringo Starr
(Dominic Lipinski/PA)

The Fab Four performed their final live gig on a rooftop in London three years later.

Coping with their meteoric rise to fame was made easier by the fact the foursome could rely on each other, said Ringo.

"We had each other to hold on to," he said during the interview at Abbey Road Studios. "At different parts in our career we each went mad and we had the other three to say, 'are you kiddin'?' and bring us back. I love that.

"I'm an only child and suddenly I had three brothers, who cared and looked out for me and looked out for each other, and I felt sorry for Elvis, he was all alone."

Ron Howard attends the screening for new documentary, The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years, at the Picture House Central cinema in London. Picture date: Tuesday August 9, 2016. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
(Ian West/PA)

Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years is directed by Oscar-winner Ron Howard.