Blog Archives

Chuck Gunderson Talks about the Beatles at PW.Com

Chuck Gunderson, recently sat down with Publishers Weekly to discuss his limited-edition two-volume set, Some Fun Tonight! The Backstage Story of How the Beatles Rocked America: The Historic Tours 1964-1966.  The timing could not be more perfect with the release of Ron Howard’s, Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years. Listen to the podcast by clicking the link below.


>>Listen<<

10ca44_2a1342b8e50b4dd2a73920f9c79d3b89Chuck Gunderson is the country’s leading expert on the Beatles’ three North American tours. Over nearly three decades, he has amassed what is arguably the most comprehensive collection of American tour-related memorabilia and artifacts in the world.

Gunderson has taken the tour that changed the concert industry and created an amazing two-volume set. The Fab Four: Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Greg Harrison, and Ringo Starr, began their journey in the United States in February 1964 after landing their first #1 hit, ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand,’ on the Billboard Hot 100. After their successful and impressive performance on the Ed Sullivan Show with an estimated 73 million viewers, their careers catapulted to another level and the ‘British Invasion’ and ‘Beatlemania’ began.

Volume 1 of Some Fun Tonight! covers the beginning of their journey in 1964. There were 32 shows, 26 venues, 24 cities, and that was just in 33 days. The group garnered over $1 million, equivalent to $7.5 million in todays industry, which was unheard of at that time. Volume 2 continues their journey throughout 1965 and 1966 ending with their show at Candlestick Park.

There’s a chapter for each tour stop along with chapters for the supporting acts. The images included feature some unpublished, but there is plenty of memorabilia from each city including: tickets, programs, handbills, posters, newspaper ads, contracts, and documents. Gunderson was sure not to shortchange any fans by expanding the book to two volumes instead of one to pack in all the information he had collected over the years.

Some Fun Tonight! captures the heart of the tour with over 800 images over the course of 600 plus pages at the retail value of $160. Gunderson leaves nothing out within this 13 pound box set with accompanying slipcase. Fans young and old will surely be entertained for years to come.

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Chuck Gunderson on Talk Radio Europe

Author of Some Fun Tonight! The Backstage Story of How the Beatles Rocked America: The Historic Tours 1964-1966, Chuck Gunderson, spoke with Dave Hodgson host of The Daily on Talk Radio Europe. They spoke about some of the Beatles biggest moments, what you can find inside the book, and lots more! Listen to the whole interview by clicking on the link below!


>>Listen<<

00160940Never has there been a book on the Beatles quite like Some Fun Tonight! The Backstage Story of How the Beatles Rock America: The Historic Tours of 1964-1966. Covering the group’s three North American tours (1964-1966) in astonishing detail, author Chuck Gunderson’s comprehensive two-volume boxed set gives readers a city-by-city synopsis of the Beatles’ activities as they traveled the United States and Canada for their groundbreaking series of concerts. So authoritative is Gunderson’s work that Ron Howard is using it as source material for his upcoming Beatles documentary, whose working title is The Beatles: Eight Days a Week, due out in theaters and on Hulu in the fall.

Produced in a slick, glossy, full-color format, and housed in an attractive slipcase, these truly essential books for any Beatles library retail for $160. This fall, Backbeat Books will provide Beatles fans will a less expensive, but no less impressive, alternative: a two-volume soft-cover edition with each volume retailing for $40.

From San Francisco’s Cow Palace show on August 19, 1964, through their last-ever live performance at that same city’s Candlestick Park on August 29, 1966, Some Fun Tonight! covers the music and the madness that characterized the Beatles’ North American tours. Supported by hundreds of photographs and images of rare memorabilia, it is the definitive reference for what is arguably the most important period in the Beatles’ long and winding career.

Never before have the Beatles’ North American concerts been covered in such depth. Some Fun Tonight! includes the behind-the-scenes negotiations, the mayhem at the airports and hotels, the cheeky quotes delivered at the press conferences, the opening acts, the concerts, and the stories behind the shows through the eyes of the Beatles, their entourage, the promoters, the emcees and the fans.

If you witnessed the mania firsthand, you’ll relive the excitement in the pages of these books. If you were born too late to be a part of those halcyon days, you’ll learn what it was like to be swept up and carried away by the phenomena of the greatest musical act of all time.

50th anniversary of one of the Beatles last tour show!

Today marks the day that the Beatles played their last show in Toronto Canada! It has been 50 years since, but that performance will never be forgotten. Chuck Gunderson, author of Some Fun Tonight! The Backstage Story of How the Beatles Rocked America: The Historic Tours 1964-1966, talks all about the Toronto performance in his book take a sneak peak of it in the excerpt below!


SFT-Vol2_paperback_textOne year to the day after the Beatles last played Toronto, Canada, they returned to the city for two shows at the famed Maple Leaf Gardens—the only venue that hosted them for all three North American tours. The concerts would essentially be a repeat of their 1964 and 1965 shows, except for a change in their set list and stage clothes. It would also be the last time the group would rock the Gardens.

Harold Ballard once again succeeded in his negotiations with Beatles manager Brian Epstein and General Artists Corporation (GAC) to secure the concerts. Epstein was loyal to the promoters who’d gambled on the large guarantees required to present his “boys” during the first tour in 1964.

The Gardens owner had had an enormous influence on the venue’s financial standing, tripling profits by hosting conventions and entertainment acts. He was also innovative. Ballard was one of the first stadium executives to bring advertising inside the arena and was always seeking ways to expand the seating capacity. In one bold—and controversial—move to fit in more seats, he instructed workers to remove a large portrait of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II. When confronted about his decision, he defended himself, saying, “She doesn’t pay me; I pay her. Besides, what the hell position can a queen play?” When the Beatles played the Gardens the previous year, Ballard had smelled an opportunity for profit, cranked up the heat, and shut off the water fountains, forcing the crowd to buy oversized soft drinks.

He was a master at promotion and knew from prior years that the Beatles would sell tickets. But this time, when seats were still available in the days leading up to the two concerts (and even on the day of the shows), Ballard had to scramble, printing up posters and putting them around Toronto in an effort to fill the venue. “See John, Paul, George & Ringo,” the posters touted. “Beatle tickets on sale here!” Ballard found himself fighting an uphill battle, as several Canadian radio stations banned the playing of Beatles records after John’s statement about the group being “more popular than Jesus” became public.

A few weeks before the concert, GAC’s Bob Bonis sent a letter to Maple Leaf Gardens executive Henry Bolton containing a detailed list of instructions that were to be strictly followed. Although a similar letter was sent to the promoters and venue management in every tour city, some specific requests were made by Bonis for Toronto. “If you have press coverage for the Beatles at the airport,” he wrote, “please keep it as much a secret as possible.” He added that, upon landing, a suitable place needed to be secured in order to “to avoid the crowds.” Limousines, a bus, and two trucks had to be present to meet the plane—and the trucks needed to hold all the equipment and be “locked at all times.” Finally, it was mandated that there were to be “absolutely no interviews at all at the airport … that means no tapes, etc.”


Read more by purchasing the book here.

Coming soon: “Some Fun Tonight!”

Celebrate the Beatles’ 50th anniversary of their final tour with the boxed set of Some Fun Tonight!, which lets you experience the Beatles’ North American tours through the eyes of those who were there! The boxed set will be on sale this coming June, so make sure to mark your calendars! Learn more about it below.


00160940.jpgNever has there been a book on the Beatles quite like Some Fun Tonight! The Backstage Story of How the Beatles Rock America: The Historic Tours of 1964-1966. Covering the group’s three North American tours (1964-1966) in astonishing detail, author Chuck Gunderson’s comprehensive two-volume boxed set gives readers a city-by-city synopsis of the Beatles’ activities as they traveled the United States and Canada for their groundbreaking series of concerts. So authoritative is Gunderson’s work that Ron Howard is using it as source material for his upcoming Beatles documentary, whose working title is The Beatles: Eight Days a Week, due out in theaters and on Hulu in the fall.

Produced in a slick, glossy, full-color format, and housed in an attractive slipcase, these truly essential books for any Beatles library retail for $160. This fall, Backbeat Books will provide Beatles fans will a less expensive, but no less impressive, alternative: a two-volume soft-cover edition with each volume retailing for $40.

From San Francisco’s Cow Palace show on August 19, 1964, through their last-ever live performance at that same city’s Candlestick Park on August 29, 1966, Some Fun Tonight! covers the music and the madness that characterized the Beatles’ North American tours. Supported by hundreds of photographs and images of rare memorabilia, it is the definitive reference for what is arguably the most important period in the Beatles’ long and winding career.

Never before have the Beatles’ North American concerts been covered in such depth. Some Fun Tonight! includes the behind-the-scenes negotiations, the mayhem at the airports and hotels, the cheeky quotes delivered at the press conferences, the opening acts, the concerts, and the stories behind the shows through the eyes of the Beatles, their entourage, the promoters, the emcees and the fans.

If you witnessed the mania firsthand, you’ll relive the excitement in the pages of these books. If you were born too late to be a part of those halcyon days, you’ll learn what it was like to be swept up and carried away by the phenomena of the greatest musical act of all time.