Revisiting The Who's magical medley of The Beatles songs while performing at the Shea Stadium, 1982
(Credit: Heinrich Klaffs)

Revisiting The Who’s magical medley of The Beatles songs while performing at the Shea Stadium, 1982

The Who’s 1982 tour was a poignant one as they became a major stadium-filling outfit in the United States and, more specifically, it also marked their last string of dates until 1989. Rounding things off before their seven-year live show hiatus, the band crammed their set full of incredible moments such as following in the footsteps of The Beatles by taking on Shea Stadium.

The Beatles’ Shea Stadium gig some 17 years previous in 1965 and arrived as a watershed moment in the history of popular culture, one that changed live music forever despite being marred by technical difficulties.

Ringo Starr recalled the historic event in The Beatles Anthology, remarking: “What I remember most about the concert was that we were so far away from the audience. … And screaming had become the thing to do. … Everybody screamed. If you look at the footage, you can see how we reacted to the place. It was very big and very strange.”

The landmark show had made it possible for The Who to go on to play the same stadium as they followed in the Merseysiders’ footsteps all those years later and they were sure to pay tribute to their forefathers in their set. During the show, on 13th October 1982, The Who didn’t just cover one Beatles track, they instead performed a glorious medley of ‘I Saw Her Standing There’ and ‘Twist and Shout’.

What made the mash-up even more special was that John Entwistle took up lead vocals on the two tracks which, at the time of performing, was somewhat of a rarity with Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend sharing a microphone and provided The Ox with backing vocals.

The Shea Stadium date, which was originally meant to be part of the US tour in 1982 in support their record It’s Hard with UK dates pencilled in for the following year, but those British dates wouldn’t come to fruition and the band would announce the Stateside dates would, in fact, be their last ever shows.

This, of course, wouldn’t be the case with the band being unable to resist the lure of reuniting—but it wouldn’t be until 1989 where they would finally tour again. However, the 1982 tour may be the last time that The Who were at the peak of their powers—which was made difficult to recapture following the tragic loss of Keith Moon a few years earlier.

Take six minutes out of your day to enjoy this glorious medley by The Who at the very place which played such a pivotal role in shaping The Beatles’ legacy.

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