George Harrison Once Explained Why The Beatles Stopped Touring, ‘We Were Getting No Pleasure Out of It’
The Beatles went on many worldwide tours where they were greeted by millions of screaming fans. However, the band abruptly stopped touring in 1966, ultimately never touring again as the group disbanded in 1970. In regards to touring, George Harrison said The Beatles stopped after they were “getting no pleasure out of it.”
The Beatles never toured again after 1966
In 1966, The Beatles went on their third and final tour of North America. The tour was already marked by controversy as John Lennon had to apologize for comparing The Beatles’ popularity to Jesus. The band traveled throughout the U.S., but by the end, they had decided this would be the band’s final tour.
On August 26, 1966, The Beatles performed at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. This would be the end of their touring days and the final paid concert the band would ever perform. According to Rolling Stone, George Harrison said the band had already decided it would be their final concert before they went on stage.
“We placed our cameras on the amplifiers and put them on a timer,” Harrison shared. “We stopped between tunes, Ringo got down off the drums, and we stood facing the amplifiers with our back to the audience and took photographs. We knew: ‘This is it – we’re not going to do this again. This is the last concert.’ It was a unanimous decision.”
George Harrison said The Beatles stopped touring because they were only ‘doing it for the money’
In a 1979 interview with Rolling Stone, George Harrison discussed his career following the end of The Beatles. Harrison had a few hits to his name, such as “My Sweet Lord,” but he never came close to reaching the same level of success as the fab four. However, Harrison said he never made music for the money, even when he was with The Beatles. He also revealed that The Beatles stopped touring because they were only interested in it for the money and were getting “no pleasure out of it.”
“It’s not for the money that I do what I do; it was never for the money really. We hoped we’d make a living out of it when we were teenagers, we hoped we’d get by, but we weren’t doing it for the money. In fact, the moment we realized we were doing it for the money was just before we stopped touring, because we were getting no pleasure out of it. Then we found out we weren’t even getting the money. The Americans were keeping it all, and we were paying so much tax – ninety-five percent or more. So it’s never been for the money really, although it can be nice to have some money.”
Paul McCartney also said the band was annoyed by the level of crowd noise
George Harrison and the other Beatles were also getting frustrated by the overwhelming behavior of fans. In an interview with NPR, Paul McCartney compared the fans to “a million seagulls screaming” and said performing was no longer enjoyable because they couldn’t hear the music.
“Later then, it got a bit worrying because now the first sort of flush of the excitement had been going for quite a few years, and we were maturing, and we were sort of out of that phase,” McCartney shared. “It was like, OK, it would be quite nice to be able to hear the song we’re playing. And we couldn’t because it was just a million seagulls screaming.”