With former Fab Four member Paul McCartney coming back to Minnesota for a Target Field concert Saturday, fans who saw the Beatles perform at Metropolitan Stadium reflect on the 1965 concert.
Brian Kinney saw the Beatles perform at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington on Aug. 21, 1965, and later became a cover band singer.(Photo: Submitted photo)
- The Beatles performed once in Minnesota on Aug. 21, 1965, at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington
- Tickets for the concert ranged from $2.50 to $5.50 per seat
- Brian Kinney from St. Cloud was inspired to pursue a music career after seeing the show at age 9
It was Aug. 21, 1965, and 10-year-old Bob Pratt was sitting in former Minnesota Twins infielder Don Mincher’s clubhouse chair at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington.
Pratt was tagging along with his father, then-KMSP-TV photo director Ken Pratt, on assignment covering a Beatles concert. Bob Pratt’s brother decided not to tag along and instead play with his neighbor’s new skateboard.
As Pratt was waiting for his father, a man sat down next to him.
"He said: ‘I’m John.’ "
"I know, you’re John Lennon," Pratt responded.
"Lennon said back: ‘Oh, you’ve heard of me.’ "
In the 10-minute conversation that followed, Lennon asked Pratt the pronunciations of Zoilo Versalles and other Twins players. The old Twins clubhouse where they sat is where Victoria’s Secret is now at the Mall of America.
"The weird thing about John is that he sounded exactly like he did in the movie ‘A Hard Day’s Night,’ " said Pratt, of Minneapolis. "In the movie, he always called Ringo ‘son.’ He did the same thing with me."
Pratt later watched the Beatles perform from the Twins dugout next to band manager Brian Epstein. It would be the only time the Beatles performed together in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
Former Beatles member Paul McCartney returns to Minnesota at 8 p.m. Saturday for a sold-out concert at Target Field. There’s also a Beatles exhibit curated by the GRAMMY Museum running daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Sept. 7 at the Mall of America.
"At this point, the group had been known for about a year — no one had any idea what they would eventually become," Pratt said. "Nobody knew they’d go on to make ‘Sgt. Pepper’s (Lonely Hearts Club Band)’ and become the biggest phenomenon in music history."
Sitting in the left-field bleacher seats that same 1965 night was Pratt’s future Minneapolis neighbor, 9-year-old Brian Kinney. The son of former Tech and Apollo High School Principal Paul Kinney went with his sister and mother and was sitting in the section that cost $2.50 a seat.
There were also $3.50, $4.50 and $5.50 seats that night. The concert, which had more than 25,000 in attendance, was the lone non-sellout of the Beatles’ 1965 tour.
"In my heart, that’s my favorite concert I’ve ever been to," Brian Kinney said. "I’ve seen so many great performances — Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, John Fogerty — but the Beatles is still the favorite musical event I’ve ever attended."
He now performs covers professionally with the Brian Kinney Band. He works Beatles’ tunes "Can’t Buy Me Love," "In My Life," "Lady Madonna" and "She Loves You" in his set lists.
They next perform publicly at 9 p.m. Aug. 8 at Santorini in Eden Prairie.
"Seeing the Beatles definitely steered me toward wanting to be a rock ‘n’ roller," Kinney said.
Before the Metropolitan Stadium concert, Kinney’s visual exposure to the Beatles was limited to their Feb. 9, 1964, performance on the Ed Sullivan Show and their two movies, "A Hard Day’s Night" and "Help!"
It also would take Kinney awhile to see the Beatles after taking his seat at Met Stadium. Brenda Holloway and the King Curtis Band, Cannibal & The Headhunters, and Sounds Incorporated were opening bands.
Other local bands also played in the stands.
"It seemed like forever before finally the Beatles came on," Kinney said.
The Beatles’ set was 11 songs and about 30 minutes long. But that brief moment in time left a lasting memory for many in the stands.
"I remember them sounding just like they did on the record," Kinney said. "There was screaming all around you and flashbulbs going off. It was crazy."
Follow Jake Laxen on Twitter @jacoblaxen.
The Beatles’ set list
On Aug. 21, 1965, the Beatles played their only concert in the state of Minnesota. Here’s what the audience heard:
• "She’s A Woman"
• "I Feel Fine"
• "Dizzy Miss Lizzy"
• "Ticket to Ride"
• "Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby"
• "Can’t Buy Me Love"
• "Baby’s In Black"
• "I Wanna Be Your Man"
• "A Hard Day’s Night"
• "I’m Down"
If you go …
What: GRAMMY Museum presents Ladies and Gentlemen … The Beatles! exhibit.
Where: Level 4 of the Mall of America.
When: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily through Sept. 7.
Cost: $7 for adults, $6.50 for seniors, $6.50 for students, $6 for military, $5 for youth, free for children 5 and under. Get advance tickets at www.midwestmusicmuseum.com.
More information: Visit www.mallofamerica.com/attractions/view/the-beatles.
Beatles fans try to break through a police line Oct. 26, 1965, at Buckingham Palace in London where group members were due to receive Member of the British Empire awards from the queen. Two months earlier, the group performed in Bloomington.(Photo: AFP/Getty Images)Tags: concert, director, movie, music, singer, tour, tv