In showing solidarity for the civil rights movement, a new contract shows that The Beatles refused to play for in front of segregated audiences. A BBC report claims the document specifies that the mega-group “not be required to perform in front of a segregated audience” at the Cow Palace, near San Francisco.
The contract also guaranteed the band’s payment of $40,000, a special drumming platform for Ringo Starr and the commission of 150 uniformed police officers for protection.
According to BBC, that was not the first, or last time, The Beatles took a stand for justice. In 1964, they refused to perform at a segregated concert held at the Gator Bowl, until the city officials agreed to integrate the audience.
Legend John Lennon reportedly declared,
“We never play to segregated audiences and we aren’t going to start now. “I’d sooner lose our appearance money.”
Shortly after the “British Invasion” of ’64, The Beatles were targeted by the Klan for Lennon’s comparison of their popularity to that of Jesus Christ’s. Perhaps their support of racial equality also put them at odds with the terrorist cabal. BBC adds, the band whose sound was rooted in the soulful artistry of Black American music, produced a song called Blackbird, which was inspired by the African American struggle for equal rights.