Madrid – film at 11

As a follow up on our story earlier today of an upcoming attempt to release an audio recording of The Beatles’ concert in Madrid, we have located this piece of film, which has captured several clips from the concert. The Beatles performed just once concert in Madrid in Spain. It took place at the Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas, the city’s bullring, where Beatles manager Brian Epstein had watched a bullfight on the previous day.

The Beatles arrived from Nice, France the day before, and held a press conference. The concert began the next day at 8.30pm. By this point in the tour The Beatles had become concerned at the level of violence they’d seen police use against the fans.

“The thing I remember about Madrid, where we played another bullring, was that the police were so violent. It was the first time I’d really seen police beating kids up.

I went to a bullfight there, and it was the saddest thing I ever saw. It was really sorrowful to see the bull just getting weakened and weakened. And then, when they finally kill the bugger, they wrap a chain round its leg and bring in a couple of cart-horses and drag the corpse away. I always thought it was such a miserable end. That’s the only bullfight I ever went to, and I’ve never been interested in seeing one again.”

Ringo Starr, The Beatles’ Anthology.

Press conference on July 1.

The police weren’t just brutal to the fans who had gained entry to the concert, in his book, “The Beatles en España”, author José Luis Álvarez says that only 4,000 or 5,000 people saw the Beatles in concert in Madrid, when the capacity was 18,000 to 20,000. The police is to have blocked access for as much as 10,000 people to the concert, to keep the riff raff out. Apparantly they feared scandals, for whichever reason. Álvarez says that the arrival of The Beatles to Spain was not well received by neither the Franco regime, their loyal press, or the police.

Even just before the concert was to take place, it was said that The Beatles did not yet have the appropriate permissions to perform. But because these events took place in the year which saw The Beatles receive their MBEs from Queen Elizabeth, a fact which was public knowledge at the time, the regime didn’t want to upset Great Britain, and the appropriate permissions were granted.

1 Response

  1. walrus gumboot says:


Leave a Reply