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In The Loop: September 11, 2022
Your connection to Downtown Kansas City
The world could use a bit more humor
So we’re bringin’ it!
If you’re a subscriber, you likely already saw (and hopefully read) writer Becky Brown’s humor column in your email on Thursday morning. If not, check it out here:
And, as always, if you like what you read in The Loop, please consider becoming a paid subscriber so we can bring you even more original content just like this.
But for now, on to The Loop….
2011: Foo Fighters make a statement (the first time) in Downtown KC
This Friday marks the date in 2011 that the band Foo Fighters trolled anti-gay, pro-hate Westboro Baptist Church members who were protesting that night’s concert outside of the Downtown arena then known as Sprint Center. Before the show, the somewhat-disguised members of Foo Fighters surprised their fans and the Westboro sign-holders when they rolled down Grand Boulevard on the back of a flatbed truck. Led by Dave Grohl, the band played their song, “Keep it Clean (Hot Buns),” a gay-themed, country love song that was the impetus for Westboro’s protest.
Four years later, the band would taunt the Westboroans once again, riding down Grand in the back of a pickup truck, blaring Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” and hoisting signs that read, “Keep It Clean” and “You Got Rick-Roll’d (Again).”
The Beatles don’t sell out Municipal Stadium in ‘64
Keeping with the concert theme, this Saturday marks the date in 1964 that the Beatles performed in front of just more than 20,000 fans at Municipal Stadium—the only venue that the Beatles did not sell out on their U.S. tour that year.
Why the seeming apathy toward the Fab Four? Well, there’s a story to that….
The Beatles originally planned September 17, 1964, as a rare — and much desired — day off. Kansas City was never on the original list of cities for the tour that year. But Kansas City A’s owner Charles Finley, ever one to do whatever it took to drum up publicity, decided that paying the Beatles to stop in KC — and using the slogan “Today’s Beatles Fans Are Tomorrow’s Baseball Fans” — could be good for his business (and for his failing reputation in Kansas City).
Finley first offered the Beatles $50,000.
$150,000 (about $1.35 million in today’s money)?
The band arrived at KC’s Downtown airport around 2 a.m. on that rainy morning of the concert, then held a press conference later that day at the Muehlebach Hotel, where they stayed on the 18th floor penthouse. At the presser, someone asked the group, "In light of the splendid offer … of $150,000... Do you plan to perform a little longer than a half-hour?"
Paul McCartney paused, and then said, "Just extra well," which brought laughter to the room.
So, why did KC not sell out the 35,000 available seats at Municipal, leaving 15,000 or more seats empty? Some believe it was the citizens’ disdain for Charley O., who repeatedly tried to move the A’s out of Kansas City, and never built a consistent winner. Only eight months before the Beatles concert, in fact, Finley signed an agreement to move the A’s to Louisville, Ky. — a move later nixed by the American League.
In addition, the best seats were priced so expensively by Finley that they surpassed any ticket price demanded at any other city on the Beatles’ American tour that year.
And, because Finley guaranteed the Beatle’s $150,000 purse with his own personal funds, some think at least a few Kansas Citians wanted to see Finley lose his shirt over the deal. Others were skeptical that Finley wouldn’t use funds that could have been used to bolster the A’s roster. In either case, supporting a Finley-organized event was not an option for some. (It’s estimated Finley did lose between $50,000 and $100,000 in 1964 dollars.)
Ultimately, when the Beatles finally took the stage at 22nd and Brooklyn that night, they kicked it off with a song that had not been included at their previous performances during the tour: “Kansas City / Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey.”
I’ve included a live performance of that song below, but don’t be fooled: There is currently no footage available online of that night in Kansas City. The late Drew Dimmel, formerly of KMBC television fame, made international news 14 years ago for re-discovering two minutes of footage — without audio — that he got on film at the concert that night when he was only 15 years old. The 120 seconds of silent footage was sold at auction for $6,600 in 2008.
Dimmel’s two minutes is the only known footage of The Beatles’ concert in Kansas City, and as far as I can tell, the recording is not available anywhere online.
The Beatles perform “Kansas City / Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey” on the October 7, 1964, broadcast of ABC’s “Shindig” television program. While “Shindig” was an American show, the entirety of this episode was recorded in London.
Caldecott Book Illustrations at Central Library
Presented in partnership with The Rabbit hOle, this exhibit running through Oct. 5 at the Central Library showcases the art of the winners of the Caldecott Medal, the annual award given for the best children’s picture book of its respective year.
Leonard Weisgard (1916–2000), Mother Hen
Italian Gardens Pizzeria closed … for now
After repeatedly hearing great things about Italian Gardens Pizza at 901 E. 19th Street, we finally remembered to make our first visit to the restaurant (it is only open during weekday days) but were stopped in our tracks by several signs in the windows and on the door that said, “Closed until further notice.” However, it sounds like we may still have a chance to experience the DiCapo Foods eatery, in one form or another, in the near future. KCUR 89.3 FM has the rest of the story.
Bathroom humor, yes, but oh so sophisticated — and with a Downtown theme
Again, if you missed Becky Brown’s recent column written just for The Loop, what in the heck are you waiting for! Check it out right here:
One year after the September 11th terrorist attacks, Kansas City held a commemoration event at City Hall, including a large United States flag over 12th Street. Missouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Mo.
Artful City: One weekly selection with a Downtown connection
Cathy Logan, Columbus Park, 2017, 36” x 36” oil on linen
Quick Clip: The city in motion—just a few seconds at a time
On Sept. 15, 1806, members of the Corps of Discovery led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, were believed to have stood on this high point above the Missouri and Kaw Rivers at what is today the Quality Hill neighborhood of Downtown Kansas City. (This was the expedition’s return trip — they camped for three days at nearby Kaw Point, modern-day Kansas City, Kan., on the westward voyage two years prior.) Today, the scenic Missouri spot includes an 18-foot-tall statue of Lewis, Clark, Clark’s slave York, Sacagawea holding her baby Jean Baptiste, and Lewis’s newfoundland dog Seaman — although only Lewis and Clark actually ascended the hill during their brief visit. The hilltop is sometimes mistakenly referred to as “Clark’s Point” because there is a “Clark’s Point” nearby—a park area named after early 20th-century city councilman Charles Clark. In this video clip are the statue, views of the highway system looking west toward Kansas, the Jim Pendergast statue (Boss Tom’s older brother), and the West Terrace Dog Park, looking northeast toward the River Market and the Bond Bridge. The Loop
Downtown Lens: A single image depicting the urban aesthetic
A home on Downtown’s Westside features matching sentinels atop its gated stairway entrance on Madison Ave. A couple doors down: A treehouse. The Loop
Who are all these people?
Answering the question “Who are all these people and where are they going?”, The Loop brings you a list of some of the biggest events happening Downtown each week. Please give a friendly Downtown-Kansas City welcome to audiences and attendees of….
Last day of the 2022 Kansas City Auto Show at Bartle Hall
Last day of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince™ in concert with the Kansas City Symphony at Kauffman Center
Game Day Experience: Chiefs v. Cardinals Watch Party at KC Live! Block
TUESDAY the 13th
Panic! At The Disco at T-Mobile Center
Midwest Environmental Compliance Conference today and tomorrow at Bartle Hall
The National at GrindersKC
WEDNESDAY the 14th
Why Don’t We at the Midland
THURSDAY the 15th
Game Day Experience: Chiefs v. Chargers Watch Party at KC Live! Block
FRIDAY the 16th
Fiesta Hispana at Barney Allis Plaza through Sunday
Falguni Pathak at Municipal Auditorium
Kansas City Symphony presents Copland’s Third Symphony, With Saint-Saëns’ Third Violin Concerto at Kauffman Center, today through Sunday
Rhythm-N-Soul with After 7 at KC Live! Block
Beatnik Cafe at Music Theater Heritage, today and tomorrow
SATURDAY the 17th
For a more exhaustive list of everything happening Downtown, go to the VisitKC events page and use the “regions” function to search for Downtown, Westside/Southwest Blvd, West Bottoms, River Market, Power & Light, Crown Center, Crossroads, 18th & Vine—or anywhere you want to go in the KC Metro
For live Kansas City Jazz performances, visit LiveJazzKC.com
Until next week—enjoy the city!
Got a tip or question about Downtown KC?
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