Japan JL 5XX Copy Series: JL-516 to JL-520 – plus a closer look at the Beatles at Shea Soundtrack

516 Last Live Show
JL 517 Get Back To Toronto  [I almost mixed this up with John Lennon Telecasts, which since the TMOQ days had the matrix # JL-517-A / B and for which a Japan copy – with an insert, however, and not looking like a typical JL release – exists as well.]
518 Various Artists – California Jammin’
JL 519 Paris Sports Palais
520 Led Zepppelin – BBC ZEP



A. “I had a repressing with printed b&w cover, black-silver labels and matrix no. JL 516 which was very badly pressed.” [bootleg section of http://tomwaits-vinyl.org%5D

Beatles LLShow JL 516The JL number is located bottom left.

B&W insert & silver on black label (copy of the original label design)

Beatles LLS lbl

B. Not a JL release: The ’10’ version with a purple label (matrix number wanted):

Beatles LLShow purp 1Beatles LLShow 10

Compare with an original shown here – not a big difference, I know, except that the copies above really have that ‘xeroxed’ look and feel.

Beatles Last Live S

Beatles LastLShow lbl B

Above: 7001 A / B matrix

Those with copied & colored/tinted inserts seem to have an 101 A / B matrix like the one shown here below:

Beatles LLShow 501 tint

Beatles Last Live Show lbl

ca. 1971 WCF version/copy with their typical 10″ ring from the converted record press.


Beatles Last Live S red lblAbove: Red label U.S. version (producer unknown at this time) with added date below the title.


The Beatles started 1966 on the 5th of January by ‘secretly’ (I really do not believe that there was an intentional effort to hide the fact that what you heard was not always the original field recording) gathering at CTS (Cine Tele Sound) Studios at 49-53 Kensington Gardens Square in Bayswater, London to salvage/improve the inline recording made at Shea Stadium in New York the previous summer for an upcoming BBC1 TV special.

In the 1960’s, CTS had mono and stereo three-track and two-track 7½, 15 and 30 IPS Philips tape machines. CTS was a scoring stage, so the film could be projected onto a large screen and musicians could play along to the selected scene. I assume the Beatles dis this when re-recording two of the songs (see further down) to match video and audio as best as they could.

I have looked far and wide about the recording equipment used to capture this landmark show but found nothing about it at all.

Peter Simon remembers watching the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show, and the following year, photographed their concert at Shea Stadium.

Beatles Shea 8beatles Shea 4Beatles Shea 2

John about to wreck their VOX Continental organ by playing it with his elbow (and making George laugh and lose his rhythm). It repaid him by malfunctioning at the next tour stop at Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens and was replaced by the time they appeared in Atlanta. The organ would never be used on stage by anyone ever again and was sold in 2008 for $182,000.

It turned out that “I Feel Fine”  and “Help!” were considered “beyond help” and were re-recorded from scratch, with JPGR trying their best to make it sound and look live and synchronized, to be latter dubbed with audience noise – not from Shea but Hollywood Bowl ’65. The bass had suffered especially in the field recording and Paul overdubbed new bass lines onto “Dizzy Miss Lizzy”, “Can’t Buy Me Love”, “Baby’s In Black” and “I’m Down”. John also enhanced his organ part for the final song. It seems that it had already been decided at this point that “She’s A Woman” and “Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby” had to be cut due to time constraints. “They were, however, included in an early print which Epstein received from Sullivan Productions around 5 November 1965, which then ran to 54 minutes. By January, as it would be for the transmission, the film’s duration had been cut to just under 48 minutes.”

There were plans to enhance “Twist and Shout” as well but studio time had run out. Instead, the Capitol recording from their last Hollywood Bowl concert on 30 August 1965 was used. Now, here is a minor riddle regarding this. In John C. Winn’s book Way beyond Compare it says about the Capitol Hollywood Bowl three-track recordings: “Unlike in 1964, Capitol didn’t even bother to remix either of the 1965 concerts at the time, and they remained unheard until 1971, when the three-track masters were sent to Abbey Road.” So, what type of tape did they have to work with in early 1966?

“Act Naturally”, the experiment – as they were back to performing the old staple “I Wanna Be Your Man” by Atlanta – was simply replaced by the official version, overdubbed with pure (looped?) audience pandemonium, not caring or noticing that vocals and image no longer matched in all places. I would imagine that the end of session time forced this as well and obviously no other professionally recorded live version existed. Alternatively, the Beatles and the producers just could not be bothered or they tried and failed to recreate a good enough facsimile.

“Documentation also suggests that John wished to record a new version of Ticket To Ride, and that it was done during this CTS session, but close study of the film indicates that the original Shea version was used (although perhaps a little instrumental overdubbing was effected).”

The Beatles At Shea Stadium was shown on BBC1 in the UK on 1 March 1966 but in the U.S. not until the following year.

CTS 67Nancy Sinatra and John Barry at CTS in ’67, recording session for the You Only Live Twice . No Beatles photo at CTS available, just imagine JPGR around that mic…


Beatles Shea tapeSold at auction in December 2005 (for almost $9,000) and subsequently appeared on bootleg CD’s in 2007 (HMC, etc.): Three 7 1/2 ips pre-production tapes containing the raw Shea recording before edits and overdubbing. 28, 32 and 37 minutes long.



* Need image *


JL 518: Various Artists (Deep Purple, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Pink Floyd) – CALIFORNIA JAMMIN’

California Jammin 2California Jammin #

The original King Kong / Contraband release can be visited under this link.



Beatles Paris JL 519Beatles Paris JL 519 2v

Detailed info regarding the original – another Contraband release – can be found here.



Led Zep BBC Zep JL 520

Led Zep BBC Zep JL detail

And here is the detailed info link for this classic bootleg, released originally in late spring or mid-1973.

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